Friday, July 31, 2015

Blueberry Leftovers

I recently read a story on parenting. Truth be told, I read a number of stories any given week about parenting. Mostly little snippits from someone's blog, or a article trending on line of how someone, somewhere has decided that we're failing tremendously in some aspect of our lives. As it turns out, and as these pieces will imply, the only road to redemption is by reading more advice from others.

Here's the thing though. They are only opinions. Other peoples opinions based on any number of variables that may be either similar or significantly different from your own situation.

4 years ago these stories owned me. I obsessed over the latest discovery of how the choice of pacifiers somehow translated into long term career choices or how others would react if I continued nursing after the first 12 months. I consistently second guessed myself.

Fast forward 4 years. Not much has changed. I'm still absolutely clueless on more than I can imagine. I still read stories of others' experiences. The difference? I take them for what they are: opinions. From there I can decide if they are worth taking into consideration.

I trust my gut. I trust my husband. I trust that our unconditional love and support for our children will lead the way. We'll make mistakes, I'm sure we already have. But years from now, when they are grown I want our girls to respect others and just as importantly themselves. I want them to be compassionate and kind. Above all I want them to know they are loved. The color of pacifier, how long I nursed, what age they began walking....none of these is at the top of that list. None of these translates into love. And I don't need an article, or a study to tell me how to love my girls. That part comes easy. Even on the worst of days.

Some leftover pictures from our blueberry trip this year:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blueberry Weekend - Part 2

Taking a detour on the way back to the campgrounds we drove along the lakeshore. We had planned to find water somewhere along the way so I made sure to pack the girls' swim suits and Troy's trunks but somehow neglected to pack water wear for Mom and me. Not to didn't stop us from going into the water. Yes, we had clothes on.

We stumbled on a front row parking spot and one of the beaches and decided it was too good to pass up. We parked, the girls changed, and off we went. The girls loved the waves and laughed as they crashed against them every few moments. Lake Michigan at its finest.

Back at the campground, wet, sandy, and sunned we settled in for the night. Exhausted in such a good way and already looking forward to next year. Thankful to have Oma along for the adventure for the second year in a row!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Blueberry Weekend - Part 1

For the fourth year in a row we made the trip to Michigan to pick blueberries. We find that the trip is much more enjoyable when we span it over a couple days. Rather than booking a hotel this year though, we packed up the tent, sleeping bags and lantern and spent the entire weekend with nature.

It seems that Oma wasn't scared off after last year given she started asking about blueberry picking in February so she was along for the weekend as well.

Blueberry picking went as per usual...with about a quarter of what we pick ending up in our bellies. We always joke as we leave that they should weigh us, rather than our buckets before charging us. I'm fairly certain the youngest in our group increased her body weight by a solid ten percent. Charlotte managed to keep a few in her bucket this year and contribute to something other than her appetite. She proudly carried her purple bucket and took pride in "testing" a blueberry from each bush before deciding that it was "a good one".

At one one point, toward the end of picking, I looked over to find Grace laying on her back in the grass under a bush. She had situated herself under a limb which she could easily pluck fruit off of while laying there. Another time I found the two of them huddled closely together under a bush with their buckets tucked safely between them while they snuck bites.

We picked 22 pounds in all. After, we stopped at the restaurant down the street. We sampled pies and cinder and enjoyed the momentary reprieve from the heat. Once recharged we packed ourselves back into the car and headed back toward the coast to enjoy a bit of beach time.

To be continued....

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Birthday Celebration

Busy is a severe understatement in describing life lately.

We have more than a few things going on with the house and added on top of that both of our work days have been incredibly hectic lately.

We took an afternoon break from yard work, house work, and work in general to celebrate my birthday today. The girls helped bake coconut macaroons and we ate dinner on the patio followed by movie night all huddled together on the couch. And while Troy will be the first to correct me noting that my real birthday celebration is next week during our annual blueberry picking trip, I thought this was pretty great.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Birthday America!

Dinner on the patio followed by sparklers as we waited for it to get dark.