Sunday, August 21, 2016

Final Camping Trip for 2016

We spent the first weekend after the start of school with a couple of families going through the same chapter in their own books. Three families, all with one girl starting Kindergarten. for two of us it was a bit more unchartered as our oldest girls headed off to real school.

The campgrounds were right off of lake Michigan and gave the girls a chance to enjoy a bit of beach time albeit with water temps that bordered on freezing. The evenings were brisk, the fire was warm, and there were lots of smiles.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

First Day of School

It's here. I've no idea how it has happened.
She's been excited about this day for a while now. New backpack, new school, new experiences.
She didn't hesitate a moment.

We both stayed home so that we could walk her to school in the morning. The neighborhood crew took pictures before the day started then we were on our way. She walked 20 paces ahead of us. He backpack seems bigger than her. She smiled the whole way and I remember wondering if she was nervous. She certainly didn't seem it in the slightest.

We walked back over to the school to pick her up toward the end of her day. We stood there anxiously awaiting her stories about her first day but she never showed. A moment feeling of panic as we realized the last kids had come out and she wasn't with them. A small misunderstanding sorted out quickly with the teacher. So turns out things didn't go exactly as expected....

It was still a wonderful day. Our girl started Kindergarten. One more milestone for the books. No tears on anyone's part, just excitement and anticipation.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Charlotte vs. Giant Slide

There wasn't really a question.
Not a moment of hesitation.
Just pure excitement.
She climbed the mountain of stairs, leaned forward, put her arms up, and went for it.
The amount of energy she had spent thinking of that moment was palpable. This slide is a beast, and she swallowed it whole. None of us were surprised. She went 7 times in all.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

State Fair - Same Stuff, Still all the Fun

Every year we have a mental list of items to see or do. It includes things like the butter cow, eating a corndog, the big slide, seeing the big bull and boar, and grabbing a few lemonades from the stand outside the swine barn. On top of these we layer on a handful of new things each year. They may or may not make it on the recurring list. 

This year was no different. And to add to the excitement Charlotte is now old enough to remember the visits and so she had her own agenda. Specifically, a solo ride on the big slide. 

We camped with Oma, road tractors, and played with baby goats (who tried to eat Grace's dress each time she posed for a picture). As always Oma was the perfect host and we are already counting the days until next year. One of our favorite traditions.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Rest of the Blueberry Trip

With no camping we decided to head home the second day. So with 60 pounds of blueberries loaded into the back of the car we headed toward the coast.

Because we weren't in any particular hurry we stopped a few places along the way. Cranes for pie and lunch (along with a cherry pie to take home), an antique store, and Indiana Dunes state park along the beach of Lake Michigan.

This day as a whole definitely ranks up there. No agenda other than picking berries ended up being a pretty incredible day of fun spent with my favorite people. Lots of smiles, lots of pictures, lots of memories.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


We've had this weekend planned for a while. We had taken time off to give us plenty of time in Michigan to camp and enjoy what has become an annual tradition.

But on Friday, shortly before we were to leave we reluctantly succumbed to the weather. What had started out as a low percentage chance of rain for the weekend had slowly climbed to 90% for the entire weekend. I was pretty disappointed. It was Troy who suggested we go ahead despite the forecast. We would change out the tent for a hotel room and see what we could salvage.

Off we went, with a whole lot less luggage. And an Oma.

Friday night at the hotel we made a trip to the hotel pool and found time for a movie night complete with popcorn and m&ms.

Saturday morning we woke up to rain. Pouring. The hotel was only a 30 minute drive from the farm so we called ahead to check conditions and make sure they were open. The told us to come ahead, and they'd let people go out as long as there wasn't lightening.

We stopped at a store along the way to pick up some water gear - ponchos for all along with rainbows for the girls. If we were going out at least we'd be able to stay dry-ish.

We were welcomed with a drizzle. We grabbed buckets, put on ponchos and decided we'd move quickly and see what we could do before either temperaments or weather gave out.

6 buckets of blueberries later we finally called it a day. The weather cleared up about an hour in and the sun came out for a bit. It was humid, but cool. The girls were fantastic and we joked, as we do every year, that they should have weighed them before we started. So many blueberries while picking.

This trip is my favorite part of every year. I'm glad I have a husband who knows that even if it means driving 3 hours there and back for a slim chance at picking. It made the trip that much sweeter. Thankful I get to share my life with this guy.