Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...

  • Our amazing family for making our trip to Myrtle Beach possible.  It was so amazing to know that our children were in loving care while we were gone.
  • Jillian was proposed to at a birthday party this weekend.  Her response?  "No thanks.  I'm playing in the sand now."
  • Myles' excitement and smiles this morning after finding his tooth fairy letter and money.  Absolutely adorable.
  • I have heard "I love you" in tiny voices more in the last few days that I can ever remember.  I think they might have missed me as much as I missed them last week.
  • Wind farms.  Some people complain about them, but I think they are beautiful.  This area had hundreds of windmills.  It was somewhere in Ohio...which should be on my better off without list.  Seriously - how long do you have to drive in Ohio to go down south?  FOREVER!!!
  • Dance starts later in September for Jillian, but it began this weekend in her eyes.  She danced and danced.  I love how she uses the word ballet.  "Mom, I'm going to ballet now."  It is not somewhere she is is something she is doing.  She twirls, spins, and my favorite move has her arms spread wide and her leg kicked out behind her.  A bit of a Titanic pose.  Adorable.
  • Jillian, while dressed in her very best princess dress this weekend, asked me to please hold her train "like you did for Aunt Brooke at her wedding."
  • Yesterday while I was making the tooth fairy pillow, Jillian was busy running back and forth to the craft bins.  She was sitting next to me making her own creation.  She got out the glue and colored pencils and whipped up these portraits.  One of herself (with brown button eyes) and one of her best friend, Myles (with blue button eyes).  I love that she thought of the idea and made it happen...completely on her own!  Not the best pic...sorry - you gotta look close!

I'm Better Off Without List...
  • My email inbox after vacation.  Yikes.
  • Tearing up tonight sitting at the desk that Myles will sit in starting next week.  His lovely teacher was talking about what kindergarten will be like and WHAM my eyes are welling with tears.  I am such a nerd.   Luckily, I think Ben was the only one that caught me.
  • An all day meeting on my first day back from vacation. Ick.
  • Getting rained out of our vow renewal in Myrtle Beach.  We succeeded on a second attempt...which I will share with you as soon as I have pictures!  Ben took this picture of me sopping wet after our first attempt.  Why did I even waste time on my hair?

Monday, August 27, 2012


School starts next week.  NEXT WEEK!  Today we went to school to find out who his teacher will be and who he might know in his class.  He is looking forward to meeting her tomorrow night at open house.  Things are really changing around here.  As if that thought hasn't been on my mind all day long...(I'm slightly obsessing about watching my first born walk away from me to go to school on his own. Not preschool.  Kindergarten.  A whole new step towards growing up.  Yes, I'll probably be the one balling like a baby.) Myles decides to physically show me how big he actually is.

He didn't lose a tooth today...he lost TWO.  I can't believe how brave he was  about it.  My kid who will scream at the sight of blood...after confirming it is not just jelly...was totally cool with it.  He was yanking and pulling.  He so wanted a two-for-one deal with the tooth fairy.  All his efforts paid off.  Things have been pretty exciting around here ever since.  Quickly whipping up a tooth fairy pillow...pondering what in the world she might bring...will she write a note?  Will she be able to reach his teeth up in his loft bed? (Of course - she has wings, you know).  Wow, is all I can say.  I have a kindergartner that will start school next week with a huge hole where his two front teeth used to be.  His school pictures will be awesome.

Here's to growing up.  It just goes so fast.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Down South Anniversary

Hi there y’all!  I’ve been on vacation in the south all week (thus the y’all).   I’ve missed you!  We drove thousands of miles from sunny “Pure Michigan” to Myrtle Beach to play in the pouring rain all week.  It didn’t matter.  It was our ten-year anniversary trip and we were going to have fun, no matter what Mother Nature had to say about it.

I couldn’t imagine a whole week without my kids…but we made it.  We even had fun, despite rain every single day we were there.  With over 40 hours in the car this week and pure one-on-one time with my husband, I suppose a couple would either come home in silence with their arms crossed, or feeling closer than when they left.  I’m relieved that the latter is true.  I had no doubts.

Have you ever searched for seashells at low tide on the beach in the evening…in the pouring down rain?  It was wonderful.  It was raining so hard…like hair dripping, rain in your eyes…hard.  The waves were rolling in and the water under bare feet was the warmest thing about the evening.  It was amazing.  So amazing, we did it twice.  We found huge shells, danced in the rain, and kissed with our toes in the water.  We were the only people on the beach for miles.  It was one of the very best vacation experiences of my life.  I would highly recommend it…rain or shine.

I was able to meet my brand new niece, Josephine Patricia.  She is a perfect example of why we have babies.  Perfectly cuddly and snuggly…and smelling like a new baby.  You know exactly what I’m talking about…  It’s even better than that new car smell.  It should be.  They cost a lot more.  Isn’t she beautiful?

We also got the chance to stop at White Lake, North Carolina to visit some of our wonderful family.  It was awesome seeing my aunt and uncle and their three kids at their lake house.  The only rule is to relax and have fun.  Sounds perfect to me.  I was in awe watching my aunt mothering her boys.  I honestly felt that I learned something witnessing her in action.  I hope I can bring the relaxed environment that she creates for her kids that I tucked away in my suitcase to carry into my own home.  I love learning from other moms.

Water sports rule the weekends on the lake and boy, are they good!  It was so fun to see the kids in action and they even got Ben and I water-skiing.  I guess it really is just like riding a bike.  Somehow, I got up on my first try.  It has been at least 15 years since I’ve skied!  My arms and shoulders would agree that it has been a long time.  I was so sore.

My six-year-old cousin, Tomas showing his knee boarding skills.  His 360 turn was my favorite.

We took day trips to escape the rain.  My favorite?  Charleston, South Carolina.  I would highly recommend it.  It has the perfect combination of that old historic feeling, mixed with fun shops and amazing restaurants.  We had a fun evening at a local pub playing trivia.  I know…it sounds totally dorky, but it was a blast.  We had several people giving us answers…I guess they wanted to see the two from Michigan win.  We ended up leaving early because I couldn’t stand the thought of winning with so many people slipping us answers!

Bridge to Charleston, SC

I am typing now on our long trek home.  I repeat…LONG.  I am so incredibly excited to see my kids.  They will be asleep when we get there and I can’t wait to give them a pile of kisses on each cheek for all of the days I missed their tiny faces.  I am as excited to return home as I was for any portion of our trip.  I love what and whom I have to come home to.

I’ll have one more post about our trip down South soon.  We did something exciting that I am looking forward to sharing with you.  I’ll give you a hint.  I wore a white dress!

P.S.  We got home last night and I am finally getting around to posting this.  Our reunion with our kids...another one of my trip favorites.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...On A Thursday!

Love List...
  • Myles is over the moon about his new lofted bed.  He has been "taking naps" with his bear, Teddy, just so he can spend time up there.  We still have some painting to do, but as far as Myles is is awesome!  Jillian already has plans to transform her own bedroom...  She has big dreams that include a lofted castle bed...hoping to hold her off for a few years.
  • The excitement of both kids while shopping for school supplies.  Who wouldn't get excited about the biggest box of crayons you have ever had?  Both have already been coloring masterpieces all day.
  • Today we went to the "party in the park" in our hometown.  It was pouring, so it was moved indoors, but the kids had a blast.  They had their faces painted (a rainbow for Jillian and a huge lobster for Myles), colored pictures, made sculptures, and played angry birds with real bird pillows, cardboard boxes, and stuffed pigs.  The real thing is much better than the video game!
  • Cuddling with Jillian after nap.
  • Cloud dough!!  Mix 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil to make soft and moldable dough! The kids loved it!!  Even more than play-doh!  We called our sand dough, because I used half regular flour and half wheat flour (because that is what I had) so it was sand colored.  It kept Myles and Jillian busy for a long time!

I'm Better Off Without List...
  • Having that freak out feeling about leaving my kids while I am in Myrtle Beach.  I know they will be fine...but I will just miss them so much.  I have never left them like this before!  I'm so glad Ben is understanding and has left our return open-ended. 
  • I'm so happy Myles loves his new bed so much, but last night (his first night sleeping in it) I had a hard time giving him a kiss while he slept so peacefully.  I can't even reach him now!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Favorite Kind of Weekend.

We had an amazing weekend.  Amazing.  We went up North.  If you don't live in Michigan, that might sound weird, but that is what we Michiganders refer to as up to northern Michigan.  It was a whirlwind tour of Beulah, Frankfort, Elberta, Crystal Lake, Traverse City, Manistee, and Ludington on the way home.  In three days we went to the beach, toured beach towns, attended an awesome rehearsal dinner, beautiful wedding, bridal brunch, kiddos loving sleepover nights in a hotel, and more memories that I can write down.  Here are some pictures of the time we spent enjoying our beautiful state with friends and family.

This picture was from a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

Despite an unusual cold snap...we had to get a closer look.

Headed down to the lake!

I love this picture.  They were so happy to roll their pants up and RUN.

Myles and Daddy.

Jillian and I.

Photo credit to Myles.  Not too bad for a five year old.  He was trying to make sure he got the lighthouse in the background.  Success, kid!

You would have thought he found a pot of gold.  Yes, that is a fish bone.

Getting a little too close to the water.  It was 65 degrees...not the water, the air.  I'm sure the water was colder.

This picture is beautiful...but Myles was in time out.

Looking for shells.

What a gorgeous view.  Ben and I walked this pier late at night the same day.  The water was crashing up over the pier.  It was beautiful...and a bit scary to be honest.  I didn't want to get brushed off into the rocks below.

Best Friends.

After rehearsal, we went to an awesome beach bonfire.


Getting down!  No need for music when you are up North.

I put this picture in to see the effort I made to get a picture of my kids and I...

Not exactly successful.

My handsome hubby and I on our 10th anniversary.  What a wonderful way to celebrate - with a wonderful couple on their wedding weekend!

Beach babes watching the fire...

...and eating s'mores of course.

Brooke and I.

Downtown Traverse City, Michigan.

Jillian pouting.  Dont' let her pretty curls fool you...this girl has attitude.

See?!?  I'm so glad she can easily snap out of it.  All I did was mention taking her new doll on a tour of the park and she was all smiles.

Park boomerang lessons.


I just had to include this picture.  Myles was exhausted and fell asleep in this position.  His arm fell several times and he would reach back up and get pack into ready riding position.

Fun times.  The proof is in the pass out.

Wedding time!  The kids had to show off their new toys...of course!


Gorgeous setting.  Gorgeous family.

I was quite proud of Jillian's hair.  Despite the sand in it, I was able to get it up and it looked great!  It stayed the whole night!

So happy for Dr. and Mrs. Max Masters.  Yes, that is Ben officiating.  He got his license to officiate for Max and Andrea's special day.

Princess poses.

Ben and I.

Myles was so impressed.

The first dance the dance floor was open Myles and Jillian danced.  Jillian informed me afterwards that she was now married to Myles after that dance.  They danced the whole night away.  I even saw Myles spinning and break dancing at one point...

It was a weekend of great friends, family, and memories.

My favorite kind of weekend.