Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Sending Kayden off to school was just, well, easier this year.

The classroom was the same, many classmates were the same, and daddy was still close by...
even the backpack hook was the same

Not having to be out the door at nine am has also been easier. After we partake in a healthy breakfast of Cocoa Puffs, take lengthy baths full of bubbles, and gather everything for preschool, and eat lunch, it is time to go.
We were again first to get Lansing, and even my snack choice was easier. Last year I did these; I opted for the easy bugles and cheese this time around.

Giving Lansing back was also easier than Tembo. Remember this?
Ah, yes. It is almost all easier the second time around.

Except, of course, the photo cooperation. That, my friends, is seriously lacking.

Exibit A

Coming out of school the first day

No more pictures, mom

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Decorations

The big old box of fall decorations came out this weekend. It hit me that when these come down, Christmas decorations go up.

One of my favorite decorations that I pull out every year are little orange pumpkin booties and a yellow Halloween blanket from when Kayden was in the hospital.

Every time I see them, I am reminded of the pure, completely crazy love when you see your baby for the first time. As Elizabeth Stone puts it, it is deciding to forever have your heart walk around outside your body. There is nothing like it.

As I was looking for these booties, I came across this picture, taken about five years ago. Good golly, I was a house!

and this one, on Halloween, at our house in Redlands.

Just strolling along memory lane, folks. Don't mind me!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Yup, I know it has been over a month since the big camping trip.

I suppose I wanted some distance for an attitude adjustment.

Being that we have never camped, I never realized just how much stuff is needed for a few days away from home. From packing bowls and dishes to silverware and scissors to bug spray and sunscreen to sweatshirts, umbrellas, chairs, blankets, pillows...the list seemed never ending and really overwhelming. Post office box after post office box was loaded and set in front of the camper for inclusion. I am not sure I have ever emptied that much out of my house before.

Problems arose almost immediately. We went to go pick up the camper, and realized the hitch we bought did not work. We had no way to get the camper to our house for packing or to the campgrounds. Even setting up the awning proved difficult. We just could not get into a natural rhythm. With all the blue Meijer bags of "necessities" packed high on each surface, there just was no such provision for the inevitable: rain.

and more rain.

and cold weather.

I envisioned myself relaxing on a warm beach, not sitting underneath an awning with two kids playing in the dirt (since of course we forgot the green grass carpet). In all fairness, my expectations were probably too high from the start.

Upon our return home on Sunday, Josh and I were reviewing the week and both mumbling the entire afternoon that we hated camping. My actual words were, "Josh, I loathe camping." Worse yet, everywhere we looked was another load of laundry to do because campfires stink.

Removing myself for this last month has given me the clarity I sought, however. My favorite memories:
  • Kayden riding his bike almost the entire time. Neither the rain or the cold weather bothered him; he loved following around the other kids and had a blast socializing.
  • Playing cards on the night of arrival after everything was unpacked, with just trailer lights and stars illuminating the night.
  • 10 kids on a dock fishing, half of them falling in, just makes for good memories.
  • Nothing feels quite as good as a shower while camping.
  • 17 small kids eating dinner together is heartwarming and memorable (and no small feat!).
  • Being able to read an entire book while Bryce was napping.
  • Playing cornhole with just the adults.
  • Campfires at night without children made up for all the hard work.
  • Oh, and there is just nothin' like a hobo pie. I love those things.
While I can't quite say Josh and I will be running right out to buy a trailer, we did have a great time with our small group and watching Kayden have so much fun.

A few pictures from our trip:

got allergies?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My day, in numbers

80: Acres of wetland, adjacent to the softball fields

3: Cups of coffee we asked Amber and Justin to go purchase, after the game

22: minutes it took to set up the surprise

12: roses

8: Balloons

5: Yards of Streamers

19: letters that will forever change her life

4: people with cameras, crouching at the ready
224: steps to reach "the spot"

One: Unforgettable Moment
Congrats Amber and Justin. We love you and are excited for this new journey!

A few more pictures from this happy day:

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Year was 2001

Dad was crazy Dad, always looking for a way to get into mischief

Mom was caring Mom, making me feel special on my birthday (I obviously did not think I was in the picture)

A get together with both of my brothers was rare, as Nate was stationed in Germany

and apparently I liked snow.

What the????

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Close or Wait?

Fall: the cooling down after a warm summer

Michigan Fall: a continuation of the summer temperatures

So, my question posed is this:

Should we close the pool now or wait a little longer?

Sometimes, we get a really hot spell at the end of September. Last year, the mercury rose, and our pool was already closed.

Think we will get any more warm weather this year?

Monday, September 07, 2009