Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meeting Little Rorie

We have been anxiously awaiting the visit from Meg and Rorie. Benjamin and Rorie are exactly one month apart and we were so excited for the baby cousins to meet...and Anna too, of course. This first picture is of the two of them looking alarmed by the red light on my camera. What a precious baby girl!
We had the new cousins do all the usual things: forced them to kiss, wrestle, compared their feet.
Saturday we went to the beach with friends and family. Fun in the sun! It was really a beautiful day and the water was warm...seriously.
There was a dance at church that evening as part of the reunion the ward was having to commemorate 50 years in the U.P. Anna was a dancing queen! She loved it and danced her little heart out. She invited anyone who would listen to come dance with her. Above is KC dancing with Ben and Meg dancing with Anna.

On Sunday the girls wore matching dresses GramMelissa got for them. Too cute - even Ben's outfit incorporated the right colors. Always important when all the grandkids are together.
Anna was a little unimpressed with having two little babies around trying to draw attention away from her. One is enough, guys. hehe.  However, she was super sweet with Rorie and almost always addressed her as, "My own cousin Rorie," just so there was no confusion. We had our friend take some pictures of the kiddies, and family pictures too. I'll get them posted sooner or later.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mid-Week Getaway

Can you ever really tell your husband you love him enough? Of course not. Ethan, I LOVE YOU!
My sweetness planned a surprise overnight getaway for me. Kind of a celebration of selling the house and all the work that went into that. Kind of just because. Kind of to take advantage of the babysitters we'll be missing terribly in just a few more weeks. (Mom and Melissa, what will we do without you?!)
So we stayed in town at the Landmark, an old, beautifully restored hotel. However, before we went to check in, Ethan had arranged for me to receive a one hour, full body massage. Heaven! I've never had one before, and despite being a bit apprehensive, I completely enjoyed every minute of it!

For dinner, we walked down to a new beach front restaurant that was delicious. The food was so beautifully prepared and very European. Yum! The next morning we lounged and then went on a walk along Lake Superior's beach. It was such a beautiful day. We had a late breakfast and then it was over too soon. It was so kind of him to plan, and very unexpected. Usually I'm the one to plan this sort of thing. Thanks babe!
(I wasn't even nervous about leaving Benjamin. Well, not too much. OK, I called 5 different times in less than a 24 hour period, but I thought that was reasonable. We didn't leave Anna overnight until she was 2, and Ben is only 3 1/2 months. I guess that's what happens with your second child.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anna's Auntie "Hash-ley"

Anna just loves her Auntie Ashley. (Along with her other Aunties, but these two just have a special bond right now.) Anna says her name like hash browns, Hashley, and we're not really sure why because she says all her other 'A' sounds fine. So, Anna sometimes asks about her during the day and is just certain Ash wants to come and play with her. Once she told me, "Probably Hash-ley wants to take me to Frosting Treats." Yes, Ash has occasionally got Anna a cone at Frosty Treats. Ashley also had a slumber party with Anna. Anna thought it was the coolest thing ever and talked about it for days leading up to it. OK, I thought she'd change her mind and want to come home but no-no, not Anna. She had too much fun. Ashley is so great with kids, and especially her own niece. Anna is such a lucky girl with some of the best Aunties ever: May-May, Hash-ley, KC, Auntie Beth and Auntie Christie. You guys are awesome!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fun on the Fourth -

We went to Harlow Park to have a pre-parade picnic on the afternoon of the 4th. We met up with some family, and Anna and her second cousin, Aiden, played at the park. We also saw Grandpa Dewey in the parade representing the Boy Scouts. My Grandpa LaJoice was in the parade as a WWII vet, but we didn't get a shot of him.
Later that evening we went to our friends house for a yummy BBQ with some families from church. The kids loved the sparklers and smoke bombs Ethan brought to share.

That night we went by Lake Superior to watch the fireworks. Both Anna's Grandpas came to watch with us. I love the first picture of us snuggled on the blanket because Anna is wearing her pirate bandanna that she insisted on wearing most of the day.

It doesn't get completely dark up here until about 10:45, so the fireworks didn't start until about 11pm. As you can see, Anna couldn't quite make it to the end of the show, same as last year. Her normal bedtime is around 8, 8:30 in the summer, so I don't blame her.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pictures of the Little Guys

Our friend, Brian McMillan of, took these pictures of the kids back in April. (Some of you received copies by mail.) Benjamin was just 3 weeks old then. Man, time flies. He's already 3 months old! It was kind of casual, a little unplanned, but I love how they turned out. I am a fan of the more "natural" shots of the kids. Anna was just playing in the backyard with their two boys so her smiles are all genuine. Her posed smile is pretty cheesy, so I prefer this. Benjamin was a little cranky during his photo shoot, but Brian still got some precious expressions. (This was before he got to be so smiley.) So I'll make a better effort to shorten up my posts now, less pictures and less writing too. I'll start with a short post of the 4th of soon as I have another spare second.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home - We'll Miss You! (A Picture Tour)

Our cute, 1920's Home.
Front Porch.  Our porch swing! Loved sitting out here.
Living Room.  Oh, how I loved the beautiful staircase and the original hardwood floors!

Dining room/piano room. 

Our little kitchen.  Loved the color in there; it came that way.
Upstairs Hallway.

Our Bedroom. It always felt so peaceful in there.  (With Benjamin's bassinet sharing our space too. :)
Anna's cute, little bedroom.

Bathroom.  Loved the claw foot tub!

Backyard.  All fenced in and the perfect size for us.

(I didn't take any pictures of the basement, most of which wasn't finished and was laundry/storage/food storage.  But, we had one little room that was finished down there mainly used for storage, or a bedroom when needed.)
Yes, I went a little overboard on my picture tour, but many of our close friends and family never got to visit our humble abode up in the secluded regions of the North. Ethan and I have LOVED this house. We loved that it's old (1920's) and has so much character. We loved the woodwork, staircase, and claw foot tub. We loved the location (walking distance to NMU, the beach, YMCA, all the 3rd street shops and restaurants, and the hospital). We loved the size; this little home has just been perfect for us.  We loved the yard and all the beautiful flowers that came up every year. We loved our neighbors and neighborhood. We love the memories we have here: moving in together 4 years ago, bringing home two babies to this home, studying into the wee hours of the morning for classes, having my brother and Ethan's sister live in the basement room (on two different occasions:), backyard BBQs, shoveling out the driveway, weed pulling and raking, giving piano lessons here, baking with Anna in the kitchen, and just living - the day to day memories. Sorry for getting so sentimental, but I just don't know if I will ever love a home this much.
It makes it a little easier to move because we are already growing out of this cozy, two bedroom home. For those of you who haven't heard, we closed on our house this past Wednesday. It is official. We sold it ourselves by throwing up a sign, listing it on a few free web-sites, and advertising in the local paper for two different open houses. It was on the market for just over three weeks before we had an offer that we were more than happy with. (The buyers were moving here from out of town and saw it listed on So if you're in the position, I completely recommend selling yourself. We didn't really know what we were doing, but it was the easiest thing ever, and the Title company we worked with was great. Not to mention the benefits of skipping the ridiculous Realtor fees.  Yay for FSBO!
While Ethan is in Physical Therapy school, we will be renting an apartment in a little town about 15 minutes from the school. I am actually pretty excited to try apartment life since I haven't done that since my mission. As for now, we have stored our stuff and are staying with the Rayhorns for a few weeks before we move down-state. Of course we have to be in Marquette for Anna's birthday. Anna thinks this is the greatest - an extended slumber party at Grandma and Grandpa's. She is handling all the transitions pretty well. Anna is very excited that our "new house," as she calls it, will have a swimming pool AND she'll be getting a bunk bed that she helped pick out. I just don't think she quite grasps the idea that it will be very far away, and all her grandmas, and grandpas, and aunties, and uncles, and cousins, and friends will not be so close. We'll still have each other and I think this will be good for us. Challenging, perhaps, getting used to not having an endless supply of babysitters, but good.
So, on to new adventures!