It's a six hour drive from our house to Marquette, but we always make a long stop for lunch and playing at the bridge, which is exactly half way. It makes the trip feel shorter...like two, three hour drives instead of a six hour drive. Well, it makes sense to me. :) I love the pics of the kiddies at the Mackinac bridge! They loved playing there, and I have so many similar memories of stopping there when I was little. The one of Anna and Benjamin kissing is kind of rare. I was hoping to get a sweet one of brother and sister hugging. When I asked them to give each other a hug and kiss, Anna grabbed Ben-Ben and planted a wet one right on the lips. Sweet! Usually Anna only "lets" Benjamin kiss her cheek because he's a "slobbery kisser." I guess this day she was too caught up in the excitement to care. So cute.
Playing...And Eating, Of Course
The cousins (Rorie) were super excited to see each other, then the excitement wore off. :) The first pic is Rorie trying on Ben-Ben's new cowboy hat. Adorable. Ooo, second pic, Anna, Melissa, Meghan, and I had a girl's morning at the cosmetology school at NMU. Meg cut my hair, including bangs, which looks super cute! (I'll put up a pic soon.) Anna and Melissa had manicures, and then one of Meg's classmates cut Anna's hair...a trim and bangs. We topped off the morning with a little trip to the Third Street Border Grill. Mmmmm. So fun, so special. And the last pic shows Benjamin drinking ice cream from a bowl...a big bowl. Thanks Grandpa Chuck! Some other fun and/or yummy things about the trip: enjoying a Thai House lunch date with my mommy, Anna got to see "How To Train Your Dragon" with Gra Melissa and Gpa Chuck...she's still talking about it, a hot dog roast at the Jones Grandparents...in 30 degree weather (it snowed for a whole day while we were there...ick!), hanging out with my friend Amy for some kid-free grown up time, Anna swimming at the Y with Gma Susan - including water slide, a fun visit with Uncle Andrew and Auntie Sabrina...and I got to see my sis-in-law adorably preggers, we had some fun trips to the park, a nice visit with my Grandparents LaJoice, a play date at the Compton's, playing at Auntie Ashley's house (even though Meg lives there...Anna will only call it Auntie Ashley's house :), Frosty Treats!, playing at Auntie Beth's and Uncle Stuart's house with cousins....then Anna informed me she wished she lived with them...uh no :), we had the traditional Sunday evening dinner at the Rayhorns in which we completely filled the large table...even though we had two people missing, and many other good memories I'm probably forgetting.
Benjamin's Birthday Party!
My sweet, adorable birthday boy! He's reaching for his cupcake in this picture.
My camera was acting up during Ben-Ben's party, so some of the pics are lame and fuzzy...but you get the idea. So the theme, obviously, was Sesame Street...one of Ben's favorites. We had pizza, grapes, veggies, and cupcakes. The kiddies/cousins played some games with the balloons, and colored in the Sesame Street coloring book for a bit. It was only family, but Benjamin has plenty of family members in Marquette...I think there were 18 in attendance. Fun, fun.
Benjamin was so excited when everyone was singing to him. It was pretty cute. He called it a "Happy Birthday party" and was wishing everyone else a "Happy Birthday to you." I guess he didn't quite get the whole idea that the party was just for him, which was probably a good thing. :)
After Benjamin blew out one of the candles, he just wanted to try to touch the other one, so Uncle Andrew stepped in and helped out. Love this picture. :)
And I love the pic of Ash and Ben...she is so wonderful with kids! The middle pic shows Joe, James and Ben-Ben playing around with the balloons. And finally, a pic of Ben-Ben opening presents. As typical of a two year old, he lost interest after about three presents. Oh, well. I had fun opening them. :) Benjamin received so many generous, wonderful gifts! Thanks so much everyone!
Melissa and Rorie met up with us at the Marquette library for story time and playing...we missed the story time though. :) Every time we visit MQT, we have to visit the library...it's one of our favorite places! Ben looks kind of distraught in this pic, but really, he loves the library...especially looking at the fishies!
South Beach, Walking Riley
One day, we went with Grandpa Chuck to walk Riley at South Beach. It was super cold and windy. Anna loved it, but I had to take Ben-Ben back to the car after about 10 minutes. I LOVE the middle picture of Anna Ellene.
So, such a great trip! The kids were great travelers and great while we were there. Ben-Ben doesn't do too well with new things or unfamiliar people or change, but he did surprisingly well...even though on top of that, he caught a random fever from Rorie a few days after we got there. Yay Benjamin! Bed time was a little bit hard a few times...he doesn't like sleeping anywhere but home. But luckily, Grandpa Dewey would stay in his room and sing to him for a bit, and sweetie Anna would try to comfort him too. Oh, and he was a little sad when I left him with Grandma a few times, but that just made him more snugly and sweet afterward...trying to convince me not to leave again. :) I heard, "Mama, hold you. Snuggle, snuggle," numerous times on the trip. Love it! Anna, on the other hand, was in her element. She loves being with all her family members, and doing our traditional Marquette stuff. So glad we went...but so glad to be home. :) After not seeing Daddy for almost 8 days, the kids were screaming with excitement when we got home. Precious!