Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Again, it's been awhile, so I have plenty to fill you in on, including lots of fun pictures. We made it to Marquette safe and sound, but the process of moving and getting settled left little time for blogging.

Goodbyes -

We made some good friends while we were in Clio, had tons o' fun at our play groups, and loved our congregation down there. But we had to say good-bye. I was so anxious to get back to Marquette and family, mainly because of this pregnancy, I didn't realize how much I would miss the area and friends we made there. The picture above is from our last play date with our good friends. Maddie and Anna were best buds, and Jadon and Benjamin got along pretty well despite the age difference. And Jackie was such a great friend and help to me. We miss them! In the pictures, they were in the midst of playing dress up and decorating cookies. Fun, fun.

Also, for the record, I do NOT like moving. Who does, right? It's so stressful, and I hate not having our things all in order and put away. Ick! But, we're all unpacked, and settled in now, so that's a relief. Hopefully we won't have too many moves in our future, though!

Marquette -

We stayed with the Rayhorns for about a week and a half, as we unpacked and got things settled at my parent's house. Right away the kids (and Ethan and I too), were anxious to do all the fun Marquette stuff, like Lower Harbor park! I think this was our fist day here, and the kids were already having a blast, surrounded by family, and just loving it. Benjamin warmed up to everyone much faster than normal, which was super sweet. He has been pretty happy since he's been here, and I think it's because of all the extra attention he's getting. Yay for family! Other things we've been up to (that I may post pics of later) - Lake Superior swimming, more parks, the Marquette County Fair, more swimming, cliff jumping, flying kites...LOVE Marquette summers.

Copper Harbor -

We went up to Copper Harbor for a fun, little overnight because Ethan (and many others) were competing in a triathlon there. It was tons o' fun, and the kiddies especially enjoyed staying in our cabin at Minnetonka. I love the pic of Ben-Ben picking berries...he would have done that all day if we'd let him. Benjamin loves exploring in the woods, so he was in heaven. We shared the cabin with my parents, or really, they shared it with us, and the kids decided they wanted to sleep with their grandparents. Ethan and I weren't about to argue with that, so we took the private room. :) Luckily my dad was pretty tired that night, so he and Benjamin went to bed early. Anna, had a 15 min. nap on the drive up, which totally threw off her schedule. The picture of Gramma Susan reading to her was at 10:20pm! Ethan and I had just gotten back from some exploring with Chuck and Joe, and there Anna was, wide awake. When I asked Anna if Benjamin was still awake, she said, "No, I checked on him and he was sleeping. He didn't have a blanket on, so I snuggled him in my pink blankie." What a sweet big sister! Such a fun adventure the kids had been looking forward to. Copper Harbor is a beautiful, remote part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan located at the very top. (Remote, as in, there was no cell phone coverage...crazy, huh?)

Copperman Triathlon -

A big thank you to my parents for watching my kids (and some others) during the Triathlon the next morning, so I could actually enjoy it and cheer Ethan on. I was really proud of Ethan, just to have the desire to compete is impressive in my book, and he finished it, and all with barely any preparation. It was a half mile swim, 23 mile bike ride, and 5 mile run. It was a little more challenging for Ethan than in years past (lack of time for training), but now he has new goals for improvement for next year. We knew about 10 other people competing including Stuart, and both Beth and Rachel competed in teams. Oh, and this was "Umple" Joe's first triathlon (he's in the pic walking buddy with my dad in the back with the kidlets...not part of the tri, it was the night before :). He did awesome, and Benjamin was super excited that Joe got to ride up with us. Good job everybody! As a side note, by the time the race was over, I felt like I was in the same boat as everyone who actually competed - tired, hot, sweaty, hungry, thirsty, drained. And that was just from walking around in the sun all morning, being six months preggo. But all the guys were in agreement - they'd much rather complete a triathlon than be pregnant for nine made me feel not so lame. :)

Family and Games -

We love being around family. Anna has been looking forward to our move back to Marquette, and to be surrounded by her family, probably ever since we moved away two years ago. We've had some fun game nights with my fam, and ping-pong matches after Sunday dinners at the Rayhorns. The picture above includes my nephew, Preston, who was visiting for a week from Utah. So good to see him! (Also, Ethan, Rachel, my mom, and James...and Rebecca in the background.)
***So, speaking of our move back to Marquette...there is some reasoning behind it, for those who don't know. Ethan's last year of PT school is mainly a bunch of clinicals, with a bit of class work (a huge research presentation/report) to finish up in the fall. He will be away in clinicals for about a month of the fall semester, including two weeks in Denver this September that he is very excited about. From the middle of December on, he will have longer clinical placements in the Marquette area. So, considering this complicated pregnancy, and the fact that I don't like to be alone at nights anyway (I'm not embarrassed to admit it :) the kids and I are staying in Marquette, at my parents house, during the fall semester. Ethan will visit on the weekends as often as time and money allow. It'll be so incredibly hard and sad for me to be away from my best friend for so long, and especially hard for the kids, who don't fully understand, and also for Ethan, whose favorite part of the day is coming home to his babies, but we'll make it! Then, when Ethan moves up in December, we'll see how we're feeling, as far as living arrangements go. My dad claims he wants us to live with them, no. I'm sure after a few months of Benjamin, he'll be wishing for a little more space. :) So there's our story.***

Birthdays -

Okay, final thing. Birthdays. My baby girl turned 5 on August 4th!!! I can not believe how grown up she is. And she will be starting kindergarten soon. Crazy! We tried to make her day super special, and the Rayhorns had a joint family party for her and Ethan the following Sunday, AND she has a friend party in a couple days. So, I'll blog more about her specialness later. Ethan turned 29 on August 9th. We're the same age again, woo hoo! KC made yummy cupcakes, and they opened some very generous gifts from the family. Thanks everybody!

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