Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2nd Annual Cabin Trip

I was excited to take the kids back to the cabin this year just as much as I was not excited. Last year, we had a trip filled with rain and no sleep for me as I slept with Austin who kicked me in my back about 30 times overnight and Ava woke up in the night crying. So this year at least we had weather on our side. I didn't sleep because I ended up with both kids in my bed but what can you do!?

We got to the cabin when Grandpa was out cleaning the front dock area so we could get a great view of the hundreds of minnows and sunfish. AND to make sure we could see the older than dirt giant turtle.
The cabin continues to be worked on and updated each year and remains a place full of memories for all of my Mom's side of the family. Most of us would tear up as we mainly talk about how much my Grandpa Don loved being at the cabin.

We spent A LOT of time staring into the water. It's because that older than dirt giant turtle is so much fun to watch. His favorite food is raw hot dog bites.

I don't know if he even has a name. But he does have lots of interesting items growing on his back.

The hammock is always a source of entertainment for the kids. My favorite is that Austin calls it 'going camping'. So he'd run to the hammock and be shouting 'come on! let's go camping!'.

I didn't mess with the vibrance of this picture. The views are beautiful in front of the cabin. We had a perfect blue sky hence the ridiculously bright blue water
Grandma and Grandpa made sure to pack a huge bag of carrots to feed the horses. These kids have such great memories about the activities at the cabin so if at any point there is a lull, you just grab some carrots and take a walk. The kids just happen to eat their carrots on the way so you have to bring extra so they can actually feed some to the horses.

And with butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, and turtles everywhere, it makes for a nice impromptu science lesson with Grandpa.
Sure enough, it didn't take Austin long to ask to take a walk to the waterfall. I took pictures last year at the cabin and blew them up in black and white and hung them in our main bath. Austin gets to look at that waterfall, well actually a dam, everyday.
The water was cool and refreshing.
Lily thought so too. She walked through the water and explored the woods. This trip was so exhausting for her that she slept for three days straight when we got home. Well, she woke up to eat of course.

And who doesn't love throwing rocks?
I love these kind of pics. The problem is that I look at it and go 'hmmph, where do I frame this and stick it to the wall?' I think we might just have to expland our stairway photos. This makes the cut for sure. In black and white of course...what else!?
No need really for a rod when fishing off the dock. Just sprinkle some food on the top of the water and scoop up some minnows with your net. There are thousands of minnows. Austin loves the instant gratification! And it's exciting every.single.time. 'MOM!!! We got another one!!!!'
I made it in a picture! YESSSSSS!
I'm not gonna comment or even look at this picture for more than a second. My emotional self will start to cry.
I used to ride in the canoe with my dad all over the lake. I was replaced. But I don't mind sitting on the shore and watching. Even if I am sobbing that my little boy is growing up. Before you know it, he'll be going to the cabin and asking me to stay home. Mom, it's a boy thing!

The cabin suits Ava well. Nothing but messiness for a whole weekend.
I got a few moments to myself and my lens. Nothing fancy but it's nice to be able to play around.
Ava needed a closer look. Even if she did almost fall in more than a handful of times.
Last year, Grandpa caught Austin a frog and it was THE HIGHLIGHT of the trip. This year we didnt have such luck BUT Jason saw a turtle on the road and it was the next best thing!

Regardless of the little sleep, the memories are worth it. I'm happy for this to be a tradition for our family. But one year it would be nice to stay more than one night but my sanity requires at least a few hours of sleep. Maybe next year.....

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fourth of July: 2014

Wow, the 4th of July just came and went like the blink of an eye. We were blessed with a beautiful day. While I had the kids dressed and they were clean, I quickly plopped them on the wooden crate and told them if they did good they could have a sucker. Suckers trump all bribes at our house. I better make sure to have some on hand when we get our family pictures taken in September!
I'm glad that I got so many to choose from because my favorite is those giggles from Austin that bring out a real smile rather than his fake 'cheese' smile. His cheese smile for some reason makes him look like a pirate with one eye winked and a smile off to the side of his face. Now you'll be able to spot that fake smile from him :)

Grandma and her Ava. I seriously love red, white, and blue. I love it so much I just might keep up the decor until Christmas.
Once I set up my camera and give it to my mom, she knows what to do. Just Keep Clicking! So this is the one that turned out, out of 30.
Austin had a blast pretending to surf!

Ava would much rather run from board to board.
Aunt Fran enjoyed watching the kids run around and play. Lily enjoyed Aunt Fran's company :)
Kate and Austin were marching in the water and chasing each other.

The water is so nice and refreshing right now.
Ava kept waiting patiently for her turn to reel in a fish.
She was guaranteed to touch a fish if she just stuck to Boppa's side.
Love this. Lots of family. Fishing, boating, playing, and laughing. It never gets old. It might get old to read about since this seems like how it is at every summer holiday at our house but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bucket List 2014: Frederik Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens was on our Summer Bucket List 2013 but we never quite made it. So it was one of those first things we wanted to cross off this year. We went on a perfect day. Nice and hot and sunny! Austin of course loved the boats. We spent a good hour hanging with the boats.
Ava finds anything interesting that Austin does. She just happens to be not as picky about which boats she plays with.

Once it started getting close to lunchtime, we took the kids to the cafe and they were already getting a little restless so we took them outside by the fountain.
And I worked hard to keep Ava out of the fountain while capturing her curiosity

Looking forward to whatever else we hit on our bucket list this year. It won't be easy to hit them all but it definitely keeps us from sitting around when it comes to the weekends.
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