Thursday, August 30, 2012

Roller Coasters

This week has blasted past. I mean I woke up on Monday blinked and it was already Thursday. That is so weird.

Maybe because it started out so great. Brian took me on a sort-of-surprise trip to Cedar Point. I like Cedar Point but have only been once since the children started being born. Chalk it up to being pregnant (no point in going) nursing (not being able to go) and having no one to watch the kids (taking them would be torture).  We dropped them off at their Nanna and Papa's (they had such a great time so thank you dear in-laws thank you!) and headed off to "America's Roller Coast". And it rained. Buckets. Buckets and buckets of rain. I felt so bad for Brian because he loves this place and he planned it all just for the two of us.

We dallied over lunch and then went to some very interesting scary shops in downtown Sandusky. Then we just decided to go for it. I'm so glad because the rain let up and the lines were so short and the temps were perfect.  I've waited in lines for hours to get on roller coasters before and I think the longest we waited was maybe 45minutes and that was because the ride broke down.

So those of you that aren't ride enthusiasts will think this next story is crazy (Just don't read this paragraph it might keep you from being brave and trying roller coasters out and that would be a shame). We're in line for the Millennium and people just start exiting like crazy. Obviously something is wrong with the ride but by now the sky is blue, so we just keep moving up and moving up. Finally we get to where we can see one of the trains stuck on the tracks! Does that deter us? Of course not! We're seasoned riders we know that it will be up and running in 30 minutes which is nothing compared to the three hours we've waited in scorching 90 degree weather in the past. We also know that it's probable somebody tried to unbuckle while the ride was in motion which triggers a fail safe and stops the train. We talk with all the people around us about how the people leaving are such newbies and scardy-cats and how they'll be sorry.  After about twenty minutes they get the ride moving again and as that train of people flies past us they put their arms in the air shrieking with delight and we all put our arms in the air and shriek in solidarity with them. It was awesome. Plus we're only steps aways from getting on by this point. It gave me a sick sort of pleasure to see people who had left back in line!

The last time I was at Cedar Point I was way nervous out of proportion to the rides. I thought maybe I was getting too old. But, this time I wasn't hardly nervous at all. Maybe having a baby come screaming out of you so fast you can't have drugs makes everything else seem not so bad? I don't know but it was so fun (the park not the drugless delivery). We had no other person to be responsible for and just laughed and talked. I spent most of the day smiling and clapping and saying "Oh my this might be my favorite ride!"

Then we had to go back to the real world which is way less fun and filled with kids who are detoxing from long days and being spoiled (so worth it though). But for some reason the week just flew by. Maybe if it starts on a roller coaster it ends that way? I don't have pics because I didn't even take my camera. Theme parks like that are about the moment and I just wanted to enjoy it. I so did. Most fun I've had in years and so great to just be with Brian. I'm sorry everyone but he is just the best!

This is a pic of the newest ride. Now under construction.

So to ride or not to ride? Discuss!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Quilt

Two and a half years ago my sister was pregnant with her first child. I wanted to make it something special so I learned how to crochet and made a really neat baby blanket. A couple years later she was pregnant again and I wanted to make this baby a special blanket too but I couldn't decide what.  After browsing the internet it sort of came to me... A super nerdy quilt.

Not nerdy so much as AWESOME! My sisters and I (and anyone worth their salt) are huge Doctor Who fans and you can actually find Doctor Who fabric on Spoonflower (tons of it really). I knew my sister would be totally shocked to open a Doctor Who quilt.  

This is what happened after I lay all the squares out in a pleasing pattern...

It's only the second quilt I've ever made and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. She was really surprised (in a good way) and it made me happy to sew up stitches filled with dreams that my new nephew will reach for the stars.
Here it is! Some of the squares even line up perfectly.
This was the fabric I based all the colors around because the
Van Gogh episode is Courtney's favorite.
This is the back. Baby star flannel.

I had a few extra squares of Dr. fabric left and Spoonflower fabric is EXPENSIVE so I wanted to use every last scrap. My youngest sister Heather was visiting me with her new tablet and suggested I make her a case with the leftovers. So fun! It worked beautifully and she was so happy. Plus we got to sit in my sewing room happily chatting while I whipped this up.

I followed the directions for the laptop case in the book
One Yard Wonders and it was perfect.
 I still had leftovers so I also made Heather a coffee cozy.

Then I made my brother-in-law a fancy crown to wear on his thirtieth birthday. And, he wore it, what a good sport!

Then I wrapped everything up and sent it all in the mail. What a fun pile of presents!!

This quilt was so different from what I normally do, yet it was so much fun. Using funky fabrics and doing something so "themed" was just such a joy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We May Not Have An Olive Garden...

... But we have hot air balloons and that is so much cooler!

After putting the kids to bed I stepped outside and saw this peeping up over the next door neighbor's house!

The camera is not showing you how incredibly close they were. Objects in the cameral are closer then they appear.

Probably the coolest thing in Battle Creek. This year we're lucky and get them twice. The annual balloon fest during the fourth of July and this year the International balloon race.

So beautiful.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sewing Stuff.

I'm excited and nervous because I finally took the plunge and bought me some laminate fabric.  Was that weird sounding (I am weird and do get nervous over things like laminate and silk organza)? Let me start over. Last spring I decided I really needed a rain jacket. I walk the dog even when it's drizzly and trying to wrangle him and an umbrella is difficult. So I started looking at rain jackets and they are expensive and they are NOT cute. I wanted a cute jacket, like when I was a little girl, with cute rain boots. If I'm going to be walking the dog in the rain I definitely need cute rain boots, don't you think?

Just a peek at some new patterns I may or may not ever make.

I just couldn't help myself. It was on sale for $1!!

Any way I started looking at laminate fabrics. Those are the types of fabrics they use to make picnic table clothes and toddler craft aprons. There are lots of nice ones but they are not cheap. In fact the fabric I wanted was almost twenty dollars a yard! So I was nervous to take make the commitment. What if I mess up? What if making a jacket is too hard? I finally found a pattern I think will work and not be too beyond my skills and I got a gift certificate to my favorite fabric shop to make the financial cost a little less so I went ahead and bought the shiny cute fabric.

The laminate has birds on it and the lining is the cute bicycle
flannel. The picture you see is the pattern I'm using.
The laminate has birds and french writing and I thought
the bikes sort of looked french too.

I'm excited! I'm nervous! I'm excited nervous! I thought since it will be a longer project you might like a couple of posts about it along the way. I am going to a writer's conference and have that date as my tentative goal to have it finished (so I can wear it of course). I also thought blogging about it might keep me motivated when it get's to be too long. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Brian downloaded the old Boy Scouts handbook unto his iPad because he wanted something that he and SuperH could do together that wasn't video games. I thought that was really sweet and practical. I want my boys to have some of those basic cool guy skills but we probably won't ever get involved in The Boy Scouts since we make a very conscious effort not to get our kids over-involved in stuff. I also love that Brian thought of this and took the initiative. What a good dad he is.

Any how the first thing you learn is all the different knots. I like watching them figure it out. Brian learns it first and then he teaches SuperH. It's a good skill because SuperH's attention is only held for a while so he can do one knot and then run off and play.

Knot tying skills equals rope tree skills.
The next thing they're going to learn is how to use a compass. I am very excited about this one because I have been wanting to buy a compass necklace off etsy (like this one) for some time. I have no directional skills at all and think that having a compass necklace might come in handy. This seems like the perfect opportunity to get one.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lake Michigan.

Have I ever mentioned before how much I love Lake Michigan? I really do. I grew up in the upper peninsula so it's really ingrained in who I am. I like to say "I have lake water in my veins" I mean it philosophically, of course, but it's probably scientifically true as I'm sure our drinking water comes from there and it is then in my blood... or something...

Anyway, I never get there as often as I want to and in an effort to make it out there more than once this summer I planned a youth group girls outing to St. Joseph. It's been such a hot dry summer I knew they would all love it. It rained. It was barely seventy degrees. They all loved it! What a bunch of good sports.

We shopped in the cute local shops (I got some fabulous yarn and Mary thinks she can teach me to knit). We ate out and enjoyed good chocolate and coffee. We did go to the beach and we did swim. It wasn't as cold as it could have been and there was something adventurous and romantic about being on the beach while it was so grey and wet. In St. Joseph they have this huge fountain area you can play in. We played in it in the rain and it was fantastic.
Do you see the baby?

During a really difficult time in my life I went to Lake Michigan and I lay in the water and I felt like all the hurt and pain seeped out of my finger tips with the waves and washed out to sea. I felt as if the cold frigid water baptized my spirits and helped me to feel put-together again.

I love my girls. I love my Lake.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Glimpse at a Poppie.

I have an amazing Grammy and an amazing Papa. My children have an amazing Nannie and Poppie. I grew up visiting my grandparents on the farm in the summer.  My children get to visit their grandparents in the summer on the farm (different farm). I know from experience how blessed my children are to have wonderful grandparents (let me say that my children are lucky enough to have two sets of amazing grandparents).

This is a peak at one amazing Poppie. The one on the farm, the one my children love to "smack down"!

Just wait until the baby is old enough to help "smack down" Poppie. I think he might loose.

My heart may burst. 
What a place for boys. A place to chase dogs and feed carrots to horses.

My Dad's Grandsons follow him like little ducklings.

Poppie is reading the "Owl book"

Poppie is the funniest at reading this book. No one can touch his nuanced sense of comedy.

What a blessing it is to be a mom to see these moments. What a blessing indeed to see my dad become a Poppie.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Sunday Stroll.

Sometimes when I see the sky it makes me want to cry. The color is so deep and blue I guess the correct word is azure. At least I hope so because it's more then blue. It needs something with more of a romantic sound to it and I like the sound of azure. It is such a deep sky with such wonderful clouds painted across it. Makes me feel so small and significant at the same time. That God would create something so beautiful and I would get to see it.

My poor little camera couldn't quite capture what I wanted it to
But still quite lovely.

 My walk was quite blustery today with just a touch of autumn. It reminded me of the summer after my fifth grade year. We spent it at my Grammy and Papa's. Grammy gave me this very long old black skirt and I safety pinned it to a hula hoop and pretended that it was a hoop skirt. That entire summer there was this wind that blew. I remember that it blew the skirt every which way and knotted my hair. I remember standing on the picnic table and in my mind I looked so hauntingly beautiful. My glorious skirt blowing in the wind my long hair blowing mournfully around my head as I watched my beloved ride to war.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Fun with Friends.

I have these two friends that I've known since sixth grade, Megan and Sarah. We ran with the same crowd and all lived in town. I guess that made us townies if you can be such a thing in a town with a population of 1,000 and woods in your backyard. We were soon inseparable. In high school when my family moved I lived with Sarah and her family to finish out the semester. Those years in Rudyard were really special because of them. I mean it's the quintessential picture of growing up in small-town-America; we rode our bikes to each other's houses and all over town, we slept in each others backyards, and spent countless summer days at the beach. Really beautiful.
This photo sums it all up. This was my 16th bday btw.

Maybe 8th grade. Megan and I at the beach.

Megan is wearing my mom's bridesmaid dress and I
do not know what Sarah is wearing lol!

When I got married Megan and Sarah came to the wedding. When I had my first baby Megan was at the shower (Sarah lived in Wisconsin by then). The three of us made it a point to get together at least once a year. When Sarah got married in the Upper Peninsula Megan and I road tripped it up there. The next time we got together we did it with my (second) nursing baby in tow. Then Sarah had a baby and Megan and I went to her new place in Chicago to see them and hang out and she was nursing. And, someday we'll all be hanging out and Megan will be nursing a baby. Then someday we'll be at our babies weddings and we'll all be crying!!!!!!!! I may have just lost my mind for a minute (excuse me while I compose myself).

So you see what I'm getting at right? We've always been there for each other. Through heart breaking moments with parents, and bad break ups, and all the highlights of becoming adults. These two know me almost as well as anyone and there's something to be said for having friends that knew you before you were married and a mom. For having friends who understand your quirks and love you any way, who can remind you about the crush you had in sixth grade (Billy McQueen if your reading this you really missed out). Friends who know you as an individual before you took someone else's name and became the "all powerful" mom.

Our twentieth "friendaversary" is coming up and that just blows my mind! Please don't do the math to figure out how old I am it's embarrassing! And we are going to really celebrate (not in England like I want I think we'll have to save that for like thirty or something) but I know that this is only part of our journey together and I just love that.

This week Sarah came for a visit. She brought her dog and her baby and Megan came over and it was awesome. I'll be honest I was worried that it'd just be mass chaos with my brood but it wasn't. I got to cook and feed them and Sarah did the dishes (best house guest ever!). We just chatted and basked in the fact that our lives are so different yet so the same. I love these two women (we're women now imagine that) and having them over here made summer feel like summer. It made me feel connected to my roots in a way I hadn't for a long time. And some of my new friends got to meet them and they became friends so it's like this amazing waterfall of love (can you tell I'm all hopped up on feeling good?)!

I love to feed nursing mothers. They're always so ravenous
that they're really excited about my cooking. These were
blueberry/raspberry pancakes with local maple syrup.

Me and the baby (I was so excited to take pictures of the baby
I didn't get any with Sarah in them oops).

Do you see this red hair!!!

Megan and the baby. Basically we held him so much
Sarah wasn't in any of the pics.
I'm really grateful to God for the fact that someone as transient as I am can have such long lasting deep relationships. What about you? What makes you feel connected to your roots?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

This is My New Tiny Nephew.

Isn't he cute? So cute! SO INCREDIBLY SUPERY CUTE?!!!!! This is my sister's second baby and last time I wasn't able to get out there until he was a couple weeks old but this time I got to be IN the delivery room!!!!

At least SuperH got to check his vitals. All I did was
help my sister put on her oxygen mask
and it wasn't even on!!
That was really cool and scary. Honestly I felt sort of useless and in the way. I wished they'd let me clean something or hold something. I could have totally held a blanket or scalpel or other hospital thing and handed it to them when they needed it. Alas, they didn't trust me since I have no training. Instead I propped my sister's head up when she pushed and smoothed back her hair. It wasn't much but it was something (I sort of felt like my two year old when I'm like "here stir this that will help mommy"). And then I got to see the miracle of birth... Which WAS miraculous but also sort of well you know... messy? Didn't dissuade me from wanting to get to deliver a baby though (maybe I should start with kittens or something).

These are some bibs I made him before I left. His
very special present isn't done yet because
the fabric didn't even get here until I left!

So I got to see him so much and hold him and kiss him and hold him and fight my mom off and hold him some more. It was fantastic and you would not believe how much he looks like this picture we have of my dad when he was a baby (spooky). His brother is hysterical, in that he goes out of his way to ignore and pretend the baby isn't there, two year olds!

"Brother what brother?"

Do I look all hopped up on baby? Well, I am.

This is my Papa holding the baby.
I could totally have a bunch more nephews (and a niece would be nice, seriously people). So keep up the good work Courtney and Justin.

*If your wondering why there are hardly any pics of anyone else holding the baby the answer is: I wouldn't let any one else hold him (unless it was his mom and she was nursing him). Now don't look at me like that, I don't live around them and was getting while the getting was good!!