Monday, June 18, 2012

It's a Great Day

Yesterday was a really great day.

Sunday.  Father's Day.  Warm and sunshiny {and then cooled off with some rain}.

And then a really, really, really great phone call.

Let me introduce you to the new Associate Pastor of Family Ministries 
at Midland Reformed Church in Midland, Michigan.

Err....let me try that again.

Let me introduce you to the new Associate Pastor of Family Ministries at Midland Reformed Church in Midland, Michigan!!!!!!!!

More details later...but will you please celebrate with me?!?!?!

We're excited.  Like, a lot a lot.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Project Life {May}

I took off the month of May of doing darn near anything, so posting Project Life pictures was certainly on the bottom of my already slim "to do" list.  So, to recap, here are a few photos from the month.

{First tornado warning of the season.  "We're in our safe place with our flashlights!" 

 Reed's drawing of mom.

 Drew's new thing: taking showers. So grown up!

 Mindy treated me to a pedicure on a Saturday morning.  You can see my toes coming from a mile away!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Family Vacation, Part I

We started off summer (and our Summer List) with a bang!

From June 6-13, the four of us set out on vacation.  But...backing up just a bit... we had a pre-vacation vacation of sorts when Grandma, Grandpa, Alison and Lauren arrived for a three-day visit; which, conveniently enough, gave me all the extra time I needed to do laundry, shop, and pack for said family vacation.  I love it when things work out like that, don't you?

 We baby-sat for Avery and Addy on Monday morning...and those two made some fast friends out of Ali and Lauren!

 The boys spent a lot of time snuggling with the girls.  So sweet!

 But they probably spent more time playing games on the girls' phones and iPods.  Maybe that's why they like the girls so much???

 Tuesday the 5th was Ali's sweet 16 birthday.  The boys helped Grandma make her cake...

 ...and they helped eat it too!

{Ali and Lauren ~ I hope you know how much the boys love you.  You, too, Grandma and Grandpa!}


So we set off bright and early Wednesday morning, with two boys, lots of food, and antibiotics in tow. Oh yes, it seems to be a bit of a trend with us and traveling. {Remembering Christmas 2009.}  We can't seem to go anywhere without a quick run into Urgent Care for one of us.  I went in on Sunday morning after several days of congestion and facial pain.  Who doesn't love feeling like they've gotten socked in the face with a massive fist???  After sinus infection diagnosis and throat swab (negative, thankfully), I was on my way home with antibiotic #1.  And like clockwork, Tuesday at lunch Drew burst out into tears from sudden, spontaneous ear pain.  I wasn't about to mess around with it because 1) I was sick; odds are he was too, 2) we were leaving on vacation the next day and didn't want to deal with it then, and 3) his history of having tubes puts me on high alert and I tend to be super sensitive to any ear issues.  And sure enough, UC trip #2 ended in antibiotics for a double ear infection.  And crossed fingers that no one else decided to hop on our germ train. {Thankfully, no one did!}

So, we were on the road by 7:30 so we would reach our first destination by mid-afternoon...  

Legoland in Schaumburg, IL (suburb of Chicago)!

It was awesome...and not just for the littlest of people.  Ginormous lego creations, 3D-movies, the Lego factory, jungle gym, snack bar, two amusement park-like rides, build and race your own lego car, and a gift shop, of course.  Five out of five stars.  Definitely.

We were there for a couple hours before heading out for dinner and to find our hotel.  We swam in the hotel pool for about an hour before hitting the hay.

We had one more day to spend in Chicago, and on the agenda was Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium.  {Let me interject here that Brad is the vacation planner - he does a great job.  I can't concentrate long enough to plan things such as this, and besides, I was too busy making lists of things to pack and to buy and all that other good stuff.  We always talk about what we'd like to do, but he gets all the nitty gritty details worked out.  He plans, I pack.  It works for us.}  So Brad's plan included hoping on the ol' L train as well as the city bus to get to Navy Pier.  I'm not sure how the cost factor panned out in comparison to us driving there, but to be saved me the racing heart and anxiety of being stuck in Chicago traffic.  Worth every penny.  So Brad's plan would've worked out flawlessly had we been given all the details regarding buying the day-pass transit tickets we were looking for.  Apparently, you cannot buy the day-pass transit tickets at the train stations.  Instead, once you arrive, you'll see a nicely handwritten note taped to the ticket dispenser that you must buy said tickets at either Walgreens, CVS, the local grocery store, and two to three other random locations.  Um.  Ok.  Can't buy train tickets at.the.train.station.  Who would've thunk????  Not us!  There was a grocery store about a quarter of a mile away {thankfully??} so we marched down the street to find it.  All four of us.  Cuz I'll be darned if I'm gonna sit with two little boys in a sketchy Chicago train station waiting for Brad to fetch us what we need.  The boys did great on that little detour...but it set us up for misery later.  Because what three- and five-year-olds have the enthusiasm and energy to walk to a grocery store and then continue to walk throughout the rest of the day?   Aw yeah.  "This is gonna be so awesome, guys!" lasts about 2.7 seconds.  We finally made it onto the train - 15 stops later we're at the bus stop - and many many many blocks later - and about an hour and a half after leaving the hotel that morning - we arrive at Navy Pier.

And hence ensues the  There was a lot of sunshine and people - and whining and crying and running and pouting and "I don't want to" and ugliness.  Oh it was ugly.  This is where a bit more knowledge of Navy Pier (that there wasn't anything for kids beyond the ferris wheel, for example, or exactly how long the pier is) would've come in handy.  As well as a stroller.  We are just so extremely new to the whole vacationing with children thing, and while we knew there would be a lot of walking, we thought, optimistically - and foolishly - that the boys would do alright.  Ha.  Ha.  Hahahahahahahahahahaha.  Our first stop on the pier was McDonald's, for ice cream- not for lunch, thinking it would perk all of us up.  Oh McDonald's, how you failed us. 

 There was a lot of this.

 But we did eventually make it, dang it.

    Yep.  Totally faking the happiness here.
But at least we were almost back to McDonald's - this time, for some cheeseburgers and fries.  Lots and lots of fries.

Navy Pier is also the home of the Chicago Children's Museum.

It totally saved the day.

We purchased our tickets right after lunch, and spent the next four hours exploring three floors of pure childhood fun.

By 5pm we were all exhausted, and another quick bus ride down to Shedd Aquarium just wasn't going to happen.  :(  So instead, we hopped on our bus, then transferred to our train

where at least one of us got a little cat-nap in before making it back to the hotel.

Our night concluded with more swimming, followed by a late dinner in our room 

(sandwiches, chips, grapes, apples, and other goodies we had packed) and a 9pm bedtime.

Leg #2 of vacation began Friday morning...

{stay tuned for Part II!}