I'm here! I'm still here! And, this post squeaks by as the only post written in August, shameful at best. We have been having so much summer fun that there is no time for blogging and other trivial things.
That being said, allow me to recap some of our August highlights:
My cousin Stockton and lovely (now wife) Courtney tied the knot to get the ball rolling for the month. It was a beautiful, classy wedding on a perfect summer's eve. I was moved to see their love for each other as they said their vows. In fact, there were several tender moments for me this night, a few of which I had to hold back tears. It was so nice to see my family all getting along so well and having such a great time together.
My college housemate and friend Melody and company (her twin one-year-old girls, hubby and her eight year old stepdaughter) all came to visit. We had a full house for a couple days! It was a delightful time, doing all the touristy things in town. We had a glorious beach day complete with crazy big waves. The water was warm and it was invigorating getting knocked down and sucked under the waves over and over again.
Then we did the whole ice cream, sunset stroll and even jumped on the new carousel downtown for fun. We also went fruit picking the next day for raspberries and peaches. Yum! I love it when friends come to visit because we actually go and do those things that I'm not sure we would do otherwise.
Mel, Rachel and I had an awesome secret girl's night getaway after the babes all went to sleep. Let's just say it ended in dramatic fashion as usual; chasing a flaming sky lantern across the Tiscornia Beach park at 2 in the morning. We love to get into mischief. But it was so nice to catch up and get back in tune with ourselves and God, which can sometimes be difficult when you are a mom. We saw a lot of shooting stars that night too. :)
Dan and I made one last trip up north to Dan's family cabin at Jehnsen Lake. We try to get up there a few times a summer. It was much harder this year with Calvin than last year, because he is so mobile and active now. I had to constantly monitor him and hold his hand on the dock and strap him down in the boat. But aside from that it was a great time, as always. We stopped at Snyder's BBQ place on the way there, which is quickly becoming our little family's new tradition. The fishing was pretty bad, but the weather was nice and we swam at the island with Calvin one day. Dan's parents were also there which was great because I got to go out with Dan in the boat a couple times while they watched him back at the cabin. Zeb, Stacy, Noah and Abby all came up the next night too. Good times.
This past weekend we got to get away for what will probably be our last weekend off for a long time. We escaped with 8 of our friends up North again to Mitchell State Park near Cadillac, MI. Calvin got to stay and play with the grandparents again!It wasn't quite as rustic as we would have liked, but it was nestled between two big gorgeous lakes; Lake Cadillac and Mitchell. It was a great group of people and we all got along so well. Everyone kept commenting on how we were such a "self-sufficient" group. Everyone did what needed to be done (like setting up tents, cooking, getting the fire started) and we all worked so well together. The highlight of the trip for me was the canoe trip we took down the Pine River. We were so blessed to have SUCH amazing weather. The river was beautiful and twisty and had some rapids which was fun. We had been there with almost the same group about two years ago and it was just as beautiful as I remember it. We were on the river for about 4 hours with a few stops along the way. One of which we stopped to climb the huge sand dune that juts straight up from a quick bend in the river. It is quite the achievement to make it up the hill (which we all did) and the view is unbelievable. The people in their canoes below looked like little ants. The guys stopped along the way to climb trees and jump from them into the water, and make crazy underwater videos. It was a fun time.
So August has now come and gone and we begin with the gorgeous month of September. I am really starting to fall in love with Michigan summers. September always has the most beautiful sunsets over Lake Michigan. Graham, my brother is coming home in a couple weeks from a 5 month long trip in the Coast Guard. The three amigos (him, me and mom) are going to Chicago for a couple of days, which I'm also looking forward to. Man, we really like to keep busy. Also I am teaching a painting class through annarussoart.com for six weeks, which I am getting excited about. It will be centered around capturing the beauty of fall colors and the local vineyards. I want to take the class out into the field to paint too, which will be cool. Sign up if you're interested at the website.
That is all for now. Ta-ta!