Perfect Picnic

So, it’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t written much about our trip…it’s not for lack of desire, believe me.  Here I thought summer would offer some time to rest, relax and recuperate!  I think I have most of the pictures I snapped ready to share, so you can expect to be bored riveted for the next few days as I give an account of our first cross-country (well, sorta) road trip.

Knowing our kiddos are accustomed to at least 4-5 hour trips to the upper peninsula we figured that getting in an 8-hour driving day would be just about right.  That meant we hoped to stop for the night in St. Louis, MO.  We choreographed our departure just perfectly and were on the road by 2:40 am (yes, a.m.) and made it a good 4 hours before the kids woke up!  Even though we’d left on only one dim light as we carried the kids out of the house, there was a minor moment of panic as Calder began announcing “It’s dark, Mom!  Look at the lights!  It’s dark outside.  Where we goin’?”  We sat in silence for several miles and he soon fell back to sleep!

Here’s a couple shots at one of our pit-stops where Seneca enjoyed some lunch while Calder wandered around playing with his slinky!  I wish I remember where it was – all I know is it was H-O-T and H-U-M-I-D!!

Slinky 1

Slinky 2

We finally arrived in St. Louis where we enjoyed a picnic under the arch…because after all is was only 11am!!  That’s right.  There we were at our destination for the night before noon!  

Lunch 1

Lunch 3

Lunch 2

(He dropped his sandwich and was pretty upset that he couldn’t finish it!)

Arch 1

Crazy perspective – but I love that I captured her kissy face!  She did this non-stop all week! 

Road Trip 001

The first of many family pictures on our vacation adventures!

Road Trip 002

 This one is my best shotfor today!  I’m ga-ga for the sunflare!

As we headed back to the car, we heard heavy sighs from our full-bellied babes.  Exchanging a knowing glance, we loaded up and continued on our journey as they settled in for their afternoon naps. 

Sleepy Traveler

Sleepy Traveler 2

While the entire journey was better than we could have ever imagined, those moments of peaceful sleeping were priceless!  We weren’t retrieving thrown toys from the furthest nooks of the backseat, singing “She’ll be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain” or “Oh Susanna!” for the umpteenth time.  Turning our anticipated 8-hour day into 14 hours (well 13 with the time change) was impressive to say the least. 

I’m quite sure the kids were in need of some space to run around, so we encouraged them to do just that.  Of course, the pool was fun and refreshing, dinner was delicious, but of all the things they enjoyed the most – the air conditioner provided the greatest entertainment for the night!

Finally – Fireworks!

Still much to learn, but lovin’ the fact that I was able to get a few nice shots of “firecrackles” this year!  We went to Cascades on Friday night with my dad and it was perfect!  No bugs (surprising!) and while I was ridiculously focused on taking pictures, I could hear the too-perfect “oooh-ahhhs” from Calder.  I think my absolute favorite though, is his “I just love this one, Mom!”

Hoping everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Fireworks 1

Fireworks 3

Fireworks 2

Fireworks 4

Fireworks 5

Fireworks 6

Fireworks 7

For the birds…

Chickadee

In honor of my new return, I thought I’d resurrect this li’l post from the draft file.  I started it during a trip to the UP where I shot this picture of a real Mr. Chickadee.  Maybe soon (read: when both kids aren’t sleeping soundly) I’ll take a shot of the Mr. Chickadee that gets a lot of playtime around our house!

I don’t know that I would ever consider myself a “nature” or “outdoorsy” gal.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved camping (we’re talking tent, no camper here!), exploring, hiking, swimming, skiing and other activities.  I didn’t always love animals, bugs, even sometimes sitting in the itchy grass was annoying.

Once I met Garth, his interest in activity was something that drew me in.  Whether he was taking me hiking up Tahquamenon Falls or walking the trails around his old stomping grounds, we were always doing something.  We learned about geocaching and then he got a kayak, so we’ve adopted a pretty active lifestyle.  It’s funny too because I’ve come to crave it.  While our schedule has slowed a bit with two small kids, we still view these activities as ways to enjoy one another and build family memories as well.

One such hobby that we’ve begun to enjoy lately is simply birdwatching.  I recall early days when we were dating and Garth would point out hawks or falcons perched in the treetops as we’re driving down the highway.  Now, we find ourselves searching out birds of all kinds with an ever-inquisitive toddler.  Just yesterday, he helped me fill the hummingbird feeder, and always announces when he arrives he has a clear view of it from his spot at the dinner table.  Here’s hoping I can capture a nice little shot of him someday this summer!

Wrapping up Spring Break

I sat down to take a peek at what hasn’t been happening here, and I was shocked to discover that I hadn’t even put the pictures from Calder’s birthday party onto my computer yet!  Folks, we’re talking almost four weeks here!  So there’s been a billion things happening, from big boy beds to a very decent start to potty training (pees and poos on the potty!).  Continued talking nonstop!  And Seneca, well, she’s a crawling machine along with eating cereal and veggies.

We had a great long weekend in the U.P. with family and spent that past couple of days catching up on things around the house.  While it certainly feels like there’s much more resting to do, we’re back at the daily grind come Monday.  Thankfully, we’re in the home stretch and it will be summer in 8 short weeks! 

To make up for the lackluster text of this haphazard post, I’ll leave you with the brightest parts of my life….

Sunshine 3

Do you like his trying-not-to-blink in the bright sunlight expression?! 🙂

Sunshine 2

Most kids end up with milk mustaches, mine has a milk goatee!!

Sunshine 1

“Who cares if my hat doesn’t match my jammies, the breeze wasn’t gonna keep me outta the sun!”