Back from Vacation!!

It's true. We're back!

Two weeks of camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula have come to an end and we're now slogging through piles of laundry and staring at empty cupboards.

I've got a ton of pictures to upload to the computer and edit in photoshop (my camera settings were off or something because all the pictures are really bright and I don't know why). Once I get my favorites tweaked, I'll upload them to Flickr and Facebook. Stay tuned for photo updates!

I'll also try to sit down sometime tomorrow and highlight the most memorable moments of our trip for you, my dear blog reader who has probably forgotten about me by now because I was terrible and didn't bother updating my blog for two whole weeks!

For now, though, I'm off to scrounge up some food and watch some seriously missed television.

Moving in a New Direction

Yesterday was one of those milestone days. It was right up there with the first time KC crawled, or the first time Gage walked. It's comparable to going off to Kindergarten or learning how to read. Yesterday we took our boys out of daycare. We ended a seven year relationship and moved in a new direction.

It was both exhilarating and sad.

On one hand, the boys will be staying home for the rest of the summer. They'll have access to their toys, their computers, the Wii, the basketball hoop, the backyard..all the things that make home home. They'll be able to sleep in (I'm officially jealous of that, by the way).

They're also going to be in good hands. Our 17-year-old nephew will be babysitting them while we're at work. The boys are so excited. They adore Andy.

We adore the fact that we'll be saving some serious cash, too!

On the other hand, it's yet another milestone reached and it means my babies are growing up! It means they'll be getting off the bus in September at home instead of the daycare. It means no more handmade Mother's or Father's Day gifts.

Still, I'm delighted with this change in our lives. Remind me of that when things get bumpy, okay? Because I'm sure things will get bumpy at least once or twice. Come on. I remember what it was like to be home with my brothers and sisters when mom and dad were away from the house. We weren't exactly nice to one another!

Thing Never Go As Planned

So, last night.

I went running. Actually, I think I walked more than I ran, but at least I got in two miles.

Afterward I planned on going home and doing laundry. Remember? Yeah. Didn't happen. I ended up picking up the youngest child, hitting McDonalds (I had a bacon ranch salad), and watching the hubby's softball game. We stayed at the ball field until the sun was nearly down and the temperatures had dropped to an uncomfortable low.

After we got home I think I managed one load of laundry before bedtime. One. This is not good and could be downright problematic if I don't get caught up before this weekend. Not only do I probably need to pack the majority of what's down there in my basement laundry area, but I really don't want to leave any dirty clothes down there while we're gone.

Still, that was only one night, right? I should have plenty of time to get caught up. Maybe even tonight..

Humph.

Remember when I said I was thinking of having the hubby do baseball duty with the boy? Yeah. Not happening. Seems hubby had made plans for himself, too, and his plans trump mine. So instead of doing laundry, I will be at the baseball diamond. Hubby plans on fixing up a few things on our camper (see...fixing camper trumps laundry when said camper is necessary to successful vacation).

Maybe tomorrow and Thursday will prove more accommodating.

Edited to add: Plans changed again. Hubby took boy to practice; I stayed home and am doing laundry! Yay!

Five More Days..

Of work, that is!

Tonight I'm going to go running (two to three miles depending on my knee) and then I'm going home to do some major laundry. I want to have everything caught up before we leave. This means I might just have the hubby take the little man to his baseball practices so I can stay home and get things done.

Funny enough, I may have to break out the Fall/Winter apparel! While the forecast calls for moderately warm weather during the days, the nights are looking like they might be on the chilly side of summer. You know, sweatshirts, long sleeved tees, or jacket chilly. Not exactly snow boots and winter parka temperatures, but still cold enough to make you scoot a bit closer to the bonfire.

And, oh, yes, there will be bonfires! And 'smores. And fishing. And reading. And writing. And day trips. And time with just the hubby and the kids. It's going to be fabulous!

So, if you don't hear from me much, don't worry. I'm not dead. I'm off playing with my boys in Lake Superior (or not..that's bone-chilling cold water, people!).

Family Softball Team

Not sure if mentioned this in an earlier post or not. I might have. I might not have. If I weren't so lazy, I'd read through the last couple of entries to find out for sure. In any event, Ken and I will be playing in a slow-pitch softball tournament this weekend with a bunch of my family members. My brothers, sisters-in-law, cousins and their spouses, as well as a couple of family friends, all agreed to play.

Many of us are creeping up on middle-age (I refuse to believe we're already there!) and the exercise has proven painful. We've got sore body parts everywhere and we've only had three practices!

Of course, you know me. I had to take the camera to at least one of those practices. Here's some random shots of us hobbling around the field...









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What a weekend..

It's amazing how fast a three day weekend can disappear. I feel as if I hardly had a moment to sit down and relax. Maybe that's because I didn't. Not until the evening bonfire that is. I guess that's one of the joys of camping with friends and family over a holiday weekend. There's always something to do or somewhere to be!

We camped at a nearby reservoir, which is always a lot of fun. The hubby and his best friend took the boys fishing. Later, after the weather decided to cooperate, there was tubing and swimming to be done. While there's a nice public beach within walking distance of the campground, we always try to snag one of the little sandy coves along the shoreline. The privacy is nice, but even better is the fact that you can drive the boat close to shore. The only downside is the dramatic drop-off that usually comes a few feet away from the beach. Drop-offs make mommies nervous.

In addition to the fishing and tubing, there were a couple of poker games. I didn't play, though, because of time constraints. In the middle of the first game I left to go to softball practice - my family is playing (just for fun) in a double-elimination tournament next weekend. The second poker game was held while I was off with the kids watching fireworks in a nearby town.

The fireworks were a bit of a surprise. The last time Ken and I took the kids to see fireworks the show was okay, but there wasn't really anything going on. The only draw had been the fireworks. That's not the case anymore. The town put on quite a shindig. There was a live band. Souvenirs. Bouncy houses. A rock climbing wall. Face painting and airbrushed tattoos. It was surprising, but expensive. Luckily, I had a bit of cash on me so I didn't have to tell the kids no every five seconds. Only every ten or fifteen!

After fireworks we returned to the campground for 'smores and sparklers. As I was walking my youngest back to the camper after all the festivities, he informed me "This was my best day ever, mom. I went tubing, saw fireworks, got a souvenir, ate 'smores, and did sparklers."

Hm. And here I thought visiting the parks at Disney last year had been something!

Working Weekend

Although I plan on enjoying my three-day weekend away from the office, it looks like I might have some work ahead of me. I'm afraid to say too much or to get my hopes up too high...but I'll gladly give up a few hours of fun to make this dream come true!!

So..prayers, finger crossing, good luck wishes...they're all welcome!

Boys Being Boys

Our camper was in the back corner of the park. Behind us was a stretch of muddy land and a thick lot of woods. Combine these things with two little boys and their "mud trucks" and this is what you get!