Monday, July 11, 2011

Grand Haven Pier

Oma is always full of good ideas, and this time it was a picnic on the channel, walk on Grand Haven's Pier and, wait for it, wait for it, ICE CREAM! I know, you're shocked. You're thinking, really, AGAIN? And we say, YES!

It was a beautiful way to spend a Saturday evening! Chris and I were super impressed by the boys who walked the whole way without complaining! They were really excited to watch all of the boats going through the channel and kept asking which ones you could live on...They're ready for Opa's dream vacation on the house boat!

"Daddy, let's turn our hats around and act like we're high schoolers."

Horseback Riding

Chris' Aunt Judy had our family over while we were up in Branch. She and her husband Bill have a horse ranch where they rehabilitate rescued horses and pair the horses with youth for equine therapy. We weren't sure what the boys would think about the horses, but as soon as we mentioned that they might be able to go for a ride it was all they could talk about! They did great! My camera battery died during the ride or I would have pictures of the horses playing soccer with an enormous ball! It was super hot and dusty in the arena, so we were amazed by Judy and Bill's patience and willingness to give our kids this experience!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gone Fishin'

We spent the past week up at Chris' parents house enjoying swimming a small lake and picnics as well as some wonderful time with Jason. Chris and I are so thankful to have been gifted this time to have here in Michigan and be part of Jason's journey with cancer. While we would have never wanted this, it is a privilege to go through this with him. One highlight of our week was a fishing afternoon with Grandpa. The boys caught nine fish; Clayton caught one on his first catch! Thanks Grandpa for a fun time!

Jason's dog Rosco checking out the day's catch

Campbell playing with Grandpa

We live out west, we have red rock cliffs to climb just a few miles from our back door. We live at 6,000 feet. And yet climbing Mt. Pisgah was a feat we were all proud of complete with beautiful views of Lake Michigan, Macatawa Lake and a hike through the woods.

239 steps later!

After our hike we headed to the beach for a picnic and a chance to stick our toes in the water.

And again, what night is complete without ice cream??? So, we met Chris and Becky and family at the General Store and watched the boats on Lake Mac - I'd say cheap entertainment, but that's only true since Opa treated!

Campbell turns One!

Our beautiful daughter turned one a week and a half ago! Oh, Campbell how we love you! You are funny in your stoicism, sure of what you like and don't like, loud, a little bit silly, and certainly a joy! We have been so blessed to watch you grow this year, reminding us of God's faithfulness as you fought for life your first day and then never looked back; we are thankful God has allowed us to be your parents.

We celebrated Campbell's big day with dinner, cake and ice cream with Opa & Oma and Chris & Becky and kids. What fun to be able to share these days with our family - we know it's a treat we wont get every year so we are counting it as a blessing this year for sure!

Can you say cute kids??? I know I'm partial to my kids, but my nephew Crew just melts my heart!

Campbell's Owl Cake

Each boy helped Campbell open a present or two - it helped keep everyone happy!

I love how Campbell is giving Clayton this look that seems to say "Back off, buddy!"

Nikki's first 5k

For the last 10 years or so I have said I wanted to run a 5k. After having Campbell a year ago and struggling to find time for me, for fitness, to get back some energy Chris challenged me to actually run a 5k with him. He agreed to run with me in preparation and run the race with me. Every night for 3 weeks prior to the race (Zeeland Zoom) we would go for a run - I have always said I don't like to run, and I can now say I'm not a natural runner, but I don't mind it as much. Those runs together were the perfect chance to process our heartache, frustrations, laugh about funny things the kids had done and the end I realized I ran a lot better if I didn't talk at all, which meant Chris got to do a lot more processing :). About a week before the race my knees started to really hurt, so we took the race pretty easy; Chris saw a lot of former running friends who wanted to know his time and I felt very responsible to let them know he had run with me! Thank you Chris for challenging me to do this and for helping me prove to myself that I could!

Let's go Tigers!

Mom, Becky and I decided to celebrate our men and Father's Day this year by sending them all to a Tigers game (Jesse got to go for his birthday)! While only Christopher was surprised by the tickets a good day was had by all! I am so thankful for my dad who has loved me so unconditionally, listened to me through many tough times, and encouraged me through all of them, for my two brothers who are still great friends, who have always been there for me, and for my husband who is my best friend, my biggest support, a wonderful father to our kids, and the one I can't imagine journeying through life without!