We celebrated Mikey’s birthday with a yummy breakfast, a meaningful church service, a short and hot walk through the Farmer’s Market by church, delicious sushi burritos, and then a drive up Mt. Evans where we did a little hiking (and then got us altitude-sickness-prone-people down the mountain). It was a lovely day.
Grandma also came out for a visit for this weekend. Micah and I enjoyed having her all to ourselves for the evening the other guys were in the mountains. We invited Auntie Mel over for dinner that night, too. We played some games and did some artwork. Micah wasn’t quite feeling himself for the weekend, but we still had a good time. His sweet friend brought over homemade soup for him after he heard about Micah’s injury.
We spent the rest of the weekend all together. Ethan played the keyboard in church again. We got busy talking about hosting in our home and how a change might be needed. Couches were moved around to give us a feel for what it would be like to have seating upstairs for a change. =)
We have since made some purchases and donations to switch up our seating at home, but these pictures show the process as we thought about things throughout the weekend. (Pictures to come in future posts)
We loved having this quick visit with my folks. Super thankful for the time together!
Mikey had been mulling over this concept for years – how to move the boys towards manhood as they matured. He wanted to be incredibly intentional around raising our boys to embrace their manhood with courage and character. His vision was to have a night away in the mountains with Ethan and some of his important spiritual role models. He had been mentioning little things off and on over the past few months to Ethan about it, without giving any details. When the day finally arrived, he sent E an email and told him to be packed for a night away by 11 am. I was then to take him out for lunch to talk to him about the ways I admire him and how my role will change in his life over time, starting with this day. (Meanwhile, Mike was picking up my parents from the airport and arranging things so that my Dad could get to the mountains with Uncle Joel.) We had a great time together and I only barely cried while praying with him.
Next, Ethan and Mike drove up to the mountains where he moved from room to room discovering different men that had come up there to speak into his life. He was shocked! I won’t be able to do this weekend justice, nor do I think this is the place to elaborate. Suffice it to say, it will not be forgotten. He treasured this time and learned much.
It’s humbling to realize how many amazing people we have in our lives; each of whom play a different role. We are thankful to be raising these young men with the help of such a beautiful village, near and far (some are featured here and others aren’t, but we are thankful for each person who loves this young man fiercely). And I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have such an intentional partner. He makes this journey a lot less daunting and a whole lot more fun. So thankful.
This guy is something special. By the grace of God, he’s going to be a part of the change we all want to see in this world.
We spent the first couple of days upon our arrival resting (trying to stay awake while utterly exhausted), doing laundry, mowing the lawn, working out, and getting food in the house. But it was nice to get back into our usual rhythms again.
Mike had to travel to Minnesota that first full week back. We made popsicles to beat the heat and also went on a birding trip to a new spot. We invited Mel, Joel, and Matthew over on a whim to enjoy homemade pizza and homemade ice cream one of those nights.
We celebrated our 16-year anniversary and then Independence Day when Mikey was back home again. We played pickleball, I think, for our anniversary (the day after, I believe) and had homemade fondue at the house, and I went to see Micah earn his blue belt. Micah was able to earn his blue belt by re-teaching his class one of the skills they had learned previously – I think it was the short jab maybe? He had missed tip testing, but his coaches gave him an opportunity to still earn with the rest of his class. For Independence Day we had our usual dessert, played some ping pong, went for a bike ride on the Highline Canal (or maybe we did that for our anniversary, I can’t remember now) and enjoyed some fireworks in our neighborhood.
The following week Mike had a very quick trip to play golf with some friends. Thankfully he was home in time to deal with Micah’s injury. A neighborhood friend accidentally crashed his bike into Micah and he ended up needing eight stitches! He was mega brave and we were so proud of the way Ethan handled the situation by calmly walking him home right away and reminding him to apply pressure to the wound.
We were only in Valdez for a quick evening before getting on the ferry to Seward. Our crew ate at “The Fat Mermaid” and loved watching bald eagles and baby bunnies all evening. I’m hopeful I can show some of Ethan’s pictures from that spot because they were pretty remarkable.
On Ethan’s special outing, he enjoyed another boat ride. He, Mike and Grandpa enjoyed birding from this boat for seven hours on Father’s Day.
We spent most of this trip out and about, but I did snap a few pictures at various homes we stayed in.
Other highlights included walking part of the first mile of the Iditarod trail, checking out the salmon run, exploring the wildlife sanctuary (and finally seeing bear!), playing at parks, going for a few different hikes, and (on our final day) taking a trolley ride. Our crew also especially liked breakfast out at a place we heard about from Diners, Dives and Drive-ins.