A short, but sweet visit

Jen, Jason and Salina came out to visit us this past weekend for the first time since Salina was about 6 weeks old. This trip was supposed to happen last fall, but their concert was cancelled (reasons obvious) and rescheduled for this past weekend. It was a delight to host them, but it sure was a whirlwind!

Some highlights included ukulele-playing, puzzle-finishing, zucchini bread-making, Watermelon Run-participating (both boys ran really well and Jen was very sweet to keep me and my wretched knees company), ice cream-eating, Packer picnicking and watching Salina (and snuggling with her) while her mom and dad *finally* attended their much-anticipated concert at Red Rocks!

We also enjoyed a delicious breakfast at our Auntie and Uncle’s house. Salina was exceptionally excited about seeing Matthew.

On Monday we rushed out the door to get to our CC community day and they enjoyed one of my favorite easy hikes!

Thanks for coming out to see us again! It was such a pleasure to have you!

Racine, WI

After our weekend in northwestern Wisconsin, Mike stayed there to work for the week and I drove the six-ish hours back to Racine to soak up some more time with the family. (On Friday, we drove to Omaha where we picked up Mike from the airport. The following day we drove home.) Our time in Racine was very laid back. Highlights at the house included building towers, playing the piano, Micah riding a motorcycle and the one-wheeler, dance parties galore, baking bread with Grandma, a tornado warning in the middle of the night, and playing ukulele and various games.

The boys did some birding with Grandpa – a very big highlight. We took a number of adventures to find frogs and crawfish with the cousins – so much fun – and enjoyed a night at the bike races with the whole crew.

Our time together was very sweet. Visiting Wisconsin and spending time with this crew is so very life-giving!

Elkhart Lake, WI

The following day I drove the remaining six or so hours to Elkhart Lodge where we met up with the rest of our family for five days of vacationing together. Our time was very sweet. Each family took an evening to prepare a meal for the rest of the crew, which was a fun way to enjoy meals together. Many of the days we also enjoyed time with my Aunt Sal and Uncle Brad – a big treat for all! The pictures, as usual, tell the story.

We spent much of the time at the house together. Our time inside this beautiful home included playing lots of games, having dance parties, reading books, making music (thanks, Ger and Jason!), etc.

Our time outside included looking for grasshoppers and toads, slip and slide, big beach balls, s’mores, bocce, one-wheeling, scootering, biking, etc. Ethan also enjoyed some outings to find birds with Grandpa (and then loved editing pictures together).

Photo credit for the following pictures belongs to Micah (except, obviously, the one I took of him taking pictures). He was trying to capture pictures of everyone at the house, but lost steam when he would have needed to go indoors to snag a few more. He got some pretty sweet ones.

We snapped some twinning pictures, as well. The one with the kids in their Christmas jammies is a Christmas tradition that we missed this year. Sadly, Salina already grew out of her matching pair so we had to settle for a boys only pic!

We also went on an outing to a farm museum type place. Very fun! It actually wasn’t even open the day we went, but they saw us in the parking lot trying to come up with our new plan and they let us in!

So many memories were made on this trip. It was SO good to be back together again. Such a gift to have so much quality time together.

Photo credit for most of these pictures belongs to my Dad. I snapped a few shots here and there, but the bulk of these pictures are his. Thanks, Dad!

Life Lately

We reached some Covid-related milestones recently, as I’m sure have many of you. We’ve officially spent a full year without any in-person time with Grandma Cleve or my parents. This past Friday marked the year anniversary of when I flew home from Florida with the boys. Mike also has now gone over 365 days without getting on a plane for the first time in…18 years!! We snapped a picture of Mike to remember that day. =D And I reached a full year of reading for at least 10 minutes a day! (this is a big deal for me; I’m well-aware that many of you have such beautiful reading lives that this is nothing…but it’s a habit I’ve been working to build and have enjoyed every minute of it!)

We also celebrated some holidays – Pi day (with chicken potpie and chocolate pie) and St. Patty’s Day (with corned beef and cabbage):

Just days before a big winter storm, we had a gorgeous backyard community day with CC. We’re busy painting like the great artists right now and that’s been extra fun. Below you’ll see Micah’s version of a Picasso painting. Ethan was pretty bummed to have to cut up his beautiful bird to make it appear more like a Picasso piece.

I took Ethan out for a quick birding adventure after dropping off some food to folks from church before the snow arrived.

And then the storm hit us! We got almost 2 feet of snow! Lots of fun!

Other happenings as of late include celebrating Salina’s birthday via Zoom and her subsequent thank you note (SO funny!), writing on our gratitude frames, working on March madness brackets, enjoying the sunshine, and another tiny snowstorm: