July 10, 2010

Small Town U.S.A.

(Otherwise known as the big fat vacation post).  Bear with me and skim as needed --it's yada yada yada wordy and photo-heavy but I wanted to document our only real "vacation" of the year for my girls.  I throw quotes around that due to Andy's crappy "vacation" policy in which he burned 10 days in the hospital and recovering earlier this year.  And of course the fact that it was not a real get-away; instead a week at my in-laws, but when your in-laws live on a lake and it's the hottest week of the summer?  Vacation it is!

In the interest of marital bliss (ha), we alternate holidays between our families every year with 2 exceptions.  Christmas is at home with my family; 4th of July is with his.  I love that my hubby is from a small town but a big family.

The oldest and youngest: Grandma, 95, and Brayden, 9 weeks.

I mentioned a few weeks ago how lucky my girls are to have little cousins to run around with at family get-togethers. With a father-in-law who is one of 9, winter get-togethers involve cramming 50+ in Grandma's basement, with the doorwall cracked and snow drifting in to keep from overheating.  Summertime accommodations are a bit easier, and the weekend around the 4th is always kicked off with a golf outing and potluck.

(Prayers please! for our cousin, Kevin, recovering from a bad motorcycle accident)

And the big cousins have as much fun together as the littles...We're especially fond of those who crash on our couch after a late night on the boat, and wake to scoop up our crying baby from her pack-n-play when that next morning comes too early.  And braid our beauty queen's hair to help ease the usual mad-dash for church. 

And the small town?  Although my in-laws have traded their ranch (and goats, cows, sheep, turkeys!) for a place on the lake, we still return home to a small town atmosphere and get a chance to slow down a bit...
...grandparents to help out with diaper changes and baths.  
...leisurely nights to rock my girls to sleep and concentrate only on the smell of freshly shampooed hair; the warmth of their heads on my shoulder and breath on my neck; the sound of thumb-sucking; the sight of eyelashes meeting as lids grow heavy...all without a thought in the world of everything that needs to be done/cleaned/prepped once they're tucked in.  
...the white noise of ESPN or the Tigers on the tube all.evening.every.evening.  (thank you, wireless internet, for allowing me to peacefully co-habit).
...late nights in the hot tub.  
...drifting off to the sound the bullfrogs singing on the lake.  
...and every now and again, this city girl gets to experience a small-town first.  This year it was an evening at the Kalamazoo Speedway for a 4-cylinder Enduro race.  Oh my.  Please note the Bud Light can in the way of the iPhone screen because this is my picture speaking 1000 words:

Some other highlights of our week...
A daytrip to Lake Michigan

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No photos of the next morning with my littlest lady, but it may have been the most relaxing few hours of the week.  Charlotte tagged along golfing with the rest of the fam, leaving me and Molly alone in the big, quiet house.  She chose to spend some time sleeping in while I lounged in a lazyboy, channel surfing w/ a cup of coffee... can't remember the last time I put my feet up for that long!  Sleeping Beauty finally rose for the day and followed me back to the cozy chair, her diaper swishing against her first big-girl Barbie nightgown as she waddled.  We snuggled for a morning bottle, finally got dressed, then enjoyed breakfast out at a coffeehouse where Molly flirted with the locals.  We ended our date bargain-hunting at the craft/vintage/consignment shops downtown.  My kind of vacation.

* * * * * 
Andy, his brothers and I took Charlotte to the movies (fabulous!)
* * * * *
 Cooling off on the lake

followed by a hot & hazy night on the town

 * * * * *
 One last day on the water, where we spent our morning swimming in the rain :)

 And the best way to end a week on the lake?  With thoroughly pruned piggies.


  1. Love your blog! Your kiddos are just beautiful! Love those pruney piggies, too!

  2. i love all these photos!! which one do i choose?! i l.o.v.e. the first one, the beads on the neck, the water balloon close up, molly's smooshy face with the sandwich and the water ones. great, great, great job!!

    did you use your 50mm, or your zoom lens?