Well, it’s hard not to notice that it has been rather quite around here and on my Facebook page for the last month or so. You may wonder why that is and I though instead of jumping right back in full steam, I would take a moment to explain.
Simply put, I’ve been soaking up life and memories as summer came to a close. I blog in my spare time and there seemed to be little of it lately.
Here’s just a few of the personal highlights of the last several weeks:
Our son loves light houses. This began a few summers ago when we visited one that is located about 30 miles from our cabin. I just thought it was something cool to do one summer day. Little did I know that that innocent trip would spark a great interest in our little man. He has since spent a great amount of time reading about lighthouses while studying photos and facts. We have since traveled all over the state each summer checking more lights off his list of those visited. This summer was no exception, though we waited until the last weeks of vacation to get in our light house fix. In a day trip we visited Port Huron to see the Fort Gratiot Light and the Huron Light ship.
While he loves lighthouses, I do not love heights! But I climb to the top of these towers for him with knees shaking. Usually, I feel ok, once we get to the top of the open spiral stairway as we reach the landing, standing in an enclosed room and admire the light and lens.
However, there are a few, like Fort Gratiot pictured to the left, where they actually let you outside the top of the tower. My gut, says “NO THANK YOU!”. But the mom in me says “Oh, you want to go out there…why sure”. As I keep one hand gripped on my child and the other hand along with entire backside pushed tight against the tower wall.
The week after our little day trip to Lake Huron, we embarked on a spur of the moment, multi day road trip to see four Lake Superior lights. Ever since G has began reading and learning about lighthouses, one quickly became labeled as his “favorite” light house from the photos that he had seen. That lighthouse is Split Rock in Minnesota. It seemed like quite a long ways away so I had not really foreseen a trip there, at least not any time soon. However, when we decided to help Grandma check an item off her bucket list (will discuss this in the next topic), Split Rock became seemingly possible. And with a week left of summer vacation, our little man got to visit his favorite light house!
Grandma’s 50 States
My grandparents have traveled a lot over the years. With a son who served in the Navy, they spent years traveling to wherever he was at the time, including the east coast when he was at the Academy, the west coast after he graduated, Hawaii, Europe, etc. He later retired and settled in California and of course my grandparents would drive cross-country to visit year after year. They also traveled for fun. They traveled to see and explore. Over their 60+ years of marriage, they racked up many miles exploring the United States.
Through all the years, one thing that my grandmother always wanted to do was to go on a cruise. My grandfather was not too keen on the idea and each time the subject came up he gave the same answer “I went on my cruise in WWII and I was sick the whole time….I’m not going on a cruise!” Despite several attempts to convince him that the modern-day cruise ships are a bit of an improvement over the World War II ships, he wasn’t buying it. That was until for their 60th wedding anniversary, he finally caved and agreed to an Alaskan cruise. Turns out he had an absolute ball.
They had just completed their cruise and were scheduled to fly home when the attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred. Flights were suddenly grounded…indefinitely. My grandmother’s sister who was traveling with them acted quickly, she ran straight to the car rental and booked a car immediately. They weren’t going to wait stranded in Washington. They would drive home. Another opportunity to explore the country side.
Their traveling slowed over recent years and my grandfather passed away in 2006. Since that time, I have become a stay at home mom, and now have time to travel myself. My husband can not always go with us, so Grandma goes as my travel companion instead. She enjoys the adventures, while helping me by sitting in the backseat and tending to the kids while I drive the miles. It was on one of these trips she casually said something to the effect of “You know I’ve been to 49 states”. Knowing she had already been to Hawaii and Alaska and trekked back and forth all over the continental states, I’m thinking “What?! 49…why not 50!? Why didn’t you get that last one already?”. Now me being a “check-the-item-off-the-list” type person knew immediately, we’re getting her to her 50th state, darn it! What was the last state? North Dakota.
So, my mom and I planned a trip kind of spur of the moment. We were taking Grandma to North Dakota and we planned to see some lighthouses along the way. Destination: Fargo, ND.
Mission completed. Grandma has now been to all 50 states!
10 Year Anniversary
At the beginning of the month, my hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. To be perfectly honest, in many ways it has been a very trying 10 years. I just mean it hasn’t been all peaches and roses. We’ve overcome many trials that have tested our strength and faith in God and each other. We’ve been through obstacles that can and does break some couples including but not limited to infertility, a miscarriage, death of loved ones, a child born with known special needs, a child who we later found to have special (dietary) needs and more. Through it all, we’ve come out together as one and stronger as individuals and as a couple than we were when we started. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, stress, struggles, triumphs, and celebrations through these years.
I really thought 10 years is worth celebration and a little get away as a couple. I have had my sights on a cruise for this occasion since we were first married. I have been on a couple myself before meeting my husband but want to enjoy one with him. But just like Grandma’s struggle with getting Grandpa on a cruise, my hubby refuses. So, what’s the next best thing? Oh, I’d say any little get away to a new place to explore and spend some time together. We settled on Milwaukee, simple because it within a reasonable drive, we’d never been there and they had some great deals. So we spent 2 days and nights exploring breweries, the lake Michigan shoreline, River Walk and more. It was a relaxing little get away.
In addition to those biggies, of course I got the kids off to school for a new year. Both kids are at new schools this year and the youngest is going in the afternoons which is a first for me. Both kids always went to morning preschool. It is different, but I’m kind of liking it…so far.
The hubby was on vacation last week. While I love him home, he kind of throws off my routine. So, this is the first week that I feel like I’m getting my bearings in regards to my new school routine.
I have also been in full training mode for my 2nd half marathon. That means lots of running, cross training, strengthening and stretching throughout the week, which I usually try to do before the kids wake. But the increased activity has me a bit more worn out at the end of the day. So, I’ve been hitting the hay early and avoiding the computer a bit more.
But I have a whole backlog of recipes and even a couple of crafts ready and excited to blog about. So look forward to them soon, but bear with me while I optimize my new daily schedule.