The Epic Summer of 2017

We’re into our third month of school, leaves are falling, and the air is definitely chilly, but I wanted to share some of the memories we created this summer. I’ve been meaning to write this for months, but with four Little Ones…well, you know.

At the beginning of every summer, our church ladies get together at Hidden Lake Gardens for a retreat. I’ve made it a family tradition to bring along one daughter each year for some one-on-one Mommy-daughter time. This year was Lydia’s turn and she was absolutely thrilled about going. The theme was “Transformation” with butterflies tied into everything from the activities to the decorations to the talks. There were caterpillars and butterflies adorning the tables at lunch and, at the end of the day, we released butterflies on the top of a hill. Lydia had a blast.



Our family made one more visit to the Toledo Zoo before our membership ran out and we let the kids ride one of the carousels. Growing up, my own parents often took “carousel pictures”, so here’s to carrying on that tradition.


The first week in July we spent up North, visiting family and enjoying the Cherry Festival and Traverse City beauty. We squeezed in lots of visits, two beach days, a day at the Cherry Festival, and cherry picking. We had planned on staying in a cabin near town, but the cabin was too musty, and, since Dan is particularly sensitive to mold, we made an emergency call to my parents and decided to haul our Little Crew over there. That turned out to be great because we got extra family time and we were even closer to everyone we wanted to visit and everything we wanted to do. It was fun, but exhaustingly fun.


One night, my parents took the three big kids and Dan and I got to go on a free VIP Cherry Festival date.


My sister and her family came too. 🙂

The girls looked so sweet all tuckered out from the fun.


One of my favorite moments from the trip was relaxing under a cherry tree after a morning of picking cherries. We had packed a lunch, and we just rested there eating our picnic and enjoying some time together.


Ever since last year’s family Christmas photo attempt, I’ve taken to a new philosophy: capturing life as it really is. Tears and all. (Some say you can’t have too much fun. You can. This is what it looks like.)


Papa entertained the kids for a few minutes while Dan and I unloaded the car.

A couple more visits…


Our kids love the children’s parade because…candy. For once-a-year tourists, they’re getting pretty good at snagging the candy. Even Paul caught on this year.




Toward the end of our trip we realized that the kids really only wanted to go to the beach. We tried to squeeze in a little more time there on our last day.





And then it was time to head home. The next day was our Church Picnic followed by a busy week of Camp Tikva (our version of Vacation Bible School).





Every year the kids learn a large Bible Memory passage set to music. Those who learn it and can recite it for their counselors get a prize. Lydia was so excited to get her prize on the very last day.

Once we recovered from the craziness of having a week of vacation followed by Camp Tikva, I gave Dan his first-ever day off. We sent him out of the house to have a day alone to read and pray and bike and think. The kids and I had a tea party lunch and played games.



Lydia lost her first tooth. And then her second.

And I raced in a triathlon. This was actually what made this summer so epic for me. Every other summer since Dan and I got married has had its share of difficulty (pregnancy, NICU stays, temporary living situations, working crazy hours, etc.) so this summer felt epic to me. With Dan’s help and support (and weekly babysitting help from Dan’s mom), I trained four days a week to be able to complete a sprint triathlon (1/4 mile swim, 14 mile bike ride, 2 mile trail run). I could write a whole post on this, but I just don’t have time. In short, it was SO FUN but also so hard. I definitely would like to do another one someday, but I think Dan’s going to have to do one first. I was by no means near the front of the pack, but I didn’t come in last place either, so that was good enough for me. The goal was to get back in shape and have fun and both of those goals were accomplished.





After the race we spent a day at our church camping trip. Then we stopped for ice cream on the way home. Best ice cream stop of the summer.

Since our kids so desperately wanted more beach time in Traverse City, and since I feel like they’re deprived not living ten minutes from the beach (like I did), we planned a sort of last-minute beach trip to the West Side of the state.

We found a family-friendly bed-and-breakfast and had a wonderful stay. Getting to eat breakfast, play in the pool, then go to the beach definitely brought smiles (and good sleep) to all of our kids.










Shortly after our beach trip, we embarked on a long-awaited vacation in Pittsburgh. What’s in Pittsburgh? That’s what everyone would ask us, and we honestly didn’t know. We knew we wanted to visit a big city, just our family, and our first pick was Boston. We decided Boston was too far away to drive with these kiddos, so we looked at a map and picked something within driving distance.

On our way down (and back) we stopped at Brandywine Falls in Ohio. It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to the falls, perfect for the short break we needed.

We fell in love with Pittsburgh. The amazing city views, welcoming old neighborhoods, incredibly hilly winding roads, three rivers, a million bridges, and tons of fun things to do. We visited a science museum, children’s museum, parks, play grounds, unique restaurants, and a natural history museum. We stayed at an old apartment building that had been renovated and converted into hotel suites. One of my favorite parts of this trip was waking up in the morning, eating a casual breakfast together, taking our time getting ready for the day, and talking about the fun we had planned.






We also took the kids to a Pirate’s game, starting with batting practice. The evening turned out to be WAY too much fun for our family to handle, but batting practice sure was fun. Each of the kids got a baseball while the Cubs were practicing.





We took an inclined railroad up Mount Washington and ate at an Italian restaurant with a beautiful view. And we took a few now-classic “take it like it is” family pictures.



And then there were more museums…




Our last day there we made it to the River Walk, something I had on my list of things to do. When we got to the “water steps” we had to hustle to keep the kids from jumping right in (which would have been a lot of fun if the weather had been warmer!)



And so wrapped up our epic summer. We gradually have made our transition into fall and are currently enjoying the school year, colorful leaves, and lots of apples and pumpkins.

🙂




Summering

The past few weeks have been really FULL for our family. Just a typical week is usually more than enough for me, but we’ve really been packing in the activities this summer, and I’ve struggled to find both the time (away from the attention of my Munchkins) and the energy to update. So forgive the lengthy blog post and take your time scrolling through the pictures. Who knows when I’ll get back on here to update again!

First of all, our Little Man is learning to walk. He took his first wobbly steps in June and has been slowly growing more confident and steady on his feet. He still prefers to walk on his knees, just like his sisters did for so long, and he can scurry around like lightening on all fours, but soon enough he’ll be keeping up with the rest of us all the way up on his feet. When he gets tired he starts to cry and looks around for Mommy, and if I put out my arms to him, Paul will scurry right over and grab on to pull himself up to both feet. (Also, we painted Paul’s room a few weeks ago, and you can get a glimpse of that in the picture below)

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The kids love to play outside, and they especially love to play with their Daddy outside! They squeal and run when he gets up and chases them like a bear, then giggle uncontrollably when he tackles them in the grass.

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Like most 16-month-olds, Paul likes to eat dirt.
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A few weeks ago, we packed up and headed North for the first time since Christmas. We had fun at the beach, and National Cherry Festival, and were able to stop and visit lots of family throughout our trip. (I didn’t get as many pictures with family because I was just too busy catching up to stop and take any.)

We took the kids to the downtown splash pad, then continued through to the Kid Zone at the Cherry Fest, and on to the Open Space.

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It’s amazing how much fun Little Ones can have just playing in a sandbox full of (clean) cherry pits!

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“Want some?”
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Lydia loved the free giveaways (sunglasses) and the free cherry samples.

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Paul too!

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And meeting Cherry Man!

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One morning we decided to drive up the peninsula to our favorite cherry picking farm. Much to our dismay, the farm had just sprayed all the trees and was closed for the day. We decided to keep driving to see if there was another farm. We ended up driving up the peninsula until we were so far along, it seemed silly to turn back. Eventually the open grape vineyards and cherry orchards were replaced with some Up North, Pure Michigan woods that brought me right back to my summers as a Camp Counselor.

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Funny enough, I was wearing a Camp t-shirt that day and happened to run into a family of other former Camp Counselors on Old Mission Peninsula. We had a nice little reunion before the rest of my family got out of our car to explore. We were met with this beautiful view.

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We meandered down to the beach and spent a while just enjoying the blue skies and clear water.

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Then we headed back in to Traverse City for some more Cherry Festival fun. Since this was our “vacation” for the summer, we splurged and let the girls ride their very first carnival rides. Abby thought she was pretty sweet getting to “drive” a car. And, much to our surprise, Lydia did not get scared on the Dumbo ride that she so eagerly wanted to ride on with Daddy. (Please note, we made sure Lydia and Daddy got to ride in the Dumbo and we let the girls wait in line an extra time so they could get the highly-sought-after purple car.)

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Our last full day in Traverse City was largely spent with some of my family at the same beach where I spent most of my summer days as a kid.

Abby felt so big lounging next to her Nana.

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And Abby and Paul both thought it was great fun to lounge in their cousin’s beach toy.

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My favorite part of the trip was jumping in the waves with Lydia. She’s a little dolphin, although she kept telling me she was a little penguin.

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We took advantage of our beach time by catching up with my oldest sister.

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Who also had the great idea to take a family picture for us. Thanks Christina!

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Afterwards, we treated the kids to dinner at a restaurant. Lydia thought it was especially cool that there were sandboxes to play in. Paul was too tired to care about much of anything. 🙂

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And so ended our trip Up North, but not our fun! The following week was “Camp Tikva”, our church’s annual Vacation Bible School Program. But maybe I’ll save those pictures for another post.

Our Up North Christmas

The very first Christmas present I opened this year was a new camera from Dan. My last camera stopped working several months ago and I was so excited to have something better than Dan’s phone to take pictures on. Sadly, as I was playing around with it one night, I deleted all of my pictures.

:'(

But my brilliant husband suggested, “There must be a way to get them back”. And he was right. I’m in the process of retrieving those pictures now so that’s why there aren’t any pictures from Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Sorry friends. Check my Facebook page in a few days (or weeks or months since I never have time to upload pictures with the three Little People running around).

🙂

The Taylor family (us) celebrated a rushed Christmas on Christmas Eve morning before packing the car and driving up North for an extended family Christmas Celebration (on both sides). Lydia didn’t sleep the night before Christmas Eve because she was SO excited to go up North and to open presents. Remembering those feelings myself, I was sympathetic, but we were exhausted because we couldn’t sleep either and when we did doze off for fifteen minutes we’d wake up to Lydia yelling, “CAN I GET OUT OF BED YET AND OPEN PRESENTS. I’VE BEEN ASLEEP A LONG TIME!”

So began our Christmas adventure.

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Christmas Eve we showed up just in time at my grandparent’s house for a traditional Matson family Swedish Christmas feast, followed by carols and presents. It was a sweet time and fun to catch up with cousins and watch the kids run around together.

Christmas morning we woke up after ANOTHER sleepless night (I only told her she might get to open a present from Grandma and Grandpa but someone must have let the cat out of the bag because this night wasn’t much better than the first!) We enjoyed breakfast with my parents and brother, took a quick walk around the block and then waited for the rest of my siblings to come with their families. All of the kids, and grandkids were together for the first time in a long time (ever?) and it was such fun. Oh, and there were presents, lots of presents (much to Lydia’s great joy). As much as we enjoyed the gifts, it was the time with my family that we cherished the most. The day went by all to fast and the next morning it was already time to pack up and head over to Dan’s parent’s house for the other Taylor Christmas.

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There was good food, lots of visiting, a bit of Euchre, and, of course, presents. Abby was so cute when she realized she got to open some too.

“Presents? Me?!? Presents? Me! Me!”

Among other goodies, the girls got a collection of kitchen food and gadgets. They love them. And so did I. (Until we got home and the 100 piece collection scattered itself all over our house three days in a row. It may have disappeared after that. Good thing Grandma also got us some toy storage!)

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Is this picture overload? I can’t help it. She was so cute sitting there so absorbed in her toys.

As you’ve already seen, there was a little bit of Wii playing. We even let Lydia have a turn.

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Paul got in lots of snuggle time. With everyone.

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And Lydia and Abby got to make some special Christmas cookies with Grandma Taylor.

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After a few days, we braved the bad weather and drove home with a few days left in Dan’s break. So, we took Lydia ice skating. She has been asking to go since she found out winter was on its way. It almost turned out to be a failure when we got out on the ice and she couldn’t stand up. Someone gave us on of those “pushers” (anybody know what those are actually called?) and that helped, a little. Dan got out on the ice with Lydia and helped her figure it out. Soon she was holding onto that pusher with all her little might enjoying the ride, frequently reminding us, “Not too fast!”

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In the end I think ice skating was a smashing success.

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Finally, we rang in the new year with a quiet night at home, the kids sleeping in their own beds. Daddy and Mommy stayed up until midnight, just barely. We snapped a quick “new year” picture while we washed cloth diapers. I know, I know, doesn’t sound like much of a party, but some quiet time at home with Dan was just the way to wrap up 2015.

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Happy New Year everyone. And a special thanks to our parents for hosting us for Christmas and the days after. Traveling with the Littles isn’t easy, but you all help a lot. And I know we created memories in our and their little minds that will never be forgotten.

Family Visits and Flower Petals

This is part two of our latest trip to TC. The first part of our trip involved a swallowed nail and a long day in the ER.

Tuesday morning we got up early and began our trek in to see my sister Christina, with her boys: Colten, Coby, and Evert. We got to see their (sort of) new home, which we hadn’t seen yet, and the girls had a blast playing with their cousins.

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Paul and Evert got to meet for the first time, and we got a picture of the cousins on the couch (a family tradition). Next trip up we need a couch picture with Benjamin too!

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Next stop was my other sister, Steph’s new house. We had a nice visit with Steph and her husband, in-laws, and new baby Benjamin.

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We continued our journey in and stopped for another nice visit with my Grandma Carlson. She got to meet and hold Paul for his nap, and the girls ran around turning everything possible into toys. 🙂

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It was getting late, but not too late for a family dinner at Bob Evans with Christina and her boys, my parents, and my brother, Tim. From their we went to my parents house where we stayed up far too late chatting and finally went to bed exhausted.

Wednesday we got up as early as we could and made a visit to my other Grandparent’s house. Grandma and Grandpa Matson got to meet Paul and play with the girls. When Lydia walked into my Grandma’s dining room, nicely decorated for the fourth of July, she exclaimed, “It’s beautiful in here!”.

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I’m getting tired just remembering this trip, but I’ll try to finish strong!

From my grandparents we went back to my parents house for a few hours so my mom could have some quality playtime with the girls. They had a tea party, played with Play Doh, and ate a quick lunch before we packed up for the ride home.

We made a pit stop at Dan’s Gramma’s house, but I was so worn out, I didn’t even take any pictures! Oh well. We had a nice visit with Gramma. Just before we left, Gramma helped Lydia pick some flowers to take home.

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Gramma, just so you know, Lydia held those flowers as long as we would let her. After we stopped for dinner, I put them with me in the front so Lydia could fall asleep, but as soon as we were home she wanted them back. We put them in a vase which Lydia carried with her from room to room until every single petal had failed off the flowers. I threw away the bare stem at night while Lydia was sleeping because I knew it would be traumatic if she saw me do it!

There Was a Small Girl Who Swallowed A Nail

Last week Dan’s factory was closed for “shut down” so we took a whirlwind of a trip up North to visit some of our family. We headed up late Sunday night and spent Monday with Dan’s parents. Well, that was the plan anyway. The girls enjoyed their morning with Grandma, playing, eating, and enjoying this great big chair I used to spend a lot of time in as a college student.

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After Grandma left for work, we had a lull in our day before Grandpa would get home from work. I decided to take advantage of the quiet house by having everyone take naps. Lydia asked me to lie down with her for a while but when I did she was climbing all over me instead of going to sleep.

Now, when we spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa Taylor’s, we all stay in Dan’s old bedroom. On one wall are several framed pictures and awards hanging up above what is now Lydia’s little bed. We were afraid one of these pictures might fall on Lydia during her nap time so we made sure to take the frame off of the wall before naps.

So, as I grew weary of Lydia’s nap time shenanigans, I told her I was going to go over to my bed (only about four feet away from her). As I looked up, I saw Lydia playing with the nail in the wall that the picture had been hanging on. I gave her a look that said, “Stop that!” and she did, but not before the nail fell off the wall onto the floor behind her bed (so I thought).

I moved to my bed just as Dan came into the room. We were chatting about something when Lydia made a strange gulping noise and looked up at me with a funny expression. Instantly I had a suspicion which Lydia soon confirmed: she had swallowed the nail. Dan called the pediatrician while I talked to Lydia some more, making sure she really swallowed the nail and telling her what was going to happen now.

Lydia loves Curious George, so I reminded her of the story where George swallows a puzzle piece and has to go to the hospital to get an x-ray. Smart Girl reminded me with fear in her voice that at the end of the book George has to get a shot. 🙂

I assured Lydia she wouldn’t need any shots and Dan rushed her to the ER while I stayed behind to feed Paul and wait for Abby to finish her nap.

The ER visit took up the rest of the afternoon. Lydia did a pretty good job (Dan tells me) although she was pretty scared. We used the opportunity to teach her the lesson that you shouldn’t ever put small objects in your mouth!

By dinnertime Lydia was sent home with instructions to get another xray in 5-7 days to make sure the nail passed without any problems.

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We wrapped up our crazy day with a stop at Bob Evans for dinner before heading back to Dan’s parents’ house for the night.

Tuesday began the whirlwind part of our trip where we visited family like crazy, but I’ll save that for another post.

Oh, and for the record, Lydia had her second x-ray on Monday and it was all clear. The nail didn’t cause any problems and is gone for good. Thanks to everyone who was praying and asking about her. She is doing just fine.

This is a Fun Time!

We’re back from our up-North Traverse City vacation, and, while it was far from relaxing, we certainly enjoyed our time. We drove up late Wednesday night and took off again late Thursday morning to spend our first day in downtown Traverse.

After searching hopelessly for a (free) parking space, we settled in at the library and enjoyed a packed lunch on the Boardman River. Abby watched us eat for a while, then got down to roll around in the grass.

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Then we loaded the girls into their strollers and began the long trek down town.

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Dan and I had forgotten about the relatively new water playground put in along our walk. When we got there we schemed together for a while before asking Lydia, “Would you like to play?” She was hesitant at first, but once she got a little wet she started running around squealing and laughing and having a great time.

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What happened next was rather epic. Lydia stood under the “waterfall” with water pouring down all around her. She held out her arms and yelled to no one in particular, “THIS IS A FUN TIME!”.

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By now she was dripping and shivering, so we brought an end to the water playground fun and continued our walk out to the pier to enjoy the beautiful blue water and to watch some boats.

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Then we walked a little more and came to a small stretch of beach. All of us, including Abby, felt the sand between out toes. Only Lydia ventured into the water, but we had to hold her back so she could continue to dry off. Silly parents that we were, we didn’t think to bring her a swimsuit, towel, or change of clothes.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through stores downtown, then headed back to Dan’s parents’ house for some dinner and some much needed rest.

Friday we packed into the car once more and drove all the way out to the peninsula after a somewhat spontaneous decision to pick cherries. (Some of you remember our cherry-picking adventure last year. This was far less adventurous but equally fun).

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We spent a little more time downtown and visited some of my family with an adorable new baby. Then we met up with my family for dinner on the beach. This time I brought extra clothes for Lydia and assured her I would come in the water with her and swim as deep as she wanted to go. The water was cold, so no one joined us, and afterward both girls had to be bundled up to fight the shivers.

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We spent the rest of the evening at my parents’ house chatting, while Lydia and Nana colored and played. We stayed out far too late, but everyone enjoyed their time and even slept through the night that night. 🙂

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Saturday was our Dexter family reunion, but that deserves its own post.

We’re Off Again!

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Yesterday we packed up some clothes, some food, and our girls and made the four-hour drive up North. This time we brought Dan with us too. For the next few days we’re planning on being “Traverse City tourists”. We’ll go to the beach, walk downtown, and spend some quality time with our families. Even as I write this, Lydia is having a blast with Grandma mixing colored sand and playing outside. Saturday is a big family reunion, so check back with us next week for lots of pictures of our trip. Happy weekend everybody, see you when we come back down!

Taylor Girls’ TC Escape

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Well we’re back from our week up North. In all it was a great trip visiting family, relaxing, working on Abby’s quilt, and getting out of our basement “home”. And even though it was our first real time away from Dan, we pulled it off without any major catastrophes.

We started the trip off by meeting Dan’s Dad in Alma, about half of the way up North. Once we found the right gas station, we took a break to stretch our legs and transfer all of our luggage. (Even when we’re only going to be away for a week, and we’re without Dan, we still end up with a LOT of luggage.) Then Grandpa Taylor took us straight in to Bob Evans to grab a bite to eat and say “hello” to Grandma Taylor, who was working at the time.

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Soon we were back on the road heading to my family’s house for the night. Lydia was getting pretty excited.

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Monday was our big beach day. After stocking up on some beachy essentials (flip flops, sunglasses, a new outfit for Abby, and a beach umbrella), Nana took us all (Lydia, Abby, and myself, Aunt Christina, and cousins Colten and Coby) to the beach where we met up with Aunt Steph, Uncle Nate, and Uncle Tim. It was the first time all of the Carlson kids have been at the beach together since who-knows-when, and it was a lot of fun.

It wasn’t long before Coby found a nice stick.

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And Lydia taught the cousins her favorite beach game: throwing sand into the water.

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At one point a family of ducks came walking right in the middle of our family’s circle on the sand. I couldn’t believe how close they got! You’ll notice the duckling in the picture is almost sitting right on top of Uncle Tim’s foot.

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Nana got in some good Abby-holding time.

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And I did too. It was so nice to be back at the beach again.

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Lydia looked right at home on the beach with her new sunglasses and flip-flops.

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When we got home that night there was a big pile of dishes to wash. Lydia insisted on helping Nana with them.

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Tuesday we took it easy at home. It was a cooler day, but Lydia and her cousins had fun playing with Papa in the back yard. Afterwards, Lydia and Colten “helped” Papa edit some of the videos from the latest Disney trip.

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When Nana got home from work that night, Lydia got to open her birthday present.

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Then Papa took us to visit all of the great-grandparents. This was the first time Abby got to go to her Great Grandma Carlson’s house.

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Great Grandma’s may not be the place to find all sorts of toddler toys, but Lydia was pretty happy playing with a rug and a pillow, pretending to nap.

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Wednesday morning we packed up again and Grandma Taylor picked us up and brought us out to her house. She surprised Lydia with a “big girl bed” but Lydia calls it her “little bed”.

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There was also a tricycle waiting for Lydia. Grandma had a lot of fun giving Lydia trike lessons. After a while she seemed to be getting the hang of it.

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Thursday Grandma got in some quality time with Abs…

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And Lydia.

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It was hot enough to spend some time outside, so after planting some sunflowers, Lydia changed into her swimsuit and had a blast splashing in Grandma’s kiddie pool. Then she found the hose and watered her newly planted sunflowers.

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In the afternoon, Great Gramma and Grampa came to visit with Great Aunt Debbie.

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Abby tried out Aunt Debbie’s Tigers hat.

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For dinner, Grandma and Grandpa had the idea to make homemade Qdoba. Lydia loved getting a big burrito all to herself.

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Thursday was also the night Lydia figured out how to peddle the tricycle.

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Friday was chilly so we ran some errands and took Lydia to her first garage sales. She brought that big white purse everywhere we went.

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Much to our surprise and delight, Dan took half a day off work and surprised us when he walked in the door about six hours earlier than we expected him.

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It was perfect timing because he was able to join us for a belated birthday dinner for Lydia. Grandpa grilled and we enjoyed a delicious meal followed up by some Lydia-approved dessert.

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Saturday was bittersweet as we packed up and said our goodbyes. It was totally out of character for her, but Abby slept the whole way home.

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The Cherry Picking Project

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When we took our trip up to Traverse City last month, we decided to do a little project. You see, Dan and I had been trying to think of ways to earn some extra money to help pay some of the medical bills for Baby #2. Most of our ideas never came to much of anything, but this idea actually did. It was our cherry picking project.

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While we were up in Traverse City we took a morning to drive out on the peninsula to pick some cherries for $2 a pound. My parents and brother came along to help. We didn’t want to invest too much money in case our plans failed and all the cherries just went bad. So we decided to try to pick about 10 pounds.

It was a hot day, but the picking went fast and soon I realized that Dan didn’t even really need my help. So I picked a few, ate a few, and took some pictures. Lydia, also enjoyed picking cherries, eating cherries, and trying to get cherry juice all over her dress.

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When we were getting close to 10 pounds, Dan found a nice tree with branches that hung down a bit like a willow. He camped out for a while enjoying fresh cherries in the shade, and I joined him.

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When our bucket was full we left the orchard to pay and found that we had picked 12 pounds. Dan was short on cash and my mom ended up pitching in a little rather than wait for him to run all the way to the car and back. That ended the picking portion of our project.

We made a short commute to Dan’s parents’ house, where we washed, and double washed the cherries, and spread them out to dry. Later we learned that it’s best to wash the cherries right before you eat them so they stay fresh longer…oops. We wrapped up our weekend with Dan’s folks, spent the next days with the Dame’s, and arrived back home late Sunday night.

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Our plan had been to sell the cherries in pint-sized cups at the playgrounds and parks near our house. Monday morning, however, was cool and rainy and the weather report called for thunderstorms all night Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday nights we have Bible study, and we always have one of Dan’s relatives over for dinner on Thursday. There was no way the cherries were going to stay fresh until Friday, so in a desperate attempt I threw a message up on my Facebook wall:

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And much to our relief, a couple families from church bought all of our cherries! In the end we came out $20 ahead, despite all of the hiccups in our plan. (As a side note, the day we made the $20, Dan went to a college campus to tutor one of his old classmates. He ran inside to ask if he was allowed to park in a particular parking lot and on the way back found a young man writing him a ticket. He explained that he was just running in to ask if he could park there and the man responded, “Well, you can’t.” and handed him the ticket for $25)

So, was our cherry picking project a success? Yes and no. Now we know a little more about keeping cherries fresh, and we know they’ll sell down here for a profit. Maybe next year we’ll take orders ahead of time.