Family.

posted on: Thursday, July 23, 2015


Frankly, unless you have some McGuinness blood running through your veins, chances are this post isn't going to do much for you. My grandpa has been having some health issues lately which have brought the out of towners in my family into town this past week and we've been soaking up the time together as a family. It's very rare to have everyone together in one place at one time. My grandparents have eleven children. (Yes, you read that correctly, eleven.) So you can imagine getting almost everyone together is hard and it's a pretty big deal when weeks like this happen.


Toward the end of a brunch we threw on sunday morning Josh was sweet enough to take some family photos of everyone out on our front porch. Unfortunately, despite the semi-miraculous number of people we were able to wrangle together from all ends of the country we were still missing two of my uncles and their spouses, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren who couldn't make it. Still, having these photos is pretty special.

 my grandparents and their five daughters

four out of six of their sons

 nine of the eleven children 

and their spouses

and one of my grandparents with most of the grand kids and great grand kids.


Looking at all of these photos while putting this post together put such a smile on my face. I just feel so lucky that we were able to have this time together. I really love these people. 

xoxo





Eight Months Old - An Update

posted on: Thursday, July 9, 2015


This girl. 

I wasn't planning on doing an update for her 8th month but she has apparently decided to knock out every conceivable milestone in a matter of three days, so I figured why not?

First of all, she has two teeth, bottom front as expected. She bites now and it hurts! She thinks this is hilarious. Also, she's been eating table foods left and right. She's still nursing and eating baby food, but what she really wants is a bite of whatever the big people are eating.

Secondly, she babbles constantly. Mostly it's all nonsensical but there are some solid da-da's in there. We're not calling it her first word because it hasn't been 100% directed at Josh yet, but as soon as she figures that out, it will be official. (Meanwhile I just keep whispering mama in her ear at every possible opportunity trying to sway the odds. I have not been successful.)

Thirdly, she can pull herself up to standing now. Right on her 8th month birthday, like she's been doing it her whole life.

Fourthly(?), Girlfriend crawled. The day after she stood for the first time, she freaking crawls?! And I promptly burst into tears. Happy, joyful tears at first - I was so proud! Then sad, self-pitying tears - my baby is growing up! Parenthood is such a dichotomy. Please pass the mood stabilizers.

Oh! And then she started drinking milk out of a sippy cup (Lori sent a picture). So basically, she's done being a baby now. It was cool while it lasted, but she's getting her college applications in order (Harvard for the name recognition or Smith for their strong feminist tendencies? Still undecided.) and packing her bags. At this rate, she'll be out of here in no time.

So pretty much, she's amazing and a baby genius and I hate it. 

But I also love it. And I love her. I love how she reaches out to be held and how we still share the same pillow at night. I love her hazel eyes and the dark ring around the the edges of her iris. I love the little birthmark on her thigh that just showed up one day and her hair color that we're still debating (auburn? strawberry blond?)  I love how she always wants to be involved in everything we're doing and is such a little social butterfly who craves attention and affection. (I am more than happy to oblige). I love her smell, and the sound of her voice and the way her personality is slowly unfurling day by day.

So, happy eight months baby love. You're on your way.





Northern Michigan for the 4th!

posted on: Wednesday, July 8, 2015


So if you've been a long time reader* of my blog, you know by this point that this space is, more than anything else, a digital scrap book for my family. I take a lot of pictures. And I put ALL of those pictures here. I can't seem to edit myself and I have no idea why. Some may call it a sickness. I call it a practice in memory conservation...or something. Potato - Potahto (no one says potahto). 

And let me just tell you, for one little weekend getaway to Michigan I sure did outdo myself with this post. I hope you're ready for some photos, friends.

*reader = disconcerted viewer of gratuitous photos of my kids.


Early Friday morning we hit the road for Traverse City/Sleeping Bear Dunes MI. We did this trip once before (minus an Ever and plus an Abby) when Oren was just a wee little thing. Those posts here, here and here. Yes, last time we went I broke those photos up into three separate posts. Prooooobably not a bad idea, but you're getting them all in one go today. Lucky you!

Like last time, Ann Arbor served as the perfect stopping point half way there. This time we stopped for breakfast at Zingerman's Roadhouse - known for their Dutch-American molasses and nutmeg donuts, which we, of course, had to sample. They sell these little confections out of an airstream trailer turned kitchen attached to the side of the restaurant and there was a line of cars wrapped around the restaurant in line for these little babies.


After breakfast and braving some intense traffic (apparently everyone else had the same idea to spend the holiday at the lake as well) we finally made it. The boys COULD NOT wait to get to the beach.



 ^^^ Paging GQ Magazine, I've got your next cover model all lined up for you^^^


Please excuse the following deluge of photos Josh took of Ever and I. I just love every single one of her little scrunched up nose and smiley face SO MUCH. I couldn't help myself.

Baby's first trip to the beach, so sue me!


^^^The sand consumption was high with this one^^^




Later we had dinner at the Little Fleet, which is just a parking lot full of Traverse City's best food trucks, plus a bar and a live band. We tried things from four different trucks and everything was fantastic. Followed by ice cream from Kilwins of course, because traditions.


 ^^^Let it be known Oren took it upon himself to "wash" the ice cream off of his hands in this fountain, rather than say, use a napkin...^^^ 


Traverse City always has their week long Cherry Festival the week of the fourth, so there was lots going on downtown, including this carnival and an airshow.  The sweet guy running this game let Oren take about 17 tries with the dart until he finally popped a balloon (Wes got his on the first try) and then he even gave Ever a little prize too! 

The next day we started out with breakfast at our favorite Traverse City restaurant and then headed out to Sleeping Bear to climb some dunes, Empire Beach to splash around in the lake and then back to Clinch Park to watch the fireworks over the lake. It was a pretty spectacular way to spend the fourth of July. 


^^^This is Weston's new favorite way to photo bomb pictures I'm taking. Everything gets the bunny ears, haha.^^^


Hope you all had a happy fourth as well!



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