Sunday, April 23, 2017

11th Birthday Party!!!!

As I sit to type this post, we are back home in Indiana after a wonderful few days in Michigan enjoying Gracie's birthday party.  That's right!  This year in lieu of a big blowout party, she requested a stay at an adorable cabin on Big Creek in Michigan.  Matt and I happily obliged. 
We checked Gracie out of school early on Thursday afternoon and drove up to Michigan.  We enjoyed three days in this beautiful cabin.  The cabin was actually built in 1930 and has been completely renovated.  It sits just 100 feet from the Big Creek River which runs alongside the house.  On this 10 acres, you will also find an 18 hole putt putt course that winds through the woods.  It was adorable and Lily Grace loved it!  
We barely had internet reception, never turned on the TV other than to listen to music while we ate and spent time together laughing a lot and making tons of memories.  According to Gracie Cakes, it has been the best birthday party yet!!  Matt and I would agree.  
On Tuesday, Lily Grace will turn 11 years old.  Wow!  As she gets older, having her to ourselves to make such special and lasting memories is a gift to us all.  
Thank you for a wonderful time!  We love you to pieces Taco Cat! šŸ˜€ 

So adorable
We arrived to a handwritten note and homemade banana bread.

This fireplace was the place to be in the cold evenings.
We each grabbed a book or played a game of cards.

Gracie chose this cute room.
Matt and I chose this room.
This was our favorite spot in the house.  Matt and I
enjoyed coffee here in the mornings looking out over
the woods and water.  We ate our meals here at the adjacent
table and were always entertained by the birds and squirrels.

This beautiful little waterfall was across the creek
behind the house.  It was so peaceful.

The view from the dock down stream.

Putt Putt through the woods
Matt and LG took each other on.
The 18 hole putt putt course was complete with
obstacles, even the old windmill obstacle.
We were asked to put out seed each morning to
keep both the furry and feather friends coming back
each day.  Lily Grace was all to happy to take on
this job.  She woke bright and early each morning,
eager to get out there.
We saw lots of finches, blue jays, wild turkey,
deer and squirrels.  However, this was the first time
any of us had seen a black coated squirrel.  He actually
looked like a cat from a distance.  
At her request, one morning Gracie and I
made homemade strawberry cupcakes with icing.

We ventured out to explore different parts
of the Au Sable River.

Matt got us a large fire going in the fire pit.
I enjoyed coffee and staying warm.  Matt and LG 

enjoyed S'mores.
We spent a beautiful spring day wetting
a line on the Au Sable River.

Gracie's cast and shooting the line gets
better and better.
On each drive to the Au Sable, we
would pass a little country store with a sign
advertising homemade sticky buns.  Finally,
no longer able to pass it by, Matt had to stop.  I
will say, those buns were quite tasty and yes,
very sticky and gooey.  In addition to the buns, we
ended up leaving with a homemade chocolate
chip cookie and pepper jelly.  

We enjoyed cooking out and playing cards
out at the picnic table. 
Matt and I took each other on in
horseshoes in the woods and I left

We spent our last evening out on the dock
wetting a line and laughing.
That about sums it up!  Gracie signed the
guest book for us.  So sweet!

Sunday morning before saying Good-bye

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Break!

This past week, we enjoyed Spring Break.  We started out by hanging in LA a few days.  (That's "Local Area."  Crack me up!  Gracie told me that.)  We spent the second half in Charleston, SC where our nephew, Mason was married.  Lily Grace had the honor of being a Junior Bridesmaid.  
This spring break was definitely an eventful one.  
We started by taking in Beauty and the Beast at the movies. 

Gracie Cakes and I whipped up a cheesecake to celebrate Matt making the Purdue Dean's List. 
Lily Grace got an unexpected treat over Spring Break.  She wants a new bike for her birthday at the end of April since she has outgrown her old one.  We took her to the bike shop on Monday and let her get her bike early.  To get it home we had to let the seats down and she had to ride in the front on the way home.  By law she is allowed to do this, but her parents don't allow it so she took total advantage of it.  She was so excited and asked if I could swing through the Chick-fil-A drive through of course.  
Her new Trek 26"  out for her first ride

She even beat me up one morning and surprised me with breakfast.
And here is where the crazy starts.  Our flight from Indiana started off slow as we sat on the tarmac for an hour as snow poured and required the de-icing trucks.  We then made it to Atlanta with a little time before our next flight to Charleston, only to play the waiting game.  Delta canceled over 300 flights due to weather the day before and the airport was a zoo filled with tired and upset travelers.  Out flight was delayed about 6 times and we spent almost five hours in the Atlanta airport.
We spent a ton of time in the Sky Club entertaining ourselves.
And we aggravated Matt as he tried to get a little work done.
And finally, after having gotten up at 3:00 a.m. to catch our first flight and being delayed numerous times and eventually canceled, Gracie could take no more and fell asleep reading. 
That's also the point when frustrated and tired, we hired a new pilot.  We rented a car and then drove five hours from Atlanta to Charleston.  We finally got to bed around midnight and I don't think any of us had a hard time going to sleep.
A view of downtown Charleston from our hotel balcony.
The next day after our loooong travel from IN to SC, I realized I left my shoes that I wanted to wear with my rehearsal dinner dress and Matt realized that he left his beard trimmer.  So, after sleeping in we went for shoes and and a trimmer.  We returned with enough time for lunch and an hour by the pool before having to get dressed for the rehearsal.  Gracie took full advantage.

Lily Grace was so excited to hold Owen.  She and Lydia were all smiles and Owen just seemed unsure about it all. 
We hit King Street the morning of the wedding to get Gracie's hair done, a pedicure and a little looking around. 
Thanks for the great pic Gracie Cakes!
LG and Sarah in the bridal suite getting dressed.
Gracie looked beautiful and was thrilled to be wearing a blush pink dress.
Her hair turned out amazing!
Gracie did a wonderful job as junior bridesmaid.
Lydia the flower girl was smitten with Lily Grace.  Lily Grace enjoyed keeping her entertained.  
Lily Grace with Aunt Vel.
The wedding was beautiful.
From the rehearsal to the reception, these two could be found together.
Gracie couldn't wait to get a slice of this cake and loved the gold bottom tier.  
With her cousins Zachary and Owen- People think Zachary looks a lot like his Uncle Matt.
Gracie with her cousin Mason and Sarah.  Thank you both so much for including her in your special day. 
One of Gracie's favorite things to do at a wedding is dance.  Her daddy didn't hesitate to join her so she could be first on the dance floor.  They are too cute!