Welcome Baby Marin!

Say hello to my newest niece; Marin Ava, born September 12th at 7:26pm.

Funny story – Nikki & Mark didn’t want to find out the gender before the baby was born (like with Laurel). Mom was CONVINCED this baby was going to be a boy; she bought blue EVERYTHING. So the night Marin was born, Mom was gathering up all the baby boy clothing she had bought from Kohl’s, and trying to take it back before they closed at 10pm.

Go here to view to rest of the photos.

Bridal Shower Photos and more

This past Saturday was my bridal shower up in Traverse City. It was pretty fun, as far as bridal showers go, I must say. Lots of fun games, tasty food, and family. And lots of kitchen gadget goodness! Of course, now we need a bigger kitchen to hold all the kitchen stuff. Or maybe a storage unit – Matt & I still haven’t claimed our storage unit in the basement of the apartment yet.

The day after the bridal shower, we had a surprise baby shower brunch for Nikki & Mark, since their baby is due about a month before the wedding. Apparently she had no clue, even when she walked into the restaurant and saw Mark’s family there. She was under the assumption that the brunch was for Matt & I, and was terribly confused as to why her in-laws would be at our brunch.

Photos from the Kent Trail

So the weather has finally warmed up to the point where we can start going for bike rides again. Wednesday was our second time out this season – still not up to the full 11 mile round trip, but working our way up there. The last time we went, I couldn’t believe all the flowers that were in bloom, and wished I’d brought my camera. This time I had no such regrets – I made a point of bringing my camera along. I took pictures of all sorts of pretty flowers, including these purple ones I can’t identify. I was fairly confident that it was a variety of phlox, but all the references online say that phlox has five petals, not four. Any ideas?

Slightly Tardy Update

Normally our social life is not terribly busy. Outside of the weekly gathering of our friends, and one or two nights a week at my Matt’s sister’s house, we don’t do too much. Last weekend was the freakish exception. It seems that everyone was conspiring to keep us as busy as possible last weekend. It started on Saturday – at 6pm, my grandmother was getting an award at the VFW hall in Sheridan. So, I requested to be out by 4pm, so I could change into something nicer and drive the 50 miles over to Sheridan. As it turns out, my friend Tim was also throwing a party that night, to celebrate his new job. So after the award dinner in Sheridan, we drove straight to Tim’s house in Byron Center. We arrived just as a game of poker was starting; it was for money, though, and I’m not good enough at poker to play for money, so we sat out. After an hour or two at the party, we headed back to the apartment, as I had to work Sunday morning, and Matt had church. Sunday afternoon, after church, Matt’s cousin had her college graduation open house in Holland. I didn’t go, as I was still working. 5pm on Sunday, a large-ish group of our friends met up at Logan’s Steakhouse, to celebrate Jesse & Jackie’s visit with Ian. After Logan’s, it was back to Tim’s place for the traditional Burning Party. At the Burning Party, I got some excellent pictures of the sunset, and was generally having fun with white balance on my digital camera. So there you have it; my weekend.

Stories from Easter

So I realized it’s been nearly a week, and I haven’t mentioned Easter at all! Since I just finished editing the Easter gallery, I figure it’s just about time. Last Saturday night, Matt & I drove up to Traverse City after I got out of work at 8. On the drive up, it was very snowy – once we exited 131 at Cadillac, there were quite a few patches where I couldn’t see the lines on the road at all. They said it was actually colder on Easter than it was on Christmas, and I can believe it. When we got to my parents’ place, I was actually wishing I’d worn boots instead of sneakers – there was a LOT of snow. On Easter morning, Matt & I were entrusted with hiding the Easter eggs for Laurel & Kial (my niece & nephew). Since there was snow outside, that meant the Easter Egg Hunt was indoors, which meant we had to be devious.

I think Matt was maybe a bit TOO devious – he hid one of the eggs in the sub woofer for Dad’s computer. Of course, I was no better, stashing plastic eggs in with Mom’s basket of wooden eggs. After opening baskets at their place, Nikki, Mark, Kial & Laurel headed over for Easter at Mom & Dad’s. At first Laurel didn’t seem to recognize me – it had been since Christmas since she’d seen me last, and she’s not quite 2 yet. She didn’t seem to recognize Matt, but he had shaggy hair & a beard at Christmas. Of course, it didn’t take her long to recognize me – at Christmas I would lift her under her arms and make like I was going to toss her, and she would shriek and giggle and come back for more. I only had to do that maybe once, and she seemed to remember me. Every time I set her down, she would come running back to me, stomp her little feet, put her arms up and say either “Up!” or “Whooshy!” She did that at Christmas too, but it was more of a “Slave! My feet have TOUCHED THE GROUND! Pick me up!”

So after having tossed her a few times, I had a new permanent shadow. It was especially fun when I pulled out my DS Lite with Sudoku. Apparently Laurel is starting to learn some of her numbers, and the DS has a TOUCH SCREEN, which she discovered made noises and did things when you touched it. So after attempting to actually play for about 30 seconds with a 2 year old in my lap “helping” me play, I gave up and we turned it into a game. “Which one is the 6, Laurel?” “Good Job! You hit the 6!” She was actually pretty good with it, when she wasn’t trying to yank it out of my hands so she could hold it herself. I’m not crazy enough to let a toddler hold my DS Lite.

All in all, I was shocked at how long she lasted without a nap – Nikki said she got up at 6 or 7 am, and we tried to put her down for a nap around 1 or so, and she was having none of that. We could tell she was starting to get cranky, though – she got a diaper change around 4pm, and left the bedroom running full tilt, slipped on the tile and landed hard. All we could hear was “BANG!” followed by wailing. That’s how you can tell she’s cranky; Nikki doesn’t make a big deal out of it when Laurel falls and bumps herself, so she doesn’t learn to start wailing at the littlest thing. Unless she’s tired.

Nikki picked her up, and then passed her off to Mark, who then passed her off to me. Apparently she wanted me, because she stopped screaming as soon as I took her. It was at that point that we started commenting on the fact that she had gone quite a while without a nap, and like that, she nodded off in my lap. At that point, everyone started heading home, and Matt & I started packing to head back to Grand Rapids. The drive down was much better than the drive up; the weather was much nicer, and for whatever reason the drive down always seems faster than the drive up.

Which brings us to Saturday. Mom called Saturday afternoon; apparently she got their photos from Easter developed, and was going through them with Laurel. Mom always plays the “Who is This?” game with Laurel, pointing out people in pictures and waiting for Laurel to identify them. She’s actually pretty good at that game; she can point out quite a few friends and family that she sees regularly. I know Mom & Nikki were trying to get her to say “Aunt Carrie” but it always seemed to come out as “Ah Kah,” which is pretty close I guess. So when Mom got to a picture with me in it, she turned to Laurel and asked who was in the picture, seeing if she would say “Aunt Carrie.” At which point Laurel pointed to me, and said “Whooshy.” That’s right, I exist to toss her in air.

Link to Gallery

Password for the Wedding Dress Gallery

Since Matt doesn’t trust himself to go to the gallery and NOT look at the wedding dress, I’m going to be password protecting that gallery. Apparently he’s ok with seeing the password, but if it’s not protected, he doesn’t trust himself. Ok, I guess. So, for everyone who is interested, the password is weddingdress.