Easter weekend brought some of the nicest weather we’ve had this spring. About time, I say! It’s just nice to be outside. The weekend flew by, though. Visiting, cooking, baking, egg decorating, Easter basket rummaging, driving, hiking, bike riding. When there are a lot of “ings” involved, time seems to go by much faster.

Whose bright idea was it to go into the corn maze?

Oh, that’s right. It was mine!

Next time? Slap me. 75-degree heat is not the most comfortable environment for tromping around between dried-out husks of corn in a 5-acre maze. It seemed like a lot of fun for the first 10 minutes or so. Until the sweat started running down my back and we found ourselves seemingly going in circles. When we finally found the bridge, I thought for sure we were on the right track. But we ended out coming out right back where we’d started.


I’m honestly not that much of a curmudgeon. It was a beautiful day and the kiddos had loads of fun. And trekking through the maze was excellent exercise. Which may be why I gobbled down two and a half donuts when we made it back to civilization!

A day here and there


For the first time in years, I have real vacation time. The kind where I get paid for my relaxation efforts instead of losing out on my revenue stream any time I take a day off. This year, though, we haven’t been able to take our customary family vacations. So I hadn’t been using my time or even thinking of how to use it. Until I realized the advantages of taking a day or two off throughout the summer season and getting some extra time to myself.

I actually took three this time around and still have two of them left. Friday Dev and I drove to the other side of the state to visit friends (one of whom is pictured above). We spent a couple of days there just doing nothing. (Well, I did nothing…he played!) Now I just have to figure out what to do with my Monday and Tuesday this week. Oh, the possibilities.

Four years later


Here they are again!

I remember when I met these girls and their brother. They were practically toddlers. The youngest will be graduating from high school next year. Egads! Devin found them to be charming, of course. How could he not?

I loved my weekend


For starters, the weather was amazing. Sunshine, breezes, mild temps. Spring. Le sigh.

Devin and I drove down to my mom’s in Kalamazoo to hang out for a couple of days. We spent a lot of time outside, of course, including a trip to the Portage Creek Bicentennial Park, where Devin biked along while my mom and I got in some exercise and conversation.

The next day we visited with Kevin and his lovely daughter, Chloe. Lunch at Food Dance (which I can never resist) followed by an impromptu visit to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The kids had a blast together. They ran everywhere. I swear I got exhausted just watching them.

Dev fell asleep in the car on our ride home last night, so Scott settled him into his bed and we grabbed some wine and sat on the deck for the first time this year. Total bliss.

Today the kid got in two bike rides, I made it to the gym, and we went to a birthday party at the GR Children’s Museum. Whew! So much busyness that the guys were both in bed by 8:00. That means I get the TV to myself. So off I go!

Wow…a family photo!


This doesn’t happen all that often. And it only happened tonight because Devin’s daycare teacher requested we turn them in this week for a book they’re making. When the pressure’s on, we deliver!

It’s always tons easier when the kid gets to take the photo too. He loves that handy dandy remote something fierce. Even after we moved from the spot, he was still pressing the button and taking pics of the mantel.

We had one where all three of us were looking at the camera, but I love the way Dev’s eying Juliette here. She, in turn, is looking as uncomfortable as possible. If only we could have found a way to include the cats!


Well, the fun had to come to an end at some point. The ornament stash is about complete. We’d agreed to send them out around Thanksgiving so that we could get them on our trees. So I expect to see only a couple more showing up in the mailbox this week. It was sad to reach in there today and come up with only bills and advertisements.

From Michaela in California…


From Lauren in Chicago…


From Kelly in Wisconsin…


From Mary Beth in Baltimore…


From Karin in New York…


I am buried beneath an avalanche of love!

Another ornament-only post because I’m incredibly tired and want very much to snuggle under my flannel sheets and down comforter. Is that too selfish, I ask?

I have many, many, many ornaments. I’ve photographed most of them, but the mailbox continues to spew forth. It is happy making.

From Kim in Edmonton…


From Christa in Washington…


From Jeanne in North Carolina…


From Ann in LA…


And from Rachel in LA…


New bling for my holiday tree

Yes, yes, I know. Thanksgiving is still a week away. So why begin peppering my blog with Christmas decorations?

Because my mom’s group is doing an ornament exchange and the goodies have already turned up in my mailbox. Oh, joy!

The first one is from Barbara in Massachusetts, patterned on a popular PJ pattern from Old Navy that we all gleefully glommed on to. She handed these out at our New England gathering in October.


The second one is from Christine in Germany. I can tell you honestly and without shame that mine are not nearly as crafty as this. I’ll be using these as inspiration for next year, that’s for sure. But just imagine making 40 of these.

More pics to come as the mail arrives!


Oh, my aching feet!


Weekend was fun!

Walked around the outlet mall on Saturday.

Walked around Antioch on Sunday.

Walked around the Chicago Botanic Garden on Monday.

Walked, walked, walked, walked around downtown on Monday as well.

I have blisters. Sigh.

It was great to catch up with Renee and Viv and to just relax for a bit. It was also great to meet Lori in person and spend a few hours chatting with someone new. And it’s great to be home and be with my guys. Because I missed them tons!