Warmin’ Up for Ladder Golf

Dan’s grandparents have a dog named Lady. Lady is pretty cute, pretty well behaved, and pretty friendly. But she hates it when birds get into the pine tree outside. She hates it so much that she jumps and bites branches off of the bottom of the pine tree. Then she barks and runs in circles with her eyes fixed on whatever bird has invader “her” tree.

The Saturday morning of the Dexter Family Reunion was rainy. Lydia didn’t mind because when we got to Gramma and Grampa’s house she got to play in the puddles in their driveway. We took Abby inside and watched as Lydia splashed in puddles and Lady barked at the birds. Grampa got in some good time holding Abby, and everyone enjoyed an extravagant potluck lunch.

 photo Abbycloseup_zps5985e210.jpg

 photo lydiapuddle_zpse1913d2a.jpg

 photo lady_zps78b004b5.jpg

 photo grampaabby2_zps9841f454.jpg

 photo lounging_zps99022772.jpg

Once all of that was over it was time for some serious competition. Lawn games were set up and everyone found a partner. Grampa kept score because Dexters are very competitive and there were prizes to be had. Uncle Gene and Gramma fought over who got to hold Abby.

 photo grampayelling_zpsbdc9ba49.jpg

 photo Danlawngame_zps5d1a5aee.jpg

 photo laddergolf_zps3fbb2e0a.jpg

I especially like this picture because it captures the heat of the moment: ladder golf newbies, a devestating miss on the cornhole game, and Dan warming up on the stationary bike.

 photo lawngameexcitement_zpsd8d2ee4d.jpg

At the end of the day Grampa rang the bell on his “train” (pulled behind a four wheeler and definitely not up to any safety codes) and the kids scrambled to get on. It was an intense ride but after the fact Lydia claimed to have enjoyed it, and no one was hurt (although we did blow a tire). Everyone was exhausted by the time we piled back into the car and it was a relatively quiet ride home.

 photo trainride_zps69bf9c84.jpg

 photo trainride2_zps8da45a7b.jpg

 photo carseat_zps2999b98b.jpg


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.

 photo wraps_zpsdd28b03d.jpg

 photo Abbystrollerlunch_zps6184fd7d.jpg

 photo Abbygrass_zps1de33949.jpg

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

 photo Lydiastroller_zpscbf1d668.jpg

 photo Abbystroller_zps7ba0bd34.jpg

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.

 photo thinkingaboutit_zps8e9c3e1f.jpg

 photo waterpark_zps367bff4b.jpg

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!”.

 photo thisisafuntime_zps83daa5ca.jpg

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.

 photo Pier_zps477f5dde.jpg

 photo DanAbbypier_zpsfdbd64fb.jpg

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.

 photo Feet_zps991e2436.jpg

 photo Abbysandybeach_zpsee544c5a.jpg

 photo Lydiawater_zpsf242c846.jpg

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).

 photo peninsula_zpsa3e7996e.jpg

 photo Abbywatching_zps3ceef2f4.jpg

 photo Lydiapics_zps78727092.jpg

 photo cherries_zpsdfba9d85.jpg

 photo DanJustine_zpsb73306dd.jpg

 photo cherryjuice_zpsa621edc9.jpg

 photo pickedcherries_zpsa251662b.jpg

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.

 photo NanaAbby_zps7d6ab21d.jpg

 photo Lydiacold_zps279dad94.jpg

 photo Abbycold_zps78a4320f.jpg

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. 🙂

 photo NanaandLydia_zps6fc4c22e.jpg

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

We’re Off Again!

 photo suitcase_zps41da6f55.jpg

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!