Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catching Up

Well - anyone who has ever kept a journal knows that you inevitably get behind... and that is where I find myself now. The last few weeks have been an incredible blur of going, and doing, and finding new things. Literally. So let me catch up,

In honor of our joint birthday celebration we stole away for a few days and went to visit one of our favorite parts of Michigan. We stayed at the Neahtawanta Inn Bed & Breakfast on Old Mission Peninsula and the much needed quiet time complete with yoga, piano playing, and good food was just the recharge we needed to fuel the busy weeks we had ahead of us!

Miles enjoyed a meal of blueberries with yoghurt while we stayed at the inn. We had the place to ourselves and we spent our time basking in sunshine and enjoying the fall colors.

This group travels with a cooler packed with the foods we love. We also picked up some more goodies at Oryana, our favorite Traverse City health food store. With our stash of fresh food we could stop and make a meal whenever the need arose. That meant that Miles was dining in some interesting places... including the back of papa's truck.

Once the food settled we went for a ride on the swings at this park overlooking the water.

Then we got to connect with the Shelp's who are the newest residents of Traverse City! They welcomed us with open arms and showed us some of their new favorite places. We walked on the shore as sunset after dining at a local pizza joint that Leo loves 110% - we agreed!

It was wonderful to catch up with our dear friends and watch as our children played together! Leo and Ava are so kind to Miles and they took such gentle care of him, it was endearing to watch. Our time was too short and we look forward to having an excuse to head up north and visit again soon.

Not long after we returned home Michael had a gig at the Twisted Rooster a (newer) venue that has been supporting local musicians. Michael and his bass player Joel played an opening set with songs from the new record. Then Michael sat in with Karisa Wilson while she played.

It was an extra special event because the music got started at a reasonable enough hour that Miles got to go to his first gig and watch papa play! He looked like a regular groupie with his high chair pulled up in the front row. I think my favorite part of the evening was the fact that he was so excited to see people clapping after each song. This led him to start clapping, something that was new at the time. Since then he has been clapping constantly, and gets so excited when we cheer for him, which only makes him clap more.

Miles and I shared a dance and then we had to leave before Karisa played because it was getting to be bedtime. Miles loves to watch people, he is at home at the grocery store, or waiting in line at the post office. That is what I think I will always remember about this night. The intense look on his face as he studied all of the faces watching his father play guitar and sing. He laughed and he smiled and he danced along, and I found myself getting a little choked up thinking about the fact that he is forming his earliest memories of his talented father sharing his gift with the world.

Next up - we had to participate in the traditional Fall trip to Robinette's Orchard that is "required" by every Grand Rapid's resident! That meant we had to take a photograph of Miles next to the big apple out front so we can watch him grow through the years! The place was packed and we stood in line for our hot cider and cake donuts before taking his ten month picture sitting in the bins full of pumpkins.

Then we put Miles to work cleaning out the community garden! He crawled through the soil as we pulled plants and prepped the beds for winter. Of course the inevitable happened and his curiosity got the best of him.

Ever wonder what a handful of mud would taste like? Well, Miles can tell you! As usual with babies it happened so quickly that Michael and I didn't even see it. When we looked over there was a long string of black drool coming from his lips. We dropped our shovels and dove to assess the situation... was there a rock in there? had he already swallowed? how much did he eat?

All the emergency scenarios ran through my head! Michael pried open his jaws and swiped a finger through his mouth. I tried to think quick - wondering what our next steps would be! It all happened so fast, then suddenly Miles flashed his wide eyed grin - quite proud of what he'd done. I realized that he was fine - just a harmless handful of dirt in the mouth. He seemed more startled by our reaction than the initial mouthful of grime. He looked at us as if to say - "Oh - you are such new parents! Every child eats dirt - it is all going to be fine." At this point Michael and I looked over his head and started to giggle, that stifled laugh that means you don't want to encourage your child to repeat the actions that lead you to laughing like this, but in the end it was pretty funny to see. Just one of the many joys of parenting!

Michael celebrated his first birthday as a father and Miles helped him blow out his candles. Yia Yia Linda had a wonderful dinner for us and we celebrated with Yia Yia Liz.

Then we went to Nonna Linda's and Paw Paw's for round two. We were treated to my mothers outrageously delicious chocolate cheesecake! YUM!

So - that gets me pretty much caught up for now! Except for the really big news - which is - that in the middle of all of this other excitement we have found a new house, and we are moving. We are moving just a short distance away and we will still be in Grand Rapids area. I will be sure to send out letters and e-mail with the new address to everyone soon! Just give me a few weeks because we are still in the beginning phases of the move.

We have tons of work to do and right now as I write Michael is packing boxes so I better go and help! We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.

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