Monday, October 5, 2015

A Bit of Honesty.

Guys, I enjoy blogging. My blog isn't super well known (despite going viral almost two years ago), and I'm far from famous. But I don't care. That's never been my goal. My original plan with this blog was to keep family and friends updated on our life, and that's still the goal.

Two of my favorite blogs, are written by two ladies who just live their lives doing what they enjoy, they blog about their days, some recipes, some fitness, and they aren't really dedicated to one thing in particular. That's always kind of been what my blog has been about, and I don't see that changing.

So, with that said, you can probably expect to see a little more from me, though I'm not committing to any kind of schedule or anything. Just sharing my life with those that care to know about it. :)
I think a good place to start is what's been going on in the last few months of life.
Six months ago, we relocated from western South Dakota to west Michigan. I said little to nothing about our move on any kind of social media because I was upset about it. Matt's warehouse/office in Rapid City was closing (he buys produce to sell to grocery stores), and he could either find another job in Rapid City, or relocate to the company headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI. Obviously, you know the route he took.

I'm a real person, so I'll be honest. This was a very difficult thing for me. I had friends and people in South Dakota that meant a great deal to me, and I genuinely felt a part of the community. I was five weeks into a new job that I really enjoyed when he came home one day and told me the Rapid City warehouse was closing. I remember simply walking upstairs to the bathroom without saying a word, closing the door, and crying. Because before it was ever discussed, I knew what the outcome would be.

I put my notice in at my job (which was extremely difficult), and started looking for a job in Michigan. I found a temp opportunity at SpartanNash (same company Matt works for). I wasn't thrilled about a temp job, but a temp job in Ohio in 2008 turned into permanent employment that lasted for four and a half years, so I tried to remain positive. I did end up getting permanently hired into the company, and the job is going well. But I'd be lying if I said everything is awesome with life here in Michigan.

I don't believe in the constant fake portrayal of perfection on social media. I could choose to show pictures of camping trips, smiles, backyard football games, my adorable kids, make comments about how blessed I am (which I am, don't get me wrong), and make it look like it's all sunshine and roses. But I try to keep it real. I'm lonely, and my heart is struggling.

I was talking with someone locally, and he told me that people in west Michigan are quite "provincial," meaning they don't accept new people into their fold. I've found that to be very true. I've reached out within the celiac community, the type 1 diabetes community, we've visited two churches, and I feel like I'm hitting brick walls. People will make small talk, but it's like no one is looking to form any kind of relationships or friendships beyond the ones they already have. I'm frustrated.
I'll be ok, no need to worry. I'm just kind of "stuck" in this funk right now. My sweet and ornery boys continue being the happiness in my world, and I'm drinking in their silliness as much as possible.
I'm also trying to refocus and relocate my fitness motivation that's gone by the wayside since we moved. I've put on a few pounds (nothing crazy), and they've been VERY stubborn. My focus is no longer a specific body fat percentage, or even a number on the scale though. It's health. I want to be physically fit, healthy heart, and healthy mind and soul. The last part has been the most challenging, but I'm a work in progress!
We're headed into the most crazy and busy time of the year, and with my limited spending budget this year, I hope to busy myself with some homemade gifts for the little ones in the family. (SEVEN kids besides my own to buy/create for this year. Ouch.)
There is an early Thanksgiving family get-together at my parents' house in a few weeks, and I'm ridiculously excited for that. There will be family in from Illinois, Missouri, Arizona, and Michigan.
So - lots to look forward to in the coming months. Hopefully I can break out of this funk.
In the mean time, if you have any positive vibes or prayers to send my way, they wouldn't hurt!
Thanks for sticking by me as I try to figure out how I want to continue being involved in social media, as well as work through a bit of a tough time in my life.
Posts moving forward will hopefully be a bit more fun and positive!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Future of This Blog

Maybe you've noticed. Good chance is you haven't noticed. Ha! I've been sharing much less of my life here on the old blog. Posts have been fewer and farther between.
I can't really speak to what the future of this blog is right now. I'm going to be taking a hiatus (which I kind of have already been taking) to think about things.
I've been feeling like I want to step back a bit from the social media world, and this "modern" society we live in. Both for my own protection, and for the protection of my family. Also for my sanity.
I've had a Facebook account for ten years. It has its benefits, of course. Some of those are:
Being able to stay in touch with those loved ones who don't live near to us.
Seeing photos of our friends' children.
Learning who's just found out they're expecting.
Yes, there are benefits. But in my own life, the negative vibe far outweighs any benefit.

Social media is toxic.
I'm aware that the statement I'm about to make is bold, to say the least. But we all know boldness hasn't stopped me before. :)

Social media has made my generation the most tragic generation in history.
Here's why I feel that way:
We're distracted to the point of being dangerous.
Texting and driving is illegal, but we know very well it's still done all the time. We can't wait 15 minutes to check that text message we heard come in.

I'm scared to go for walks or jogs, let alone take the kids on bike rides. I don't know who's driving down the street that is paying more attention to their phone than they are the road, who's going to plow right into me.

We can't spell or use proper grammar. Either that, or we're too lazy to put forth the effort.
I cringe when I read texts, Facebook statuses, or comments on articles. Not always for what they say, but the giant failures I see at their attempt to say it. My grammar isn't always perfect, I admit. But it's painful to read (or try to read) the things people want to say. Mis-spellings of very common words, not a punctuation mark to be found, and terrible grammar. Oh, it hurts.
We are very self-centered, and assume everyone cares a lot much about what we post.
We waited 76 minutes at the doctor office. We're sharing our 4th selfie.....before lunch. We share 13 angles of back-to-school photos.

It's awesome to love yourself and to love your family. But we find it extremely hard to accept that not everyone loves to see us, or what we post.
We're "bullies."
(I hate that word, by the way.) We would never walk up to someone and call them an ignorant idiot to their face, simply because their opinion differs from our own. But it's nothing to call people names like that, and ones much worse, in the comment thread of a news article.
Besides being bullies, we're very judgemental.
We read an article, posted by a news source that is obviously on one side of the political spectrum or the other, where details are often skewed and/or left out. We come down VERY hard on the people in the news stories, without having the proper facts. We are very quick to call people terrible parents, horrible people, stupid people, bigots, etc. But the truth is that we weren't directly involved in the situations about which we read, and we truly have no idea how things really went down. We (should) know by now that stories aren't reported correctly. Depending on your new source of choice, facts about the situation are mis-reported, under-reported, or ignored completely.
Speaking of facts....
We take everything as fact.
Facebook is going to start charging a fee.
Ants and dogs won't even touch aspartame, so it's poison.
Texas has started requiring drug tests to qualify for welfare. Share to show your support.
Celebrity X has passed away! Please pray!
Share this and JoeBob Schmoe will give you $5,000!
It only takes a moment to ask the googles for assistance in verifying whether or not something is true before sharing it. More often than not, a very bored teenager created this "fact," in an attempt to see how viral it could go, and we're sharing complete nonsense.
We don't know what intimacy means anymore.
I'm not referring to sex. I'm referring to something that's shared with only a select few people. (And I'm referring to "shared" as something having been experienced. Not hit a re-post button on social media.) It's special, it's not shared with the world. Just you and your loved ones.

Laughing with your family and/or a group of close friends about something your child said or did is an amazing feeling full of warmth and love. Sitting with friends around a campfire or a table and laughing about your crazy shenanigans from 10 years ago....such a special feeling. That's not the case when it's shared with your 497 Facebook friends. In fact, it might cause stress or anxiety if you don't get "enough" likes quickly enough.
Which brings me to my next point.
We feel inadequate in the shadow of "perfection."
It's really easy to hop onto Instagram and immediately feel like a failure. One of your friends got a new car, and you're still driving your car that's 9 model years old.
You get your work clothes at Goodwill because they're much more affordable and no one has ever known they're second hand. But your neighbor's aunt's best friend is showing off her new Michael Kors bag.
Your cousin is posting about how blessed she is to be these babies' momma and her life has never been better in all of her 30-something years. You've snapped at your kids 4 times today and you're currently not speaking to your spouse while you chisel dried cereal out of yesterday's breakfast dishes.
As a result, we're in debt up to our eyeballs.
See previous point. We get a brand new $35,000 truck so we feel adequate in today's consumer society, drive it a few years, then feel the need to get a newer one.

We feel the need to spend $1,000 per child to send them back to school in their Under Armor outfits, and do extra-curricular activities (which are not all bad, don't mis-quote me here), and buy them all the toys we think they need, and tablets, and phones, and 8 pairs of shoes.....all name brand of course.

As someone who is currently clawing her way out of credit card debt, I fully realize how crazy it all is. We no longer think of how much money something is actually going to cost us, but rather how much the monthly payment is, and whether or not we can fit it into our budgets for that month. We don't think long term about money.

The only way we experience things is through the lens of a camera.
Been to the zoo? To the playground with your kids? Anywhere? In the age of camera-phones and photo-sharing platforms, we're so desperate to get the perfect shot that we stop our children from running, playing, and having a good time, and we spend the most beautiful sunrise or sunset taking 84 photos of it, then trying to put the perfect filter on it so it looks even "better." My opinion is that it's more beautiful when experienced with your eyes and soul than any filter can make it.

A study was done and showed that by taking pictures of everything, we're actually hindering our ability to remember those events, times, places, etc.
We don't hold conversations anymore, let alone smile at strangers.
Stood in a line anywhere lately? Tried to speak to someone you don't know out in public?
Not only do people not acknowledge anyone else around them, they'll often become annoyed at someone else's attempt at conversation, or even a simple hello. It's sad.

The other day, someone I know shared a photo of her 3 young children "on a lunch date." All three of them sat across the table from her.....staring at tablets. And she was obviously on her phone taking a picture of them. I'm imagining being another patron of that restaurant, looking over at that scene. I don't see a mom enjoying time with her children. I see a tragedy.

They could have been practicing reading or math. They could have been drawing or coloring magical creations while they awaited their food. They could have been talking about the magical dragon world those kids created that morning. They could have been talking about......anything. But they weren't even talking.
Every molehill becomes a mountain.
(Always searching for our 15 minutes of social media fame.)
We got bad service at a restaurant? We no longer approach the manager and respectfully resolve the problem. Instead, we post about it on facebook and see how many shares it can get so that we can damage the reputation of an entire restaurant because one of the servers was having a rough day.
Someone at McDonald's messed up our order? Instead of going back inside and politely asking them to correct it - which they'll do, I assure you, we rant about it on facebook and make someone feel like they're stupid and unworthy as an employee because they made a simple mistake on 1 of their 846 orders they took that day.

A few women (who really have no importance in the grand scheme of things) made foolish comments about nurses. While this was uncalled for and I have a great respect for nurses, people have been up in arms about the comments, have blown it out of proportion, and have started a "movement," all because of viral social media.

I know some people are thinking it - I was one of these people who went viral almost two years ago based on a piece I wrote about modern parenting. So who am I to be talking down on all these things now?
The beautiful thing about the passage of time is that we can learn. We can step back, look at something from varying perspectives, and learn from our experiences. I still back every opinion I wrote in that post almost two years ago that landed Hendrix and I in New York City. But if I were to do it over again, I probably would have worded it a bit differently to show more respect for people who *don't* feel the same way. Because those people and their opinions are no worse than me and mine.

We're more divided than ever as a nation.
Racism has always existed. Obviously - look at the history of this country. But as we all know, it's flared back up with a vengeance. I think it's normal for these things to happen, but I believe 100% that social media has made it worse.

News outlets post a biased story, people comment with rude and nasty statements, and emotions flare. Fights break out in the comment threads of just about every article shared. The same thing happens with politics, parenting, morality issues, you name it.

Our "fighting" from our keyboards, paired with heavily biased new "reporting" has this country in a divided, tragic, mess.

Social media is the biggest downfall of humanity in the last five years, in my opinion. I got my first smart phone (Blackberry Storm) at the end of 2008. I believe there was a Facebook Ap, but it hadn't taken us by storm yet at that point. That didn't really start happening until 2010, as I can remember it. It's gotten worse and worse with the passing years. It's made us more anti-social, selfish, and angry than ever. 

So with all of that said, I'm going to be stepping back. This is my personal choice - what everyone else does on social media is their choice and I'm not saying my way is right and/or your way is wrong.

I can't change what society has become, but I can change myself, and encourage those close to me to do the same.
I might be back, I might not. At this point in time, I can't make that call.

If you're interested in having my phone number or email to keep in touch, please send me a message and I'd be happy to share that information with those I know personally.

Whether I continue blogging or not, thank you to all of you who have shown me support over the years on my blog. I hope to catch up with you someday soon - over coffee! Not a Facebook message!

Take care, and God bless!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Stop. The. Judgement.

Stories of children being left in the car. They're tragic, they're popping up far more than I'd ever care to see, and they definitely tug at my heartstrings. I'm sure this post will have me pegged as heartless and un-caring, but that's the opposite of how I feel about children being left in cars. It's horrible. But so are the comments people make about the parents.

Scroll the comments of any Child-Left-In-The-Car article on social media and I 110% guarantee you'll see a whole lot of this:

"That mom/dad should be left in a hot car to die."
"Lock him/her up and throw away the key."
"That person needs to be put to death for what he/she did."
"(S)he totally deserves to die for what (s)he did."
"Let me at him/her. I'll make him/her regret doing that soooo bad."

Sometimes, people do very cruel things that we will never understand. I'm not denying it.

But sometimes, human beings make mistakes. Let me share a story with you.

One day, when I lived in Ohio, and Hendrix was about 10 months old, I was driving to work on a typical day. This would have been late summer or fall. My mind was busy. I was focusing on one of the 13 never-ending to-do lists circulating in my head. Perhaps I was thinking about plans we had for that weekend, what I needed to grab at the store for dinner that night, I don't know. We live in an age of distraction now more than ever, folks. It could have been anything.
Hendrix's daycare was right next to my office - almost in the same parking lot. I had the radio on softly, and I pulled into work. I reached over to the passenger seat, started rounding up my things for work that day: my purse, my lunchbox, etc. Then I looked in the backseat. Maybe Hendrix moved, or maybe it was instinct, but I looked in the backseat, and there sat my sweet blond little boy. Not making a peep. Just looking at me. In silence, as he often was while in the car. Probably looked pretty similar to this:

My kids can't stay silent for more than 2.578 seconds these days, but when they were young and before they could talk, they didn't tend to be noisy in the car at all. If they weren't crying, you'd never know they were there.

I had driven right by Hendrix's daycare, pulled into work, and was getting ready to get out of the car and go into my office when I realized I had forgotten to drop him off and that he was still in the car. Fortunately, I ran him quickly to daycare, worked my day at the office, and all was well.
I pride myself on being a very loving, organized, has-it-all-together type of mom. I plan each week, down to the smallest details. I make menus, buy groceries on the same day each week, make sure my kids have what they need every day for special activities or snacks at daycare and school, etc. But I almost forgot my child in the car while I went to work one day.
Before you immediately make horrible comments about a situation, please consider that there are facts of which you are 100% unaware. Because you weren't there physically, in that car. You weren't there in that parent's mind to know all the thoughts, emotions, and distractions present.
You. Don't. Know.
In absolutely no way, shape, or form, am I condoning putting your child in danger. Yes, you should *always* check the back seat before getting out of your car. That's common sense.
But we are human beings. We err. We make mistakes. We forget things.
Stop crucifying someone for making a mistake, unless you've never made one before in your life.

And my best guess is that that's exactly 0% of the population with decision-making abilities.

Have a good weekend, friends.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Circle B Campground - Angola, Indiana

As I have mentioned before, my bucket list for this summer is long, and time remaining in the summer season is short. It makes me sad, though I can't say I'm not ready for fall either. I guess we just have to make the most of the time we have left.
We finally got out and went camping this past weekend, and what fun we had! Our good friends from Ohio met us, so the boys got to play with their friends as well.

I got off of work a little early, we hooked up, and headed out around 3:45. We arrived to the campground around 6. It was sooooo busy! We had to sit and wait in the vehicle just to check in, but the check-in and pulling into our site went smoothly.

The boys got right to playing as Matt and I set up the camper.

Saturday morning, all the boys woke up and we discovered that all four of them had on Spiderman PJ's. Definitely couldn't pass up that photo opportunity. :)

Friday night, Hendrix was off playing, and then he came up to Matt and I and asked if he could go to the playground with his new friend, Caitlyn. Hendrix and Caitlyn were thick as thieves on Friday night, but she and Jameson became best buddies Saturday. Especially when we discovered that she has celiac disease like him.
Saturday, before lunch, we were going on a walk around the campground, and Jameson and Caitlyn were walking behind Matt and I. They were chatting it up, and Caitlyn was asking Jameson about his diabetes and his pump (you can see his site there on his left arm).
Without any drama or skipping a single beat, Jameson said to her, "That's my pump site. If I take it off, I'll die."
Ok, folks. I'm glad he appreciates the importance of getting insulin, and the reality is that without insulin he would eventually die, yes. BUT I don't really want him thinking he's that fragile, nor do I want him telling his friends this. People already don't understand Type 1 Diabetes, and I don't want to further spread any misinformation or a false sense of drama. (If there's one thing that grates my nerves, it's type 1 families moms acting like every high or low is the end of the world.) I didn't say anything, but I think we definitely need to sit down and have a talk.
He's started understanding that when he's low, he needs to eat and that when he's high, he needs insulin, so it's starting to make more sense to him now that he's older. I think it's a good time to be honest with him about both the severity of the disease - **IF not well controlled** - but also the fact that he's not a fragile little flower and that he can do anything he puts his mind to.
Aaaand that he's not going to immediately perish the moment we take his site off. Hahaha. Silly little boy.

Anyway, sorry for that little tangent.
Saturday afternoon, we headed down to the swimming beach and swam our hearts out! I didn't take my phone or camera with me to the beach for fear of them getting lost/stolen/ruined, so I have no pictures of our fun, but it was great. Hendrix fished with his buddy Wes, then joined us for swimming later. We swam for a couple hours, then the kids wanted to go to the playground, so we just let them kind of lead the way, and the moms followed and got to chat.
Good grief I miss being able to chat with my girlfriends.
Saturday evening, everyone pitched in for dinner. We had grilled chicken, cheesy potatoes, pasta salad, and fresh fruit with a very good fruit dip for dessert! We all ate plenty and it was delicious.




I was pretty impressed with the campground. You never really know what you're getting into when you base things solely off of a campground's website. I mean, what website is going to say, "It's a nice campground, but gets really crowded and the bathrooms tend to get pretty nasty when it's hot out." Ha!
As I mentioned, it was definitely full and crowded, but I'd say about 80% of the sites are seasonal (meaning people park their big rigs in May and don't pull them out until September/October), which I think plays a big part in keeping the grounds nice.
The bathrooms were pleasantly surprising. Nothing special about the toilets or stalls, but the showers were an unexpected piece of awesome. They were not cinder block or cement, as I expected, but rather fiberglass, stalled out showers. They appeared completely clean. Soap scum and the thought of sharing showers with strangers tends to really gross me out, but I felt comfortable taking a shower Saturday afternoon. Hot water was not an issue either.
There was not a pool, but rather a small swimming beach. The beach looked small and the water looked a little dirty when we checked it out in the morning, but when we went down to swim that afternoon, I didn't feel overcrowded, and the water seemed to have cleared up a bit. Maybe it was because all of the splashing kids pushed the dirtiness away. Ha.
The one thing I was most pleased with was the noise level. With the large number of people camping, and the close proximity of the sites, I was worried that people would be loud late into the night, but I had no trouble falling asleep, nor did I get woken up during the night due to loud or unruly campers.
Overall, it was a really nice place to camp, a good mid-point for the buckeyes and Michiganders to meet, and I'd definitely be up for camping there again!
We had a great weekend, and are already starting to think about meeting up for a fall trip.
Do you like to camp? Where's your favorite spot?
How do you camp: tent? pop-up? big rig?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Garden Update - July 2015

Happy Wednesday!
I realized last evening that I haven't shared any garden progress in a while.
I planted a lettuce bed twice and it didn't come up either time. No idea what I did wrong. I know I planted the first time too deep. So I barely sunk them the second time - still nothing. Lettuce was a fail. I'll try again next year.
My cilantro came up and did great, but I couldn't use it fast enough, it seeded, and we now have coriander. Ha! My dill is thriving, and I need to get it picked and dried so I can use it all winter!

My tomato plants have given us a lot of grape tomatoes, and we've eaten them in salads all summer so far, but the plants are very sick right now. The leaves have all turned brown and they're dying a slow death. Sadness.
My sunflowers - they're a tragic story that pains me to repeat.  I had a row of about 10 sunflowers. They were thriving. They were taller than my kids, and the top set of leaves were as big around as the steering wheel on my car. Then the deer came and decimated every single one of them in a single swoop. Gone. I'm still working through the heartache.
I've got a couple pods of peas on the far west side of the garden that I need to pick before we head out for our camping trip this weekend!
My corn is taller than the kids, and a few ears are tasseling. (Please ignore the weeds.)

My jalapenos and bell peppers are growing fantastically! I can't wait to chop some of those jalapenos up into salsa, and grill the bells!

The zucchini is also thriving. I haven't got a ton of flowers, but they're growing! Those will probably go into either loaves of bread or brownies. Yum.

My pumpkin patch is full and huge!  I've had two female flowers that have opened up that I have hand-pollinated, though I don't think there's any shortage of bees. Now I'm just waiting for the bulbs to turn into big orange beauties! I'll try to get some photos of the pumpkin plants to share with you soon!
I've decided that I'm going to put any birthday money that I get this years towards a mini-tiller. I've tried to keep up with the weeds manually, and it's just impossible. I'm sure it's possible, but not in the amount of time I have to dedicate to the garden each day. I spend about a half hour a day watering, and a couple hours a week weeding. But with my full time job and busy life, I unfortunately don't have more time than that to dedicate to it.
A mini-tiller should do the trick. I can go up and down each row a couple times a week, and that should really help control the weeds. They're crazy!
Do you garden?
What are you growing?
Any gardening tips you'd like to share?


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fitness Rewind!

Living healthfully isn't a race to the finish. It's a lifestyle or a journey (which you've heard 8,000 times, I'm sure), and there are bumps in the road.
After I had Jameson, I started running and lost thirty pounds. I felt amazing.
I weighed somewhere between 125 and 130 pounds when we moved to South Dakota. If you follow me on Facebook (which is currently and temporarily de-activated, by the way), you might remember me posting the red bikini pic.
Then I decided I wanted to start lifting weights. I'm so very glad that I educated myself on female lifting. It's a super empowering thing to get into, and so interesting how it's not only the action of lifting weights, but the diet that really can turn your body into anything you want it to be.
But with weight lifting came weight gain. Some of it is muscle that I never had two years ago. But most of it is me trying to out-train my crappy diet and as a result, gaining fat.
I'm currently navigating one of those bumps in the road. I'm nowhere near where I was two years ago, nor anywhere near where I'd like to be. But I don't give up.
I'm going to start doing what I did three years ago to lose the baby weight and get myself back to where I want to be: tons of water, super healthy food choices, and running.
I tracked my mileage religiously, and plan to start doing that again.
There is no right or wrong body weight or body composition, but it's awesome to set goals for yourself. That's exactly what I'm doing, so please don't get offended because I want to lose body fat and get fit. I'm doing this for myself and no one else.
I have a blogger friend and high school classmate that is a runner. She just had a baby and is going to get back into running, and she does a weekly blog post on Mondays with the previous week's mileage. I think I'll do something similar.
It feels great to:
eat healthful and clean foods
get your heart pumping
be outside
shattering goals
sleeping well
enjoying treats in moderation.
And that's exactly what I intend to do.
Hope you can join me along the way!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Independence Day 2015

And here I am posting about July 4th. I can see summer flying by right before my eyes and I'm not loving it. I feel like we haven't done NEARLY all the things I had on my summer bucket list. We still have time, but as quickly as these last couple months have passed us by, the leaves will be turning orange before I blink again.
We have a camping trip planned for a couple weeks from now, and we'll be heading back to central Indiana again in August when our nephew is born (yay!). Then, Mr. Hendrix is going to be starting school. It's going to be a busy few weeks ahead of us!
This past weekend, Matt had to work on Friday and Sunday, while I was off. The boys and I decided to pack up and head to Portland for the weekend! I felt bad about leaving Matt home alone, but had we stayed in Michigan, the kids would have spent the weekend getting bored and fighting, which would have left me frustrated and snippety. So, Matt got three days of relaxed silence at home, and the boys and I had fun with family!
I got off work around 2:30 on Thursday, picked them up from daycare, and we headed out. We stopped for dinner, and arrived in Portland around 7 pm. The kids played for a bit, then went to bed. It was a relaxed evening, which was good because the next day was crazy. :)
This picture should have been an indication of the level of exhaustion that was to come!

Friday morning started out relaxed. Ha. I always say that coffee tastes better when you drink it in the company of people you love. The kids played while I drank coffee and talked with my parents. It was perfect.

After we formulated our plan for the day, we headed to Muncie (about 40 minutes SOUTH of Portland) to meet my good friend, Amy, and her daughter for lunch at Qdoba. $20 worth of food for the 2 boys and I and they each took about one and a half bites. Awesome. Anyway, we enjoyed Amy's company, and the boys liked seeing Kenna.
After lunch, we went back to Portland, re-convened at my parents' house, then put on swim trunks and headed to Berne (about 20-25 minutes NORTH of Portland) so the kids could play in the splash pad. They had lots of fun!

After we got back to Portland, we rested for a little while, I took a shower, then we headed out to my sister's house, which is in Ridgeville - about 25 minutes SOUTH of Portland. My sister lives in the sticks. Ha! We had a cookout and the boys continued to run out every last bit of their energy with their cousin Rylee.

They stayed the night at my sister's house, and they LOVED it! This was their first sleepover at someone else's house where I did not stay with them. My sister called me before they went to bed, and I walked her through adjusting Jameson's basal rate, and she called me at breakfast so I could help her dose bg and carbs. She's a nurse and a rock star, and it was a huge success. Saturday evening, Hendrix asked if he could stay with them again. Ha!
I used my "me time" on Friday night to get together with some friends and it was relaxing and fantastic to catch up with the people I've known so long, but have seen to little in the last few years of my life.
Saturday morning, we went to the parade downtown. Now, I've lived in three different states in the past 8 years, and I've been to several parades. They always leave me disappointed. I'm pretty sure the parades in my hometown are the reason for that. The parade went on for a good 40 minutes, everyone was very spirited, and it was just fun to watch. Love it.

Granny and Grandfather with their boys.
One of the big sources of pride for Jay County.

After the parade, we had plans to go to El Camino - the best place to get Mexican food. They were closed. Booooooo. So we went to Pizza Hut instead. Gluten-free pizza is always iffy. It's hard to trust something that's prepared in the same kitchen as a food known for the abundant gluten it contains. But we tried it.
Not only does Pizza Hut serve GF pizza, they go above and beyond to train their employees on safe preparation and storage also. I was so excited to see this! Check it out:
After lunch, the kids played a little while, and we rested before heading out to the fairgrounds to have a cookout with my brother-in-law's family and watch the fireworks.

Jameson was fascinated by Travis's half-missing finger. Ha.
And this is basically how the week leading up to this past weekend went, versus the speed with which the actual holiday weekend flew by. Sadness.
We headed out Sunday morning around 8:45. After a stop for gas, a potty break, and lunch, we got back home around 1:30 pm. Jameson discovered that the fingernail polish that Rylee had put on his toes came off and he was distraught. These tears were legitimate sadness. No fit-throwing here. Just grief.
Sweet boy.
Jamers and I took a nap together, then we just messed around the house, the boys took a much-needed bath, and went to bed a bit early.
Matt discovered this ridiculous wasp nest under our second story deck while we were gone. That needs taken care of ASAP, but makes me super nervous.

Hendrix refused to nap all weekend, and insisted that he wasn't tired at bedtime Sunday night.
Alright, man. You aren't tired. That's cool. :)
It was a much-needed weekend with all the people I love. It's a LONG drive to Indiana (though much better than the 19 hours it was previously), but it's really worth the time and exhaustion. The kids just adore their grandparents and cousins, and play so hard they can barely walk.
We can't wait to visit again in August so we can meet our newest little family member, and the boys can play with their Metz cousins!
See you again soon, Indiana!