Chasing fall

Do you ever feel like you just cannot wait for fall to arrive? Do you ever feel like you can’t wait for it to come to you so you decide to just go chase it down? That’s just what we did when my mom came to visit. On Saturday we went Up North to find fall. As it turns out, the best color was found off our beaten path. Is it that way with just us or do you find that happens to you as well? Our trip was originally only going to take us to the tunnel of trees on M119 (you can read about this beautiful drive here) but when we stopped for lunch about 1/2 way we changed our plans a little, thanks to hashtags and a very nice gentleman at Bear’s Den Pizzeria in Grayling, MI. If you’re looking for a yummy pizza with super friendly people, this is your place. All morning we had been joking about hashtags and how they’re getting out of control. (And if you know anything about my family, you know we beat that dead horse for hours and hours.) Before I go any further, if you haven’t seen Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake poke fun at the hashtagging phenomenon, then do yourself a favor and watch this:

Back to my story. I went to Instagram, put hashtags to work for me and happened upon a picture from Deadman’s Hill (for you Michiganders, this is near the Jordan River Valley). One of the employees heard that we were trying to find it and was so kind to come back with written directions. Talk about going above and beyond! After devouring the pizza, we were off! Here are some photos I snapped on our way…My mom has become quite the Instagrammer!
This is the view from the scenic overlook. Beautiful, isn’t it?I need your opinion. The overlook is situated on a hill. Should this photo stay as is and have a wonky fence and straight horizon…

OR should the fence be straightened and the horizon become crooked?
Which one looks better? Obviously, I think both are perfect since this hottie is in them. By the way, he has lost over 40 pounds this year and I think he looks simply looks amazing. 

After some more picture taking, we were back on the road.I’m pretty sure I could live here:It was a great day and I’m so glad my mom was able to see some color. Hopefully next year my dad can come along, too! And since it’s been a while, I made a movie of my mom’s visit.


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How do you like them apples?

Can’t have fall without apples, right? I convinced Ken to visit an apple orchard over the weekend. It took some work but he ended up admitting that it was fun. Last year the apple crops were devastated due to some crazy weather back in the spring so many of the orchards weren’t even offering U-pick apples. This year is suspected to be the biggest harvest in decades. The weather was perfect and the apples were abundant.

I had to battle the light coming in from the trees and other people getting into my photos. That made for some interesting light on my subjects. But I think they’re cute anyway.However, that pesky light gave me images like this:

My mom is coming in a couple weeks and I plan to take her back with me. Now all I have to do is eat this 1/2 bushel of apples. Have a favorite recipe? I’ve already made a German Apple Cake (thank you Steffie) and I have a recipe for applesauce. What else do I need to make with these beauties?And, of course, what adventure isn’t complete without jumping pictures?

So…bring on those apple recipes! 


Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Heading north to Up North

When my parents came to visit in August we finally made it “up north”. When we first moved here people would always ask, “Have you been up north yet?” My response was always, “Wait…we just drove I75 north for 1,200 miles…isn’t THIS up north?” Now that we’ve been there, I totally understand why everyone asked.“Up North” actually starts at the middle of the state. Confused yet? See this article for further explanation.

Today I’m going to show you pictures from our trip to the Upper Peninsula. We started the day off at the Mackinac (pronounced mak-in-aw) Bridge. 

There’s a beautiful lighthouse in Mackinaw City. (And no, I don’t know why the city is spelled Mackinaw and the bridge is spelled Mackinac. You’re on your own for that one.)

And here’s the cutest boy taking a picture of said lighthouse:

And here is said boy’s picture of said lighthouse (yeah, I know…”said, said, said”):

From there we drove two hours to take a boat tour of Pictured Rocks which are situated on Lake Superior. Simply breathtaking is the only thing that describes it. Let me introduce you to Lake Superior. Gee, I wonder how it got its name:

See the tree up there on that lone rock? Well, it’s only there because the roots are reaching across to the island. Here’s a closeup: 

So there you have it. I have a few more pictures in my flickr account if you’d like to peruse them. I figured I wouldn’t bore you with all my vacation pictures here (go here for the Pictured Rocks flickr set). 

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


God’s sneaky peak

Yeah, so I haven’t been around lately.

I could tell you that I’ve been super busy or that we’ve been to Florida and have had three visitors since May or that I took up running like Forrest Gump and I’ve been running all over the nation or that I was abducted by aliens and they just returned me back to my home planet last week. I could tell you any one of those things. Some of them are actually true. I’ll leave you to decide which ones are and which ones are just a little fib. 

Things are starting to feel different around these parts. Summer is on her way out and fall is sneaking in on her shirt tales. It’s a funny thing, fall. Just like spring, it’s an escort for another season; almost like a sneak peak of what’s to come.

And sometimes I need a sneak peak.
Sometimes I need a change of pace.
Sometimes I need something different.

Not that things are terrible the way they are but who doesn’t want a change in (at least) one area of their life? I think I got a sneak peak of the good things that are on the way. Forever the optimist, I know that good things are always ahead of me. But I also like to think that God put this little leaf right in my path today to remind me of those things. If I looked around the neighborhood, most trees are still green but a few are showing speckles of color. The changes are starting to take place but you really have to look for it. Fall is not in full swing just yet and most of the leaves that have already fallen are brown, not pretty like this little gem. I’m choosing to believe that this was God’s way of saying, “Pssssttt…just look what I have for you. Just wait till “fall” comes and you see everything I have waiting there.” Do I really think that as soon as September 22nd rolls around that some amazing change will come my way? Not really. But I wouldn’t turn it away if it did. I’m just believing that this little leaf was a taste of what’s to come:

Beauty all around me
Everywhere I turn, a wonderful feast for my eyes
Things bright and beautiful

So, welcome back to my little blog. I probably won’t wax this philosophical all the time. Probably not. But who knows? Maybe along with the change ahead of me comes a change in how I blog?


Posted by on September 16, 2013 in fall, life, Nature


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Tulips, Lake Michigan and a sunset

This weekend we went to the other side of the state to the Holland Tulip Festival. I’ve been wanting to see this for over a year! There were two different weekends we could have gone. I was afraid that if we went on the first weekend not all the tulips wouldn’t be blooming. But I was also afraid if we went on the 2nd weekend that all the tulips would be dead. It was a gamble either way so we decided to go on the first weekend and, just as I thought, about half of the tulips hadn’t bloomed yet. No matter, though. We had a great time. Well, almost all of us. Jackson was less than thrilled to be there. He felt that we were “wasting a Saturday.” We’re terrible parents and told him that memories are made by doing things rather than playing games. See? Thrilled, I tell ya. He was thrilled to celebrate spring, flowers, tulips and family time. He couldn’t contain his excitement. In fact, while a traditional Dutch dance was happening in the streets he was so excited he just had to look away: 

After the festival, we headed to Lake Michigan. With the exception of Ken, none of us had been to the western side of the state. Except for when we left to grab dinner, we stayed there until sunset. As you’re well aware, I’m not in love with the beach but few things are prettier than the sun setting on the water, don’t you think? 


Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


Touristing to Cranbrook

Remember when I was posting regularly and I had a series called “Touristing“? If you don’t, I’ll refresh your memory: Basically I found sights around my own town that I had never seen or visited. It was a nice way to see my city (that I didn’t love) with fresh eyes. I was thinking I should pick up this series again now that we live in Michigan and everything is new. 

The weather today was heavenly. Like…magical. Sunny. Bright. Warm. Blue skies. Refreshing. It was definitely an outdoor day. Earlier this week we decided that we would venture outside this weekend. After being indoors for the past few months, it was time to attack the outdoors! 

We decided to check off Cranbrook from our list of things to see since the name has come up on more than one occasion from friends. Currently, the grounds is home to a boarding school, an art museum, Academy of Art, a science center and the founder’s house and gardens. Here are a couple of facts that might help you win the next game of Trivial Pursuit: the Eames brothers are graduates of the Cranbrook Art Institute (oh, how I would love to have a house filled with Eames furniture!) and Leonard Bernstein wrote portions of The West Side Story while staying on the grounds. Given that it’s early spring, the scenery really wasn’t anything too exciting. Trees were still bare, grass was still brown, fountains remained off and even one of the waterfalls was still frozen. But it was glorious to be out and about. I thought ahead and brought my camera but regretfully left my memory card at home. Mind you, this was not the first time I’ve done this. When will I learn? Oh well, that’s why God invented the iPhone. 

Here are a few photos from our day: 

This is a man after my own heart. Not for the car decor, but for the travel. I’m sure whoever owns this car is full of stories. The rare self-portrait. It’s acceptable when a cutie in the photograph draws attention away from me. 

I saw these rocks all lined up and had this video in my head. It didn’t turn out like I hoped it would; I’m thinking a tripod would have come in handy. I’ll have to remember that next time.

I can’t imagine how pretty this is in the summer or at the height of spring:Now that it’s officially spring, what have you been doing? And where are some other places in the Metro Detroit Area that we should put on our Touristing list? 

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Cranbrook, family, touristing



We had our very first non family visitors come to see us last month. Anthony and Melissa came to see during her spring break. You might remember them: they’re the goofballs that followed us all the way to Georgia last year. Yes, they came to Michigan on spring break. Yes, they live in Florida. Yes, they were warned what Michigan weather is like in February. But they came anyway. Don’t you just love friends like that? Here’s a short video of a few things we did while they were here. Thank you guys for coming to see us. We’ve missed seeing our friends’ faces and it was such a nice way to break up the winter blahs! 



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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in friends, iMovie, memories, video


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