Friday, July 31, 2015

Palmer, TX

As per usual, we have a Summer Bucket List posted on our chalkboard upstairs to get us thru the hot months.  Nana recently added a new item to the list: "Go To Palmer, TX".
Palmer, TX is a tiny town about an hour from our house and Nana thought Palmer would get a kick out of seeing "his" town.
Always up for an adventure, cousin Elle came along for the ride.
I told Nana there is an "Elle, Norway" if she wants to return the favor to Elle one day.  Palmer (and his mom) are willing to come along on that trip.

And then there is a "Cape Grace, South Africa".  Please sign me up for that one, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Life As We Know It...

A little summer update for those of you in the blogosphere who care...

1.  Grace is full-on walking.  Grace experimented with taking steps here and there for about six weeks and then one day last week, she just decided to walk everywhere instead of crawl.  She hasn't turned back since.
(And I'm so glad to get her off the ground because she suffers terrible eczema from allergens like dog hair.  Standing upright will help ease some of her itchy rashes.)

And "No, I don't cause any trouble at all..."

2.  Add Flat Stanley to our household.  Palmer earned a ticket thru the library summer reading program to attend the children's theater production of Flat Stanley.  In anticipation, we made our own Flat Stanley (green and superhero, of course)...
...and took him on a few adventures like this downtown Fort Worth outdoor movie:
Unfortunately, Flat Stanley wasn't able to make it to the actual theater production due to the utter inconvenience of being stuck in Rick's car at work.  But, Palmer told him all about it after the show!

3.  Grace grew another tooth.  It only took her 13 months(?!) to get her third tooth.  The last time she got new teeth was around seven months...

4.  We've had lots of good lake time.  Last year, we visited Aunt Jill at her family's place across the lake from our family lake house.  We had a special girls weekend again for Jill's birthday (see this year and last year's updated snap):
And who doesn't love a giant 13-foot inflatable trampoline?  We plan to bring that sucker with us to Horseshoe Bay next week!
Keep cool! I know we are trying our best over here.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

4th of July

Yes, I meant to post the 4th of July post 10 days later.  Get over it.  Things sure have been busy around here for a "lazy summer".  Lazy- yeah, right.  We've been filling our days with many summer memories and keeping up with our "real jobs" on the side.
The 4th of July is a very classic holiday in this neck of the woods and I always enjoy our day filled with neighborhood parades, neighborhood parties, and fireworks.
Rick and Palmer entered the go-cart into this year's parade.  Palmer said, "it was fun, but very long and I didn't get very much candy."  So, there ya go.
Meanwhile, Grace and I DID get a lot of candy while sitting and watching the parade.
We always enjoy the morning tradition with several friends.  Little Lila and Grace are just a month apart and I hope they will be as good of friends as their older brothers.
It only took me about 15 times and three different locations to get this sibling photo.  I finally scored at a neighborhood party after the parade:
We spent the evening at the club with the Evans family for swimming, a big ole buffet, and fireworks.
Pre-fireworks jammie time!
I was curious how our one-year-old would do with the fireworks.  She got pretty cranky around 9pm and fell asleep about 10 minutes before the fireworks started. We never heard another peep from Grace as she slept thru the entire show.
Happy birthday, America!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Mackinac Island

I was born in the upper peninsula of Michigan (the part near Canada that is not part of the mitten) and moved to Texas when I was one year old.

Growing up, we vacationed at a very special place in Michigan called Mackinac Island.  I've been telling Rick about it for the last ten years and FINALLY, we made the trek up north to visit along with our dear friends, the Cordells.
Brian and Sara and kiddos live in Cincinnati, so the drive was manageable for them to meet us in the mitten state.

Northwestern Michigan is GORGEOUS.  I am wondering why we take residence in Dallas during the summer given the temps are a nice 75ish up north.  The Great Lakes water is crystal clean and the little harbor towns are perfect Americana.
Our trip was far too short, but we made the most of our quick days together.  The little towns of Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and Charlevoix all border Lake Michigan and are perfect for playing on the beach (the water is very cold!), eating your weight in ice cream and fudge (which I did), and strolling the perfect little main street shops along the way.
We LOVED getting to know little Will.  He was adopted from China in March and we couldn't believe how well everyone has adapted.  Will is 3.5 years old and did not know English before March. His vocabulary is incredible and I was so impressed with how great of a sister Maggie already is with her new little brother.
Why OH why must Palmer's favorite ice cream flavor be CHOCOLATE?  Vanilla would make life a lot easier...
The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan to the upper peninsula.  It is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere (8614 feet) and our ferry to the island took us right under the bridge for a closer look.
Mackinac Island is a special place with no cars.  The only transportation is by bicycle or horses.
Palmer is strong on his bicycle and he and Rick regularly ride over at White Rock.  But, we were still a little hesitant about taking him on the 8-mile trail around the island.  We decided to give it a shot with the thought that we could always try to hail a horse taxi if we get stuck on the opposite side of the island...
I have never been prouder of our little bicycler.  He rode the 8-mile route without complaining pretty easily.  Along the way, we stopped occasionally for a little dip in the water or for ice cream and Palmer was a rock star the entire time.
A little fun on the island:
Between biking and eating lots of fudge and ice cream, I think it's safe to say we hit all of the hot spots on the island. The famed "Grand Hotel" as seen in the old Christopher Reeves movie, Somewhere in Time.  
Back on mainland, the guys and kids rented a boat in Charlevoix while Sara and I did a little shopping.
Such a fun trip and we are already planning a longer and more thorough return.  We love you, Cordell family!!