Pool Time with Grammy and Papa

It’s been a week and a half since Charlie was born and we are loving every minute with our little guy, but before I get ahead of myself, let’s rewind so you can see a few more pics my dad took at the pool a few days before Charlie was born. Here I am, obviously trying to induce labor.

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Ruby and Clara LOVED swimming with their Grammy and Papa. Clara was pretending she was asleep on the tube, then would wake up and say, “I’m awake now!” then she would let her head fall back and make snoring noises. She’s a funny one.

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I love my friends Mary and Lani from our lifegroup at church. They are great moms and both have 3 kids, so I have been watching and learning from them since we found out I was pregnant with our 3rd.

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Caribbean Cove

Last weekend was random and hilarious. We decided to meet up with our friends Bryan and Michelle and their boys Elliot and Bennett. They were coming from Chicago and we discovered that Indianapolis was a 3 hour drive from both Columbus and Chicago. PERFECT! The destination had been decided.

So what should we do in Indy with 4 kids under 4? An indoor water park at a hotel was the obvious choice. After some googling, Michelle and I decided that we didn’t love the hotel where the water park was, so we checked into a hotel down the street and drove over to Caribbean Cove on Saturday morning after a delicious hotel breakfast. Elliot and Ruby were fascinated by the fountain in the hotel lobby. I’m still amazed no one fell in.IMG_1299

Clara was fascinated by the phone in our room. She’d never seen one with a cord before.IMG_1297

From the outside, Caribbean Cove looks mighty bootleg, but once we were inside, it was pretty great and the kids had an amazing time splashing around and climbing on the pirate ship playground. I tried to get some pics, but the elements were against me. My lens was foggy, there were only windows on one side of the room, so the kids had to be facing exactly the right direction for a good pic and so much water was splashing and sloshing on my camera that I’m not even sure how it survived the day.IMG_3742 IMG_3732

Ruby and Elliot weren’t tall enough for the water slides, and pregnant people aren’t allowed either… but Ryan and Bryan took to the slides and were pleasantly surprised by how intense they were. Apparently they were pitch black inside and took so many twists, sudden turns and drops that both guys claimed they screamed like little girls. IMG_3748 IMG_3745

In addition to tickets into the park, our family pass included lunch and money for the arcade. We took a pizza and breadsticks break for lunch and to my delight it was a classic; Noble Romans! People from Indiana know about Noble Romans, but apparently no one else does.IMG_1300

After lunch we let the kiddos play in the arcade while their food digested. Ruby and Elliot played ski-ball and whack-a-mole. Clara just wanted to drive the car the whole time. Ryan and Bryan played air hockey and Bryan and Elliot played Big Buck Hunter.IMG_1311 IMG_1325 IMG_1335

Saturday from 4-6 our hotel hosted a “Manager’s Reception” in the lobby with snacks and drinks, so of course, we hit that up before heading out to dinner. The kids loved eating popcorn, chips and dip – and (based on how much she ate) Clara seems to like spicy salsa.IMG_1342

After pretty much filling up at the Manager’s Reception, we enjoyed a delicious dinner out at Granite City followed by lots of laughs and storytelling over a game of Euchre back at the hotel.IMG_1356

Also, we ordered room-service (ice cream shooters). Ryan and Bryan went to pick up our treats and the guy downstairs said, “That’s a lot of shooters!” which turned into an ongoing joke throughout the rest of our time together. We couldn’t finish them – it truly was a lot of shooters.IMG_1357

And of course, Ryan and Bryan had a daily coffee routine at the hotel just like they had when we lived in the same house in Chicago. IMG_1359

Such a fun weekend. We love having friends who will do silly stuff like randomly meet at a hotel water park in Indy. Hooray for friendships that last throughout the years in different states! We love Bryan and Michelle!

Until We Meet Again

I’m not good at goodbyes. Is anyone? I generally get teary, then swallow the lump in my throat while trying to compose myself by breathing deeply, which only makes the next sob out of my mouth sound that much louder. It’s not pretty folks. It’s all downhill from there…

One of the hardest things about having a hubby in the medical world is that you make friends with other people who have husbands in the medical world too. Wonderful, dear friends who understand your life without explanation and know what you’re talking about when you tell them your husband is a PGY 6 Peds GI Fellow. As is evidenced by my own experience starting our marriage in Chicago during medical school, finding out on Match Day that we were moving to Grand Rapids Michigan for residency, and then matching again for fellowship in Columbus Ohio, medical training requires a lot of moving throughout the journey.IMG_0803

Today I said goodbye to my dear friend Katie who is moving to Atlanta for her husband’s residency. Katie was one of my first friends from Side By Side. Her daughter Lucy is Ruby’s best buddy in the whole world – they are truly two peas in a pod. There is nothing easy about saying goodbye to close friends. IMG_9805 IMG_5594

It’s always hard… it’s as hard to be the one moving as it is to be the one watching your friends move away. Being in a group like Side By Side means that every year a handful of your close friends move away and a handful of new potential friends move to your city and get involved with your group. The friendships are worth it and I’m so thankful for my friends, but goodbyes seem to be an unending part of the process.IMG_1041 IMG_0778

I am resolved to continue being in relationship with medical wives even though I know there will be pain in the parting. We need to be in fellowship with one another. God created us for community. Now I just have to figure out a way to explain to my not quite 4-year old that her BFF Lucy lives in Atlanta now. While Katie and I choked back tears, Ruby and Lucy had a great time cracking one another up during our farewell lunch together today… photo-87

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Weekend with Bree and Ryan

There are few things in life more wonderful than great friends. Ryan and I got to spend this weekend with two of our favorites. Bree and Ryan loaded up their van with their 4 kids (6 and under) and drove to Columbus for a visit.

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Ruby and Clara were so excited that their friends from Grand Rapids were coming to our house… it’s been 2 years since Ruby hung out with her friends Cash and Parker. Clara was only 3 weeks old when we moved to Columbus and my friend Bree has added 2 more babies since we left GR, so this was the first time for the kids to meet. Clara and Blakely were born only 6 weeks apart.IMG_6377

Saturday we went to our zoo (of course) and had a great time looking at animals in Asia and North America. The Columbus Zoo is divided into continents, there’s not enough time in a day to see them all… not at my pregnant pace anyway. Ryan went nuts when we happened upon the wolverine exhibit. Those crazy wolverines were running all round and putting on quite a show. I think they knew they were among friends from Michigan.IMG_6349

Ryan and Ryan were a walking North Face commercial.

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The buffalo, bobcats, bald eagles, timber wolves, grizzly, brown bears and polar bears were big hits. Here’s Cash and Ruby checking out the buffalo (or as Ryan says, “Tatonka”).IMG_0989

In Asia the kids were excited to see the elephants, tigers, lions, flying foxes, python and monkeys. Our baby tigers who were born in June are really big now! They’re more like Teenage Mutant Ninja Tigers as you can see in this pic. The awesome news is that a few weeks ago a 2nd litter of 4 quadruplet baby Siberian Tigers were born at our zoo and they’re all doing great! You can watch live feed video of our new babies HERE. I’ll certainly keep you updated on their growth since my fascination with baby tigers is unending. In a couple more months they’ll make their public debut – around the time our baby boy makes his  :o)IMG_0997

Ryan grilled out some amazing hickory-smoked chicken and asparagus and we took all 6 kids under 6 to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, because you just can’t come to Columbus without experiencing Jeni’s. All in all it was an amazing weekend that went by too fast. So thankful for the time we had with Bree and Ryan.IMG_1010

Day on the Farm

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A couple of weeks ago we spent a day with my friend Lindsey and her boys Abram and Royce on their family farm. It was warm, but rainy and absolutely gorgeous and fun to be out in the country.IMG_9422

Abram gave Ruby a tour of the farm, and showed Ruby his “work bench” then we got to go out to the barn to feed the kitties.

IMG_9396IMG_9400Clara was beyond enamored with all the cats. She never touched one, but she pointed and squealed and got super excited every time she saw one.IMG_9430

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Lindsey’s husband DJ took us on a ride around the property on the Rambler. Ruby was having the time of her life. Clara wasn’t too happy about it in the beginning, but a few minutes in she stopped screaming and enjoyed the wind in her hair.IMG_9412IMG_9417

Lindsey just had her third baby, a sweetie little girl named Rennie. It was great to meet her little face. Thanks for having us out to visit Lindsey!! And thanks for giving my girls haircuts!IMG_9429IMG_9387

ArtPrize 2012

Ryan and I spent the weekend in Grand Rapids to check out ArtPrize and especially to visit Chris Cox Photographer’s photo gallery on Division Avenue (or as Chris calls it, “The Ave”)

Saturday morning Ryan’s parents came with us to check out all the fun ArtPrize stuff downtown. My favorite thing was the giant human-sized pinboard that you could push yourself into.

We also got to stop by to see our friend Matt’s art, “Crime Wave”, which was voted one of the top 50 of 1500 entries. Matt and Kim were in our small group in GR. If you ever need a bronze sculpture commissioned, our friend Matt Large is your man.

Saturday night we grilled out chicken and Chris, Kyle and Sarah came over too. Sarah is expecting TWIN GIRLS due in February. It will be so fun to double the little ones on the Cox side of the family.

To top off my visit, I got to meet my dear friend Bree’s newborn baby girl Taylor. She was as precious and squishy and gorgeous as any baby I’ve ever met. I miss my sweet GR friends.

Ohio State Fair

We’ve been doing all sorts of fun summertimey-type things; going to the pool, the zoo, the park, and even spent a day at the Ohio State Fair with our new friends Matt and Mary and their 3 kids. It’s not everyday that you can go to a state fair – and the Ohio State Fair is quite an event, so we figured we better check it out… on opening weekend. It was a scene!

Ruby LOVES her friends Elizabeth, Abigail and James… here they are on the gator ride.

We walked through the barns where they keep the sheep, cows and horses. Really amazing how pretty those animals are when they’re the ones being judged. Beautiful cows! It was quite an experience. Do people who own those animals sleep on cots in the barn with the animals all week? There were cots all over the place, and people were sleeping on them, so I was confused.

Clara loved the animals in the petting zoo. She was pointing and squealing and so excited about them.

Fun times! Certainly a memorable Ohio experience! It will be fun to go back when the girls are a little older and tall enough to ride some rides.

 

New Friends, Parades, and the Zoo

Ryan and I met some new friends at a church cookout a couple of weeks ago – come to find out they live RIGHT DOWN THE STREET! Insane! Pretty much I think God knew I needed a friend and He sent Mary and Matt to Ohio. Ruby could not be more excited about hanging out with Elizabeth (7), Abigail (5) and James (almost 3).

We hung out over the 4th, went to a the parade in Dublin and then to the pool to hang out and cool off. It was a great parade – we met up with a bunch of people from Vista Church and all sat together in the hot blazing sun until all of us were dehydrated and drenched in sweat. It was awesome. Ruby and Clara LOVED the parade! USA! USA! USA!

Today we met Mary and the kiddos at the zoo and the kids had a blast running around and touching some animals. Ruby touched an armadillo. Hooray for friends!

Weekend with Bryan and Michelle

VACATION!! Woo-Hoo! We loaded up the van (Grizwold-style) and enjoyed a gorgeous Pure Michigan sunset on our drive up to Cox Cottage.

Our friends/neighbors from Chicago, Bryan and Michelle joined us at Ryan’s parent’s cottage for the first weekend of our vacation. It was a spontaneously perfect alignment of calendars that ended up with them being able to drive over from Chicago on the same night that we drove up from Columbus. There is nothing like relaxed time spent with good friends. We had no agenda, no plans, didn’t need to go anywhere or do anything – we just hung out together. It was so good and we were reminded how precious our friendship is.

Their little baby Elliot is not such a baby anymore! He and Ruby spent hours playing with buckets of water in the yard.

Ryan and Bryan took Ruby and Elliot on the kayaks and we spent time floating around on the pontoon, sitting in the sunshine, and of course, grilling and consuming delicious food.

Thanks so much for making the drive guys! We loved seeing your faces and can’t wait to meet baby #2 in a few months!!

Hope Friends in Cadillac

We had a chance this past weekend to drive up to Cadillac and hang out with some of our Hope College friends! When we lived in Michigan we hung out pretty regularly, as seen here, herehere, herehere, here, here and here. (did anyone actually click those links to see those old posts?) But since we moved to Ohio a year ago we haven’t made it to Northern Michigan until now. Luke and Lindsay hosted the event, Joel and Sarah, Greg and Jen, and Bryant and Becky all made the trip to Cadillac. We spent the afternoon hanging out at the house, eating a delicious lunch, laughing and telling stories on the back porch.

In the evening all 8 of us piled into our van and rode together to dinner at Lakeside Charlie’s. We sat out on the patio where loud laughing is more acceptable and there was a lovely view of Lake Mitchell.

After dinner Luke and Lindsay introduced us to some gas station ice cream and we ate our cones in the parking lot by the propane tank. It really was good ice cream. We loved seeing everyone. It was good for my soul.