Week at Cox Cottage

IMG_4161Last month was awesome. Ryan finished his job in Columbus at the end of June and didn’t  start his new job in Grand Rapids until August – so we pretty much had the time of our lives together in July. It was a daily decision each morning whether we should work on unpacking boxes and getting our new house in order or if we should have fun with the kids… and we decided to just have fun. Even though I’m currently typing this blog among unpacked boxes I know we will never regret the fun times we had making memories together as a family.IMG_3707

The beginning of our week at Cox Cottage was a tad brisk, so we spent the mornings bundled up, taking walks and riding bikes. Clara refused to wear sweatshirts and jackets because “princesses don’t wear those.” Ha! By the afternoons the sun was shining and we were on the water.

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One of our favorite things about the lake is parking the pontoon on the sandbar and floating around. Charlie has never been happier than when Ryan was swishing him around in the water. IMG_3681This was the first year the girls were old enough (and brave enough) to get out and walk around by themselves. Clara was cracking me up seeing how far away from the boat she could walk.IMG_3934

Ruby is the queen of collections. She worked very hard everyday adding to her collection, which included shells, dragonfly exoskeletons, snails, seaweed, bugs, algae slime, leaves, lilly pads, rocks and even some peanut shells. It was a very smelly collection by the end of the week. Thankfully her nose agreed and she did not request that we take it home in the van.

IMG_3972One afternoon Ruby and Clara were exploring the shallow water near the dock, the “swamp water” as they called it, and Ruby found a bluegill. She meticulously stalked closer and closer to it until she was close enough to reach out to touch it. SHE DID! She was so excited that she touched it, she thought she’d see if she could hold it. Of course, I was happy to let her try. A few minutes later I heard screaming and saw out of the corner of my eye that she had indeed grabbed it with her hands. It flipped out and poked her in the leg with its fin, which turned her excited squeals into terrified screams of horror, “IT GOT ME! IT BIT ME ON THE LEG!!!!” After she calmed down I explained that it probably thought she was a predator. She said, “ok mom. I’ll just work on my collection instead.”
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Clara explored under the dock and I had to pull more leaches off her legs than I’d like to share with you. I want my blog to be mostly good memories you know.  😉

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We went out for pizza one night and on the way home we drove past a massive Paul Bunyon statue. We were laughing so hard we had to stop and take a pic. When we got back in the van Ruby exclaimed, “THAT WAS THE BIGGEST ADVENTURE OF MY LIFE!”IMG_3914

Going places as a family seems to get more fun every year that the kids get older. I like going places and doing things. My favorite thing in the whole world is getting to spend time with Ryan. So thankful for our week together at Cox Cottage.IMG_4087

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Father’s Day at Cox Cottage

IMG_1946We spent last weekend at Ryan’s parents cottage in Michigan. Ryan’s whole family was there to celebrate Father’s Day – so I figured we should be there too, even though at 37 weeks pregnant I probably shouldn’t have been traveling too far from home… I did check with our insurance company ahead of time and found out that Foote Hospital in Jackson, MI accepts our insurance… you know, just incase this baby decided to make his debut.IMG_2022

Sarah and Kyle brought their 4 month old twins Abbie and Ellen. It was our first chance to meet the girls. Ruby and Clara could not have been more excited about their baby cousins. Sarah is doing amazing as a mom to twins. I can’t even imagine doing what she’s doing. Look at her feeding 2 at one time!IMG_2009

We took a lot of boat rides, swam off the pontoon and spent all day everyday outside.IMG_1989IMG_1936 IMG_1943 IMG_1978IMG_1934

The guys rode their bikes around the lake a few times – Ryan’s dad told me that time with all of his sons was his favorite Father’s Day gift of all.IMG_1997IMG_1954

It was such a fun weekend! The food was amazing because every dinner was fresh off the grill. Chris incorporated summer sausage stacked on cheese and crackers, which was a delightful appetizer.IMG_2008 IMG_1967 IMG_1959 IMG_2045 IMG_2068

Cox Cottage in July

Ryan’s parents invited us up to the cottage a couple of weekends ago – it was wonderfully relaxing to be on the water enjoying the sunshine. Summer is going by too fast!

Saturday morning Ryan and his mom took Ruby to the farmer’s market. While they were there they got a hula hoop which Ruby “practiced” for the rest of the weekend. She’s actually getting pretty good at it!

Grandma and Grandpa Fisher came up for a few hours on Sunday, Clara enjoyed sticking stickers on Grandma.

Ruby caught up on some reading.

This is my favorite picture in a long time. It’s actually a still shot from some video footage – hope to have another video up soon. Clara is changing so much every week, I can’t keep up.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home to break up the long drive a bit. Ruby color-coordinated the pegs in this game. She is hilarious.

Cox Cottage – Ruby’s Turtle

A little painted turtle made his way through the yard one day – and mysteriously ended up in a bucket which Ruby discovered after her nap. She didn’t hesitate to stick her hand in there and grab him…

 

She checked him out, then (with a little prompting) released him back into the wild where he belonged.

There is no end to the number of pictures I could post from our family vacation at the cottage. Here are a few more… mostly so I can look back and remember the girls at these ages, but also for your enjoyment.

Ruby’s Birthday Weekend at the Cottage

We celebrated Ruby turning 3 while we were on our vacation at Cox Cottage. Ryan’s parents came down for the weekend and we had gorgeous weather for the happenings. If you watched Ruby’s 3rd Birthday Interview, then you know why her cake has Honey Nut Cheerios on it…  Don’t look too closely – it was the best I could do. Pretty much I asked Ryan’s mom to buy a white cake with white frosting and I decorated it with Cheerios. Ha! Ruby loved it, so that’s all that mattered anyway. Before Ryan’s parents arrived Ruby made sure the flag was raised and Nana’s flowers were watered.

Donuts for breakfast, Honey Nut Cheerio cake for lunch, burgers for dinner and a swim in the lake. Birthdays are the best!

Family Vaca at Cox Cottage

Each summer since Ryan and I started having babies, his parents have blessed us with a week at their cottage in Michigan to reconnect as a family. This summer was no exception. Last week was filled with sunshine, bike rides, floating around on the pontoon, swimming, kayaking, grilling out and spending time together without TV or Internet to distract us. It was beautiful. The weather was gorgeous on Monday so we spent the day on the pontoon – parked at the dock mostly, because it was so windy. Then the temps started dropping and by dinner time we all had our jeans and sweatshirts on. We continued adding more and more clothing throughout the night and into the day on Tuesday. BRRRRrrrr.

The chilly temps didn’t stop us from enjoying a family bike ride around the lake. (I’m amazed at how slimming that yellow sweatshirt looked on me!”

Ryan grilled us a delicious dinner, then surprised Ruby with a trip to the Dairy King for an ice cream cone even though it was past bedtime. Ruby was in heaven.

First she smelled the ice cream, then she dug right in!

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!!