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.  😉

IMG_3957IMG_3633IMG_4094 IMG_4131More scooter and bike riding, some Twister, and a bath in the sink for Mr. Charlie Boy.IMG_3638IMG_3642IMG_3662IMG_3961

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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Labor Day Weekend at Cox Cottage

IMG_3738Over Labor Day weekend we took Charlie to Cox Cottage for the first time. He probably loved it. I can’t be sure. He’s pretty chill and never told us he wasn’t enjoying himself, so I’ll assume he had a great time. IMG_3743

I spend most of my time these days protecting sweet Charlie from his ever-loving sisters. This pic pretty much sums up his life to date.IMG_3683

Ruby and Clara LOVE being at their Nana and Papa’s cottage, floating on the pontoon and swimming in the lake.IMG_3716 IMG_3634 IMG_3696 IMG_3797

Ruby was a super swimmer this summer. She was in the water every chance she got… even when it was REALLY COLD! I’m so proud of her.IMG_3632 IMG_3629

One of the extreme highlights of the weekend was when the Ice Cream Boat came by the dock. Pretty much the best idea ever! They told us they’ll be selling pulled pork sandwiches off the boat next summer. I love America.IMG_3641IMG_3642

Clara picked the biggest popsicle in the universe as her treat. So funny.

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Summer went TOOOO fast! So thankful for the time we could spend in Michigan at Cox Cottage.IMG_3799

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.

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!!