These Are The People I Love

These are the people I love. Just not all of them. Not even close, really. But these are the people who I shared Christmas with and made new, good memories with. And happened to capture at least acceptable pictures of. And learned how to put prepositions at the end of sentences with. 🙂

Steph, Kade, Zy, and Dad. My beautiful, hard-working sister; two of my nephews who laugh easily and honestly and have fantastic, curious minds; my father, one of the greatest, kindest, most talented men alive.

Mom, Dad, and Addison. Mom, who is full of $7!* love (really!) and who is infinitely supportive; you already met Dad, but you can see what I mean; and my truckasaurus niece, who is sweet, rotten, amusing, energetic (hey, she’s two…), and seriously is a tank. (Ha! Who am I to call names?) Addi from the front.

Chace, another super-loving nephew who always has a hug and a thing or two (or twenty-two) to say.

Corey and Kristy (and Mark). My brother, who I respect more each day; my sister (in law) who smiles easily and seems to love easier (you might not understand what it takes to love Corey 😉 ); and my soon-to-be nephew who I can’t wait to meet – and so I send text messages about on a (too?) regular basis.

Blondie, Joe Mama, Mom, Shari. My second Mom, a woman with many names. An intelligent, hard-working lady who can (and does!) listen openly to any story I have to share and give good, solid advice. Or just a sympathetic ear.

Phil. My second Dad. A man who truly loves being alive; a person from whom we could all learn a thing or two. Some of those things might be safer not to learn in public, though 😉

Casey and Alayna. My brother (in law) who is truly a kindred soul who makes me laugh and who I can always count on; my niece who comes out of her shell and shows her cuteness more each time I see her.

Ben and Christy. My brother (in law) and sister (in law? …Ben’s wife) who are the loving and overall good-natured parents of Layna. Serious well-wishes in the move to the new lifestyle! And sorry about the picture! Didn’t intend the red eyes and lack of even a hint of a smile (Ben smiles, I promise! and Christy is NOT some kind of Christmas demon.)

Cody and Tiff. My brother (in law) and his girlfriend, who are the proud, expectant parents of another nephew…who, if he’s anything like his parents, will be incredibly sweet, funny, and probably cute.

Mamaw and Papaw. My grandparents (in law) who, in addition to being extraordinarily loving and generous, are matriarch and patriarch to a beautiful, joyous, loving, accepting family.

Tony. My husband. My partner (in crime ;)). My best friend. The most considerate man I’ve ever met. The man who talks with me in-depth about absolutely any subject – and sometimes no subject at all. The man who has moved all over the country with me always seeking what’s best. The man who I can count on to understand me. The man who supports my choices when few others can fathom them. The man who I vowed my forever to. And meant it.

Yes – these are the people I love. The people who I have tried to describe ever-so-briefly, and have not even scratched the surface of the goodness of each person. My family.

You are all wonderful (sooo sorry if you are not in the pictures – I assure you I love you very much!!), and I am beyond lucky to have you as part of my life. I am proud of each of you and grateful to you. Thank you for sharing love and memories this Christmas.

Making Halloween

A few days ago, Jess and I set about disfiguring carving pumpkins for fun Halloween.  She had already acquired her future jack-o’-lanterns, but we stopped by a farmer’s market in the icky, cold almost-rain so I could choose mine.  I grabbed a couple of matching baby gourds and a large-ish (not one of those monster pumpkins!) warty pumpkin to take to the chopping block.  Armed with a professional carving kit – 2 fondue forks, 1 long knife, 1 paring knife, 1 serrated knife, a spoon and a hammer…yes, a hammer – we set to work. Aside from B. Pumpkin’s (Jess christened my pumpkin with this moniker) unusually tough/thick skin, things proceeded as expected.  Hope you’re having fun “making Halloween” too!

B. Pumpkin's guts

The 3 Pumpkateers - B. Pumpkin, Fang, and Peep

A flattering 3/4 profile 😉

B. Pumpkin on the counter with some relatives

Tumultuous Weekend

The past weekend was a huge roller coaster ride for everyone in the Brock side of our family.  Early Thursday afternoon, I got the house all shined up and for the first time since we moved here, we really felt like the move was “finished.”  If you talk to Mom for even a few minutes about her house, you’d quickly learn why the above is in quotes.  So, to celebrate our feelings of accomplishment, we abruptly packed up and left for Ohio for the weekend.  You see, we needed birth certificates, and friends and family were celebrating Steph’s successful journey through her RN program.  Congrates, Steph;)  We weren’t happy to be making the trip, but we cheered ourselves up with a brief visit to Goodale’s bakery in Grayling.  The cashier was super (perhaps even uber?) friendly, and the goodies were just that.  Also, it was good to have  a push to get us to Steph’s party.  She deserved it, and I’m glad we were there.

The weather threatened to ruin the party, but in the end decided just to sit heavily around.  I made sure to clear the memory on the camera card so that I could take pictures of the festivities, but then left the camera in our room at Shari and Phil’s.  Oh well.  Everyone seemed to have a decent time.  Jody made her amazing Hungarian pastry; Kim made an excellent cake; Shannon made mac-n-cheese with bacon (with which Steve was particularly impressed).  The boys promised Pappy a good soaking with their water guns, but he pulled out the garden hose and easily won that battle.  For the record, I’m not sure who had more fun in that match-up.  Addi alternately smiled her huge open-mouth smile and grumpled about the heat and humidity.  We got to catch up with some folks we hadn’t seen in a while.  Like I said, a good time.

We headed back North Sunday around noon, only to learn that Steve was having some health issues.  It’s his health, and his and his family’s business, so I won’t go into it here, but I’m sending all the power of positive thinking I can muster your way Steph and Steve.  I know you’re likely not out of the woods, but I’m still going to be hopeful!  We love you!

After being away for the weekend, we decided to take the evening to go adventuring.  Well, planning for adventures is more descriptive.  We headed east to the Manistee River to check out some landings for a possible canoe trip with Meg in the upcoming days.  We’re thinking about using this landing.

The water might not look like it, but it is clear cubed.  And cold.  It might look cold, though.  Or that could be the overcast-ness.  There were also some pretty flowers blooming along the bank.

After our scoping-out mission, we meandered back home.  (Un?)fortunately, we came out across from the Cone Corral (I’m being dishonest if I say it wasn’t planned…), so we had to get ice cream, and…you guessed it…go watch the sun set over Torch Lake again.

It’s a good thing there’s so much to do here, because this lake is trying to make me fat!