While I Was Out

Tony and I made our yearly holiday trip to Ohio at the end of December. Work was quiet, so we took a bit of an extended trip, staying from the 23rd through the first day of the New Year. We didn’t have much snow on the ground here in northern Michigan, but it simply didn’t feel Christmas-y in Ohio.

Old resting tree, on Christmas Day
resting tree

Inside, things were much more festive. And no matter what’s going on with the weather outside, being around such a loving family makes Christmas Christmas-y. Knowing me as you do, you know that I’m sparing you the family Christmas slideshow. These are just a few of my favorites. I know Casey is making a funny face holding Haylon. But I’ll always have the memory of what it looks like when Haylon tries to pick Casey’s nose 🙂 And I love my parents’ faces. They don’t look their prettiest, but I can see Mom’s reaction to Dad tearing up at the photo of his farm I made. I love that. It makes me tear up. The photo of me and my niece Addi isn’t going to win me any modeling contracts, but my heart swells anyway.

After Christmas, Tony and I squeezed in a few visits with friends. We also squeezed in a bout of stomach flu, but no one wants to hear about that. Even if you think you do, trust me on this.

frozen creek

Luckily, we managed to contain the fun to the two of us, and were pretty much better by the time we needed to hit the road for home. Now that we’ve been back for a week, with much of it near or below 0F, I feel like maybe the November-esque weather of Ohio wasn’t so bad 😉

A Few of My Favorite Things

As Jody graciously pointed out, it’s been twelve days since I posted – a fact that I haven’t missed, but have been entirely too busy to rectify. Since we live 500 miles from our core families, Tony and I only get to visit occasionally. We’re fortunate that I-75 runs both ways, so they sometimes visit us, too, but when we head that way, I try to use the computer for work and nothing else. Thus, while we were off visiting our loved ones in southern Ohio, my little blog (which just turned three!) sat and mouldered. Continue reading

Falling into a New Year

The day before we returned home from Ohio, Mom invited me to go exploring in the Fallsville area again in what I think (and hope) is becoming a tradition. A winter storm had glazed southern Ohio in ice, and then partially covered its masterpiece with a light frosting of snow. What more excuse did we need to traipse by the falls, just to see what we could see. Nevermind that I had well over a 102-degree fever. Everyone goes hiking in the snow and ice with a high fever and flu, right? Continue reading

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!