Saturday, October 31, 2009


We had a fun filled week. On Wednesday we went to an apple cider mill with a pumpkin patch and hay rides. The hay ride was well worth the $4. The horses went almost full speed and it was quite fun! We trotted in and out of the forest, through the pumpkin patch, along the road accompanied by flying mud from the horses trotting so fast. We were all holding on for dear life. It was pretty fun. On Friday we went to story time downtown where they go all out for halloween. You could also trick or treat on Main St. Then Jack and I went to our apartment complex halloween party and then today our friends had a fun halloween party. The boys bobbed for apples and they were all soaked and the girls had a donut contest. Everyone brought a fun halloween dessert and we all dressed up. What a fun weekend!

The Cider Mill (by the way they had the best homemade donuts, yum, yum!)

Hay ride

Halloween Party
All the cute MBA kids minus Jude. Sorry Jude I guess we took pics before you got there--all the kids were starting to have melt downs.....

Our costume. As you can see we ran out of time to put together an outfit so Shawn found this idea on the internet. I thought we could get away with it while the kids are young. I know slightly inappropriate but hey we are fully clothed:)

The Food. I made the gross fingers. I think they turned out pretty gross (I was pretty proud..) but tasted good.

Donut contest, as you can see I lost:(

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mackinac Island and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

My mom came in for the weekend to explore Michigan. She has always wanted to go to Mackinac Island to see the Grand Hotel as it is featured in several old movies that she loves. For those of you who have never heard of this island it is an island about 4 1/2 hours north of us and is really neat. It has a long history and was founded by Europeans around the 17th century. They do not allow any cars on the island. The main forms of transportation are walking, biking and horse carriage taxes. You kind of feel like you are going back in time. The air feels so healthy to breathe and the water is so clear as there are limited boats that are allowed to enter as well. Last weekend (October 24) was the last weekend open to the public. Our horse driver told us there are about 500 people who stay on the island during the winter season. Because it was the last weekend they celebrated Halloween on Saturday. The main reason we went there was to run a race.

Here is our adventure up north (Shawn was at an interview and was not able to make it, we partied while he worked hard...... We missed him but we love him for all that he does for us!):

The Starline Ferry over to the island:
This was an adventure never to be forgotten! So we left a little late from Ann Arbor (not surprising...). We were driving pretty fast to make sure we made the last ferry because we had reservations for a hotel on the island that we could not cancel. The weather was aweful. It was raining really hard and the wind was so forceful. We went over Mackinac Bridge which is the third-longest suspension bridge in the USA and the 12 longest world wide. It is longer than 5 miles. It was a little scary. Cars were going really slow because the wind was so bad. We finally made it to the ferry and because they had canceled all other ferries except for this one due to weather, it was packed. It was 8pm and we were standing in a long line outside in the freezing cold, with wind and rain (poor Jack was crying because he was not dressed properly and our luggage had already been loaded). A guy told me not to put on Jack's snow suit because he would not be out in the cold. I learned a good lesson: ALWAYS follow your mother instinct. Because we were outside a lot and Jack was freezing. Anyway, back to the story...). There were so many people that they could not fit on us the ferry. So they had to do a second ferry around 9:30pm. So we had to wait for the ferry to arrive back. We loaded onto the ferry and they started handing out throw up bags because it was such bumpy crazy ride. The guy who was driving the ferry told us to hold on tight, and we would try to get us there as fast as possible. He was not lying! There were people throwing up left and right and we all felt like we were on a roller coaster ride. I felt my stomach drop at least 10 times. The drunk people ahead of us were all holding their arms up in the air like they were on a ride (it was kind of funny). Jack just sat mesmerized not sure what was going on.

We finally got to the island around 10:15pm. Because the island usually does not get ferries in that late, they were not prepared for us and no horse carriages were there to pick us up. We had to walk 20mins in the freezing rain and wind with several of our bags to get to our hotel. We were so worried about poor Jack but he was a trooper! We got to our hotel cold, soaked and exhausted. It took another hour or so to get the rest of our luggage. The bell man told us this was a "night from he**" and we could not agree more! A waitress told us that she had lived in St.Ignace (where the ferry left from) her whole live and she would have never got on that water. A little scary but thankfully we got there safely and no one got sick.

Jack on the ferry before it started.
Jack during the end of the ferry ride. Even he is looking a little sea sick!

The race was a lot of fun. They had more people turn up than they have ever had before. I was planning on running the half marathon but my knees started to give me problems so I just ran the 5.7 mile race. I love the energy of races. It was a beautiful race. The trail went up through some hiking trails and then along the water. Three of my friends ran the half marathon and they did amazing! My stats were: total time 58:34 seconds and I came in 18th place out of 59 people in my age group. I did not have any goals that I set for myself and really had no idea how fast I was going. Once I finished I realized that I could have easily pushed myself a little harder and could have made a better time. Next race! My knees did hurt a little, I have to figure out how to solve that problem because I do like this whole running thing. Some people at the race were amazing!

Before the race

During the race on the trail
Near the water
Finishing the race
After the race
Jack chillin' with Uncle Steve during the race.

The hotel that we stayed at celebrated halloween while we were there. It was really fun! The guest brought bags of candy and the kids trick or treated from room to room. There was also Wanda the Witch that did a magic show that the kids loved--even Jack was loving it. Jack was a turtle which is fitting considering he is still an army crawler. He was so cute. Carter was an adorable monkey and Jude was the cutest lion. It was so fun to see the kids so excited.

Exploring the Island
On Sunday we spent the day exploring the island. My poor brother is allergic to horses and this island is the worst place to go to if you are allergic to horses. He had to stay near the water and out of the horses way. Because it was the end of the season not that much was open but we still got to see most of the island. We went to the Grand Hotel which was beautiful. It was voted one of the top 25 hotels in the world. Several movies have been filmed at this hotel. The island is famous for their fudge so of course we tried it. Overall the island was beautiful, peaceful and very quaint. Like I said before you feel like you are going back in time. All of the houses are wooden and painted so nicely. There are horse carriages everywhere which is fun and several lighthouses. I would recommend anyone to go there and check it out. We stayed at Mission Point Resort which is a very big but old resort. I think all the hotels on the island are old. The race started and ended at our resort.

Mackinac Bridge
The longest front porch (I believe...) at the Grand Hotel
The view from the front of the Hotel

Everyone at the Grand sits on the front chairs and rocks while they drink their tea or read their newspaper.
The ferry taking people to and from the island.
Our taxi to the hotel
A quaint street
View of the light house

Fudge store
Cute church
Best Buddies
Fort Mackinac

The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel is for the rich and famous. You have to dress up every night for dinner and they even have a Jockey Club.
The Upper Peninsula
We also visited the U.P. which was pretty amazing. The colors of the trees (although most of the leaves had fallen off) where beautiful. We visited Tahquamenon Falls which is the second largest falls west of the Mississippi second to Niagara Falls. The water from the falls is a brown color from the tannins leached from the cedar swamps which the river drains. This is why the locals name for the falls is "Root Beer Falls." It was beautiful to see. On the drive we were able to see glimpses of Lake Superior and there were the most amazing vibrant yellow trees that looked like pine trees. We also stopped in Sault St. Marie which is on the Canadian border next to Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Sault St. Marie is the second most populous city in the UP. It was founded as a mission in 1668 by Father Jacques Marquette and is the oldest European settlement in the Midwest. People come from all around the world to view the ships passing through the locks in Sault St. Marie and the International 500 Snowmobile Race.

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Lower Tehquamenon Falls

Jack all bundled up to see the falls.
Jack swimming at the pool

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jack and Isaac best buddies.
We watched our friends little boy while they went and played whirley ball. Which is so fun for those who have never played it. Jack idolized Isaac. He would follow Isaac around and copy everything that he did (except for walking, that would be pretty cool he if copied that.). Isaac is a stud. He is one solid, tough, cute, friendly boy. They had such a fun time playing. They enjoyed playing on the keyboard together. Shawn was dreaming that this might be the start of a future band.

Hot Pot!! Yummy...
Our friends from my brother's law school program who are from China invited us over for hot pot. I love hot pot and had it on my mission a lot but this was a new experience for Shawn. He enjoyed it though he did try some stuff that he never had before. Our friends were so cute with Jack. They just loved him and of course he was more than willing to have their full attention.

rAzY HaIr!
Each morning or after Jack's nap I never now how Jack's hair will look. His hair has a life of it's own. It cracks us up! Enjoy the pics below.

FAKER AND MASTER MANIPULATOR (but still so cute...)!!!
So last Tuesday I thought Jack was sick, like really sick. He had been up all night on Monday and Tuesday he was so fussy. I was hesitant to take him to the doctors but all day Tuesday he was just grumpy and pretty needy. So at 4pm I thought I would call the doctor to see if Jack had an ear infection or something. I suspected he might have an ear infection because he would cry bloody murder when I put him down for sleep. He was not running a fever but was a little congested. I felt bad for Jack but also I was pretty exhausted and selfishly I wanted a good night sleep. So I called the doctor. The doctor's schedule was completely full but she was so nice and said she would fit us in as her last appointment. So all day I had been feeling so bad for Jack and totally catering to him constantly. Well we get to the doctor's office and as soon as we get to the receptionist desk Jack pulls out his tricks. He claps to her, waves hi, does his double dimple smile, talks etc..... The receptionist looks at me and said "that is not a sick baby." I told her to please not tell me that as I am to my wits end. I also told her that if he is not sick she might be going home with this kid. She laughed but I was pretty serious. Sure enough we see the doctor and Jack is smiling, laughing, showing off the WHOLE time. Of course there was NOTHING wrong with him. As we left, Jack waved BYE to his fan club and home we went. I was quite embarrassed and felt bad for wasting the doctors time. The doctor was so nice and told me she would have done the same thing but I think she was just trying to be nice. Well, NO more catering to Mr. Jack! He just likes to be up and hates sleeping. I have officially let him cry it out for 3 nights now. He is learning to sleep through the night. The first night was awful. He cried for about 5 hours. I went in occasionally and comforted him but around 4am I took his sound machine, put it in my bedroom and fell asleep. He is not crying as much but still wakes up every 2 hours and cries for a bit but I am not giving in! I have catered to this kid too much and now I am emotionally ready to get him sleeping through the night. Wish me luck!

Cider Mill
On Friday we drove out to Dexter to this delicious cider mill. It is the oldest mill in Michigan. The apple cider and donuts were delicious. Visiting cider mills is one of my favorite fall activities. I also bought some apple butter. Not exactly sure what to do with it but I am sure I will think of something.

We let Jack taste a little bite of the donut and as you can tell he wanted more! I guess we asked for that....

Michigan Game

Shawn and I went on a little date to the BIG HOUSE (of course Shawn's ideal date, not mine:)) on Saturday. Thank you Grays for watching Jack. When we arrived to the game it was 7 mins into the first quarter and the score was 21-0 Michigan. So basically the game was already over when we got there but we still had a great time. I loved people watching and football games always brings back fond memories of college. My favorite part of the game was the Delaware Marching Band in which they played and danced along to Thriller. They have some serious moves. We were quite disappointed when the Michigan Band announced their theme of the day would be opera. Don't get me wrong I love opera but there is a time and a place for all things and during a football game is not the place for opera (in my opinion.). Also, since there was not much of a game to watch the crowd got really into the wave. We did the wave as fast as we could, as slow as we could, from both ends of the stadium. Pretty cool to see 100,000+ people doing the wave.

All of us in our football attire. We had to put on several layers. It is getting cold here!
You can't see the score very well but it says 21-0.