Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Visiting the Sturms!

Nate, Sophia, and I headed up to MI this past weekend to visit Abby and Brad. Last year we started a little summer tradition of blueberry picking with the Sturm's in August! Last year Sophia came along, but she was only a few inches long at the time!!

Nate and I were a little nervous about the trip up north since our last trip to MI in April was rough. Thank heavens this trip was much easier!! We left Saturday morning about 5:30am and headed out. Sophia only stayed asleep until 6:45am! She woke up and started talking to herself and playing with some toys! At about 7:45am, she was getting a little antsy, so we decided we should look for a place to stop so she could eat! After she ate, she played for a bit, and then slept the rest of the way up there! Excellent morning nap! We arrived around 10:30am, visited, then headed out to East Grand Rapids to do a 4.5 mile walk around a beautiful lake!

Here we are in front of one of the many cool houses we saw on the walk. Brad's brother Sam and his wife Meghan were in town as well!

Sophia stopping for a water and smile break at the library! We finished our walk just in time before the rain hit!

The flowers were just beautiful!!

When we got back, Sophia went down for a 2 hour nap and the boys went mountain biking while the girls played Scrabble and talked!! It was so relaxing listening to the rain!! Sophia was in a great mood when she woke up from her nap and just laughed and smiled at Abby and Meghan! She found some new friends!! I got Sophia all tucked in around 6:45pm and it was time for the grown-up fun to start!!!

We had a nice cookout with awesome food!! One of Abby and Brad's Grand Rapid friends came over as well. There were 10 of us in all! Nate and I had flash backs of what life was like before a baby! We laughed all night long! Brian and Kelly had AWESOME stories! We all stayed up past midnight! The time just flew by --- I couldn't believe it when I looked at my watch!!

Sunday morning we played with Sophia, ate breakfast, read the paper, looked at the ads... then got ready for a typical "Sturm family vacation day!" We headed down to Douglas and Saugatuck Michigan. We went to the Saugatuck Dunes and walked along the beach at Lake Michigan! The water was freezing and the surf was really loud!! Pour Sophia didn't know what to think!! Gotta prepare her for our upcoming trip to FL in September.

Here is a picture of Abby and I with Sophia on our 1/2 mile walk to the beach through LOTS of sand!!!

Ahhhhh.... we finally reached our destination!! It was well worth the trip!! Beautiful!!

The sun was quite warm as it kissed our skin!! The weather was amazing! Couldn't have asked for better!

Year two of our beach walk -- just baby Sophia in tow this time!!!

After our beach walk, we headed to the restaurant we went to last year! Last year, we had killer food! Unfortunately, some wise guy changed the menu and there weren't any of the same options! We were all really bummed and disappointed b/c we LOVED the food last year!! The service wasn't great either! Oh well... the company was delightful!!

After lunch, we headed to a huge farmer's market off the interstate! Sam and Meghan stocked up on blueberries to take back to her family and coworkers in Chicago. I think she bought over 60 lbs of blueberries!! Isn't that insane?? :) However, those fresh picked blueberries are AMAZING!!

Finally, our last stop was DeGrands Farms to blueberry pick! Abby's parents joined us again this year! It is always such a blessing to seem them each year!! Such sweet people!! We all got our buckets, Sophia was in the sling, and we set off down the rows and rows of U-pick blueberry bushes!! We had a great time. Sophia tried to help pulling on all the branches and leaves. I found a few of the leaves in her mouth at times!!

After an hour of picking, Sophia started getting pretty cranky. She only had a few 45 min catnaps in the car b/w places, so I knew we were due for a meltdown! If she doesn't get her naps, she isn't a fun girl to be around by the end of the day! We packed up and headed home!! Of course we got stuck in traffic heading back to Chicago and ended up in stop/go jams for about 30 minutes. Nothing like listening to a screaming child for 20 minutes straight! You should have seem me try to crawl over my seat into the back seat to help calm her down. The people behind us probably thought I was nuts! I was able to feed her some of her solid food and calm her down for awhile! We also hit another back-up once we got on I-65 in northern Indiana! I was never so ready to see our house at 9pm on Sunday night!!

Besides the drive home, we had such a wonderful time! We are so grateful for the Sturm's hospitality! They make their house guests feel so welcome!!

One the way home, Nate and I were talking about all the fun trips we plan to take as a family!! It is such a great feeling to spend time together having fun as a family! It makes me remember all the fun family vacations my family took as a child!! Those memories still make me smile today! I hope we can provide Sophia with many lasting memories from fun family times!!!


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