Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Michigan.

We just got back from a long family vacation and it has been hard getting back into the real world.  I call this vacation hangover.  It's hard after a week of getting up to this every morning...

And after ending each day with this...

All the while being surrounded by family and friends I haven't seen for years.  Constant chatter and laughter and kids who were meeting for the first time becoming instant friends...

As with any of my posts written after a vacation, it is just for me.  A time to soak up the last bits of vacation by reliving it as I write.  A place to come back to later and smile with the memories.  And, it's my version.  This trip was filled with many people and each probably took away something different and had their own experience.  What I took is even after a decade away and things changing, with family and good friends, you can slip right back to where you left off.  

It's pretty crazy that our girls are 9 and 7 and this was their first time to Matt's hometown.  Life gets in the way and for whatever reason we had not had the opportunity to go.  Matt has continued to make trips back, but for me it had been ten years.  I will always feel grateful for the short amount of time we lived in Michigan in our early married years.  I remember when Matt suggested moving back and I was not into the idea at all.  But, being the loving supportive wife I am (a little pat on my back thank you very much), I packed up our belongings and the poor cat who hadn't recovered from the move to Portland and headed east.  I was sad and anxious to go to this new world that I wasn't really into.  However I was pleasantly surprised by our time there.  It goes to show it doesn't matter where you live it's who you are around and we were surrounded by good people and it was a great experience.  I didn't realize how much I missed everyone there until we arrived and seeing our girls meet everyone who means so much to us was amazing.  This was the highlight, but it was also a time for the girls to see where their dad grew up.  Take in a bit of Detroit.  Things like taking them to their first baseball game, things we can't do here...



I have only gone to a couple professional games and never baseball so it was a first for me as well.  I do believe it may be my favorite.  Mainly because it's warm, you're outside and the energy is contagious.  It feels so American to watch baseball while drinking over-priced beer and eating hot dogs.  I did have the 8-dollar beers but refrained from the hot dog.  It's been many years since I had a hot dog and didn't want to be sick the rest of the trip.  After the game we saw a little more of downtown Detroit and then headed out.  

The rest of the week was spent on Lake Huron.  The Great Lakes are most certainly great. I have a mad love infatuation with the ocean, but the Great Lakes now run a very close second.  There are sandy beaches, clear blue water that goes on and on and best of all no sharks or jelly fish.  I dig this fact.  

Our week at the lake went something like this-

Kids swinging and swinging on swing sets...


Kayaking, splashing and swimming in the chilly, beautiful lake...


Bonfires each night with s'mores, fireworks and late nights...


Sparklers, sending wishes off in lanterns in the sky and catching fireflies...


Let me tell you something about fireflies.  They are awesome.  We don't have them in Montana and I have never seen them before.  As far as I was concerned they were something made up in movies and books.  Each night as the sun went down the distance was lit with little flashing lights.  Coolest bug ever.  I was so excited for the girls to experience this, catch some and hold them in our hands.  A moment I hold dear to my heart...standing in the sand with a huge moon above us and the girls letting a firefly crawl over their hands with looks of awe in their eyes.  

Playing in the sand and burying giggling girls...
 And big smiles after burying Matt...

Even the rainy, cool days were fun.  Filled with hot tubs and turning a bedroom into a glitter tattoo parlor...


And, that little guy in the middle of each of those photos...I pretty much wanted to put him in my suitcase to bring back home.  

And the girls getting to meet these two ladies...the women who along with his mother helped make Matt the amazing guy/husband/dad he is today...

We have been in Montana for so long I sometimes forget that Matt isn't from here.  His history lies someplace else and getting to see him so happy back in that world makes me smile.  

Yesterday the girls were anxious to go see their cousins here after being away.  As they ran around and played with those they've grown up with it made me sad that they haven't gotten that with all their cousins.  There is a whole world of family thousands of miles away.  I can't imagine them meeting my sisters kids for the first time at 9 & 7.  It really sucks that this is how it has to be.  Ava leaned over to me on the plane ride home and told me "I wish all of your family and all of daddy's family could live in the same town, that would be perfect."  Very true baby girl.  But, it was nice to see that even though it took years for this moment to happen, family is family and miles and years don't matter...

I do know it will not be ten more years before we go back.  Bonds were made and now I realize how important this is.  I was apprehensive about going back, it's been so long and we're settled in our world here.  However, there is a whole other part of these girls family that they need to know.  It may not ever be the same as it is with my sisters and their cousins here, but that's simply geography.  They get to see them more because they are all within ten minutes of us.  This means every year or every other year we need to rent a big ol' lake house on the beach and fill it with family and friends.  Spend day and night together for a week solid.  Eating, laughing, catching up.  Making up for lost time.  And next time, I simply must find a way to sneak this kid back to Montana...

Thanks sweet Michigan and everyone there.  It was a lovely time indeed.  

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