So we just got back from a great trip up to Michigan. It was great seeing friends and family for a couple quick weeks. The kids actually got an additional two weeks as my parents had taken them up early... which also means we got two weeks off with no kids. (Allie wants to add during those 2 weeks she got ahead in her homework & has since fallen behind again.) Although we would always love to have seen more people and spend more time with the few who we did see, it was a great trip overall and a lot of fun was had.
Traverse City was especially nice because Allie's parents were able to come up there as well... so most of the families were together. Bri had a great time playing with... his cousin from South Carolina who was also up visiting. A little funny that we drove 15 hours for him to play with a friend who lives just an hour away. The two didn't leave the lake for the entire week, spending their time fishing or swimming... or swimming trying to find the fishing pole they dropped off the raft...I don't think that was ever successful. Bri's highlight was camping out in a tent (in my parents' yard) with Zach and another friend. They loaded up the tent with toys and snacks and I'm pretty sure I heard them still talking around 4 AM. Not much sleep that night, but they were all up for the Cherry Festival Parade the next day.
Bri had a blast at the parade. Kel would have loved it, but she left the day before with Allie's parents for some extra grandparent time in Livonia. Although Allie and I were certain that we saw her twin (in behavior at least) on one of the floats. We were toward the end of the parade, so the kids on the floats were pretty tired, but this one cute little girl was dancing away to the songs and doing all the hand motions... definitely a girl after Kel's heart. Bri's favorite part was getting all the things people were handing out as they went by in the parade (candy, coupons, magazines, toys... you name it). He collected two full bags, one for himself and one for his sister, complete with green stuff (her favorite color... for Michigan State, sorry HK). These handouts became Allie's and my least favorite part when Party Giant came by. Most groups handed out stuff sporadically, but this group had a handout for each and every kid... noise makers. You could hear a wave of sound following this float as hundreds of kids gleefully put these handouts to immediate use... 10 minutes later... still going on... Party Giant, worst float ever. Allie had a good moment at the parade when Pool World came by with giant sized (like 5 ft) beach balls. As one came toward her she tried to knock it back in the street, but instead it knocked her out of her chair... oops.
I'd say the highlight of the trip came on our last Sunday when Laura convinced Will, Mike, and I to join her in a Triathlon (sprint distance: 500m swim, 20k bike, 5k run). This was my first triathlon and I had a blast, I think I did the best on the biking, despite being on a mountain bike. But I now know why Laura wanted us to do it... because she kicked all three of our butts and placed second in her age group. Will sadly had bike trouble for the third (out of three) triathlons in a row. Mike was a great sport in joining our insanity and was pleased to finish. I was pretty happy with my performance overall, especially coming off a broken/sprained ankle which is still bothering me. Although I was not too happy the next day (quite sore) or today (first day I tried to exercise again... I'm hurting a lot right now). Bri followed up our performance with a triathlon of his own that evening: swam to the raft and back, biked around the driveway, then ran around the driveway (my parents driveway is pretty long by the way) and now he wants to get a road bike. He did quite well on our ride today, making it about 13 miles before Allie picked him up on our way to the lake, leaving me to finish the ride. Kel also got some good exercise in today... at least according to her. I'm pretty sure she just sat in the backpack and I did all the work... but what do I know.
That's about it for now. We are just down here trying to figure out our plans for the next year. As some of you know we are looking at staying in Columbia for another year or doing some work around Detroit. Much of it depends on what happens with our house, so we appreciate your thoughts & prayers in this. :)