Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Eve

My super cool Valentine (a.k.a. Austin) went camping in the freezing snow with his scout troupe on Valentine's day. haha! So, we celebrated on Valentine's Eve this year. We got a sitter for Oliver and tried The Real Seafood Co. in downtown Ann Arbor. We had been dying to try it ever since we moved here. And, maybe we had anticipated that night for way too long or something because the food was actually very disappointing. Expensive food should blow you away. But, this food... meh. I'd give it a 6. Except the bread! Oh my goodness that bread! 

Valentine's Day.... ugh! Definitely not my most favorite holiday. It's supposed to be a special, romantic holiday full of love and flowers and chocolates and expensive, unnecessary gifting to significant others. Don't get me wrong, I love love and chocolate and flowers just as much as the next girl. I just think every single day of the year should be full of love and service to our partners and children. Why should I put this one specific day on a pedestal when I receive love, support, friendship, kindness and affection every single day? Ok. That's the end of my little rant.

Well, anyway... I still love any excuse to bake delicious things and make my boys happy. For the last 4 years I have carried on a tradition started by my mom which is to bake and decorate a heart cake for my little family.  I love this tradition. Every year as I bake and decorate the heart cakes I can't help but think about my mom slaving away in the kitchen to make our cakes. We were always so excited to rush home and see our OWN CAKES on the counter with our names on them. That was the most loving and memorable thing she could have ever done for us on Valentine's Day. No matter how good or bad our day had gone we knew we would have those little cakes waiting for us at home. I loved that.  

Austin and Oliver's Valentine cakes

Austin's cake

Ollie's cake

My little valentine

What a handsome little devil

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Visit from the Family!

In mid January my parents and two sisters, Hannah (16) and Hope (10) came out here to freezing cold Michigan for a visit! Although it was only for a few days it was still SOO wonderful! It definitely recharged my battery!

A lot of the time we just hung out in the apartment playing games, making food, watching movies, etc. But, everyday we braved the 0ºF weather and went out for at least a few hours. We visited Detroit and had lunch in Mexican town, we went to one of our favorite parks (Geddes Park) and walked on the icy trails, we shopped a little at the mall and let Ollie play at the children's play area, and we ate at one of my favorite restaurants in Ann Arbor called Jerusalem Garden. 

My favorite was just being together in the apartment. We were all bundled in cozy sweaters and socks and playing tons of fun games together and I even got to have my Daddy's unbakers (no-bake cookies) one night! 

I love my family so much! It was so nice to show them where we live and give them a little taste of Ann Arbor. Seeing them for a few days filled my bucket and will help me get through another 8 or so months until I can see them again.

On a walk at Geddes Park

"Ice Skating" on the frozen river at Geddes Park

Ollie loves Papa and Mimi so much!

Sliding around on the frozen river

We visited a neighborhood in the middle of Detroit that has been turned into an art project called the Heidelberg Project. All the houses in this neighborhood have turned their yards and houses into unique themed art pieces. It was really a crazy experience.

The abandoned Michigan Central Station used to be Detroit's main rail depot. It is so sad to see such a majestic and historic building totally abandoned and unkempt. 

All the windows have been broken and the whole inside is in ruin from all the break-ins. 

My boys. I love them!

Wrestling around with Papa is one of Ollie's favorite things

Austin helping Hannah with her Science homework

Apparently I'm not too big to be leg lifted

Auntie Hope put her foot in the tub, then her legs and then eventually just got all the way in. haha!

Playing games together! Ollie loves Auntie Hannah!