Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our New West Wight Potter... with a Pending Name

Back in February we sold our little 470 racing sail boat. It was bittersweet to say goodbye. We learned to sail on that little thing and had a blast most of the time. I say most because it was stressful as well. It capsized a few times (luckily when Oliver and I weren't there). Also, Oliver and I had to duck down every time we changed directions and the boom would fly across overhead. We got pretty good at avoiding a major bonk on the head... but it was still a bit crazy to be aboard when the winds got going fast. 

Anyway, it was time to upgrade! We did a ton of research and fell in love with the Potters. We found a really awesome 14' West Wight Potter not too far away from us and for a really great price. We still haven't solidified a name for her yet. Austin is really superstitious about revealing the name before the boat naming ceremony. I thought he was joking. But, apparently, he's not! haha!

Michigan finally graced us with some good weather and we were able to take her out for the first time today! It was SUCH a blast! It was our first time sailing this boat AND sailing with Calum aboard (he is only 3 months old). So, we were grateful for slow winds. It was nice to have an easy day on the lake to figure everything out. 

The boys did SO great! Calum slept in the cabin for most of the time and Oliver loved helping us steer with the rudder. We sailed around the lake a while and then stopped at an island to explore. We didn't stay on the island long because it was totally covered in Geese and their nests! I had never seen so many aggressive looking geese staring at us as they stood guard over their eggs before today.  I was sure they were all going to charge us at any moment! haha!

We spent about 3 1/2 hours on the water with no real problems. All in all it was a success! We are pretty proud of our little crew of 4. I think we will have a lot of adventures together in this boat!

The crew

Oliver's favorite spot on the boat... right next to Dad!

Calum slept for most of the time!

Oliver got a little sleepy too and rested for a few minutes next to Calum.

Me and my Oliver man!

Never a dull moment with this kid!

April Shenanigans!

April has flown by and looking back through all these pictures makes me realize why! We had SO much fun! We took a short road trip to Indiana, we had a week or two of gorgeous weather where we were able to do some fun outdoor things, etc. Mostly, I'm just feeling like Milla again after having a baby. Adjusting to two kids (and in the middle of the coldest winter month) was a bit rough, but I think things are getting back to normal around here. All in all, it was a great month!

Here's a quick re-cap through some random photos:

On April 9th, Calum turned 3 months old! He is a happy little chubster! He loves to roll onto his side, make baby sounds and go out on walks. He is starting to sleep 8 or 9 hours through the night on occasion too, which has been wonderful! He also reserves his biggest and cutest smiles for his big brother, Oliver. It is insanely cute how much these two boys adore each other!

He loves the outdoors! He is definitely our kid!

Barely 3 months old!

3 1/2 months old!

In the Fall we are getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and we have been doing a ton of research on different breeders. One Saturday we drove all the way to Indiana (a city just south of Chicago) and met a breeder at a dog show where they were showing a few Ridgebacks. It was great to meet the breeder, learn more about the breed and see their gorgeous dogs in the ring! Seeing how amazing these dogs are in person and how well they did with Oliver definitely reinforced our decision to get one. 

It was a super fun day! And, to top it off, we stopped at a really awesome candy factory on the way home. It had a floor to ceiling chocolate waterfall inside and was wall to wall with every kind of candy you could imagine. It was pretty much worth the entire drive! 

At the end of April, we also went to a second dog show in Birch Run, Michigan to meet a different breeder and on the way home stopped at the home of a third breeder. Whew! We are really doing extensive research! 

On the way to the dog show... we had to leave at 5 am to get there on time. What a happy morning boy!
At the Birch Run dog show

Meeting a breeder and their gorgeous dogs. Oliver and this sweet girl really became pals!

Eating lunch and playing at a random park we found between meeting breeders

The Albanese Candy Factory!

One beautiful Sunday afternoon we went to one of our favorite spots, the Le Furge Nature Reserve. It is a gorgeous nature reserve where you can do a lot of bird watching and it contains miles of trails through fields and woods. It is really a gorgeous place that we discovered by accident the first week we lived here in Michigan.

We hiked around a bit and then built a fire to cook our dinner. We had chorizo tin foil dinners and afterwards roasted marshmallows for some s'mores. Oliver had so much fun building the fire with Austin and cooking the dinner he had prepared at home before coming. It was a ton of fun!

Oliver playing with the frog he caught with Austin. 

Oliver just wants to be as close to Calum as possible... at all times! So cute!

I love my boys!

Eating our tin foil dinners

Oliver and Calum have the most incredible bond. I totally didn't expect them to be so in love with each other quite yet. I thought it would take time or that Calum would need to be older for them to be such pals. But, from the day Oliver and Calum met at the hospital they have been the best of friends! Oliver even said the other day... "Oh, Calum... my best friend!!". It just about melts my heart to hear him say things like that and to see him smothering Calum with affection. I am so incredibly happy to have two such amazing little guys in my life! 

Squishing Calum's face after church

One weekend when Austin was out of town, I took Oliver and Calum to the petting farm. Oliver's best friend, Clara, and her Mom, Annita, came with us too. It was so much fun! There was a free pizza lunch beforehand for families of graduate students. Oliver and Clara had so much fun together and it was the most beautiful day!! We definitely enjoyed the greatly-missed sun and warm weather.

Oliver and Clara eating pizza together

Oliver trying to feed a rock to the alpaca

Oliver loves animals! He wasn't afraid to pet, feed, or hold any of the animals at the farm. He chased after, caught and picked up this little chicken all on his own! 

He chased these geese around while laughing hysterically for a solid 5 minutes. It was hilarious!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Easter and General Conference

This year Easter and General Conference fell on the same weekend. It was nuts to say the least, but so much fun! 

Saturday we kept our donut tradition going and we made homemade donuts as a family. We decided to make old-fashioned sour cream cake donuts this year and boy were they good! It is definitely a new family favorite! Oliver LOVED cutting out the donuts with me and dunking them in the glaze after they were fried. And, of course, his favorite part was eating them! It was really fun!

Then we watched the Saturday morning session together. Between sessions we colored eggs. We also have a family tradition where we boil onion skins to make a natural red dye. Then we used rubber bands, stickers, tape, etc. to make designs on the eggs before dying them in the red dye. This is the traditional way to color eggs (red representing the blood of Christ), before commercialism took over. For dinner we carry on a tradition that my family always had and we ordered pizza. This was such a special treat when I was a kid!

For the Sunday morning session of conference we always have brunch with the Wallins and the McClures. The Wallins make the most incredible belgian waffles and homemade sausage. It is always a really special treat. This was our last conference breakfast together since both the Wallins and McClures will be moving away this summer. :( So sad about that! 

Between sessions we had a small easter egg hunt at our apartment complex across the pond for Oliver and his two best friends, Clara and Maks (who both live here as well). It was really cute to watch them all running around together and sharing candy with each other. We have such great friends here in Ann Arbor!

Oliver looking for Easter eggs

Gee, I love him!

Natalija, Me and Annita

Clara, Oliver and Maks

Oliver and Calum with their Easter baskets

These two are the cutest!

Oliver was pretty excited about the new books!!

Oliver is such a great kid. He took his nap in my lap during general conference at the Wallins. 

Our homemade old fashioned sour cream cake donuts. Recipe on my sugarboles blog!