One more wedding to go and our big wedding season is over. Phew. I’m excited to be in Philly on weekends, but our trips have been really nice.
Last week, our roommate Sam got back from tour long enough for his band to play a homecoming show, and then he left for a solo tour the next day. The show was at Wolf Cycles. Allison opened with her solo project, with Sam backing her up.
Joyride played next but I didn’t get photos, and Radiator Hospital closed out the night – a short and sweet show, just how I like them.
At work last week. Simone loves to find places to sit. Lately she’s been planting herself on this little step, often with her arms lounged out behind her. Haha. It’s very cute.
Try laying down on the ground with crawling babies in the room. It’s the most exciting thing to them. They will swarm you instantly.
As I type this, it’s actually my last day with Simone. The nanny share setting wasn’t vibing with her so we all made the decision for her to find solo care. I’m going to keep on with Leo and we are trying to find another family to share with. I’ve never had a share not work out before so it was a little stressful and a hard decision to come to, but I think it’s what’s best for the babes. Hopefully we can meet up with Simone and her new caretaker sometimes so that she and Leo can keep being friends.
Some glowy afternoon light in my bedroom. Before the past couple days, we’ve had some pretty beautiful fall weather.
On Friday morning, eeeeeearly, Mikey and I headed out of town for another wedding. This time, in Michigan, for my other oldest best bud from home, Katie. Here is an airplane selfie with my lion’s mane of hair.
Flying in over Grand Rapids. The site of fall foliage in a patchwork of farms is so familiar and comforting to me. My dad flew private planes all through my childhood so we would go up and fly low over the MI farmscape just for fun sometimes on weekends.
My sister drove us from Grand Rapids to Paw Paw, and we arrived to my mom babysitting my nephew Asher, and his new dog, Sammy.
Asher doing the most kid thing ever, sliding down the stairs on his butt.
Sammy is a rescue so she’s a bit rough around the edges and definitely not graceful around the kids, but she’s already very protective of them. She raced circles around Asher for the first hour we were there, making sure we weren’t going to get him.
She warmed up to us once she realized we were there to play with Asher and not hurt him. With a little socialization I think she’s going to be a great dog.
After getting ready for the wedding, which was that night, we headed to Kalamazoo to celebrate. The big entrance.
Because Michigan is not progressive by any means, Katie and Kristy went down to Chicago two nights earlier to get legally married, in a private wedding on the beach. On Friday night, they had a celebration with everyone else.
It was a very happy/fun celebration.
Merry giving her toast. Merry and Katie have known each other since they were born, basically, and lived a few houses down from each other their whole lives. My dad (when he was an OBGYN) actually delivered both of them! Small town livin. I met them both when I got to kindergarden but by then I was already in a second tier of best friendship, haha.
My best friends’ partners. So maybe Mikey isn’t the tallest.
and then, dancing. I should make it known that I don’t dance and I don’t drink. I think those facts are related… haha. So when I post these pictures that make it look like I had a wild night of dancing, know that it was from the sidelines and I’m a little bit of a square. But I love watching my friends dance and I love going to parties and socializing, so only just a liiiiittle bit of a square.
Katie on the other hand, life of the party. Even at Merry’s wedding she stole the mic from the DJ and sang like 15 songs (literally stole it, put it down her dress and ran to the back of the room while he wasn’t looking)
So her wedding was full of moments for her to be herself. Katie, Merry, Erin and I played in a band together all through high school and Katie was the singer and songwriter. She loves to perform, and had a few big serenades at her wedding.
Kristy is the perfect counterpart to that because she loves it and lets Katie be Katie, sometimes with an eye roll, but still. A true partner.
During one serenade that Katie planned for Kristy as a surprise, she also armed Merry with a surprise confetti cannon.
It was the best.
Couple more! Whenever I post photos from weddings I end up posting more pictures than I normally would. Usually my photoblog is more of a summary, but people like having photos from their own wedding so this is for them.
Katie dancing with our other best bud, Frances’s dad. We just found out Frances is pregnant! She’s having a girl in April. So stoked for my buds.
Phew! Okay, on to the rest of a pretty, fall Michigan weekend. On Saturday morning, we went with my family to the local cider mill near my mom’s house.
My nephews, Thomas and Asher, were very excited for the kiddie activities.
and it was the perfect day (except colder than I had expected!).
No adults! Sorry.
I love that these guys love playing with each other. Such brothers.
The train was made out of a small tractor and trailers built out with plywood and a plastic drum. I thought it was very clever/cute.
My sisters and mom.
“The puuuuuumpkin!!” That’s what my nephews kept yelling.
“We’re jumping inside of a pumpkin!!!”
This was really funny and cute – the ‘gold diggers mine’ was just a dirt pit in the woods that they threw some polished rocks into, but the kids loved digging around in the dirt and finding treasure.
Finding treasure is serious business.
My mom explaining to the boys how cider is pressed.
Somebody get a vacuum.
After the cider mill, we parted ways with the boys and my sisters, and Mikey and I headed over to my dad’s house, which is the house I grew up in, on a big piece of land.
We had plans to hang out there later and have a fire, so with nothing to do in the meantime, we headed over there and set up the fire ahead of time, and just wandered around the farm.
Lake Brownwood. I spent most of my days as a kid out on this lake and tromping through the woods and damming up the stream. I love living in the city as an adult and it’s fun to work with little city kids and see what opportunities are afforded to them, but I’m so glad I grew up with so much nature as my playground.
We have 100 acres, and my whole life it was a concord grape vineyard, and some smaller fields with corn, alfalfa, asparagus for a while, and hay. But in the last two years, my dad did an overhaul of the entire farm. He had to get rid of the grapes because they haven’t been yielding and have just been a money pit the last few years. I think the more extreme weather makes it too fickle of a crop. He’s part of the first wave of a farm subsidy program now to bring chestnuts back as a Michigan crop/industry. It certainly isn’t as pretty as the vineyard was…. but when these are actually trees instead of twigs in a few years maybe it will get better.
In the back of our farm, we have this swampy forest that has been dying since as long as we’ve lived on the land. It was never a healthy forest because the drainage was too bad, and the trees would rot out, despite being soooo tall and old.
As a kid, we would go back and play ‘island hopping’ and ‘tree pushing.’ When the swamp was especially wet, it would create islands between all the trees, so we would move all the fallen trees into bridges and try to get from island to island. The trees were so rotted out that we could push on really tall dead trees and they would just fall. The only problem with using the fallen trees for bridges is that is they were pretty soft bridges… and half the time we would step onto a bridge and the wood would fall apart under our feet and we would fall in the mud. My mom was so tolerant of us coming back to the house totally filthy.
My dad has been trying to improve the health of the forest. There was a stream going through it that got clogged which has always been the cause of the drainage problem. So he’s been working on dredging out the stream for the past few years and it seems to be helping. There was a lot of new growth! I was impressed.
Mikey pushing his first giant tree down. Whenever I visit home, I still always go to the back woods to check for trees to knock down. Each year a few more giant ones have rotted out.
Here, I found a terrarium for you to put in a jar.
This giant tree tipped over, huge roots and all, probably in a big storm. So wild!
Some glowy light and a Kubota
Back to my mom’s house to meet up for dinner. Here’s Aussie, our 14 year old cat. The last of our childhood pets.
Later that night, catching up with my best home buds.
On Sunday morning, our last morning in Michigan, we drove down to St. Joseph to see my friends Dan and Leah and their brand new baby, Violet. Dan and I were close friends in high school and he got married two years ago to Leah, who he met while living in Chicago. Their baby is coming up on four weeks old!
She was tiiiiiiny. I forget how small babies start out.
It was great to see Dan and Leah doing well and adjusting to this new huge thing in their lives. They’re both totally cut out to be parents. Dan has been pre-dad for as long as I’ve known him. You need a dad joke? He’s got plenty.
A total natural
Leah was telling us that she was convinced Vi smiled last week so Dan tickled her nose a bunch and she totally did crack a smile!
What a little creature
and already a champ at tummy time.
The town Dan and Leah live in is on Lake Michigan. You can walk there from their house in five minutes.
Michigan is majestic.
and then we flew back to Philly. The weekend felt too short.