Tag Archives: summer

Our Trip to Michigan 2017

2 Aug

Back in June, Travis, Emma, Annabelle, and I vacationed in Holland, Michigan, with almost my whole family—my dad, 2 of 3 brothers, 2 of 3 sisters-in-law, and the 2 nephews on my side (to be joined by 2 nieces by the end of the year!). We were the first to arrive on Saturday. We flew from Brainerd to Grand Rapids (with a layover in MSP), rented a car, and drove an hour to Holland.IMG_4540IMG_0297 (Large)IMG_0298 (Large)IMG_4541The beach house we rented through Airbnb was in a small community of private owners, right next to the mouth of Lake Macatawa, and had its own private beach, which was super nice. Would definitely recommend this area!IMG_0435 (Large)IMG_0431 (Large)IMG_0317 (Large)We didn’t know it at the time, but the day we arrived was one of the nicest days we had there. The girls were so excited to be at the beach that we dropped our stuff in the house, got suits on, and headed out. It wasn’t extremely warm, especially for being at the beach, but it was warm enough to enjoy being out there, even in water that was only 68 degrees.

Later that day, my dad, and the 4 Js (Jeremy, Jen, Jensen and Jackson) arrived. Brian and Jill arrived the following night. Chris and Meg were unfortunately unable to come because of last-minute complications with selling their condo and building a new house.

Most days were a combination of hanging out in the house doing puzzles or watching movies, kids playing on the beach or in the water, chilling, drinking, playing Kubb (which Brian introduced us to), and going on some kind of outing.IMG_0319 (Large)IMG_0335 (Large)IMG_4615IMG_4631IMG_4592IMG_4562IMG_0373 (Large)IMG_0375 (Large)IMG_0437 (Large)Sunday, we had planning to go on a hike in a state forest but turned out it was only a random trail through the woods. So instead we went to the Lake Macatawa State Park, which was where the public beach was located. We ate ice cream, watched kite flying, walked out on the break water, and played on the playground. The funny thing was, it was literally just on the opposite side of the red lighthouse and mouth of Lake Macatawa as our beach house–but it took us about 30 minutes to drive there. After seeing all the people on the public beach, we were grateful for our private one. IMG_4586IMG_4573IMG_4576Monday, Jen and I went to a used book sale at the local library while Brian and my dad bought groceries. Then we visited the Windmill Island Gardens, and learned a little about Dutch culture. We took a tour of the working windmill and learned how they grind flour and cornmeal, which was really interesting. The kids rode the carousel a couple of times, we listened to an antique Amsterdam street organ, and bought some yummy Dutch treats in the gift shop.IMG_4603IMG_4642IMG_4609IMG_4602Tuesday, Annabelle got sick. 😦 Poor little girl didn’t have much of a fever, but she got a ton of mucus buildup, so she had a hard time sleeping and just wanted to cuddle all day. That evening, the four of us did a little shopping downtown while others went grocery shopping and then we all went out to eat at New Holland Brewing, where the food was delicious (and I heard the beer was too, but I am not a beer drinker).IMG_4620Wednesday, we finally had a day that wasn’t super windy so we spent most of it on the beach. Annabelle still wasn’t feeling well, but she enjoyed snuggling on the beach and listening to the white noise of the waves.IMG_4630Thursday, Annabelle was starting to feel better, but still wanted to be carried most of the time. We debated about whether we should have her out and about, but after much hemming and hawing, we decided to go for it. We went on a Saugatuck Dune Ride and a hike at Sand Dunes State Park. The dune ride was awesome. Our girls loved it, putting their arms up in the air and squealing whenever we went around a fast turn or down a steep hill. Jensen and Jackson were a little apprehensive about the ride at times though. I don’t like rollercoasters whatsoever, but this ride was tame enough for me (while still being fun for others with stronger stomachs). Our guide, Joey, was very friendly and told us some of the history of the sand dunes.IMG_0405 (Large)IMG_0409 (Large)IMG_0390 (Large)IMG_0387 (Large)IMG_0383 (Large) Afterward, we ate ice cream, then went on a short, easy hike in the state park, which ended at the beach, where Emma and Jensen proceeded to go swimming fully clothed.IMG_0411 (Large)IMG_0415 (Large)Friday, we went to the Outdoor Discovery Center, which was a great find. There was a nature center with some impressive taxidermied animals, a kid-size zipline, a bunch of walking trails, and a birds of prey center, where we saw bald eagles, hawks, owls, and more who had all been rehabilitated from an injury and could no longer survive in the wild. Oh, and we also lost Emma on the never-ending maze of trails for a good 10 minutes.IMG_4664IMG_4647 We also stopped by the fishing pond, where Jensen and Travis both caught a few fish.IMG_0426 (Large)Saturday, it was time to pack up, tidy the beach house, and head south to South Haven to see Jeremy race in the National Auto Sport Association (the J’s had driven there the night before). We got there right as Jeremy was on the track for the Qualifier, and got to see him drive by a couple of times. Then there was a break for his class/division (whatever you call it), so we got to chat with him, see their car trailer/RV rig, and eat lunch. Right after lunch, Jeremy had his big race of the day so we all made our way up to the big spectator hill. Unfortunately, Jeremy only made it around the track a couple times before his car had a major malfunction and he was forced to exit the race, and also be done for the weekend. Such is the life of a race car driver.IMG_4666We left soon afterward for the airport in Grand Rapids. Because Travis has often flown Delta for work, and we made two separate itineraries for this trip in order to use mileage points, he and Emma were TSA Pre-check and got upgraded to first class seats on the way back, while Annabelle and I were all the way back in Row 24. Honestly, it wasn’t bad at all. I just love giving him crap about it. 😉

And that was our trip! We would definitely love to go back!

Beach Day

17 Jun

After almost nonstop rain for days, today was gorgeous. So Emma and I went to the beach in Nevis – her first time at any beach! I think she enjoyed it.

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The water wasn’t incredibly warm but Emma was brave and waded in up to her waist. She also enjoyed splashing her feet in the water as I held her on my lap.

It still amazes me what a difference humidity makes. It is only about 80 degrees today but it feels much warmer. In Colorado, 80 would feel a little too cool for the beach!

Training Recap: 3/19 – 3/25

26 Mar

I spoke too soon yesterday when I said I was back on track with my sleeping schedule… Last night, I went to bed at 9:30 but laid there for 30 minutes with non-stop thoughts running through my head (about running routes and my future long runs, no less). I decided to read for 30 minutes, which usually helps settle my brain. And it did, but I only got 7 hours of sleep instead of my intended 8. And every time I rolled over, I was concerned about smudging my nail polish, since I had just painted my nails before bed. Oh bother.

My training last week wasn’t completely according to plan either. I got all my miles in but only did strength training once and no cross training – unless washing windows counts? BUT the running is the most important thing and I’m still injury-free, having fun and living the dream. And that’s all that matters, right?

Monday: 3.04 mile tempo run (31:51; 10:28/mile)

This was supposed to be a nice, easy run but I ran with Travis, which always makes me run faster than I would alone because I feel so slow next to him! Even though I saw we were running faster than I had planned, I felt good so I just went with it.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 5 mile hill/tempo run (58:03; 11:05/mile)

I had only planned to run 3 miles of hill repeats but when that was over, I didn’t want to stop running. I felt great and the weather was perfect – cloudy, cool, slight breeze. And since I was supposed to run 5 the next day anyway, I just decided to go for it while I was feeling good. I ended up having to change my clothes in the car while driving to women’s group but it was still the right call. 😉

For the hill workout, I did a 1 mile out and back warmup. The hill I ran is about .65 of a mile long with a gain of 250 feet. It kills me on the bike and on my feet.

For my first time up the hill, I ran hard for 15 sec and walked for 30, repeated until the top, and ran back down. The second time up, I ran hard for increasing increments: 10 sec hard, 20 sec rest, 15 sec hard, 20 sec rest, 20 sec hard, 30 sec rest. Repeated until I got to the top and ran back down.

Splits were a little off because I was using my Poor Man’s GPS again:
Mile 1 – 10:41
Mile 1.96 – 11:35
Mile 2.56 – 8:16
Mile 3.21 – 5:54
Mile 4.23 – 10:31
Mile 5.23 – 11:06

My legs were pretty tired by the end of the 5 miles but this was an awesome run.

Thursday: 3.24 mile easy-ish run (35:25; 10:56/mile) + Self strength workout

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 9.93 mile long run (1:49:43; 11:02/mile)

Another awesome run!

Sunday: 20 minute walk with pooches + 4.5 hours of cleaning (2 of which were spent washing windows)

I decided that getting my house in order before leaving town on Thursday and being able to see out my windows was more important than doing cross training. And my right arm is now way more defined than my left from all that scrubbing.

Total Running Miles: 21.44 (first time over 20 in this training cycle!)

{Side note: It may sound like I was getting all ambitious by washing our windows but the truth is: I haven’t done this since we moved in. And the majority of our windows have been replaced since then, meaning I had never washed them. It was a little overdue. Kind of like cleaning my oven. Next up: cleaning our carpet. It is DISGUSTING (and really just needs to be replaced, but we’re going to do that right before we try to sell because I know that our dogs – and maybe me – will ruin it between now and then. I just spilled my Mike’s on it the other night and created a nice big stain. Sweet.}

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I can’t help but point out the difference in how my legs feel between my training recap a couple of weeks ago and this week’s. That recap, every run was accompanied by “My legs feel like crap.” This recap, every run was accompanied by “My legs feel awesome! Running is awesome! I heart marathon training!” I’m not so naive as to think I won’t encounter some discouraging twinges, cramps, and pangs in future runs, but my mindset is the same as how I’ve approaching this warm weather – I won’t make myself enjoy it less just because it might still snow. I’m going to live it up in the moment and if it snows, it snows.

Although, I would like to point out that this is the last week of March and it still hasn’t snowed. And if this weather forecast doesn’t say BOOYAH to all the warm-weather naysayers, then I don’t know what does:

Yes, I am very ready for summer.

 Are you ready for summer? What’s your favorite season? In Colorado, my favorite season is spring. There are no puddles or nasty snow to deal with, it’s warm but not hot, and best of all, it’s the season of tulips, Easter, and Russian Olive trees. I told Travis that I’m going to work remotely from a Russian Olive tree once they bloom. Seriously, the best smell in the world.

Vacation in Minnesota

19 Jul

*Sigh.* I love summer in Minnesota. Being back here makes both Travis and me wish somewhat that we didn’t live in Colorado. But I keep reminding myself that 7 months out of the year, I am VERY glad that I live in Colorado because of the weather and all the stuff to do. But you can’t beat Minnesota lakes in the summer. Even though there are lots of mosquitoes and humidity, I still love this state in the summer. It just smells a certain way and it reminds of me of growing up.

I did have a great birthday. Very lowkey but it was a lot of fun. We went tubing and skiing on the lake again and went fishing in the evening. We caught about 15 sunfish total and kept about 8. We fried the fish the next morning for breakfast (they were actually really good, even though I’m not a huge fan of fish for breakfast). After eating our burgers, salad, and corn, we started a bonfire right next to the lake. Around 10:30, we went back inside and had cake and ice cream. It was a very good birthday!

On Wednesday morning, Travis and I woke up to a good ole Minnesota thunderstorm. I LOVE thunder and lightning when it’s lightly raining outside. We left for Nevis, MN, around 10 AM after eating breakfast and cleaning the kitchen up from the night before and got up to Nevis, where his parents live, around 1:30. We played baseball in Nevis with his younger brother, nephew, and Mom and then went to see Wall-e, which was really cute. I also opened my presents from Travis and his family–Travis gave me a pair of sandals from Victoria’s Secret that I really wanted 

My birthday sandals

My birthday sandals--I got the gold ones.

 and his family gave me a gift certificate to Target (which I’m going to use for house stuff!!) My parents’ present to me came about 3 months ago in the form of a Coach purse which I am loving.

On Thursday, we went fishing at the crack of down. I caught a 3-4 lb. smallmouth bass, along with a bunch of small panfish. Travis and Matthew (his bro) caught some Northern pike. We didn’t keep anything. After eating breakfast, Travis, Matthew, Drew (his nephew who lives with Trav’s sis in NC but is up here for a month), Beth (his mom), and I all went to the World of Christmas, which is an amusement park. We rode the bumper boats (where I got soaked!) and the go-karts; walked through a maze; had water wars (I got soaked then too!); jumped on a bungee cord thingy; and played mini-golf. It was a lot of fun. Then Travis and I drove an hour and a half to Grand Rapids, where his dad, Al, has taken a new job. Beth and Matthew will move there as well but they’re still working on buying a house. Al gave us a tour around his workplace (a redi-mix plant where he’s a manager) and around the town of Grand Rapids. 

Yesterday, Travis and I slept in to about 8:45 and then ate the continental breakfast at the posh hotel that his dad is staying at. Al’s hotel suite is bigger than our apartment in Boulder! The hotel is brand new too so everything is really nice. We took showers and hung around the hotel for a while and then drove back to Nevis. We went fishing again, Travis, Matthew, and Drew in the fishing boat, and me and Beth in the canoe. We caught a bunch of small sunfish and kept 3 but ended up throwing them back because 3 isn’t enough to fillet and fry. After dinner, Travis and I drove to Park Rapids (about 20 min away) to visit one of his friends from HS, Jesse, and his wife, Emily. We toured their business and new house and caught up. It was fun.

Today, we have been kind of lazy. It was raining all morning so we just hung out inside, took a tour of the state land around their property that is being logged, played Bocce ball, read, took a nap, etc. It’s good to have a lazy day or two on vacation.

But I can’t believe that it’s already Saturday and tomorrow we fly home. It’s bittersweet–bitter because the end of vacation is always sad and we won’t see Trav’s family again maybe until October (if they come to my bro’s wedding in August, we’ll see them then too). Sweet because we’ll see my family again in August but also because in the meantime, we get to move into our new house!! Now that our vacation is almost over and I have the house to look forward to (and we saw Jesse and Emily’s new house last night), I am getting really excited about moving in and decorating. There’s a lot we want to do and our only limitation is money. (Ah…money.) But my mom’s gift and Beth’s gift have definitely helped!!

Ok, I’m done now.

It’s my birthday!

15 Jul

I am officially 25 today so that means I can finally rent a car without any additional fees…I’m really pumped about that. Travis and I are on our vacation in Minnesota right now, which makes this birthday extra special because I get to spend it with my family. I haven’t spent my actual birthday with my family in about 4 years. When I turned 21, I was with friends. When I turned 22 and 23, I was at Summer Beach Project in Myrtle Beach, SC. When I turned 24 last year, I was with Travis’ family. So finally I get to spend it with MY parents (and my husband)!

To celebrate, Travis and I went on a run this morning (exercise is good!) For breakfast, we had smoothies and banana/blueberry pancakes. We are going to go boating and tubing around Pine City (where my parents’ lake cabin is) and then jetskiing later. For dinner, we’re going to have burgers, strawberry salad, corn on the cob, and pineapple cake (all by my request). I thought about going out to dinner but then, we can go out to dinner in Colorado anytime–how often do we get to grill out at the cabin by a lake? Never!

So I think it will be a great birthday. I’m okay with it being chill and relaxed. I’m 25 now–an adult. I have to act my age, right?. Not!!!

Just a side note: yesterday we took the boat out and Travis and I went waterskiing (at different times of course). He’s pretty good at slaloming. I, on the other hand, am not. I can get up on two skis pretty quickly and can even cross the wake without falling down (except right when I got up yesterday for the first time, my dad went around a turn and I went outside the wake against my will and ended up falling on my butt and getting a water enema. OUCH!!! It hurt so badly that I could barely move. But it didn’t stop me from trying to slalom!) I tried to slalom by dropping a ski and then by just starting with one. Neither worked. I did a couple faceplants and my arms got a workout but I didn’t get up. Oh well, tubing is more my thing anyway. 🙂