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February Trip to Michigan (a little big of a photo dump)

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Ok, my last post was a little depressing.  So I’m going to write about something that makes me happy.

Many know that I am originally from Michigan.  I was born there, but we moved to Florida when I was 4 1/2 years old.  (So like…20 years ago 😉 ).

My father’s parents are still up there.  I really am not able to get up there as much as I would like, so when I see an opportunity, I have to jump on it.

The last time we were up there was about 5 years ago or so, when Ayden was almost 2. It was for a family reunion that they do every other year (well, kinda every year now that the grandparents are “older”).  It was so much fun and I was SO looking forward to seeing many family members I used to see at these reunions.

They couldn’t make it for one reason or another, which I understand as I can’t make it every time.  It was still good to see the Michigan folk!

Shortly before Thanksgiving 2017, I got news that my grandfather (who was 95 at the time) has an aneurysm and the prognosis is not super clear on if it’s something that could burst tomorrow or three years from now.  When my dad was telling me about it, he was still waiting on all the details.

Is it operable…

Is his body strong enough to handle operation…

Will he make it to his birthday in February…

And much more.

So, I discussed going up for his birthday with my husband.  When Berkley had his last position still in the store, February was pretty much impossible for him to take time off, as it is still season and busy.  So, I figured I would try to go by myself.  Somehow, he would need to take care of the dogs, get the kid to school and picked up from school, while working his long hours about 45 minutes away from home.  Because if I took Ayden, he would miss 2 days of school.  We are firm on him not missing school unless it’s an emergency.  But, I am happy to say that after much discussion, we decided that him seeing his great-grandparents again is a perfect reason to miss 2 days of Kindergarten.  And I do NOT regret that decision one little bit.

Plans were made, plane tickets were booked, and the countdown began.  Ayden was super excited because there was a good chance for him to see snow.  I, however, was not as excited about the snow.  I have come to HATE the super cold.  I am not a fan of getting all bundled up to walk to the car and then take it all off again.  Bleh!

But I was SUPER excited to see my family (especially my grandparents) and a bonus time seeing my parents.  And I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous about traveling by myself with Ayden and all of our luggage.  Just too many horror stories about kids being taken while parents were distracted.  I didn’t want to be taken advantage of being the only parent.  (Yes, I am a worst-case-scenario type of person).  Thankfully, I am happy to report that we made it just fine with no close calls even.

Well…except for when Ayden was getting off the down escalator and tripped on the edge and almost got his fingers caught.  Thank goodness for quick cat-like-mother-reflexes and I basically grabbed him by the arm and kind of threw him back.  And yes, I had an audience…GREAT!  But my kid wasn’t hurt and neither was I so I kind of felt like a hero.  HAHAHA

We got off the plane, and did what any normal Floridian would do when expecting to go outside into snow…we layered up!  Now, we didn’t need to go far as my parents were picking us up.  But I remember one trip we took to Connecticut during the snow, and we were FROZEN even in our layers.  So, I did just that.  I had worn leggings so they would easily go under my baggy sweat pants.  Borrowed my sisters fuzzy-lined boots, and grabbed one of my husband’s big sweatshirts.  I was prepared.  We changed in the family bathroom and couldn’t put our arms down as we walked to the exit to find my parents.  NEEDLESS to say, by the time I carried the carseat and my carryon bag, and keeping a close eye on Ayden with the roller bag, I was SWEATING by the time we reached the exit door that I was almost glad for the cold weather.  And by the time I got in the car, I stripped the outside layers back off.  See…never would have to deal with this in Florida (we get super cold temps, but never snow…and it’s only like 3 days a year).

What I left…and what I landed into.

(I do have a picture of my purple sweat pants and furry boots, but it’s fuzzy so I didn’t post it). 🙂

Anyhoo, after a little ride, we arrived at my grandparents house and yes…all of my childhood memories came back and I was a kid again.  The only thing missing was my Great-Grandma.

I used to stand on this register as a kid and let the heat warm me up! (yes, Christmas socks cuz it was cold…in February). 🙂

Now much hasn’t changed around here, Grandpa naps a lot, Grandma is in the kitchen all day.  And the uncles and cousins goof off.  There’s just another generation of cousins to goof off.

She’s grating carrots on an old Tupperware grater for my Grandpa’s favorite cake for his birthday…carrot cake. She’s in her 90s too!
My uncle, father, and cousin (that uncle’s son) are big Star Wars goobers. My uncle made the costumes. They did a full on photo shoot and it was HILARIOUS! Thank goodness for Live Photos on an iPhone.
Ayden in a rocking chair that my great-grandfather built. There are a few of them in the house. Memories!

HE KEPT WANTING TO GO PLAY IN THE SNOW!!!
He did enjoy how it crunched under his feet.

The weekend was filled with family, laughter, and food!  My grandfather’s 96th birthday was a success!  And I am so glad that I was able to be there for it!  He’s goofy old dude.  Half the time we can’t tell if he’s playing that he’s forgotten something, or if he really has.  And I think he likes it that way.  He’s always had a bit of mischief behind those eyes and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The mischief is hereditary…as seen here with my dad. haha!!!

I couldn’t leave without taking some 4 generation photos.  It was our last night there.  We got the old folks to the table for a couple of shots.  The great thing about taking photos on phones now, is that you can take as many as you want!  It was awesome!  Grandma yelling at Grandpa (nothing new there), “FRANK…SMILE!”  I’ve included a photo gallery at the end of our shenanigans.  I didn’t include them ALL, because there were so many.  But you can see Grandma whistling to get Grandpa’s attention, which is really just making her not look at the camera either (facepalm).  And the there’s my father…who must make silly faces.  No one really knows when my uncle is taking pix, so we are just hoping out of the 20 photos, we have one good one.

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