A Look Back at 2014: Part 1

Well to say 2014 was a busy year is an incredible understatement.

We searched for and found our first home.

Cedella started at People’s Church Preschool.

Isora managed to blow us all away with her ability to fall asleep nearly anywhere.

We traveled to Chicago and to the Cottage up north.

After waiting until we were moved and settled in our new home, we got pregnant.

And lost our sweet baby 14 weeks later.

Then we had 7 Christmas celebrations and our home became the Toys R Us graveyard.

It was eventful. Such a great way to begin the year and such a shitty way to end it. So much sadness. And it seemed to be all around us. So many people sick, hurting, suffering and losing loved ones.

In effort to counteract such sadness and to welcome the hope and promise of the year ahead let’s look at some pictures. Cause pictures always make me feel better. And if you don’t already you really should follow me on Instagram @mrseyebrowz. Because I post there way more frequently than here. Also…pictures of Iz sleeping in all manner of weird spots and positions on a regular basis.

WARNING: LOOOOOOTTTTTTSSSSS of pictures ahead. Like 30. So I’m splitting this post up into two parts. Enjoy!! 

JANUARY – This little spitfire sassy pants turned 4 years old and started her new school. She amazes us more every day she’s on this planet. And ::gasp:: she will be 5 in a mere 9 days. I’m gonna need some Kleenex. ASAP.

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And one of the most amazing things about this year? Watching these two grow even closer together. It’s the best.

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FEBRUARY – Me and my girl Kasey decided to throw an all-out Frozen birthday bash for all of our kiddos. It was AWESOME. Here’s Cedella Elsa with Kennedy Elsa and Lexi Elsa.

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And dozens of our favorite friends.

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Cedella had TWO hot dates for Valentine’s. Grandma Becky took her to her first Broadway theater show, Beauty and the Beast.

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And Michael took her to the Daddy Daughter Dance.

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We all got good gifts this Valentine’s. Check out those flowers for me and My Little Ponies for the girls.

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MARCH – I can’t even. They’re holding hands. And El rocked those silly glasses for days!

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Birthday celebration with Grandma Rose! How lucky is Isora to share a bday with her Great Grandma. So. Lucky.

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We had a big old St. Patty’s birthday bash for all our friends at our home. It was crazy and chaotic and FUN!

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And then this happened. March 22nd. We found our Dream Home. Loved it the second we walked in.

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APRIL: Our dear sweet furry baby Kira had to be put to sleep. I’m choking up just looking at this picture. We miss her so much.

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Yep. It snowed in April. It’s Michigan. It does that.

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Cedella in that hat.

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And Isora with these headphones on. Such hipster kids.

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MAY: We got the keys and moved into our new home!! So we bought the biggest bed we could find at IKEA. It is Heaven.

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Keys to our Kingdom.

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First morning cup of coffee in our new home.

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First night we slept in our new home. Once we slept here that first night, we never slept at the old house again. It was just Home.

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JUNE: This one day we ran around Detroit with TeTe, hitting up Eastern Market, Belle Isle and the Heidelberg Project.

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Then we watched my BABY sister graduate from High School. Yep that’s Kylara. She’s 19 now. I’m so old…

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And the best part about June? Our besties moved into a new home in the same city. As if they weren’t already, these four girls are now totally inseparable.

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And while she has always passed out wherever she happened to be, we started noticing Isora sleeping in the craziest places in the new house.

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July through December coming tomorrow!! Want more? Never want to miss an update? SUBSCRIBE ———> over there, at the very top of the page just below ‘Contact Me’. Enter your email address to receive all the latest Babies & Bacon updates right to your inbox. 

The Cottage is the Thing Pt. 1

Summer for Michiganders consists of many small grievances. Mosquitoes, construction zones, humidity and firework season. But for all those hot weather annoyances there is one sweet bit of relief we can all share.  The Cottage.

Being the Great Lakes State is pretty awesome when you think about it. We’re surrounded by 3 incredible bodies of water in our country. And all along the banks of those lakes are beaches. And just beyond the sand there are cottages. Where there is beach and lake front in Michigan a cottage is not far away.

Everyone has their own little piece of ‘Up North’ (what Michiganders call anything 40 minutes north of where they live). Be it a campground they spent their childhood summers at. Or the cabin their great-grandpa built by hand. Some prefer the Michigan side, others head for the big inland lakes like Houghton and Torch. And a few brave and intrepid souls wander all the way up to Superior every summer.

Our family? We go to Huron every summer. We’re a Huron kind of family. Our beach is the pristine and uncrowded stretch in Oscoda. Our beach is the one that the entire country sees in our famous ‘Pure Michigan’ tourism commercials. It’s lovely.

I can’t even remember how many years now we’ve been coming except that my dad never came so it has to be within the past 10 years. And I never remember being there without Michael, so that narrows it further to 8. That’s a lot of memories. And so many more to come.

And it’s only gotten better and more important now that I have kids. To give them this time, in nature, out of the city, with their extended family. It’s such an important tradition to me.

This year we added to the tradition by inviting my inlaws, Jiddo John and Teta Hilda and bro-in-law André to share the Father’s Day weekend with us. And I’m so glad we did. It’s the first time both sides of our family have spent this much time together since our wedding. How lucky are we that they get along and enjoy each other’s company? Everyone had a great time.

Our lovely stretch of Pure Michigan. Isn’t it stunning?

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It was cold. Even cold for Up North. But Cedella could not stay away from the lake.

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Miss Isora discovered a natural affinity for digging. She did so for hours.

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Hours of digging made Biz hungry and exhausted. Breastfeeding on the beach? Win. Win. So glad I have these beautiful photos to remember our breastfeeding relationship.

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And…passed out. The beach is the perfect spot for a nap. Don’t mind André, he’s a beach-posing pro.

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Fun times around the fire circle. My Mom lives for a good camp fire. S’mores and beers and whiskey and wine and laughs and oh yea…fire. What’s not to love? I think my FIL and MIL loved the fire as much as we did. We had some really good laughs and told lots of stories. If it hadn’t have been so damn cold we could have stayed out there all night.

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So when it got too cold outside we packed it in and poured some drinks and started out playing a game called Apples to Apples. Which was all very fine and funny and PG-13. Clearly we needed to step it up and take it to an NC-17. Enter Cards Against Humanity. Officially it’s a game in which a question is asked (black card) and the person with the best answer wins (white cards). It’s totally arbitrary based on the person reading the black cards taste and sense of humor. Though it had the potential to totally offend the old folks they had a blast. In fact my FIL John won the first game and my MIL Hilda won another game!! We laughed so hard we cried. And we got my Mom to say “Motherfucking Sorcerer” (Thank you Kylara for masterminding that one). If you are looking for a good time and every one is over 16, get Cards Against Humanity. You won’t regret it.

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Cold and rainy days require lots of good things to read. And lots of folks to read them to you. Uncle André put in some time reading fairy books with Cedella.

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While Isora did a little light reading catching up on the goings-on in Westeros.

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Beers and walks on the beach. Works for us 😉

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The Grandmas and their wiggling silly Granddaughters.

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Bedtime with Jiddo.

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Thankfully by Sunday it was quite a bit warmer so the beach was the thing. Besides, this kid couldn’t be deterred from the water. See LOVES the lake.

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Jiddo John and Uncle André had a blast flying kites with the girls.

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Shells and tadpoles and a million little creatures captured Dad and Ella’s imaginations.

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Braving the icy cold waters of Lake Huron.

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My sisters chillin’ on the beach.

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The Mansour guys and the Mansour little ladies. A handsome bunch, no?

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Father’s Day lunch was delicious. We made beef and pork kabobs, salad, asparagus and of course lots of delicious watermelon.

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We managed to find a Father’s Day version of the best. Card. Ever. It’s a Hamburger that sings a really obnoxious song. And it makes all of us laugh ever time we play the song. Ella found it at Target. She was so pleased with herself to give it to her Dad.

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The whole gang (minus a sleeping Izzie). All these people I love, that love each other, that love my babies. God, I just really love this picture.

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Have you taken a trip with both sides of your married family? What are your family summer vacation traditions? Are you a Michigander? Which Lake is yours?

Well that was quite a photo bomb…but guess what? There’s a LOT more. Coming up is Part II…our day trips to Dinosaur Gardens & Ocqueoc Falls and other spots in the great Up North.

 

 

 

 

Wordful Wednesday: Go Cedella Go!

The plague has hit our house folks. I have been a nurse and walking milk cow for nearly ten days. To add insult to injury, when I thought I was going to escape this flu’s evil clutches my throat closed up and I got incredibly ill. BOO.

With all the nurturing and care-taking I’ve had barely enough time to think about the blog which makes me feel horribly guilty for not writing my birthday letter to Cedella yet. But sweet thing was sick on Monday, her actual birthday, so I’m thinking about giving her a re-do birthday day when she feels better. And that way I have more time to write something really sweet.

But the good news is that no one got sick until AFTER the big birthday celebration last weekend. And when I say after I mean that the second we got home from the party Cedella was burning up and acting like someone else’s child.

This year we decided to simplify things for ourselves and allow for a few more children to attend so we had the party at Play. a local indoor playspace. If you live in the Lansing area and haven’t checked out Play. you should go. NOW.

Play. is one of our favorite places to go and well…play. I can’t say enough great things about the owner, Kasey, and her super cool business. She works incredibly hard to make sure every detail is perfect, and it shows. Cedella and all her little friends go bananas when they get in there and her party was no exception.

This year when asked what kind of party she wanted to have she said “A Princess Diego party”. Meaning Princesses and Go Diego Go. But being the OCD mama that I am I was not trying to make two separate themes work together. So I asked her to choose. She chose Diego. Cause she’s mildly obsessed.

The only problem is that Diego (Dora’s cousin who rescues animals) has apparently been cancelled. And unlike Dora or Barney or Elmo, all whom have ceased making new shows but continue raking in the merchandising dough, Diego has been cancelled from everywhere. Finding Diego toys and clothes in stores is impossible. A Diego doll that cost $20 last Christmas costs $80 now. I bought thrift store Diego pajamas for Cedella a size too small just so that she could wear them once cause she wanted some so bad. WTF?! Why is Diego no more?

We managed to find more than enough Diego decorations though, my brother-in-law even rustled up a Diego pinata from somewhere in Chicago. And I had a Diego cake made at the local grocery store. And we even had a really great local artist (who just happened to be leaving his kid’s first birthday party when we arrived) to draw a Diego chalk mural for us. So cool…

So by party time (and thanks to my amazing and fast helpers Michael, Mom, Tracey, Kylara, Lucy and MIL Hilda) we were all Diego-ed up.

My sweet Monk got to play with her favorite little ladies…like Juniper

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her cousin Salem

Olivia & of course Anna.

Even sweet Izzie got to play around. Here she is on the coolest bouncing horsey ever.

And entertaining her Jido and Teta.

After all the crazy playing it was time to cut the cake. And yes, that super sweet Diego cake was made at Meijer. And it was Delicious.

I love this moment. I should have realized right here that she was getting really sick. She was being so sweet and shy and quiet. She leaned into me while we were singing Happy Birthday and said ‘Mama hold me’. My heart swells…

Once we got all the kids hopped up on sugar it was time to open all the gifts. Folks, it was like a baby shower there were so many gifts. But most important was her very own Rescue Pack. Thanks Grandma Linda :)

 

Ella is so incredibly fortunate that her family and friends were so generous. It was like second Christmas. And yes, we’re STILL putting stuff away. There was a lot. These Super Hero guys are her new favorite.

I love my sister’s face in this one. Like she’s contemplating playing with them herself.

Ella couldn’t be bothered to stop eating cake while I opened her gifts for her. Sweet new kicks from her TeTe.

And here we are. Cedella’s proud parents. Look at my handsome husband. I do love him so. He’s given me my two greatest gifts.

These two precious children. Our dear family.

And especially the gift of this child. The child who first made me a mother. Who took me from selfish to selfless. Who became my work and my play. My joy. My pain. My heart, removed from my chest and out there walking around the world. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Happy Birthday my sweet Cedella. I love you to the moon and back.

Hope you are all enjoying your winter, staying healthy and keeping warm. Happy WW to all!!