Category Archives: Holidays

Our Christmas Recap in Lists & Pictures

This Christmas was: 1) white (so.much.snow!), 2) random (keep reading), and 3) went by entirely too quickly!

I make it a point to commit happy memories to the pages of this blog and the lives-forever web-at-large, but I’m also well aware of that digital veil we all live behind. Thus, it is in celebration of mediocrity that I submit to you our list of Christmas highs and lows. 😉

The Good

  1. The magic of experiencing Christmas through a 4 year old’s eyes
  2. Putting outdoor lights up for the 1st time (even if you couldn’t see them over the snow banks)
  3. Jackson’s interest in decorating the tree (finally!)
  4. Me actually not being a control freak about Jackson decorating the tree
  5. Letting Jackson pick out the new bulbs (a simple red & green assortment)
  6. Enjoying the downtown Christmas tree lighting with friends
  7. Jackson’s first real movie experience (Polar Express @ State Theatre)
  8. Blowing Christmas bubbles (a family tradition)
  9. Starting a new German food tradition (currywurst mit pommes frites)
  10. Unearthing Frosty the inflatable snow man
  11. Inventing the Coffee Colada (banana-infused coffee with rum)
  12. A random just-for-us Santa sighting in the middle of no where (he waved & Jackson beamed) 🙂
  13. Realizing my son is a shutter-bug as he toted my Nikon around the house
  14. Getting my son a kids camera for Christmas, in the hopes that it can be something we share
  15. Jackson’s glee with getting a “dark vadar” & a “light saver” for Christmas
  16. Finally finding an advent calendar we could get behind
  17. Charting sledding courses in the back yard
  18. Making Jackson an Alphabet Book made entirely of pictures featuring him
  19. Chance-lers (when home-made accessories and cabin fever conspire against good doggies) 😉

The Bad

  1. The buzz-kill of being sick all week
  2. Need.more.sun!
  3. The brief Mommy-time-out-pity-party I thew myself thanks to 1 & 2
  4. Realizing the x-box that “Santa fixed” doesn’t have an HDMI cable
  5. That one game I forgot to buy for Jackson :- /
  6. I NEVER buy enough batteries

The Ugly

  1. Waking up to dog barf ..on the comforter.. at 3am on Christmas night. (Silver linings: 1) at least it wasn’t Christmas Eve! 2) completely absolved me of any guilt I may have felt for the Chance-lers)

So there you have it: the whole, sometimes unsavory truth. Happy to report that the good definitely outweighed the bad. 🙂 And since I couldn’t possibly end on that dog puke part… more photos! (Check the captions for a few extra “what you don’t see” gems.) 😉

We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and cheers to a Happy New Year!

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Gearing Up for Halloween

This weekend we did something we seldom do: stayed home. A sick little one put our usual insatiable wanderlust on hiatus, so we spent the weekend nursing Jackson’s stomach virus, watching cheesy old movies, and finding a bright spot in Halloween anticipation.

On Friday, Jackson’s school staged a Jack-o-lantern Tour in the park across the street from our house. We’d planned on going, but a late night spent battling illness the night prior + a fever had Jackson in bed pretty early come touring time on Friday. I nabbed a few pictures of the kids trotting their pumpkins down from the school yard earlier in the day, and ventured out for some night shots during the tour hours later that evening while Jackson slept.

The next morning, Jax was feeling a little better and joined me for a walk with the pup and at least got to see the lingering jack-o-lanterns left abandoned after Friday’s tour. I also had my photos to share with him, so he didn’t completely miss out.

This Sunday, Jackson’s virus abated (fingers crossed!), we got into the Halloween spirit and set forth with our own pumpkin carving. We also painted a couple of pumpkins for good measure. (Full disclosure: I had zero interest in gutting a second pumpkin once the first one was done.)

Now, we wait (and pray for health) as the Halloween time-clock ticks down. 🙂

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Springtime Celebration of Family & Friends

[Woefully neglected blog!]

In the months since our last update, we’ve enjoyed two rounds of welcomed visitors, celebrations steeped in unadulterated, childhood delight and the interesting experience of watching Northern Michigan transition into Spring.

Our good friend and colleague Dave traveled to TC in late January, followed by a visit from my youngest sister Kristina and her boyfriend DJ in March (her 21st birthday celebration of sorts).  The fresh-fallen snow of Dave’s trip and the Indian Summer surprise of Kristin’s meant that most of the respective trip outings didn’t overlap, with the exception of an Empire Bluffs hike we traversed with each of our guests.  Always the spectacular view – it’s amazing what just over a month can mean in terms of Michigan climate change!




















From downhill skiing with Dave & the Highams to exploring shorelines with Kristin & DJ, good times were had by all (except for that part where I was REALLY BAD at skiing).  Cheers to mile+ walks to bars that smell like feet and experiencing kayaking for the first time 😉


The routine Atlanta trip we wedged in between those guest visits afforded us a round of rapid-fire meet-ups with but a margin of Georgia folks (boo speed-friending!).  It was great to connect with some of the friends and family we miss so much and we can’t wait for more!

         Meme_Jackson_LakeSinclairLanguid_by_Lake_SinclairGranddaddy_Jax_Jim       Enveloped_in_Nature_at_NanasEvan_JacksonAtlanta_Skyline

In between the time spent with south-land loved ones, February offered up a few new local friend introductions.  We caught up with a few of those locals for Jackson’s recent 3rd birthday party, squelching my quiet fear that my son’s first post-move birthday might be a lonely one (thanks for coming guys!)


Things were definitely dialed down a notch or two from our [my] previous, perhaps overwrought attempts at birthdays 1 & 2.  As developing tradition would have it, there were a few inexplicable tears come time to blow out the candles, but Jackson’s buddy Everett was happy to stand in and the boys had an otherwise lovely, low-key time (perhaps Parker, in particular, who’s ninja-like cake grabbing reflexes scored him a sweet preview of the icing tastiness.) 😉

Jackson has already put his birthday spoils to plenty of good use and we’re hoping his new train table is a hit with his cousins when they visit this Summer. (It’s not Papa’s superior, hand-crafted version, but it’ll do between Nana visits!)

Easter was a treat with Jackson this year!  Innocently oblivious to the symbolic heft of the holiday, he exhibited serious interest in dyeing and finding Easter Eggs for the first time.  It was so fun to see him get into the experience – so determined to master use of that tiny egg-retrieval wand that accompanies PAAS dye kits.  Heather & Tony were on hand to participate, which meant I actually ended up in a picture or two  (Thanks Heather!)



Between the busy work schedules, GA visit, birthdays, holidays and play-dates, life’s been fast-paced lately with the promise of additional adventures to come as the Spring & Summer calendar shapes up.  We’re eager to greet every minute of it.

In loving memory of Ruth Bastin Slentz


December 31, 1917 – February 21, 2012

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