July 7, 2014

Our Tropical Summer Vacation!

*Disclaimer: MASSIVE blog post!

We didn't actually go to a tropical location, but the humidity was so high and the grass was so green and thick in the midwest (especially compared to what we're used to in NE Washington) that it felt like we were in the tropics!

We scooped our little boys out of their beds and left our cozy home in Chewelah at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning June 22nd.  They slept in their carseats the whole way to the airport and then they were surprisingly happy as we went through security and boarded our 5:00 a.m. flight to Seattle.  The first leg of lots of traveling ahead of us, it was still a novelty to them :)
After getting to Seattle we went straight to the next gate to board our flight to Minneapolis.

Bennett was sooooooooooooooooo super cute 
pulling his little monkey carry-on bag through the airport!!!!!
After sitting on the plane for OVER AN HOUR before pushing back from the gate
(due to a dog who escaped from it's cage down below, grr!)
and then the three hour flight, saying that we all were tired would be putting it lightly!
And then... we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Wisconsin... 
 and everything was right in the world :) :) :)
 "Come on Auntie Shelby, come downstairs and play with us!"
Bennett loved playing pool.

It felt so good for Erik and I to put our feet up and relax in my parent's living room after our long day of traveling while letting family members chase after our busy toddlers!!!

 Sunset in Barron on the first of eight nights of our vacation.

Monday June 23rd

We hung out at home while Grandma Lori and Grandpa Dean went to work.
Did lots of good exploring around the house.

This is my parents' backyard, where I grew up and used to explore!!!
Lots of pretty plants and flowers growing all around.

 Here is one of my parents' cats, Randall, Randy for short, formerly known as Driver.
Their other cat, Cooper, was in hiding the ENTIRE time we were there... poor kitty, he is nervous to begin with, and then the first thing Sawyer did when he saw him was throw a toy at him... so that didn't help! 

Bennett loved playing 'Mouse Trap' with Auntie Shelby.
He was actually pretty good at it!

After Sawyer's nap we went into town to visit Great-Grandma Springer, Great-Grandpa Haas, and stop by Grandpa Dean's office to say hi!
 Picking out glasses ;)
After their work day was over we all packed up and headed north to spend a few days at Grandma & Grandpa's cabin on Grindstone Lake in Hayward, WI.

Erik and my Dad left before we did and got to the cabin with just enough time to spare for some fishing before sunset.  

This is such a cool picture Erik snapped with his phone camera....
I can say with high confidence that this is likely what my Dad hopes heaven will be like!!!

  The boys getting re-acquainted with the cabin.
There is a new bear skin rug on the wall, the boys did lots of growling at it! LOL

Sawyer was only four months old when we were there last year, 
but Bennett seemed to remember the cabin!  

"Ben" the Bear is Bennett's cabin animal.  
Grandma Lori is still working on picking out a cabin animal for Soy Sauce.

Tuesday June 24th

After Erik and I tried S.U.P. (Stand Up Paddleboard) for the first time Tuesday morning (and LOVED IT!), Bennett got to hop on Daddy's board and go out for a little ride too!

We had a really fun day at the lake, and we said a prayer for Shelby at 2 p.m. 
as she was taking her state nursing board exam!!!!!!

Shelby and Justin arrived at the cabin Tuesday evening 
and a tiny bit of a cold front arrived as well.
Fun, FUN times :) :) :)
The boys jumped right into the kayak with Uncle Justin 
as he was heading out to go fishing.
Bennett having fun playing peekaboo in the pontoon.

Time for s'mores!

My Dad treated Shelby to a shot of his best Scotch
as a celebration of her taking her boards!  
She passed, by the way :)
But we didn't learn that until the next night.
Even though we never had a doubt she was Shelby Balts, R.N.!

Wednesday June 25th

Bennett opened a present from Grandma Lori and Grandpa Dean...
his first FISHING ROD!!!
Bennett was instantly hooked with this whole fishing thing!
Pun intended :)
Jim & Claudia came to visit us!

We went out for a ride on the pontoon to go fishing,
the first thing Bennett did was throw his little fishing rod into the lake... LOL.
The water was so clear and it was just barely shallow enough 
that Daddy was able to dive down and get the rod back.
Crisis averted!

You can see under Sawyer's left eye where he got a mosquito bite the night before.
He got TONS of bites... poor buddy :(

 It was a fishing frenzy!!!
Bennett just amazed at it all!

He had to keep an eye on all the fish in the live-well :)
A successful outing!

Sawyer ready for more campfire fun.

Thursday June 26th

It took a little while for the sun to break through the clouds, but as soon as we saw that the sun was coming we hopped into the pontoon to go for a cruise!
Grandpa Dean and his little buddy Sawyer Dean :) :) :)

Sunshine... pontoon cruise... family... and 'Awesome Water' in bulk...
What could possibly be better?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Justin is a hard working man, 
he worked every day and commuted from the cabin 
so he could spend time with us.
Bennett always loves sharing this special treat with his Uncle Justin :)

Aunt Emily and Uncle Brad arrived to the cabin Thursday night too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emily working on her biceps for her upcoming wedding ;)

Such a funny picture... sad, but funny!

A good picture of the cabin.

Heading out to the pontoon for a family picture.
Uncle Justin always teasin the boys! LOL :)
Our FAMILY!!! Oooh I love them all :) :) :)
Who knows... maybe there will be another baby in the picture next year?!!!!!  
(*Not from me and Erik I might add!)

The ROCKING AMAZING BIRTHDAY CAKE that Auntie Emily made for Bennett!!!
Still hard to grasp that he is three years old... And today I turned 28!
Oofta. Time flies when you're havin fun. :)

Friday June 27th

We left the cabin Friday morning to head back to Barron...
it was time to switch gears from Vacation mode and into WEDDING MODE!
It was rehearsal and groom's dinner day for me, I was a bridesmaid in my beautiful cousin Sarah's wedding!!!

Aunt Emily and Aunt Shelby did a fun little project with the boys 
when we got back to Barron while I was getting ready to leave.
This is what Auntie's are for... making messes with their nephews :) :) :)

Guess I didn't take many pictures on Friday, it was a busy day of traveling.
The boys continued to amaze me with how well they handled all this hustle and bustle.

Saturday June 28th

Wedding Day!!!

Getting my hair done.
The boys got hot and sweaty playing at a park in Hudson with their Aunties while I was getting ready and the men went to Cabela's...
...the humidity was sooooooo high... Sawyer no likey!

After we took all the bridal party pictures 
we got to hang out for a couple hours before the wedding.
The bride getting some necessary nourishment,
and me and the MOH, my cousin Megan!

Getting EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bridal party groufie before she said 'I Do'!

What a stunning couple and a marvelous wedding!

Sneaking some time in with my hunk of a husband :)
Our four year wedding anniversary is coming up on July 17th!

This picture just cracks me up!

Possibly the best family picture we've EVER taken!!!!!!!!!

I'm just gonna go ahead and say this is the most romantic picture in the world...
...the newlyweds Shelby & Justin :)
They sure had fun this night!!!!

Sunday June 29th

After the post-wedding brunch in Hudson, we all headed back to Barron.
We took the boys swimming at the Barron pool!
They are definitely water babies!!!
The hardest part was keeping them in the kiddie-pool... they desperately wanted to be in the big kid pool but I was the only one in a swim suit and it's hard to wrangle the two of them in big pools when they are squirmy-wormies!

Great-Grandpa Haas gave his Great-Grandsons money for ice cream,
so we stopped at the D.Q. after swimming to get dilly bars and a Mr. Misty Freeze!
They were lovin every bite!

Monday June 30th
And then... Monday came again... time for us to fly home.
This is the only picture I have from Monday, a selfie of me and Soy Sauce on one of the flights.  He was looking tired in this one!

And in the spirit of selfies, here are a bunch of Shelby Selfies with the boys!!!

What a blast of a vacation!
As usual it was nice to get home and see our kitties and get into our old routines, 
but always still hard to say good bye to our loved ones in Wisconsin.

Until next time!!!  XOXO

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