The Weekend Vibe

I felt like we lived in this car most of the weekend! We kept busy for most of the weekend, whether it was time spent outdoors, with family, and sometimes just taking a ride around. I apologize, this will probably be a long post with lots of photos!

Friday morning we loaded up the car with our new little red wagon, a cooler of water, my backpack of snacks, and headed off to the zoo! We were meeting my brother Devin, his wife Chrissy, and my niece Dino Girl. Thank goodness it was a cooler day, it has been so hot and humid in Michigan it’s like a swamp out there. But Friday was practically perfect.

Whenever we go out we have to make choices on how Wyatt will get around. A backpack carrier? And with me or with Billy? A stroller? I hate that these options limit his independence to practically nothing, but he outgrew his wheelchair over the past year and the way insurance works, if we were to get another one we would practically insure that he would never get another walker again. So, we are trying to work around that since he is working on walking and can use a walker, just not well enough for a trip to the zoo. And not to be negative on here since I hate doing that, but my husband took him for a stroll around the neighborhood the other day in the stroller and was stopped by someone asking what Wyatt’s “issue” was. They also let Billy know that Wyatt was eligible for therapy services, like he hasn’t been in them since he was six months old. So frustrating. I get that the person had good intentions but frankly it wasn’t her business. And now I feel super self-conscious taking Wyatt out that way, I don’t like people staring at him. It will more than likely happen his whole life but I want to be able to make things as easy as I can for him when I can. I’m his mom. I can’t help it. Anyway, Thursday night it clicked that we could use a wagon. So, Billy headed out at 8pm to find one. And delivered like the awesome dad that he is. I felt like the wagon would first, blend in, and second, I was positive my niece would crawl in there at some point too, giving him company and making him feel less isolated. And it was so much easier to take him in and out, he could move around a bit, and it folds down into a bench seat as well. Win-win. There were a million wagons at the zoo too, just like ours so I feel like if he looked around, he wouldn’t feel as different.

Anyway. Once that was out of the way, we were golden for the whole day. Zebras, lions, giraffes, rhinos, camels, tigers – they were all out and about and looking cute. Zebras are Wyatt’s favorite (and mine) and I was excited to see them so close this time!

However, we all seemed to love the Amphibian House the very best. I guess our family does love its little creatures!

I also got super excited about this turtle in the marsh system outside. And this bee!

Saturday we stuck closer to home. We loaded up our little wagon again, this time with picnic supplies, and had a little picnic in the park. Later on that night we had drinks with my brother and fam, plus my dad and stepmom too.

It was so hot and sultry out this weekend, and I think we were all remembering our many trips to New Orleans – which inspired Billy to make a cocktail. Which he never does. And I rarely drink at all, if ever. But it was good, y’all. Also, my new favorite summer wine made an appearance. The drink Billy made is called a Gin Basil Smash, and it is so light and refreshing and citrusy. And actually so is the wine. (Loveblock, Sauvignon Blanc)

Sunday morning, and we just kept on rolling. We took a drive around Detroit, specifically Belle Isle and the farmer’s market area of Eastern Market. Eastern Market was closed so I was able to grab photos of the beautiful street art.

From here we headed to Belle Isle for a total change of scenery…

And someone got a little sleepy.

It was a busy, full weekend, full of people and sights and things that I love.

I hope you all did something or talked to someone that made you smile over the weekend!

Hello June!

Hello June! Hello summer! I know it is not officially summer yet, but to me June is always the start of summer.

We spent the long weekend fully embracing the season as much as we could. Our Friday plans were rained out – we had a ton of rain and it was cold to boot – so instead of the zoo we bought a bunch of crafts and new paints and hung out at the table just painting and creating. However, Saturday and the rest of the weekend was gorgeous and we took full advantage.

Saturday we had reservations for one of our favorite places to visit, Greenfield Village. We didn’t get to go last year so it was so nice to be back! It was a beautiful morning, sunny and mild, the perfect kind of day to walk around the village and ride the train.

On Sunday we headed downtown. We stopped in at Astoria Bakery, another favorite that we haven’t been to in a year. Wyatt and I waited in the car while Billy ran in and picked up some surprise goodies to eat when we got to our next destination, Belle Isle. Just as Billy was coming out a mounted police officer came clip-clopping down the street and kindly stopped for a photo. Wyatt was not super enthused – the horse kind of freaked him out, although he was a sweet and handsome boy named Ivan.

Loaded up with a box full of goodies, we headed further into the city to Belle Isle. We had forgotten all about the Detroit Grand Prix, and to our surprise they had started setting up for it. They didn’t have it last year but this year things are back in full swing. One crazy sort of neat thing is they set up a week or so before the race and people visiting the island can just drive around the course. So we tootled around it in our Subaru feeling cool before finding a place to park and eat our car goodies. Billy picked out a lot, apparently he felt we needed to make up for all those lost weekends. A piece of torte cake to share, a lemon muffin, and chocolate chip cookies.. we ate all of it except the muffin. The cookies were amazing!

Monday was Memorial Day and we always spend it with my dad. My dad served in the Marines and did two tours in Vietnam, and lost friends and platoon members while there, and while we all remember those who served, I know that his perspective is different. I think spending the day with his grandchildren makes it a little easier.

We had a great time all together. It was the first time that we had been to his house since last Christmas, and it was more than nice to be with each other again. I got to hug my dad for the first time in a year! The kids had a blast, and we spent practically the whole day outside, trading being with the kids, and chatting with the family. There was so much food and so much catching up to do. The day flew by and it was time to go home before we knew it.

I feel like we gave May a good send off, and we are looking forward to the summer!

Closing the door on April

April was for the most part, a cold and rainy month. But it is a new month, and a new moon, so here is to hoping that April Showers do bring May flowers, because I am so ready for those lovely colors to be popping up everywhere!

Last weekend was the last weekend in April, and we spent the majority of it outside. The first nice weather really this spring and we were making the most of it. Saturday we spent messing about in our small garden, trying to get things ready for planting, and admiring our new blueberry bushes and cherry tree that we planted. Midway through the day we took a break to drive into the city for a bike garage sale at Back Alley Bikes, which is a non-profit that works on bikes with kids and volunteers fix up bikes that people donate which they then sell cheaply to raise money for their mission. They also will give a free bike to any kid over the age of 5! The last Saturday of the month they have a garage sale where they sell off some of their fixed up bikes and my husband who is a bike nut wanted to go take a look at the bikes. So we did, although I was not really super interested as I am not a great bicyclist. So, it was to my surprise that I fell totally in love with an old bike from the 70s, a Sears and Roebuck Free Spirit, red. My husband had attached our bike rack just in case, so we paid our $50 and headed home. It was getting a little cold and dark by this time so I didn’t get a chance to try it out, but I am looking forward to giving it a whirl. Although, that might be a while…

Sunday we got up early and decided to visit Belle Isle. The sun was shining, and everything was almost technicolor in it’s beauty. We drove around, then got out to look at the conservatory, the gardens, and the koi pond (which freaked me out- did I mention I am weirdly afraid of fish?) I took a billion photos, one of which the Belle Isle Conservatory actually shared on their own Instagram page, which was pretty cool!

These were all taken around the koi pond. In all the times we have visited, we have never walked around in here!

After we had explored to our heart’s content, enjoying the beautiful tulips everywhere, we got back into our car to visit my mom for her birthday. We had a lovely visit complete with ice cream cake, and then as we were getting in the car to go home, I had a bit of an accident. I was putting stuff in the back of the Jeep, and when I shut the back hatch door, which swings up, I forgot the bike rack was still attached. And slammed it down on top of my head. It was instant searing pain, and an instant enormous goose egg on my forehead that my husband wouldn’t even let me look at. We went to the ER where they decided I was ok, but told me as I left that it was going to get really ugly…and they were so so so right. Even as I sit here now typing this 6 days later, I still have two black eyes, a bump on my head, and bruising down my cheeks to my mouth. I spent most of my week laying as low as I could, taking care of Wyatt but not doing much else. For a few days I couldn’t even really read due to swelling, although ice packs every twenty minutes one day took care of most of that. (thank goodness for moms who will take care of your kiddo so you can put ice on your eyes) I’m feeling and looking a lot better, but it was not an experience I ever want to repeat again! So a little PSA for you all: when you take the bike off the bike rack of your car, take the bike rack off too, if you are not someone who uses it a lot!

How about you all? How did you spend your last days in April?

Saturdays are for family

Saturday is our designated day for us, as much as we possibly can. Our weeks are so full, with work and school and therapy and appointments and cleaning and chores and all the stuff that comes along with living everyday. So we set Saturday aside as our day. The day we let things go, and just be together.

This past Saturday it was very much needed. It’s been an intense two weeks emotionally for me, and I do best when I get space and quiet to process things. We were predicted to have some crazy bad weather later that night through Monday morning, but when we left the house it was a brilliantly sunny day. A little chilly, but warm enough to get outside, walk around a bit, and soak up a little bit of sunshine.

We headed to Belle Isle in Detroit, somewhere we haven’t been for a while. The river was full of giant freighters, making their way through the Great Lakes, and people were running, biking, and two people were even playing hockey on the ice on one of the ponds. We took our time driving around, looking for birds. We eventually pulled into the nature center parking lot to get out of the car and stretch our legs a bit, and get some air and some of that sun. We walked on the trail behind the nature center, among the tall frozen grasses, the sounds of birdsong surrounding us.

 

Being out in the air was so restorative. You can take a deep breath, and feel yourself just relaxing and letting go of things that are bothering you, at least for a little while. And when you have two guys with you that look like lumberjacks, even better.

We of course popped inside the nature center after our walk. It was nice to warm up a bit, talk to the interpreters, and sit and watch the birds from the viewing area.

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And sometimes you see more than birds!

When we had hung out long enough, we bundled back into the car, shared a snack, and headed into the city, to one of our favorite bakeries, Avalon. If you are ever in Detroit, they make some fantastic bread and cookies. Usually Billy stops on his way home from work on Friday nights to get us fresh bread for Saturday morning breakfast, but he hasn’t had a chance lately. So we decided to get our bread for the week since we were already in town anyway.

I always want to go a bit crazy in there and buy everything, but I practice some restraint. This time we got a baguette, challah bread, a raisin bread loafling, an olive bread loafling (they were made from the dough that wasn’t enough to make a full loaf – so I am calling them loaflings..), a plain croissant, three cookies, and a peanut butter and chocolate brownie. I refrained from the Rose Latte which sounds amazing, and the chocolate croissant – this time at least! The sun was shining bright through the windows, it wasn’t crazy busy, and there was a man playing some music on his trumpet, so we stuck around a bit to listen and enjoy our cookies.

Eventually though, we had to head for home, but we did so with restored spirits and full bellies.

Saturday Snapshot

SaturdaySnapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads

In July, we went to a kite festival on Belle Isle in Detroit. We had gone the year before and it was such an amazing sight, all the multi-colored kites flying through the sky. This year was a little different. No kites. No wind. It was a still, hot, humid day. If the kites could have sailed through the moisture in the air, kite day would have been hopping! Despite the gross weather, we set up shop under a tree and hung out for a bit, listening to music, snacking, and basically just enjoying the day and some family time.

I remembered not to touch the fuzzy caterpillar! And I loved our shade tree – doesn’t it look like a woman, arms outstretched, head back, dancing in joy? I could be a little fanciful I guess.

Billy took a little walk, investigating the the food trucks that were lining the street. Wyatt and I stayed in the shade, waiting to see what Billy had found. Billy bought Wyatt his own snack, but somehow that little hand kept sneaking over and eating our chips and guacamole…. He of course was welcome to them, it had just never crossed our mind he would want it!

A short little outing, but we enjoyed some good tunes and family time. We are looking forward to next year – and hopefully a cooler, breezier day!

Still Waiting on Spring

Michigan is still waiting for spring, it seems. Sometimes we get a sneak peek, but then it hides away again. Today is sunny – but also 24 degrees. I have strawberry plants that have arrived and want to be planted, but the ground is still frozen! For now they are living in the house, but I am going to have to come up with a new plan for these guys, my awesome Viking strawberries.

Yesterday was sunny and mild except for the crazy wind. The wind was biting cold when it slammed against you, but when it wasn’t stealing your breath, the day was actually not too bad. Our family celebrated the return of the sun to our area by heading downtown to Belle Isle and visiting the aquarium and conservatory, where we not only got the sun, but we also had humid temperatures, tropical plants, heat. It was wonderful, despite the fact that we were dressed for winter but walking through a greenhouse.

It was jam packed there – I am guessing everyone in the whole metro area was out enjoying the weather. We have had gray skies for too long! This whole state has a Vitamin D deficiency, as we wait for spring.

The garden was beautiful, full of green growing plants, smelling of earth and warmth. We saw a banana tree, a lemon tree, an orange tree, a pomelo tree. Cacti. A ginger plant, pink puffballs. Giant leaves bigger than Wyatt, delicate fronds, wispy ferns. A water fountain. Even signs that a cat lives there somewhere, but not the cat itself, although I would have loved that, and Wyatt would have too. He loves his kitties.

It was a nice day, that we ended with pizza slices from Supino’s, which has the most amazing pizza ever. It was Wyatt’s first time eating there, and he kept asking for more. Another fan is made. We stuck with the basics but I love their pizza with basil – I love basil anything. The slices are huge, thin crusted, so you can just fold them over and eat. But there is something about the crust, some taste, some deliciousness we can’t put our finger on – that is where the magic is. In that crust. We had a car picnic so I didn’t get any photos, but next time I will.

I feel inspired! This week we are going to start seeds indoors. Normally it would be too late, but with this delayed spring I think we should be ok.

How about you guys? Any thing in particular you like on pizza? Are you a thin crust person or a thick crust person?