Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kentucky 2017

I fully intended to do some sort of wonderful entry about each of our recent trips, complete with pictures and stories, but right now I don't have it in me. I am exhausted and just ready for school to start so we can get some sort of routine and normalcy back in our lives. That's not to say we didn't have a great time on our trips because we really did, but my soul is heavy lately and my eyes burn with exhaustion.

The kids and I went down to Kentucky at the beginning of the month. For the first night, we stayed at Christy's and the kids got caught up and played Roblox while Christy, Carol, and I enjoyed the hot tub (as best as we could with a billion kids running around). It was wonderful to catch up with everyone! The drive down was thankfully uneventful, and we made it safely with no mishaps. For the next three nights we stayed at Jellystone in Cave City. We had been there before back in 2013, but tent camped that time. This time we had bunkhouse style cabins next door to each other where Carol and I shared one and Christy and Jenny shared the other. We all had moments where we totally lost our minds and I may or may not have had an epic adult temper tantrum and drove off with boys so we could cry without everyone staring at us awkwardly. We did have a great time decorating our cabin for the Hawaiian themed contest (ours looked rad but the jerks across the way must've spent a trillion dollars on their pimped out cabin and won) and managed to fit in a few rounds of Mexican Train Dominoes. The kids swam and swam in the pools and on our last full day at Jellystone, we ventured out to a nearby state park to swim at the beach. Our friend Misty and a couple of her kids joined us and we really had a great time. We spent our final night in Kentucky back at Christy's place where the neighbors joined us for some Dominoes. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I miss my friends, but it was so good to get back home and unwind for a couple days. I will add a couple pics from our trip just so it's not totally boring. 

Swimming at Christy's on the first night

The kids were able to watch movies at night

Our awesome group of kids ranging in age from 5 to 13

The kids were able to go make slime and if you can't tell by the looks on their faces, it was an epic fail

Timmy and Elliot, two of the reasons we all know each other

I think I will save our UP trip for another post because, like I said, I am exhausted. Maybe I will feel like actually sharing real experiences if I wait awhile to post! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Road Trippin'

Ten years ago I took a very important test that would forever change the rest of my life. Yep, a pregnancy test. I found out I was pregnant and like a lot of women do when they find out they are having a baby, they hop online, join a forum, and bond with other preggo ladies who are going through the same thing I am.

Ten years ago, I gained the most amazing group of friends (family really) who were all due within a month of me - some of them with their first, like me, some of them with their last, some of them with children already and would go on to have more children. Women from the US, women from Canada, and even one super rad chick from Australia! Some women were stay at home moms, some were working moms, some were single, some were married, some were teens, some were ten years older than me. Some of these were straight, some were gay. Some were Christians, other atheists. Some of these amazing ladies cloth diapered while others used disposables. You get my point - we were all incredibly different but brought together by one thing in common - we were all due in March of 2008 (give or take).

In 2009, I was able to meet one of my favorite chick's from our group in person - Gracie. We flew to Las Vegas for my younger brother's wedding and had the chance to meet up for an afternoon with our then 14 month old toddlers. It was such a fun time and because of Gracie, one of my favorite places to eat is The Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately, nary a TCF to be found here in West Michigan. We still talk on a regular basis and trust each other and love each other.

Then, in 2013, our very first March 08 Meetup was planned. We spent a few days together in Cave City, KY, at Jellystone Campgrounds. It was our biggest turnout and despite so many mishaps on my part, it was such an amazing experience that changed us from "online friends" to just "friends." Our March 08ers were five and I don't know about the other Marchies, but Timmy (and Natalie and Sammy) still talk about that trip.

Timmy and Elliot met in person for the first time. Just today I had to remind Timmy that he didn't have to yell as he Face-Timed with his KY BFF. 

This chick right here, she ROCKS. Christy is seriously one of the best friends anyone could ask for. She goes above and beyond for everyone and NEVER STOPS. And I'm clearly not entertained by having my picture taken. 

Natalie doesn't have a sister, but she has this amazing group of girls call sisters. She cannot wait to see Kaylee, Sadie, and Jo (especially Jo) again. 

During the first trip, I managed to back my sister's van into a tree, Natalie impaled her face on a firepit (stuck her teeth through her lips - she forever has a massage scar to remind us of this trip), Timmy nearly gave himself a concussion by tripping on the tent and nailing his forehead on a stake, and Sam stole everyone's marshmallows and apples. Also, he wouldn't leave Christy's fan alone. He turned two during this trip. This is how long the obsession has lasted, friends. 

In 2014, we met up at a Jellystone in southern Indiana. It was a smaller group, but a very memorable group. Christy's friend Jen and her two adorable little girls joined us and Christy made friends with a raccoon. Wait, did I say friends? I mean mortal enemies. Natalie threw a 45 minute long tantrum because a big spider was being eaten by an even bigger spider and someone then killed both of the spiders. This was just NOT okay. Some jerk kid called Sammy (three) a crybaby and the kids still say he was being bullied (ha!). 

Look at this awesome group of kids! Celebrating the 4th in style!

Jo & Nat - they are sooooo stinkin' cute together! 

Timmy and Elliot making campfire pizzas

In 2015, we changed it up a bit, which was a bad choice. Oh, Lordy, Jesus Junction. We stayed at what was advertised to be an amazing setup complete with a lake for fishing (basically a cesspool) and all sorts of other fun things like hundreds of millipedes in your rooms, fans that you had to assemble yourself (because no AC like advertised), and a tarp versus a slip and slide that was supposed to be available. But, despite the crappy situaish, this was still a great trip because we got to see our people. And hey, my husband came to the meetup for the first time ever! Now he knows my friends aren't imaginary! 

Timmy, now seven, was moody as hell. He spent an entire day moping about while wearing this awesome get up.

And of course, me surrounded by kids. This is my life.

Nat and Joey Bear (that I may have paid $5 for her to snuggle with me)

The crew ready to play at the "slid and slide"

Nat and Addie - Tim and Nat finally realized that they aren't all actually cousins. They had figured up until this point that we were just getting together with family that lives far away. That works. 

Last year we didn't do an official meetup - but I have spent time with my March 08 family many times between then and now. In November 2015, my "wifey" Carol and I met up in Gary, IN, to drive down to Louisville together to stay with Christy for a few days. When my family went down south for spring break a couple years ago, we stayed at Christy's house overnight on the way back to break up the trip. This February, Chris and I went down to celebrate Christy's husband's 40th birthday with them. Over spring break, the kids and I picked up a puppy here in Michigan and drove it down to Indiana where we met up with Carol and Christy to transfer the pup to a friend of Christy's son. 

These ladies aren't just online friends. They are my best friends and we literally spend all year trying to come up with ways to get together. I am so excited to head down to Kentucky and stay at Jellystone again with Carol, Christy, and Jen. I wish so much that more of our March 08 family could join us, and hopefully sometime in the not so far future, it'll happen. 

Jesus Junction...(plus Heady, who is a poo and not coming this year! I need someone to be doopy with me while Carol and Christy look all cute!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blog Revival!

I've had numerous blogs in the past, since about 2003. Some of my former blogs were Adventures in Cavaland, Supertramp, Jazzy and the Chicken Coop....

Okay, so most of my blog names have been really off the wall and random, but hey, that's me. Well, a week ago a great online friend of mine, who also happens to be my kids' Internet Godmommy (Hi, Kristine!) decided it was time to start up blogging again! In a world where Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter rule, actually writing out our feelings, whether in long form or short, seems to have gone by the wayside. A lot of times my blog entries were like diary entries - here is what I did today and what I ate and who I talked to but sometimes my entries were actually meaningful and heartfelt. That's what blogging is all about. You can post anything on your blog! Wanna write a timeline of your events from the last week? Do it! Wanna write about that time when you were ten and got so embarrassed because you felt awkward in front of your first real crush? Do it! Facebook isn't about that. Facebook is all about the 'hey guys my toddler just took a crap on the toilet for the first time, look in the comments, there's a pic to prove it!'

I've never photographed my child's poo, just for the record. But Beth did once. Ewww. Pretty sure it was Maddy who smeared (my least fave word ever btw) poo all over her crib and Beth was totally that mom that posted about it. But, in Beth's defense, that was pretty epic and I didn't envy that clean up job at all. I did, however, post about the time I puked on top of puke and had to clean up all the puke while Timmy watched and commented about how I was pooping out my mouth. Pregnancy rules, by the way.

Anyway, Kristine suggested we post an update for all us old-schoolers, so here it is. For those that don't remember me from back in the SPF days, my name is Liza. I'm currently 36 and I live in West Michigan. Back in the SPF days I was single, then dating Chris, then engaged to Chris, and eventually married Chris. Now, I'm ten years married to Chris and we have three fantastically insane children - Timmy is nine, Natalie is seven, and Sammy is six. They are all wildly creative and horrifically gross and funny at the same time. I am a SAHM but plan to find a part time job once the school year starts. I am terrified. I have not had a job outside of this house (not counting the several years I did childcare at LaGrave CRC because that never felt like a job - that felt like going to church and entertaining children for a couple hours each week) since before Timmy was born. I don't have a degree and my former jobs and/or employers are nonexistent in my life. I suppose working as a panhandler could be an option, but I don't like people looking at me while I roast in the sun attempting to make the most feeble attempts of actually being in need. (Sorry, that might've been a bit mean)

Chris works for a pretty awesome place where he is the program coordinator in the refugee resettlement program. He's worked there since he was like four. Of course, Trump is trying to screw us all over in that area. Sigh. Timmy, going into 4th grade, is my athlete. He excels in soccer and cross country and also won the math award for his class in 3rd grade. Natalie is my reader and writer and won both awards for her class in 2nd grade and is heading into 3rd this fall. She's also pretty athletic herself and ran cross country and did great despite being smaller than everyone else in the race. She also loves basketball and soccer. Sammy is my Fan Man. He is six and going into 1st grade this fall and is all about science and math. He is super funny and really clever. We also have a snake, Lennon Fitness. We've had him since February 13, 2015. He's a ball python and super snuggly, I swear.

So...that's the basics. You can read in my blog from the last few years about anything else random and as I get back into this blogging thing, you'll get to know us all a bit better then.