The scenery and gorgeous beaches were a huge perk on our Michigan trip. But there is nothing that beats visiting with family and friends that we have waited over two years to see.
I spent an afternoon with Abby, my best friend from high school. I wish it could have been much longer. We were joined at the hip back in our younger years and I still don’t think we could ever run out of things to talk about. (That is Nash’s hand on my leg. He was not happy when I put him down for a split second.)
She became a mom since the last time I saw her and I’ve been dying to meet her little boy. Blake obviously adored Austin as well.
I met up with my friend Katie (in addition to our Chicago trip) a few times so that our children could befriend each other.
Blake was smitten by her sweet baby girl.
He might love babies almost as much as I do.
Blake was just as fond of Katie’s twin boys, a switch from all of the twin girls that he plays with at home.
We spent a day with Mari-Beth, who was basically my second mom growing up. She has taught every grade in elementary school and preschool, so the boys were naturally drawn to her teacher-like qualities.
My aunt arranged a big family gathering on my mom’s side of the family in honor of us being in town. I don’t know if there is anyone that can entertain children more than my Uncle Jim. He nailed “horseshoes” into Blake’s feet and had everyone cracking up.
After playing several rounds of Cribbage (which was almost a daily occurrence throughout our entire trip), we sorted through hundreds of old family photos at the gathering. I loved seeing aged photos of my grandma and hearing stories about our ancestors.
My dad’s side of the family held several gatherings as well, in addition to the official family reunion. Right before we left town, we had a big picnic at the park. Six of my dad’s eight siblings were in attendance with all of their local children and grandchildren.
Naturally, there were more cousins to meet.
And more memories to be made.
And of course, more sand.
We wish we could bottle up all of these dear friends and family members and take them home with us. Because even though Michigan is beautiful in the summer, it is the people that really make it feel like home.