June 30, 2009

The One with a Best Friend's Wedding

Brittney & Nick just got their professional wedding pictures and they are gorgeous. Britt and I enjoyed some online conversation this morning while oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over all of them. Some great moments were captured and she said I should post some of my favorites. So here they are for all to enjoy!

jennie, mg, mel, britt, clair, carrie
:::britt & hailey:::

:::groomsmen in converse:::

:::my matron of honor duty:::
clair, dana, britt, carrie, mg, mel
:::during the ceremony:::
mel singing "how beautiful" by twila paris

:::the newlyweds:::

:::celebrating their marriage. and ours:::
:::the newly joined families:::
:::the bridal party:::
kevin, gavin, chris, joe, randy, eric, ross
nick & britt
mel, mg, carrie, mandy, dana, hailey, jennie, clair
:::the guys with the bride:::
proud of my man for the extra support here
:::the girls and the groom:::
:::the girls:::
:::mel & britt:::
:::sharing the love:::
:::excellent air:::
:::two handsome men:::
:::amazing expression:::
:::running away together:::
:::first dance:::

June 29, 2009

The One with the Softball Game

Much of our back yard is coated in mulberries. They are delicious. And messy. Very messy. My flips flops are stained. So are my ankles. And no wonder all the bird poop is purple. Now if only the tree branches were lower to the ground. Apparently my husband knows the trick to collecting this elusive berries. We shall attempt this tonight.

It's super windy outside. My clothes were blowing off the line. And into the mulberry carnage. Not cool.

I'm pretty sure our washing machine was attempting to free himself from the bonds of our laundry room. From outside I heard *bang bang rumble rumble BANG* twice before I ran in to check. Sure enough the machine--filled with only our bed's blanket--was bouncing and rocking like it was possessed. Hopefully I settled it down.

I've got myself a buy one DQ blizzard get one free coupon that expires in just two weeks. Redeeming this coupon will require a 20+ minute drive to Toledo. But I believe it is worth it. Oh, and you should get yourself a coupon too. Sign up for the Blizzard Fan Club--because who isn't a fan of blizzards?!

Yesterday, the church service was led in its entirety by Paul Pitts --world renown opera singer who just so happens to have a passion for the Cross of Christ. It was a really powerful service--musically and spiritually. Afterwards, I got a chance to chat with him and after finding the common ground of the Buckeye State we discovered that he knows my childhood piano and voice instructor quite well. Brenda has played for him at multiple concerts put in right at the Ashtabula Nazarene Church. All of these shared experiences were so exciting to find out about. We called Brenda together and left her a message :) right before Kevin and I and the Kaufman's went out to La Fiesta with Paul for lunch. It was a wonderful time of fellowship.

Despite my desire to collapse after lunch, Kevin and I headed outside to warm up our throwing arms for the All Church Softball Game and Hotdog Night that the youth group was sponsoring. This idea came to us back in May and while I was hoping for a weekly church softball game to get the teens and adults together, we ended up with one date set in stone. We weren't sure if we'd get a good turnout or not--it's impossible to predict these things. We were hoping for enough people to make two teams and we knew we'd be lucky to get 40 people out there. Well, from 6-7pm people were just streaming out to the softball field behind the church. The teens were great helping us set up and get the food prepared--one of the guys did all the grilling! The game had full participation--with people from age 5 to 75 playing against each other. We stopped after 7 innings to grab some food and before you knew it two more teams were being picked. The weather was absolutely perfect, the bugs could have cooperated a bit more, and the game went on until after 8pm. There were two whole rows of spectators and everyone kept saying "We have to do this again!" Three cheers for successful events!

I have yet to eat lunch. That's weird for me. I think I'll go do that now. And leave you with these pictures captured during the church softball game.

:::two rows of spectators:::

:::John grilling up a storm & others enjoying the food:::


:::pastor dale up to bat. shelby umps:::

:::my team up at bat. we lost. twice.:::
but I don't think we cared :)

June 26, 2009

The One in the Jean Skirt

Kevin wanted to go see Transformers.
So did I.
But we don't like spending obscene amounts of money in theaters.
I did some research.
Found a fairly inexpensive theater 45 min. away.
Remembered I had a gift card for that branch of theaters.
A two year old gift card was finally coming in handy.
You see, the movies we wanted to see were never showing in this particular theater.
Which is why I had a $10 gift card for 2 years.
So Kevin calls at 12:30.
Says he's coming home.
"Yippee," I say.
We head to the $5 matinee and hope this place accepts the gift card.
They do.
We enjoy the movie.
I didn't fall asleep.
For the first time in f o r e v e r. My eyelids refuse to stay open through an entire movie.
But I was awake. and enjoying myself.

Then I made him lemon bars. Because he had a craving.
And because I've been wanting to make them. But haven't
They turned out well. Though a bit more crust than I like.
I will share the recipe sometime.
And try a different one another time.

The temperature dropped.
A little.
The humidity dropped.
A lot.
80 is manageable when you're not swimming in it.

We're getting pumped about our 4th of July Party.
Are you coming?
Cause you totally should!

Fishy is loving his (or her) new home.
The basement.
It allows for better climate control.
He (or she) likes that.

Jillian Michaels should totally be giving me some of her royalties.
I have had at least 6 people ask about it.
And about 5 of them have bought it.
Seriously, JM, pay up.

June 24, 2009

The One with an Overheated Fish

Biking to the library that is just 3 miles from our home, signing up for library cards, chatting with the librarian, and getting familiar with the quaint book and resource emporium was the best date ever. Ok, maybe not ever, but it was free and it was really super fun. We looked through the movies and then made our way to the 200s where we were informed the Bible commentaries were stored. The 200s are located in a large back room that you might miss if you weren't looking for it. It probably contains more books than the main library itself but is visited only about 1% of the time. This section of non-fiction was by far the coolest section in the library. Kevin and I were reading through the stacks of philosophers and theologians and getting way too excited. We both have a knowledge and a passion for that form of reading and learnination, and he commented that we are probably THE only couple to get this geeked out over that section in the library. Or over the library itself. And we were totally ok with that. We figure, checking out books from the deserted annex of the library will mean we could renew them for years and probably never have someone waiting. :)

Now you may giggle at our unique form of time together. But we both know you're just jealous.

I'm so glad I moved the desktop downstairs. The office is about 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the main level which drops down to 75 at night and jumps up to 85 during the day. Thank you, God, for a finished basement. Kevin has been wanting to spend more time down here for quite a while, but I was just not convinced--mostly because I had worked so hard to make the upstairs comfortable and beautiful and homey that I didn't want to be religated to the basement where random furniture items and stereo equipment abounds. However, after spending a couple hours last Friday moving furniture, vacuuming cobwebs and utilizing this vintage leather covered bench that we cleaned up from the garage, I'm rather enjoying myself. It's reminescent of my youth when our family spent many a hot summer day down in the partially finished hodgepodge of a basement. It's fun. And a great way to save money on air conditioning.

Poor Fishy. His water won't cool down. I think he might have to move downstairs with us as well.

June 22, 2009

The One with [DQ] Blizzards

fresh cilantro is the bomb.
breezes blowing through the house is appreciated.
great times had at Chris & Katie Thomas's wedding.
having the wedding pictures deleted from my camera is not a good thing. (Dad E., can anything be done?!)
why am I watching the US Open? like father like daughter I guess.
rearranged basement makes me much happier to dwell there for heat relief.
should I move my computer down?
hanging clothes on the line makes me happy. yay frugality.
my hair is done in this crazy cool way today. I'm kind of impressed.

you are all invited to our 4th of July party. on the 4th. of July. from 1pm until whenever.

yesterday celebrated dads. I love my Dad. and I love Kevin's Dad.
today is my Mama's birthday. Mom, I will make a cake for you at our July 4th party.

it's good to reminesce now and again. especially with the wonderful slideshow from our day of wed.

tonight we will have a date. on our bikes. to the library. to get library cards. and books. and movies. for free. I'm way too excited.

it's like Arthur said, "Having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card!" If you don't believe me, see here.

first reese's DQ blizzard in w a y too long. delish. In my opinion, Michigan is slacking in the DQ location department. My hometown has 3 within 10 miles of each other. Now that's what I'm talking about. I grew up on dilly bars!

I really hope I win this giveaway from One Frugal Foodie. Cookies for everyone--including this gluten intolerant girl.

time spent with family is never wasted. especially when celebrating the 50th anniversary of your grandparents. in Frankenmuth. with the whole family. I'm proud to be a part of the clan.

:::the Eccles Clan:::
(center) Grandpa & Grandma.
(bottom left, clockwise) Lori, Karrie, Steve, Greg, Ken, Brian, Gordon, Kevin, Melanie, Linda

:::The Eccles Grandkids:::
Karrie & Mel
Brian, Greg, Kevin

:::The Gordon Eccles Family:::
Gordon & Linda
Brian, Kevin, Mel

June 19, 2009

The One with the Strawberries

Listening to God's prodding reaps positive results. Funny how that works. It's like St. Ignatius of Loyola said, "Sin is unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness." David Benner adds to that, "Until I am absolutely convinced of this I will do everything I can to keep my hands on the controls of my life, because I think I know better than God what I need for my fulfillment." We human beings are lame. Why on earth we think we know what's best for our lives, I'll never know. Personally, I battle illogical thoughts which are rooted not so much in the belief that I know what's best, but rather that God does not have sovereign control which will guide me into the deepest happiness I could ever know. Why do I worry? Why do I question? Why do I fear?

"Be still, and know that I am God."

I was so blessed this week as I reconnected with the church--which just so happens to be Christ's body on earth. For the first time in months, Kevin and I went to prayer meeting. I was nervous. Afraid of what judgments might be passed on me. I had plenty of excuses for not going. And though the first few absences were well-intentioned, laziness and apathy set in and pretty soon it was nearly impossible to go back. But I did. I heard His urging and I decided to obey. We were met by surprised looks but welcoming spirits. I was missing out. Missing out on the community that is found in small groups of prayer. Openness. Belonging. Accountability. God, I am sorry. And I am so thankful.

On a slightly different note, of the church ladies called me up yesterday morning (and I must admit I'm always a bit cautious when picking up these phone calls. I never know what I'm in for!). She invited me to go strawberry picking with her. I was thrilled! I hadn't been picking since I was about 10 years old and even then it was with a church lady who took me and made jam with me all afternoon. (Yes, Cindy, I still remember!) The berries were perfect for picking and within 30 minutes I had my 10lb flat heaped with juicy fruit goodness. This picture is after putting about a pound or so in the freezer and another 1/2 pound in my mouth. :D
Today I plan to put my food processor to good use and whip up some strawberry freezer jam. We're still working through the many pints I made last summer with Kevin's mom and I must say, nothing beats homemade jam! I plan to freeze the remaining berries to keep around for smoothies--one of my favorite healthy snacks. Thank you, my darling husband, for buying me a smoothie maker for my 21st birthday. You anticipated our future quite accurately! :D

Also, I realized I hadn't yet shared a picture of my newest love, Stan the KitchenAid mixer. (Kevin has reminded me to continue using Stan's last name--KitchenAid--so that no confusion occurs. We wouldn't want people thinking my Love had been replaced!)

::Introducing the Empire Red KitchenAid Stand Mixer-Stan!::
I'm fully aware of my ridiculous-ness. In case you were concerned. Just living up to my blog name. ;)

Now off to berry myself in red goodness.

ps. I'm super stoked! We got my wedding rings soldered together this week! It looks wonderful and they cleaned it up to a sparkling state I couldn't remember!

June 16, 2009

The One with (another) Wedding

It's been a great couple of days. Not only has the weather been ideal for my preferences, but we've enjoyed a wedding, a children's led worship service, a fantastic time with the youth group, and more.

Friday evening, we traveling 20 minutes down the road to Clair & Caitlin's wedding rehearsal. It was kind of fun to be a part of the behind-the-scenes preparation but not have much responsibility. Kevin & I were privileged to be asked to read Psalm 100 as the prelude to the ceremony. We were able to meet new friends and enjoy a homecooked dinner before heading home (to watch the RedWings lose to the Penguins. darn it!)

Saturday morning felt fairly lazy, but I was still out of bed well before 8am and downstairs working out with Jillian. I made it over to the Dunbar Estates neighborhood garage sales and boy was I glad I did. I can definitely see myself becoming that insane garage saler who rises early on the weekends to arrive at the start of the best known sales with definite goals in mind. I just love it! What's even better is having an excuse to hunt for someone else. One of my good friends is having a baby and I was so excited to find sale after sale getting rid of never worn onesies for a quarter each. And they are all in adorable patterns too. So fun.

This leads me to my next point. I wonder how many church people saw rows of baby clothes hanging out to dry yesterday and, well, drew their own assumptions. *sneaky grin* I did talk with my neighbor (also a church member) and clarify that "These are not for us! Our friend is having a baby!" :D Should be interesting to see if any rumors take root. Not that I'm encouraging rumors and gossip. I just think it could be entertaining to see if anyone will actually ask me and then to have the great response of, "NO! Why? Do I look it?" and make them feel all awkward. Ok, so that's a little mean, but...still fun. Kind of like AFV. or Wipeout.

Saturday afternoon we made our way back down the road to the church to watch our great friends, Caitlin & Clair, be joined together in the holy state of matrimony. It really was a wonderful service (aside from the Pastor's mispronouncing Caitlin's name over and over again. It sound more like Kate Lynn then one fluid name. Emphasis on the second syllable rather than the first. I wonder if she was as annoyed as I was. Hopefully not.) We had a great time catching up with Dave & Lynne and laughing hysterically with the Bells--a couple in their 60s who were anything but a damper on the party.

:::Caitlin & Clair and their attendents::

::after The Kiss, the groomsmen pulled out newspapers to cover their eyes::
::a lovely cake::
I think I have a thing for cakes.

::the gorgeous, glowing new couple::
::four great friends::
Sunday morning was the first service Kevin and I had attended together in far too long. It was good. The kids led the first half of the worship and I have to tell you--it was one of the best worship experiences ever. Their joy, their innocence, their excitement--it was all a perfect reflection of the heart of Jesus. I think he was on to something in Matthew 18:3.

That afternoon, we finally got around to putting down our tent that had been set up in the garage since our camping trip last week. No, I will not be embarrassed by this. :D It needed to dry fully and be swept off and out. Now we are finally getting to be pros at the fold up and set up of this tent. Practice makes perfect.

I ran to the store for some "Celebrate the Start of Summer" Pizza Party supplies for that evening's youth group meeting and decided on Frescetta frozen pizza instead of the Little Caesar's Hot and Ready (that is, warm and mushy). I got home, threw two of the three pizzas in the oven. They cooked perfectly. Put the third one in to bake just before the troops starting flooding our entryways. Then the timer rang. And John, one of the teens, was trying to help me by pulling out the pizza. I looked into the oven to find not one but two pizzas--one perfectly cooked and the other completely charred. Ruined. Destroyed. Worthless. A waste of $4.96. I burnt a frozen pizza. Sure, I can make my own pizza dough and bake it to perfection, but give me a frozen variety and the result is anything but pleasing.

I'm laughing out loud at my own stupidity at this moment. I mean, it's seriously hysterical. The irony of that moment in my life was just...priceless. We'll see if I ever attempt the frozen pizza again. ;)

The teens quickly forgave my negligence and we all headed outside for a great game of Ultimate Frisbee. Boy, I did not realize how much I have missed playing. My senior year at SAU, I was out there every week--me and the guys--playing one of the greatest games invented. (Though I might just think that because it's the only sporting activity I find myself capable of playing rather well.) It was a blast and we were so excited to have THREE new students join us! That's a HUGE number when you consider a good night is 7 teens and there might only be 4 other nights. So our Ultimate Frisbee went over well even though the teams ended up a leettle bit uneven (unfair really) when Kevin and I both flips a "heads" and played together. It's not like we have the whole "married connection" thing going for us, or the fact that we had both played this game a thousand more times than anyone else. :D It was completely fun, though. Both teams played well and we didn't want to quit. And I think the students were a bit impressed with my skills. hee,hee. I was too, actually. I dove parallel for that disc a few times and succeeded. What a great feeling!

We all headed inside to the basement level teen room and were thankful for the cool air. Everyone enjoyed the 2 pizzas, pop, chips, and cookies while hearing about the awesome opportunities coming up for our group. We shared laughs and stories and managed to accomplish 99% of what was on my schedule for the night--which is impressive for us. Our group is rather talkative and we all love hanging out with each other--which is a blessing but can also result in difficulty getting the entire group's attention. :)

After all the teens left, Kevin and I were both completely pumped with the turn out and the involvement and the interaction. It was definitely a heavenly encouragement.

I could probably gone on and on about youth group right now or about all the other things that I'm learning in my personal life right now, but I think most of my audience was lost paragraphs ago to their drowsiness. :)

June 11, 2009

The One with the Crazy Rants

So I'm just wondering...has anyone figured out why there is the "me" included in my blog address? Well, besides the fact that adorkable.blogspot.com was already taken...by some teenager who posted once. four years ago. about her lame boyfriend. Geez, I was a bit irritated when I found that out. What a waste of a perfectly good address. And now I see the blog has been eliminated. Lame. Wow, do I ever digress (that is..."get off on crazy soapboxes at times"). So about the whole "adorkable-me" thing. Now, at first glance, you might think I was just referring to myself using a pronoun, when in reality I was referring to my new intials M.E. So I guess I was still referring to myself. Just in a more specific way. Ok, so I can't believe I thought that was worth explaining. Oh well. I'm dealing with it.

I'm also glad to have found out that I am not the only person in the world who does not like running in the rain. I was beginning to feel like a real odd-ball, always hearing people say how much they love it. But I find it to be a bit of dual torture. I mean, here I am, running. That is a form of torture, right? Feet slamming into the asphalt. Knees getting jolted. Heart rate soaring. Breathing becoming a luxury. But it hurts so good right? Right. I'll just keep telling myself that at least. So anyways, here I am torturing myself with an intense form of cardio and then the rains come. I'm already sweating (cause I sweat like you wouldn't believe. unless you've seen me sweat, in which case you would believe it.) and trying to keep the moisture out of my eyes. And the dripping. Oh I cannot stand the dripping feeling all over my body. Thank you rain for adding to my misery. The one time I decided to pump myself up about taking a run during a rainstorm the skies chose to mock me by withholding the water. In any case...another soapbox from which I will step down.

As far as running and walking are concerned, I'm beginning to realize I wish I lived near Jen. She seems to love walking as much as I do and enjoys the same forms of intense exercise as I do (aside from the whole "training for a marathon" thing which I can never see myself doing). Maybe some day I will live by Jen. (Hopefully that place we will live will have lots of sidewalks to allow for safe walking and running. Unlike this crazy road that I risk my life on.) And we will walk and run together. With our babies. Oh wait, that's just her. She and her Kevin have a beautiful little girl. I don't have a baby. But someday I will. I hope. And then we will walk with our babies. The end.

June 9, 2009

The One where the Game is Over and I Can Go to Bed

It's after 10pm and I'm tired, as per usual. But alas, I remain at my desk drowsily operating my fingers and attempting to keep my mouth from gaping open in it's pre-sleep-getting-ready-to-salivate-all-over-my-pillow state. Gross, I know. TMI? probably. meh.

I'm still awake because my husband is still awake and I have been completely spoiled this past year as he accompanies me to the Land of Sleep every night. The Redwings are playing the Penguins in game 6 of the hockey series. Until recently (and by recently I mean since I took up residence in the great [unemployed] state of Michigan), I didn't even know there were professional hockey teams. I didn't even really know what hockey was...other than guys on ice skating like crazy men and throwing one another into walls. Ohhhh wait. That is hockey. Despite my lack of concern for this sport for which people are either completely passionate or totally apathetic, I realized how much Kevin wanted to catch this pivotal game. So I obliged. Luckily for me, the summer prime time television lineup completely stinks...as always...so I'm not missing much (or anything, actually).

Why is that, by the way? Why do they remove all shows with any decent and/or intriguing plot line from the summer schedule? Ridiculous game shows take the place of my favorites, and the writers of my favorites relish the thought of leaving me--their captive audience--in complete and utter suspense for MONTHS! Whatever will I do?

Move on, Mel.

Today was a good day. A beautiful good day. A day filled with dozens and dozens of cookies--most of which will end up being sold on Sunday at church. Speaking of which, where do people get the idea that it is their right to have my baked goods at their fingertips every week? I mean, geez, it's not like I have a life. Ok, move on, Mel. You're tired and your thought filter has all but disappeared.

Like I was saying it was a good day. Early work out, delicious oatmeal with almonds and strawberries, cloudless blue sky, 73 degrees, cookies (also known as "getting to use Stan, my mixer"), writing a lengthy letter to my sis, reading with Jesus, and tilapia and baked potatoes for dindin. A good day.

June 7, 2009

The One where the Eccles Set up Camp

Before you get too far into this post, I would like to inform you that, though written in my usual style, the majority of this account is for posterity, so that Kevin and I have an account of the wonderful way we spent our first anniversary. Now, if you don't mind length, feel free to join me as I unfold this weekend.

It was wonderful for Kevin to be able to take Friday off of work giving us ample time to arrive at Ludington State Park, a 4 hour trek west across the state of Michigan. I woke up bright and early at 6am and had completed my JM workout and showered by 8am when I got Kevin up from his slumber. We had a delicious oatmeal pancake breakfast and, despite our lack of time crunch, were on the road by 9:45am. (What in the world?! How we accomplished all we did and packed the car full of camping gear in that amount of time, I'll never know.)

After a fairly uneventful ride complete with a Wendy's stop and much enjoyment found in my new Real Simple subscription (thanks to Britt for the coolest matron of honor gift ever!), we arrived in the Ludington, MI area. You drive through this adorable down town and just when you think you're going to drive straight into Lake Michigan you hang a right and pretty soon the scenery changes from "traditional grassy suburb" to gorgeous white sand dunes along the Lake shores. Quite random, I must say, but totally awesome nonetheless. We checked in to our campsite at 2:30pm and were thrilled the absolutely ideal camping weather--70 and sunny. Our site was by far the best! There were no campers on either side of us, we were surrounded by nature, the ground was more dirt than sand (helpful for staking down a tent), and the restrooms were an ideal distance from us.

Camp set up took about an hour and after resting on our inflated air mattress and partaking of our free candy bars we went in search of firewood. Kevin got a lovely fire going before dinner time and we enjoyed roasting our sausages over the open flame. (There is something about a campfire that automatically makes food taste 10 times better, I think!) We also ate some of my version of my Grandma's potato salad (which got a thumbs up from Kevin...yay!) and roasted plenty (read: "way too many") of marshmallows to perfection. (Seriously, people, if you think you can roast a marshmallow you are most likely mistaken. Kevin and myself can take that sugary fluff to places it never dreamed of.)

::our site and our lovely civic.
how we fit all our camping gear in that car I'll never know::
::yes, that is one long piece of downed tree.
the perfect addition to the fire::
::one of many perfect marshmallows::
We headed in to bed a bit earlier than we had hoped thanks to a bit of rain, but luckily I had thought ahead and had us each bring a few of our favorites movies to watch on his laptop if the circumstances necessitated indoor activity. We made it part way through The DaVinci Code (which, by the way, I have seen about 10 times as well as read the novel and still am surprised at certain occurances. I find my lack of retention skills to be a blessing at times--keeps things fresh! lol)

At some point during the night, I woke up and noticed Kevin's half of the air mattress to be deflating. (The king sized mattress is made up of two twins zipped together.) I tried to awaken him, but to no avail, so I feel back to sleep. A while later, I was awakened to hear Kevin saying, "Mel, I'm sleeping on the ground." He was adorably sleepy and I couldn't help but giggle at him before saying, "Here, come share my half. There's plenty of room." And there we spent the rest of the night--snuggled up on the only twin sized mattress remaining inflated. Though it was rather cramped to say the least, the weather dipped down into the 40s so the closeness was enjoyed (in addition to my long underwear, sweatpants, tshirt and sweatshirt!)

I was wide awake at 6am, but stayed in bed dozing and reading my book until Kevin was ready to get up--around 7:30. We showered, ate a hearty bowl of Cheerios, and headed out for a lakeside hike. Our walk took us on a well traveled sandy path until we decided to take the road less traveled and ventured right down the beach to the lighthouse. It was around 4 miles round trip and though the weather was brisk and lacking in sun, we had an absolutely fabulous time. We were the only people around and took our time--enjoying every rock or piece of driftwood. I savored that gift of quality time, let me tell you.

::deciding to veer off the main trail::
::Kevin eyeing up the perfect piece of driftwood::
::our feet on the cold sand::
I had taken off my shoes, but decided it was too chilly
::sweet piece of driftwood::
Two hours after venturing out, we returned to our campsite and decided to explore the small town nearby. It just so happened that there was a car show going on and the main street was closed down. This was a perfect coincidence as we got to enjoy the small town charm as well as some awesome classic cars. We hunted and hunted for the perfect "Ludington" sweatshirt for me to claim as my souvenir but ended up buying a pound and a half of the most amazing fudge instead! lol. We had lunch at one of the local favorites and were totally thankful when the owner of a sporting goods store gave me a free water bottle with Kevin's purchase (after mentioned that mine had broken and how my water bottle is basically a 5th appendage!) How cool is that?

::the hot Corvette-Kevin's favorite::
We headed for camp at the same time that the rain decided to start once again--around 2:30 Saturday afternoon. Feeling lazy and in need of a break, we settled in to enjoy a bit more of our movie as well as a much needed nap. (I'll admit, my normally pleasant self was not all that pleasant at times. very lame of me.) When we finally prodded ourselves outside, Kevin started the greatest camp fire of all time! The wood was perfect and we had some glorious coals in no time. The warmth was radiant--a great thing on another cold evening. I put together one of our favorite camp meals--packets of potatoes, green peppers, and onions--and we roasted them over the fire to perfection. We argued with the rain for a while and managed to cook many more amazing marshmallows before heading inside. (By the way, not being able to eat the graham cracker part of the s'more makes it a bit difficult, but I found that stuffing one tiny square of chocolate into the marshmallow's hole left by the roasting stick is delish!)

Though most of the rain had been in the form of sprinkles up to Saturday night, we could not have anticipated the downpour we were in for. From 10pm that night until 5am the next morning, the rains came and the winds beat and blew against our tent. There were a few moments of nervousness as the sides of the shelter were sucked back and forth by the winds and I kept praying that our tent would remain dry. Thankfully we made it through the night safe and dry but quite ready to pack up. Thought tearing down camp in damp weather is pretty much the worst part of camping, we plowed through and were driving away at 9:45am. (We must have a thing for 9:45...)

Our ride home went safely though somewhat frustrating as we could not seem to find the Panera we were craving for lunch. Two hours after our intial desire, we sat down to a wonderful meal (I love me a fuji apple chicken salad!) and were soon back on the road. Most of our equipment and belongings were unpacked within a half hour of arriving home at 3pm and Kevin set up the tent in the garage to dry. He's going to be a pro at that!

Exhausted, we were thankful to have an entire evening of unwinding ahead of us. It was quite to blessing to be able to take such a great trip in celebration of our first year of marriage. We really did have a wonderful time--rain and all! Thanks for the memories, Darling. I love you.

::Ludington State Park. Pines Campground. Site 27::