Category Archives: vacations

My Trip to Michigan by Zoe Grace

I think my mommy has told you this already, but I just went on my first big adventure. Well, maybe my third, but I was only 9 days old on my first one, and 3 months old on my second one…so, those don’t count. Besides, this time I got to go on a plane! From the ground I liked the planes well enough, but boy oh boy did they make me tired! I don’t remember much about the plane rides because I slept the whole time, but when we got to Michigan…which is a whole ‘nother state!…my tummy hurt pretty bad and I couldn’t eat for about two days. It was the pits. Mommy got pretty worried and I couldn’t sleep through the night, but by Monday I was all over my travel woes and ready to get the show on the road!

{My first full meal in Michigan, Monday lunch, I had to eat lots so that I could swim at the lake!}
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Even though I was having trouble eating and sleeping, I was still pretty excited about our first few days. First things first we had a wedding to go to, Mommy’s friend Jason was getting married. I got to meet most of Mommy’s friends from Michigan, and the bride told me that I was pretty. I tried my best to be in a good mood, but it was hard. So, I mostly just hung out.

{Meeting the bride and groom. Obviously not my most shining moment}
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{Mommy got me a whole plate of food with lots of options, but all I wanted was watermelon. She was so happy I ate something she didn’t even mind that I ruined my shirt.)
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Then, the next day we were up and at ’em early so that we could go to breakfast with the interns. Mommy said that she used to be an intern, whatever that means. Anyways, I liked the people but my tummy still hurt. Oh, and Mommy dressed me in a summer outfit that I wear back home, but it was in the 60’s… Mommy didn’t know that. So, she had to buy me some warm clothes…and then Ms. Katie, she was an intern too, she bought me a ton of shoes and a toy, and some books, and some CANDY! She’s kinda cool.

{That’s Mr. Dave and Ms. Marie. They are in charge of the camp. They’re pretty cool.}
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{That’s Mr. Greg. I loved him lots. He was Mommy’s real good friend when she lived up here. He was an intern too}
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After breakfast I got to hang out with Ms. Katie and Ms. Carly. I liked them lots too. Ms. Carly danced with me in the backseat all the way to a cider mill. Have you ever been to a cider mill? It’s way cool. They have lots of trees, and then they make the apples turn to juice, and then you get to drink the juice with donuts. The donuts were my favorite part. Mommy’s favorite was the photo shoot. She took tons of pictures and Ms. Katie took even more. Mommy says I’m supposed to tell you that she’s going to show you lots of pictures from that shoot later, but right now I get to tell the story, and I only want to show a few.

{I got to swing on a swing all by myself}
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{Mommy put me in a tree to get a picture}
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Then we left the cider mill and went to a baby shower for some of Mommy’s other friends. The coolest thing about the shower, in my opinion, was that Yirah was there. Mommy knew Yirah’s mommy and daddy when she lived in Michigan, and they had Yirah two weeks after I was born…so, we’re kinda growing up together, in a virtual kind of way. I liked her lots. She could walk…that was really cool. Oh. And I got to meet the fabulous Jason B…he’s one heck of a cool guy. And ladies? He’s single too…he’s a little to old for me though.

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After that busy weekend, we rested up a bit Monday morning and prepared for the wedding. Well, actually, just Mommy and Erynn prepared for the wedding, I was just along for the ride. Mostly, I just got to hang out wherever they were. On Tuesday the people from France got there and they loved me. I thought they were pretty cool. I tried to let them know by changing my babble and creating a new form of jibberish just for them. Mommy thinks I was trying to talk in French to them…don’t tell her, but she’s right. French is a really pretty language, I think I’m going to take it in high school. Did you know that they make to take a foreign language in high school? Weird. Anyways, they helped Mommy take care of me because Daddy wasn’t there. Daddy had to stay in Florida so that he could work, but he called me lots and lots every day and we talked over the phone.

{Mommy and Aunt Erynn took me to feed ducks. I thought the animal crackers were for me.}
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{I got to spend lots of time laughing and playing with Aunt Erynn, especially when I woke up at 6:30 every morning. Mommy doesn’t like waking up early, so if Aunt Erynn was up I would hang out with her}
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{We had a cookout on Wednesday and Mr. Myron came over. It was a pretty great night, except I was up pretty late. About halfway through dinner Mommy took me for my bath in the sink and then put me to bed. I stayed up past bedtime way too much on this trip. Oh, starting with the guy on the end, that’s Mr. Tony…Erynn’s dad, then Adam her brother, Aunt Erynn, me in the corner sitting next to Mr. Myron, Eleanor is by him but I don’t think you can see her, then Caroline…Eleanor’s mommy, then Molly and finally Penny..Mr. Tony’s wife}
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{Starting on Monday I wanted to walk everywhere that I went, except I don’t know how, so I had people help me…like Eleanor.}
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{I helped Mommy clean out the get away car for Aunt Erynn and Josiah. I was a good helper. I stood in the front seat and ate fries and dropped them all over the place. Mommy laughed at me lots…she thinks I’m funny.}
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{On Friday we stopped by to help Aunt Erynn get ready for her big day. I got to play in a hay field and play with lots of the Bennett’s.}
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And then, before I knew it, it was already Saturday and time for the big event. Aunt Erynn was beautiful. I thought her dress was really pretty, but I was in a pretty bad mood because I didn’t take a nap. I got to hang out with Ms. Carly again, she’s really cool, and pretty fun. She took good care of me while Mommy was helping Aunt Erynn. And then I took a nap for her at about 4. The next thing I knew, Mommy was there to wake me up and I got to hang out with her the rest of the night at the wedding. Because it was a special event she let me stay up way way way past my bedtime that night! It thought that was pretty awesome, and I even slept in all the way to 7 the next morning to thank her for it!

{I lost my pants because I maybe had an accident in my skirt and my mommy couldn’t find anymore pants. But, later Ms. Carly found them for me}
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And then, in the blink of an eye, it was Sunday. The day I got to fly again. The day I got to see my Daddy! Mommy bought me a pretty pair of sparkly ruby red slippers that I was supposed to wear on the plane ride home, and then we were going to show Daddy my new trick of walking while I hold her hand, except I didn’t much like the shoes so I kicked them off…and our plane got here early, so Daddy was still in the car when we got to the airport. I saw him as soon as we walked into the baggage claim area and Mommy couldn’t hardly hold me anymore I was so happy to see him. He held me and kissed me, and I laughed and laughed. I was with my Daddy again! Michigan was awesome, but it’s nowhere near as awesome as being with my Daddy….and getting to play with all my toys again. Hemmingway’s not too bad either.

{Monday Mommy took me to see Daddy at lunch because I already missed him again. But really, Mommy was missing him pretty bad…so that’s why we went}
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Meet the Bennett’s

HEY YA’LL! I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I arrived home safe and sound yesterday at about 9, greeted at the airport by Brad with flowers in hand. It was the sight I’ve been waiting to see since last Friday at 9 in the morning. Not the flowers…Brad. If this week taught me one thing it was that I can not LIVE without that man! He is my world. Anyways, today isn’t about him, or missing him, or waking up at night missing him so much I was in tears. No, today is about my trip. Like I said on Friday, there are SO MANY things I want to talk about this week…but, out of all my topics the Bennett’s stand out heads above the rest.

{The entrance to they’re honeybee house}
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{Just a shed the kids built…no big deal}
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I met them the second day that I got there. I’ve seen pictures on Facebook, but nothing could’ve prepared me for actually meeting them. The Bennett’s are the family that Erynn is marrying into, and they are one of a kind. My very first impression was that they were maybe Amish, and if not Amish…then certainly a distant cousin. They have 9 children. Nine. N-I-N-E. They live on a farm, like a real “milk your own cow and then that’s the milk you drink” farm. One of the girls, Celeste, is in charge of all the lambs. They have over a hundred. Beau is in charge of milking the cows and he helps with hay. Josiah is in charge of hay. Hosanna is in charge of the honeybees….they have hundreds of hives, each one holding thousands of bees. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett homeschool all of the kids, not because they need help on the farm, but because they are very opposed to public schools. At one point in the week I told their second to youngest son, Corbet, that he was a stud. He didn’t know what I meant.

{This is Mr. and Mrs. Bennett}
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{They’re moving a piano into the hayfield here. Corbet, is in the yellow shirt with his back to the camera. Stud.}
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They are not, in fact, Amish. They are just the Bennett’s, and after a week with them, that statement holds so much hidden meaning to me. It all started innocently enough. We got there at 9:30, just in time for dinner. They asked me if I wanted any. I said no thanks, we’d already eaten. Then they asked again. I asked what it was. They said, “Chicken feet stew”. I laughed hysterically and said, “Of course! Why wouldn’t I want chicken feet stew?” Josiah told me that it was delicious and that’s what he requests for his birthday dinner. I told him he should aim higher. As I took pictures of the stew, I also took pictures of the milk straight from the cow. They laughed at me. I told them I had to document drinking milk straight from the cow. Beau told me that I was completely wrong, that wasn’t milk straight from a cow. It had been strained. I quickly informed him that to the rest of America, it counts. And from then on I had the entire family laughing at my jokes….which only encourages my honesty.

(That, my friends, is the foot of a chicken in my bowl…YUMMY}
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{Milk…and homemade cheese…straight from the cow}
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As we were slurping up our delicious {please note the deliberate use of sarcasm} chicken feet stew, one of the boys asked me how Brad and I met. I told them a very quick version of our story, but accidentally included the fact that Brad and I eloped. I looked up to see every single jaw at the table had dropped. Eloped? Without my parents consent? The madness! The insanity! Who would do such a thing?!?!?!?! You see, the Bennett’s believe in courtship…the old fashioned way. Except, I think maybe a little more. Josiah and Erynn never touched until their wedding day. As in, never ever touched, not even a hand on the shoulder or an accidental brush as they walk past each other. And they certainly never did anything without his parent’s consent. So, you can imagine their surprise when I eloped and told my parents about it 2 weeks later. Surprise!

{Honeybee hives}
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This revelation started a conversation about dating, and it’s worthlessness in our society. Again, honest Rebecca, admitted that I’d had a series of “guys but not boyfriends”, at which point Mr. Bennett asked where my father was, because it was his job to protect me from guys like that. I don’t know about you, but you can talk about me, critique me and my life all day long, but you do NOT talk about my dad…or my family for that matter. I very politely {in my opinion} addressed his concerns and then changed the subject. I told them that I was for sure going to write a blog about them. It became the joke of the week, every new experience I had over there they would ask if I was going to blog about it. Yes. I most definitely am. Mrs. Bennett asked me my blog title and the conversation went like this:

Mrs. B: Oh, I don’t like that term, “Housewife”. I much prefer “homemaker”
Me: Well, that would be a complete lie.
Mrs. B: Oh, I don’t think so. Surely you do things around your house.
Me: I wouldn’t be to sure about that.
Mrs. B: I’m sure you do the dishes and have dinner waiting for him when he gets home.
Me: {laughter} Um, no. He does that. I mean, I do the dishes sometimes…but he does them mostly, and he cooks.
Mrs. B: Well, you do the laundry.
Me: No.
Mrs. B: Well, what do you do all day long?
Me: I try to be out of the house as much as I can. I take care of Zoe. I play with her. We go to the gym. I run errands.
Mrs. B: Oh, well, I’m sure you pick out the bed sheets and have everything nice for him.
Me: Uhhhhhh…..no. Definitely not.
Mrs. B: Well, what do you do that makes him want to come home to you?
Me: I kiss him.

I would like you to know that because there were very innocent children in the room I censored myself DRASTICALLY there. I was so very tempted to elaborate on what I do for my husband to make him come home to me. But, alas, I did not. What I did do though, was laugh…a lot. I couldn’t believe that she had asked me that. We talked and laughed some more, and then decided that 11:30 was pretty late and we should probably go home. I left afraid that I had tarnished the poor Bennett children. When we got in the car I told Erynn that I thought I totally freaked them out. The next day Mrs. Bennett told Erynn that she sees where she gets her crazy from.

{Hosanna, I hung out with her a lot}
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{Celeste with “curlers” in her hair}
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I honestly enjoyed the Bennett’s immensely. We’re different. Very very very different. But, being around a large family has a certain comfort to it that I can’t explain. There’s something about how the kids interact and love each other. How they are perfectly at ease and comfortable with each other. Around the Bennett’s the laughter flows freely. They are wonderful, wonderful people. Their life is simple, it’s wonderful, and it has it’s ups and downs just like anybody else. However, one of the biggest stresses of my week was how they operate. Everybody has an opinion, they like to override your opinion, and they operate on a time clock all their own…as in incredibly late…to EVERYTHING. It all evens out in the end. Erynn absolutely loves that she’s marrying into that family…and I have to be honest and say that she’s marrying into one heck of a family. But, I’m also glad that she’s marrying into them….and not me.

{Erynn and Josiah}
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