Sunday, August 29, 2010

They Call Us the Great Lake State

Dear Reader,

Michigan is called the Great Lake State for a reason. We have 5 very large (great, even) lakes surrounding our state. We learn to remember their names with the acronym HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). It's pretty awesome.

This weekend my family and I went to Lake Michigan.

The car ride west was exciting with Molly in the backseat. Let's just say, she gets excited about EVERYTHING.

For some geological reason there are sand dunes that line the lake. While they are really cool to look at, they are pretty difficult to climb.

Especially when you're wearing sandals and the sand is hot like fire, swallowing your feet whole. It's painful.

Molly was funny. Every time there was shade she would fall into it and wouldn't want to get up.

She was super excited to get to the beach and have cold sand/rocks to lay on.

Feeling the wind run through her ears.

Our walk back to the car was pretty exciting. We took a different path to see where it would lead (hoping it would get us back to the original trail eventually) and it ended up being...not a direct route back. Let's just put it that way. And it was really hot. So hot that my mom almost got heat stroke, and I wasn't feeling too well either. We forced ourselves to keep walking until we got to some shade.

This tree was our saving grace.

And this was our view as we recovered. We felt like death but at least the lake was pretty.

I know, we're pretty lame. But it was hot. And sand is hard.

At the end of the trip we still wanted to go back to that beach, though, so it wasn't all bad. Adventure is good.

We finished off the day in Kalamazoo with Aunt Robin and Uncle Jim, eating amazing pizza at this restaurant. Yes, it's called Bilbo's. And yes, there were Lord of the Rings references on the menu. I recommend it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quest for Pumpkin

Dear Reader,

I made pumpkin cupcakes a few weeks ago. They looked a little something like this:

Whenever I eat pumpkin cupcakes a get nostalgic about London (Natalie, you know what I'm talking about) and a certain cupcake shop named Hummingbird Bakery.

As I'm sure most of you remember, I went to London in the fall. And as most of you are probably aware, pumpkin is a popular food to eat during that particular season.

Except, apparently, in London. And I found this out the hard way.

Natalie and I searched all over the city and found nothing. NOTHING. I almost doubted London's being the greatest city of all time, but I got a hold of myself before things got too out of hand.

[I should make the disclaimer that there were pumpkin pie type things (very rare, but we found them once or twice), but we were jonesing for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cupcakes, or something of that nature.]

So for two months we looked in every bakery and food stand we walked past--but to no avail. We had pretty much lost all hope until, on the second to last day in London, Natalie was inspired to stop by Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road. Pumpkin cupcakes were the cupcake of the day. Was it fate? I think so. Needless to say, she bought one and shared it with me, and there was much rejoicing. This is kind of what that looked like:

We were clearly all about the product placement.

Natalie also got a red velvet cupcake. That's the one on the right. A very good choice.

This is it. The coveted pumpkin cupcake. It's so beautiful.

It was totally worth the wait.

The cupcakes I made last month were no where near as magical as the London cupcake, but I'm gonna say that's because I didn't have to wait 2 months to eat them.

P.S. Before you get confused and think that I'm good at photography, Natalie took the Hummingbird cupcake pictures. (Well...except for the one of her. I took that.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When the Parents Come to Town

Dear Reader,

This last week my parents and little brother and sister came into town for a visit. Mary's birthday was on Sunday (the 25th), so Wednesday (when they got in town) we went over to David and Cassie's for cake. (And so my parents could see Naomi. Let's be honest, we all know that's the real reason they wanted to go over.) The cake was a cat, per Mary's request. I forgot candles.

Of course.

But at least it tasted good.

And here's Naomi! She's so cute! She was also super mellow that night. She basically let anyone hold her, and she slept the whole time. This worked out really well for me because I finally got to hold her without her bursting into tears. I have bad luck, I guess.

If I didn't know any better I'd say the parents are wanting some grandkids. . . .

(This is the proof she let me hold her.)

And now we segue to my cousin Cami's wedding. She got married on Saturday (July 31) in the Salt Lake Temple. The fun part was, like 86 other couples were also getting married that day.

It was like herding cattle.

But the busy-ness aside, it was a really beautiful wedding, and really well done. She had her temple ceremony (most of the following pictures are from the wait outside) and then pictures very briefly (mainly because we were running late and only had the JSMB reserved for 2 hours), followed by a luncheon in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. She seemed pretty happy, so I'm guessing it was a success with her. Which, honestly, is all that matters.

My little cousin Cate. Yes, she is that cute. (And yes, in the background is Mary. That's what she was doing like all weekend.)

I love love love the converse!

My cousin Savannah's baby, Lily. We like to abuse children while they're young and can't fight back. It's easier that way.

My cousin Sabina (Lily's aunt) and Mary.

Brother and sister (X and Cate). Love it.

The happy bride!

Okay, I kid you not, this piece of chocolate mousse cheesecake may have been the best thing I have ever eaten. And I'm not really crazy about mousse or cheesecake.

Was a Christmas miracle? I would say so.

The centerpiece.

Savannah, Lily, and me. Clearly the child was annoyed she had to be in ANOTHER picture. I don't blame her. Sorry for adding to your pain, Lily. . . .