Sunday, August 14, 2011

Goin' on a trip!

    We took Jacob on his first vacation! We went camping at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana for 4 days the first weekend in August. My parents and three sisters were there, too. I was a little worried about the weather, but it turned out to be perfect! Sunny & in the 80's everyday, while cool at night!
    Even though I grew up camping, doing it with a 1yr old was quite different. It wasn't bad, though. The sun just woke up a little earlier since we slept in a tent and he had some trouble falling asleep in strange sleeping quarters; but once he fell asleep, he slept well.
    I think the biggest excitement for Jacob was simply being outside all the time. He's definately an outdoorsy type. There were also several people at the campground that brought their dogs. And Jacob loves  dogs! Every time he would see one his pacifier would drop out of his mouth and he would take off, walking as fast as his little legs would carry him, pointing and saying, "Oooohhh! Ooooohhh!" I was glad all the dogs we met were friendly enough for him to pet them and poke them in the face.
   Since it was our first experience camping with a toddler, we kind of forgot to get our camera out very often. So I'll be adding more pictures as they get emailed to me from my family :)

My little adventurer :)

Trying to open the bubbles Grandma Cichon brought for him!

Jacob had no problem adjusting to the dusty camping style...

There was no way to keep this little guy clean! I kind of enjoyed the break though, it was tons of fun.

Napping on our air mattress. At night, Jacob slept on the sleeping bag between our air mattress & the wall. That way, if he did wake up, he couldn't sneak out!

Trying on hats in the the lodge store. 
LOVE this one ;)

Nature Center at Turkey Run
This little tunnel was just his size! In the window behind him, there was a snake he kept peeking in at. 
Eeek! Don't get any ideas, Jacob. I hate snakes!

Father & Son time before bed. Reading one of Jacobs favorite books; Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Sharon, Dad, & Julie
About to start their hike! On the other side of that cement wall there are stairs going up to a suspension bridge crossing a river. Once you cross it, there are miles and miles of beautiful trails to choose from!

For dinner one night, we ate at the lodge. It was nice to be served & not have to do dishes. And even though the food was delicious, I still think my dad is the best chef ever!

Hanging out after dinner.
This night was the first time I had ever seen Jacob run. I have seen him try to run, but it's always been just a fast walk. But tonight, it was crazy watching him... There was a bounce in his steps and he was running super fast all over the room!

Dad & me :)

Dad & Mom

This little guy was about ready to crash. I think these were the most active days he'd had in a row. He LOVED it!

There are few things in life better than a shoulder/back rub from my Dad. 

Eating lunch! 

The Grandparents took Jacob for an afternoon while James & I went out on some trails. 

We're in the middle of the suspension bridge! 

Mixed feelings about not coming across any bears. But kinda glad we didn't after all the attacks we've been hearing about! (not in this area though)

These were some intense strength training & cardio trails! This was the top of 3 ladders we had to climb at this part of the trail. Other parts had flight after flight of stairs while some were just a steep incline/decline.

Certain trails brought us into the valley; there was a nice cool breeze down there. 
There were also a lot of streams of cold spring water, making its way to the river.

So. Beautiful.

More to come!

Happily Ever After

    One thing kind of neat about the family I married into is that pretty much everyone lives around the St. Louis area. They're involved in each others lives, attend each others events/get together's, and are always up for BBQing or having a party at the local clubhouse. Even though I still don't know many of them very well, I feel like they accept me for who I am and I don't have to try and be someone I'm not around them.
    I often wonder what causes some families to stick together while others hardly visit one another and aren't involved in each others lives. My [immediate] family is the exact opposite of my husbands. I hardly remember seeing my relatives unless it was over a holiday, wedding, or funeral. When I would see them sometimes I felt like I was hugging people I barely knew. I know we're related and all, but when you hardly see each other or know anything about their lives it feels awkward. Like we're not even related. I wish I knew so many of my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins better. They're people, related to me. Who are they? What are they like? What do they enjoy doing? What are their hobbies? Do they like to dance? Sing?
    I got to see all of my relatives on my Dad's side this past weekend for my cousin Brenda's wedding.  And all of these questions were running through my mind. I wish we had more than one short evening with them. To visit and really find out who they are. Oh, how I wish it could've been a weekend ordeal.
    I also wonder what they think of me. Do they think I'm weird because we never lived around the rest of the relatives? Do they understand why? I have no idea. I don't even understand why myself. So am I judged for decisions that weren't even mine to make? I certainly don't judge them. I eagerly soak up every opportunity and conversation I can to learn more about my relatives. Because I know they're people with a story and interests, just like me.
    Here are some photos from this past weekend. My cousin Brenda married the best person in the world for her, Michael. My first time meeting Michael was just before the wedding; I was chasing Jacob down a hallway of the church. You know what he said to me when I approached him with congratulations? He said, "You must be Katie! And he's Jacob!" He told me how Brenda showed him pictures of relatives and he remembered who we were. What a warm welcoming!

Brenda & Michael Obilade!
August 13, 2011

Grandma Kit-Kat (Cichon)

This is my youngest sister, Julie.

The one with the long hair is my cousin Shawn. We haven't had a chance to get to know each other very well, but he seems like a great guy :)

My Dad with his arm around his brother, Uncle Mike a.k.a. Father of the Bride!

Our sweet Jacob, ready to eat! So proud of him, he's learning how to use a fork already!

Brenda & Michael's gift to everyone was so sweet...
a soundtrack with songs that were played during their wedding 
ceremony & reception.

Sister shot
Me (25), Sharon (22), Julie (17), & Lisa (27)

This is my cousin Doug and his girlfriend Sara.
a.k.a. Brother of the Bride! 

I don't want to point out favorites or anything, but Jacob LOVES hanging out with his Aunt Lisa :)

Cutting of the cake! They are so sweet together. I just loved watching them throughout the evening.

Mom, Sharon, Julie, Lisa, Jacob, Me

Me & my wonderful Grandmother

My cousin Joey & Grandma Cichon

Sister Julie caught the boquet! Hmmm....

This beautiful couple just had their 28th wedding anniversary this summer!
Meet my parents.

Me & my handsome Husband. We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary with a little get-a-way to St. Louis; exploring places we hadn't been to together before. 

My Dad & another Brother, Uncle Bill

My Cousin Mary & Jacob. It was SO nice to see her! I couldn't remember the last time we had seen each other. Wish we could've talked more :)

Brenda & Michael, center stage, doing a dance off!

Cousin Doug & Cousin Emily's boyfriend, Jeff, having a good time.

Cousin Emily & boyfriend Jeff
They know how to have a fun time!

Aunt Lisa dancing with Jacob.

Dad & his Mama :)

Dad, Grandma, & Uncle Bill

Family Picture!
Joey, Mary, Aunt Kathy, & Emily

Family Picture!
Uncle Dan, Aunt Lottie, Frank, Crystal, Mark

My cousin Mark married this beautiful woman, Heidi, just a few weeks ago!

Heidi is so sweet; loved talking with her! I hope they have many happy years to come.

Uncle Bill & Uncle Mike

Extended Family Photo
My Aunt Pam (mother of the bride) is on the far left.
This is a photo of her side of the family. 

Brenda & Michael with Brenda's Grandma, my Aunt Pam's mother.

Me & James :)
This is the dress I made!

So glad I got a picture with my Baby! I'm always snapping ones of him, we hardly end up in one together!

Brenda & her Daddy. Uncle Mike must be so proud of her.

Uncle Mike & the beautiful newlyweds.