June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend, part 1

(This ended up being a really long post, so I turned it into two posts.)

What a busy weekend we've had! It's funny--most of our weekends are pretty uneventful, but when we do actually have plans, it seems like we have things going on all weekend long. Jerry happened to be off work this weekend, so it was nice to be able to spend time with him!

Throughout the last week or two, I'd been having the kids work on a gift for Jerry. I bought these books called The Story and Me and My Dad, which are fill-in-the-blanks books about their relationship with their dad--things like his best jokes, things he taught them how to do, phrases he says often, and embarrassing moments. It was the perfect age-appropriate book for my boys to fill out for Jerry (they also have these books for moms, grandmothers, and grandfathers).

Anyway, on Friday, Jerry had to work half a day. I went for a long run while the kids were at baseball practice, and then we went to get the pictures for the gift books developed. (Choosing pictures with the boys was fun!
I had each of them sit next to me at my computer, and we looked through photos of them with Jerry, and they chose what pictures they wanted to include--then I just uploaded them to Walmart.)

It was a gorgeous day on Friday, so we ended up cooking hamburgers on the grill for dinner. Noah loves picnics, and he took a blanket outside and spread it in the yard. After he and Eli got their food, they went to the blanket to eat. While sitting at the table sounded much more comfortable, Jerry and I knew Noah would love for us to join them, so we all sat down in the middle of the alleyway behind our house to eat dinner.

On Saturday morning, Jerry had to do his long run, and then we headed to the Detroit Zoo. His employer bought tickets for all the employees and their families, which was really nice. The last time we were there was in 2012. Jerry's employer rented a large tent space and had food catered for us, too--shredded beef sandwiches, hot dogs, potato salad, cookies and ice cream (!) and even an open bar. We didn't take advantage of the open bar, because we had the kids with us, but it was awesome to have lunch all ready for us.

Unfortunately, it was extremely hot (91 degrees and super sunny), and a lot of the animals weren't out. I was excited for the polar bear exhibit, which is my favorite (and literally probably the best polar bear exhibit in the country), but when we got there, we discovered that they don't have polar bears anymore (unless they moved them for some reason?). There were seals in the exhibit, and it was fun to watch them for a little bit (it was nice and cool in there, too).

As we walked around, we took some photos that I knew I'd taken several years ago, because I love doing comparison photos (not just for weight loss, but for the kids' ages as well). We were all miserably hot before we'd even seen the whole park, so we decided to cut it short (we'd spent about three hours there).

Noah and me, 10 years difference

Noah, me, and Eli--2009 vs. 2016

Jerry and me, 1999 vs. 2016

Noah and Eli at the rhino exhibit, 2011 vs. 2016

That evening, we had plans to go to my friends' Jake and Emma's house for a barbecue. I went to high school with them, and all the people coming over for the barbecue were the friends I was closest to in high school--Adam, Jack, Joe, Eric, and Paul--and their spouses. I was extremely tired from the zoo, and was tempted not to go, but I knew it would be super fun. Jake and Emma have four kids, so we brought Noah and Eli to play with their kids. They had a huge slip 'n' slide set up on a hill in their backyard, so the kids had a blast running up the hill, and then sliding down at full speed.

Emma made some amazing chicken kabobs with peppers, onions, pineapple, and mushrooms, and everyone brought a dish to pass. I had so much fun chatting with my friends! It's always good to catch up with everyone. I had told the kids we'd probably be home by 9:00, but they were having just as much fun as Jerry and I were, so we ended up staying until 11:00. We probably would have stayed longer if we weren't so exhausted from such a draining day.

Jake, Jack, Eric, Joe, Adam, Jerry, and Paul
Alison, me, Amy, Maris, Amber, and Emma

... continued on Father's Day Weekend, part 2 ...


  1. The polar bears are still at the zoo- usually in part of the Arctic ring of life, where you saw the seals. They might have been brought inside because of the heat.

    1. Ahhh, that makes sense. I would have been very surprised if they no longer had the polar bears, because it's such a great exhibit!

  2. Is it my imagination, or has Noah grown up some? He just looks so much older in these pictures (not just because of the comparisons!) His face is starting to look more like a teenager's.

    1. Yes! He looks so much older, and he definitely is acting like a little teenager now... he's been testing my patience for sure! ;)

  3. That looks like such a cool exhibit! Fun comparison pictures!

  4. Come see the polar bears at the Toledo Zoo. There's a new baby on exhibit even! I've never been to the Detroit Zoo, but our polar bear exhibit is pretty amazing too.

  5. The polar bear passed away but they said that they will be getting one from the zoo in Indiana sometime this week.

  6. Where did Jerry get the Michigan Jedi shirt!!!! We are Michigan fans and my husband would love it!!!!!!


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