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The last pre-baby vacation!


We didn't do anything wild like drive to Yellowstone (the trip we had been planning for this June when we found out about Raspberry), but we did get out of dodge this weekend for one last pre-baby trip. With a car full of dogs, not diapers, and dog blankets, not Pack-n-plays and car seats, we left Thursday for our usual vacation spot in Harbor Springs, Michigan. We always find it so relaxing there, and so mind clearing. We got up Friday and did our usual coffee and bagel breakfast in Petoskey, then we went shopping - this time not for us but for baby Raspberry! The lucky prenate scored a handful of toys and books and he doesn't even know it! After a delicious lunch at the Noggin Room we took our afternoon walk then went out for a great fish dinner with the family. Saturday we hit another of our favorite haunts, driving up to Mackinaw City for fried perch sandwiches at the Key Hole followed by fudge and caramel corn. Yum! And the real reason for the trip was a special birthday celebration for Cortney's Uncle Smokey, which we had on Saturday evening replete with Prime Rib and topped off with our beloved zebra cake (or refrigerator it what you want). Not only was it wonderful to relax and enjoy great food in one of our favorite places on earth, it was also a very special chance to see people we don't often get to see because Cortney's cousin Pauline (Polly), who now lives in Colorado, was there with her boyfriend, Justin. We had a great time seeing everyone, and we have even forgiven Justin for being a - can I say it? - a Buckeye. Ah well, everyone has their vices. And now we are safely back at home a few toys and pounds heavier, and we wish Polly and Justin a safe homeward trip as well!


An outpouring of love.

Our friends and family have been nothing but loving and rattle.jpgsupportive since we announced Raspberry's existence back in December.  We have received multitudes of hugs, cards, gifts, and tidbits of advice from everyone and it is clearer now than ever to us that we are well loved and that Raspberry will enjoy the same.  Last night was no different.  Cortney is a deacon at our church and last night we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for Raspberry, and the two of us, in a surprise quiltsquare.jpgshower event organized by Cortney's Quad leader and friend, Michelle, at the deacons' monthly meeting.  Before the meeting several of the deacons surprised Cortney with gift bags, including two wonderful lullaby CDs from the family of Jon's confirmand, and a wonderful hand stitched bib and amazingly beautiful, hand carved quilt.jpgrattle from Sandy and her husband.  As if that wasn't surprising enough, at the end of the standard meeting a very unsuspecting, and somewhat embarrassed, Cortney was called to the front of the room and presented with a gift certificate and two very personal gifts:  the first was a quilt pieced together from squares signed by the other deacons in Cortney's quad and hand sewn by Michelle;  the second was a scrapbook.jpgbeautiful scrapbook, every page containing the advice, stories, prayers, etc., hand written by each of the 54 other deacons and put together by Michelle.  The amount of work put into making those two gifts is incredibly touching, as is their personal nature.  We will cherish them always, and they will forever remind us of how loved we really are.  We cannot wait for Raspberry to meet all the wonderful people who already care so much about him before he has even entered the world.



...some days you just can't face the world.



In our back yard

We walk through our neighborhood daily (sometimes its just Cortney, sometimes both of us), and we want to share with you some of the wonderful wildlife sights we get to enjoy.




A Muskrat house!







Can you find the bunny?






Ducks on parade






Red-winged Black Birds sing from the cattails



Often we also get treated with a sighting of the Great White Heron, the Baltimore Oriole, lots of other beautiful birds, and...the walking carpet (that being the Scottie dog that always follows us, barking, as we walk past his fence).


May showers bring June babies!

workshower.jpgWe promise this will be the last time we use that cheesy title for any month!  It's an easy promise, since raspberry should be here next month.  But we were showered with love again today, this time by many of the staff and volunteers of our church.  This was a women only shower, so Jon stayed home and watched a movie and played video games while Cortney did all the work!  It was a wonderful brunch party hosted by Annemarie, one of our ministers and friends, and organized by Cortney's friend Mary, with game suggestions by lots of others.  They played the memory game - after a short peek how many of the diaper bag items can you remember?  Cortney won that one with 19/20 items!  After a couple of other games they opened gifts - there were lots of giggles and oohs and ahhs.  Everyone was very generous and we feel very loved and, thanks to all of our family and friends, we can also now say that if we had to bring a baby home next week we would be ready!  Well, at least physically.