Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Don't drink the water..

This is the post where I begin by explaining how we live near the Great Lakes, how awesome that resource is to our living experience and then tell you how awful it can be when it goes wrong. We've got run-off issues and algae blooms. It made for an incredibly interesting four-day stretch. We couldn't drink it, boiling it made the algae worse and bathing in it was forbidden. The city was thrown into panic mode. Bottled water couldn't be found within a two-hour radius. I woke up early that morning to head north to photograph a wedding with Nikki. I did so after bathing in a sink filled with bottled water. Too much information? Sorry. It was really a bizarre time here in Ella-land!
I had these notes on all the faucets. Oh what creatures of habit. What a lesson for all of us and how we take our unlimited, clean water for granted.
We piled in the car the following day, left the water woes behind, to celebrate this sweet man. Little Abbott turned ONE. It was a fantastic celebration with Trent, Kim, Abbott and a whole army to celebrate. Man, we were happy to be there with them even if it was a whole lot of driving time in one day. Worth every second...

And in spite of the lousy water, our city managed to welcome us home with this incredible sunset. At least we can still get that right!

I got a text from Nikko's mom about getting our former pre-school buds together. It is hard to tell who was more excited - Ella or me. We spent a full day at the YMCA outdoor pool and picked up right where we left off. (If only they were starting kindergarten at the same school!) In a few weeks, we will be heading to the annual Greek Fest to watch Nikko and his brothers perform in the Greek dancing festivities. Because, you know, Nikko really needs another reason to be cuter.

What is better than having good friends? Having good friends who have a pool! As if we didn't have enough swimming with Nikko, we headed to Ava and Addy's house for a night filled with swimming too. You see, Katie and Roz were due back that evening. Their flight was cancelled. Ella was destroyed because we were going to surprise them at the airport. Oh the tears. Our girl had been counting the hours for their arrival. When Mama Sara heard about the meltdowns, she came up with the best idea: Ava-Addy time. They saved us that night and it only goes to show how intertwined our lives have all become.

Daddy John Ho, the biggest kid yet!
Our neighborhood moms group is still going strong on Friday nights with some great Kids 'N Cocktail celebrations. This is Ella and me at a very late hour after we all biked home. What a good exhaustion that was!

Then we had a swimming party with our FCC group. But for the 10-minute rest breaks, Ella was in the water for four hours that afternoon - as brave as can be. I don't get to see some of these cutertons very often and had a beautiful day/evening catching up with everyone.

Ella and Junie

Good old Thomas is up to his antics. His sister may have the obvious good looks but this sweet guy has the most patient disposition ever. And he thinks he has good hiding spots, even when he doesn't.
A few of our neighborhood families hooked up with us for an early Larry gig at our favorite watering hole. Sophie and Ella were checking ID's before the night was over.

Her talents also include maneuvering her way around the photo options on my smart phone. Not only does she take some pretty darn good photos with it, she can now edit them...all while I'm not paying one bit of attention. I found over 40 'selfies' of her one night. This was my absolute favorite.

This is me. Enjoying my yard, peace and quiet and coffee :)

This is me. Getting a spectacular henna tattoo at the Indian Bollywood Festival.
And last but not least, this is Ella showing a very quick burst of excitement at her soon-to-be-school as we dropped off some documents still needed for registration. The excitement didn't last long and when asked now, she is confessing to be "a little excited" about school starting. Fingers are crossed she doesn't back pedal on that!


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