Michigan Visit

Since we didn't get to go home to Michigan for Christmas, we decided to go for a visit in February instead. Joe stayed back in CA to train and finish getting things set up at the new training facility (he had a busy week while we were gone--he's very tired and not getting enough rest!) Rowan and I got to be in Michigan for a very relaxing 10 days. It was a winter wonderland while we were home--so much beautiful snow on the ground! The last few days it got really cold--down to the low single digits...and that made it feel especially good to return to a sunny 60 degrees in California!

Joe's dad continues to recover from his kidney transplant in early January. He seems to be doing great--they are still trying to work out some of his medications, so sometimes those can make him feel pretty sick. But the kidney is functioning and he's remained healthy. We spent a few nights with the Cebulskis, had an early birthday party for Rowan at their house, and Rowan even got to spend the night there alone while I went away with some girlfriends. Even though we hadn't seen them in 4 months, Rowan quickly warmed up to her Nana and Papa and felt more than comfortable in their home. Rowan loves to bake with her Nana, so they made Valentine's cookies and cupcakes for her party.

We also had dinner with Stephanie, the woman who donated her kidney, and her family. They have two boys, almost 2 and 4, so Rowan got to play and play with Benjamin and Matthew. It was special to meet Stephanie and her family--we have heard so much about them, it felt like I already knew them!

Rowan's birthday isn't until Feb. 21, but we had an early party in MI. A few weeks before, I asked Rowan what she wanted on her birthday cake...and she didn't hesitate to say "a rattlesnake!" I figured that would be a challenging theme to work with, so I asked for another idea and she settled on dolphins. So we had dolphin cupcakes, dolphin balloons, played pin the tail on the dolphin, and played that fishing game from elementary school carnivals. The kids who attended belong to my best girlfriends...so it was a party for them, and us!

We spent the rest of the time at my parent's house, plus a night at my brother's house to play with cousins and go to the Y. Rowan's cousin, Seth, has a birthday in February, too...so we had a joint family celebration for them. My sister Jenny drove up from Peoria to see us and wish the kids a happy birthday. Some highlights of being with my parents: Friday night Mr. Burger, watching Lost, reading lots of books, "grandpa, will you play with me?", Seth's truck party, swimming at the YMCA, shopping at Younkers 75% off sale, lots of long conversations, staying up late with my sister, and lots of breaks from Rowan-care! I got to spend a few evenings with friends (and one overnight at a friend's house in Grand Haven--that was heavenly!)

Joe keeps saying he has a lot to blog on---from oil collection to the new training situation. I'll stay on him to get new info up soon!

To see more pictures of our time in Michigan (mostly birthday party pictures!) click here.


Brief Update

Rowan and I were in snowy Michigan for the last week or so...I will get some photos and an update posted soon....but I just wanted to post a link to this article that appeared in the Stockton newspaper. It's about the athletes training at the Port of Stockton. It was a good thing to have happened--a few days after the story appeared, the Opinion section of the paper gave the Port a "thumbs up" for their involvement...and the Port Director is enthused because apparently they have never received a "thumbs up" in the paper before.

Click here to see the story in the local newspaper, The Record.

More soon.