Browsing Tag:


    Oh, haaaaay

    Oh, haaaaay. Well, not actually hay. In the past it was hay, but this year it was straw. (Hay is from alfalfa and straw is from wheat… the things I’ve learned since marrying David!)

    There’s a field on the farm the Benedicts bales every year. After a combine separated the grain, the stalks were left for baling. A tractor pulled the baler, which picked up the straw, compressed it, tied it, then spit it out the back onto the trailer for stacking. I think Grandpa said the baler was 50 years old.


    Baling Straw


    David loves working on the farm. I love seeing him in his element:


    Farmer Dave baling straw


    I was not a baler, but I hung around for moral support. I rode in the Gator with Grandpa to drop off some twine:


    Grandpa on the Gator


    It was dusty, dusty work!


    Baling straw


    Dad on the tractor


    Tractor baling straw


    All ready for auction:


    Straw bale stack




    Detroit Tigers Game

    My dad lives in Georgia but was visiting Michigan for vacation. He invited us to the July 26 Detroit Tigers game. They played the Philadelphia Phillies. David, Mary, Patrick, and I visited with Dad and his family and then headed to Comerica Park.


    Outside Comerica Park


    Outside Comerica Park


    Comerica Park is across the road from Ford Field:


    Ford Field


    We arrived early and got a free fan towel.


    Field at Comerica Park


    The weather was beautiful and it was a sold-out stadium.


    Detroit Tigers vs Philadelphia Phillies


    Pure Michigan:


    Comerica Park at night


    Detroit Tigers July 26, 2013


    Tigers won, 2–1! We had a great time catching up with everyone, especially Dad, my brother Matt, and his wife Anna.


    Family at Detroit Tigers game



    Meeting Baby Kenley!

    Our best friends Vicki and Rusty had their baby! We couldn’t be more thrilled for them! Their daughter arrived early Wednesday morning and they named her Kenley Elizabeth Harris. We got to meet her yesterday. She is absolutely beautiful:




    She is so tiny! We met her when she was just two days old. It’s been a while since I held a newborn. I was nervous I was going to break her. David, on the other hand, was a natural:


    David holding Kenley


    Leah holding Kenley


    I designed birth stats for Kenley with the same owl themed graphics I used for Vicki’s shower invitations:


    Owl themed baby birth stats


    Baby, mom, and dad are doing great. Such a beautiful family!


    The Harris Family


    Vicki and Rusty did a fantastic job with her nursery. Vicki went with gray, coral, and owls for the theme. I got to help with a few things!


    Gray and coral nursery


    I designed two prints of prayers. One was a prayer Vicki’s dad said with her at night. The other she found on Pinterest. Again, these were based on the same graphics as the shower invitation:


    Nursery wall with prayers


    Here’s a close up of one of them:


    Prayer design in nursery


    We’re so glad she arrived before we head back to Turkey. Congrats, Rusty and Vicki! Kenley is the luckiest little girl in the world to have you two as her parents! We are so excited to watch her grow.



    An Afternoon on Mackinac Island

    Since we were so close and it’s probably Mom’s last summer in Michigan, we decided to do a quick day trip to Mackinac Island. We were there last year for the Lilac Festival 10K.

    It’s about a 15 minute ferry ride from the mainland to the island. We passed the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the lower peninsula of Michigan to the upper peninsula. (We drove across it last year with David’s family while on vacation!) The Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race going on that day:


    Mackinac Bridge


    As you approach the island, you can see the Grand Hotel. It’s the setting for the movie Somewhere in Time:


    The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island


    We spent the afternoon walking around and looking at the cute shops. Mackinac is unique because no cars are allowed on the island. I think they might have a fire truck and an emergency vehicle, but other than that, you get around by foot, bike, or horse.


    Mackinac Shops


    Mackinac bikes


    You have to watch out for horse pies when you walk across the street!


    Horse drawn carriage


    Mackinac Island is known for its fudge:


    Fudge Makers on Mackinac Island


    We had lunch at Mary’s Bistro:


    Mary's Bistro on Mackinac Island


    David got a lamb and bleu cheese burger, I had a crab salad sandwich, and Mom had crab cake sliders. Yum!


    Mary's Bistro Lunch on Mackinac Island


    The island is absolutely beautiful! It was a gorgeous, sunny day.


    Mackinac Island


    We walked up to the Grand Hotel. Mom, Mary, and I have stayed at the hotel before. It’s very fancy and formal. After 6 pm, they require women to be in dresses or skirts and men to be in suits. There’s a fee to look inside if you’re not a guest.




    However, there was no fee to eat at the new Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor connected to the hotel!




    More Hudsonville Ice Cream! Mmmm!




    Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places in Michigan!


    Kites on the Mackinac Island pier



    Eating in Gladwin, Michigan: The Corner House

    Another up north tradition is visiting The Corner House Ice Cream Parlor. Mom, David, and I stayed an extra day at the cottage and the moms sent us on an ice cream run. Corner House serves Hudsonville Ice Cream, a creamery in Michigan. They carry a ton of flavors – their Facebook says 75! Corner House is only open during the summer months and is a must-stop if you’re up north.


    Corner House


    Corner House Ice Cream Parlor


    One of the first things you notice when you walk in are the Pigs Platter signs. The Corner House has an eating competition to get your name on the wall. You have to eat 5 flavors of ice cream, 2 bananas, 5 toppings, with  optional whipped cream and nuts.


    Current season pig platter winners


    Their Hall of Fame lists winners all the way back from 1996. There’s a handful of winners that ate 3 Pig Platters in one day! It was cool to look through the winners and where they were from.


    Pigs Platter wall


    Their ice cream and waffle cones are delicious!


    David eating ice cream


    Life is Better at the Lake

    My aunt and uncle own a lake cottage and invited us up north last weekend. (Up north is a very Michigan term… it usually refers to the top of the mitten.) Oh, the memories we’ve made at the cottage! My family has visited the cottage during summers and Christmases for as long as I can remember. There’s 10 cousins on that side of the family and the girls are all stair step in age to each other.

    We had lots of fun playing with my cousin’s daughter, Cammy! She’s 2 and a half and absolutely precious. She loves to swim, build castles, play with Yo-Zoe (Zoey the dog), and blow bubbles:


    Blowing bubbles with Cammy


    We laughed and laughed that she had named her doll Lois. Here’s Aunt Lois and Baby Doll Lois:


    Aunt Lois and doll Lois


    It’s tradition at the cottage to write your name on a cup and reuse it during your stay. We had two Davids this weekend, so my David got a little creative with his cup:


    Weekend cups


    David purchased a fishing license and woke up early to go fishing with Uncle Marv.


    Sunrise while fishing


    They caught 4 or 5 fish the first morning:


    David holding a fish


    We had large mouth bass for dinner and they were delicious. David learned how to fillet them!


    Uncle Marv holding a fish




    The weather was perfect and we enjoyed swimming, boat rides, and tubing. My arms are still store from hanging on so tight:


    Wiping out while tubing


    It was the first time my cousin Kendra’s boyfriend had gone tubing:


    Kendra and David tubing


    Cammy loved, loved, loved her watermelon. She had 3 big slices one meal. “I need more watermelon, Yee-ah!”


    Cammy loves watermelon!


    We had so much fun catching up with everyone, playing games like Four on a Couch and Loaded Questions, sharing meals together, and getting some sun. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or company!


    The family at the cottage