New Niece = Hello, Michigan!

Today’s my first full day back in Portland after a much-needed, lengthier-than-usual trip home to Mid-Michigan. My sister Lori and her husband Cory recently had a perfect little baby girl named Macy, and they decided Jeff and I were fit to be godparents. And godparents = special duties at Macy’s baptism = perfect excuse for a trip!

Holding my new little niece Macy

Holding my new little niece Macy

I took a three-leg, red-eye flight to arrive on Tuesday, while Jeff took a two-leg, red-eye flight to join me on Friday. (Getting from Portland to MBS Airport is no cakewalk.) Right off the bat, I hit both grandparents’ houses – one of which was recently ravaged by a tornado! – and then headed to Lori and Cory’s to see Macy and her three-year-old sister Ava. There’s nothing better than nieces! Ava’s bouncy and sharp as a tack and Macy’s so tiny and helpless it’s hard not to love them. Over the several days we hit a splash park in Midland; my family introduced me to my first Tunes by the Tridge despite the fact I lived five blocks away from the location for years; we took a hike to catch a peek at our neighbor’s cows; my mom, sisters and I watched Bridesmaids (time #2 for me); Shelly and I hit the Birch Run outlet mall; we ate 13 meals of pizza…

Big family = not much couch space

Big family = not much couch space

I also squeezed in some friend time with my fave people in the world. I had a dinner with the girls – I admit, mostly liquid dinner – that stretched four hours long. Once Jeff came to town, we celebrated an early birthday party with the fam at the home of the “Best Pizza in Mid-Michigan,” Linwood Hotel. We followed with a night of dancing to the “The Rock Show” Journey cover band at the Willew Lounge with 20+ buddies and relatives. Ah. Living in cities with $6 beers – albeit really good beers – gives you a new appreciation for hole-in-the-wall watering holes offering $1.50 drafts.

Saturday was the baptism at the church and then a party at Lori and Cory’s house. Everything was smooth sailing, and I got to see lots more friends and relatives. Jeff’s mom even drove up for the events, so we got to see 3/4 of our parents on the trip! (Jeff’s poor dad was stuck home healing up from achilles surgery.)

Sunday flew by and before we knew it, we were back in Portland – which did not do us any favors by greeting us with rainy, cold weather. We’re still in mopey missing mode, but we know we squeezed in as many happy times as we could.

My little niece!

My little niece!

Ava and me at the Gerstacker Spraypark in Midland

Ava and me at the Gerstacker Spraypark in Midland

Grandpa and grandbaby (naps run in the Redick family)

Grandpa and grandbaby (naps run in the Redick family)

Watching Shoobooty at Tunes by the Tridge

Watching Shoobooty at Tunes by the Tridge

Grandma, Shelly, Jeff & me at Linwood Hotel

Grandma, Shelly, Jeff & me at Linwood Hotel

Hanging out at Linwood Hotel with Mom, Dad & Uncle Ron

Hanging out at Linwood Hotel with Mom, Dad & Uncle Ron

Listening to The Rock Show at Willew Lounge

Listening to The Rock Show at Willew Lounge

Ash (sporting Nike!) and Jenny

Ash (sporting Nike!) and Jenny

Jeff and the guys at Willew Lounge

Jeff and the guys at Willew Lounge

Getting ready for Macy's baptism

Getting ready for Macy’s baptism

The baptism at St. Joe's in Auburn

The baptism at St. Joe’s in Auburn

Jeff saying goodbye to his nieces

Jeff saying goodbye to his nieces

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