Monday, October 22, 2012

Bit of a Breakthrough

Our vacation time this year was pretty well blown up by two trips to Ethiopia and the various doctor's appointments that David has. Fortunately, his vacation year rolls over in October, so a week ago we took two extra days and made a long weekend out of a trip to the family cottage in Michigan. In our pre-kid world, this was one of our favorite get-aways. Michigan in the fall is lovely: bright autumn leaves glistening against the deep green pines, morning mist spiralling up from the frigid lake, mugs of mulled apple cider warming our hands as we sit on the swing, wrapped in soft old quilts to ward off the chill while we watch the late afternoon sunlight glinting like diamonds off of the water, flocks of geese honking overhead as they wend their way south.....we love it. Although we were excited to experience it again, we weren't quite sure how it would go with two very active little boys. It would be far too cold to swim, and although they both love story-time, reading books for hours out on the swing isn't their idea of great fun!

In reality, it was a beautiful little vacation. We enjoyed long walks, lots of games and coloring, a boat ride or two, and we had a truly refreshing time together. The very best part was that this was the longest amount of time that Sintayehu has had with his Daddy since we brought him home in June, and it proved to be a breakthrough in their relationship. For the first time, he began to actively seek out David's attention, and since then there have been several times when he has chosen David's company over mine. Daddy is now the first person that he asks about in the morning, and his screams of delight over "Ababa's" return home from work in the evenings are now genuine, rather than a mere attempt to imitate and out-do Yikealo. He now asks to "sa-nuggle Dod" and doesn't kick David away when it's Daddy's turn to put him to bed. We had been focused on re-charging ourselves after a couple of stressful months, but this trip proved to be a greater blessing than we could have imagined!

Here are some photos of our time together:
 The foliage was glorious! I think that we were probably there during the peak of fall color.

 We took lots of long walks, and the boys loved running down the hills.

 Time with Daddy....what could be better?

 Afternoon naps....ahhhhh!!!!

Precious boys


 Pirate at the rudder

 Uh oh....who's steering this thing?

 Cutest coffee-delivery service ever!

 Did you know that Michigan has monkeys?

 While David and I relaxed on the swing, Yikealo was pretending to be a pirate in the tied-up boat. He refused to share his oars with his brother, so Mr. Sintay headed to the basement to find his own the form of a rake.

 The two of them played "pirates" for over an hour, while David and I soaked up the afternoon sunshine!

 We had a couple of rainy days, so the boys filled their time with i-pad games, coloring and putting together puzzles. We also played lots of Trouble, Skip-Bo and Battleship with Yikealo.

David has since decided that we'll have to make this an annual tradition. Our boys are the 5th generation to enjoy this special place, and it was so much fun to hear Yikealo saying, "I LOVE it here! Can we please just stay 2 more days? Or maybe 10?" He also wanted to know, "Why do all the days when Dad is not with us go so slow, but when he is with us, they go so fast? That is not fair." I quite agree, son!


  1. Oh, that looks like the best relaxing vacation! I was totally laughing at the boys playing pirates in the boat - that is something that would've occupied my boys for a long time too!

    It melted my heart to read about Sintay's break through! SO happy for you guys!!

  2. Yep! I knew there were monkeys in MI! Last week there were at least 4 there! Would LOVE to go in the fall, but guess that won't happen for us!

  3. Beautiful pictures! Looks like you guys had such a good time - makes me want to go back.....

  4. Stunning pictures! I love Y's personality- so smart and funny!

  5. What a GREAT heritage of modeling rest and relaxation for generations!!!! AMAZING! I am so glad you had time away! THE PHOTOS ARE WONDERFUL! AND.... Y's wise words.... how true it is that days go by so much faster when you are doing what you love!