Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fun & Family in Seven Springs, PA

This past weekend we took a road trip to Seven Springs. Every year Ray's family goes to this ski resort and have been doing so ever since Ray and all of his cousins were little. They rent a big cabin and usually separate boys and girls in rooms with bunkbeds. For some reason, bunkbeds were out this year and separate rooms were in! Since we moved within driving distance (8.5 hours away), we wanted to make the drive. We love road trips, so this was just another chance for us to explore-- and me to add another state, Ohio, to my list!

We arrived--to the surprise of everyone but my sister-in-law Samantha--at about 11p.m. at night as opposed to the next morning like they expected. We made excellent time and managed to arrive before bedtime. After catching up for a bit, it was off to our awesome room (we had our own bathroom!) for the night. In the morning, Ray went for a nice jog/hike with Samantha and I stayed back to catch up with Gramie, Papa, and all the others. Most everyone went for hikes during this morning time. We had an excellent lunch (my mother in law is always so accommodating and manages to find things I love to eat whenever we're around) and then they threw us a co-baby shower. Ray's cousin, Luke, and his wife, Liz, are also pregnant and due within a day of us-- with a boy! It was so nice seeing them and catching up on all things baby while we were there, too. They live in upstate NY, so we rarely see them. Since we're all now within driving distance to Seven Springs with children the same age, all of that just might change.

The shower was put on by these lovely ladies... all of Ray's aunts. They are all so different in their interests but so amazing and incredibly giving. They planned all the fun! Left to right: Aunt Jan, Aunt Ceil, Aunt Helen. Here they are explaining a game where the two dads-to-be had to place a paper plate on their heads and draw the other's baby. Great fun. I plan to use that if I ever plan a baby shower in the future.
Here we have Papa, Liz, and Luke-- and baby, of course.
...and on the other side we sat with Gramie.
This is the incredible table of delicious lemonade and an AWESOME roasted almond cake. It was so good that I had two pieces!
Let the games begin!
Ray & Luke battling it out...
A bit out of order, but Ceil is explaining the plate game process.
More festivities included a baby-themed word scramble and a onesie decoration. We now have 3 personalized onesies from family members. Left: Sam & Uncle Dutch; Right: Kay & Steve
Left: On Ceil's latest vacation to Canada (she travels the world on her summers), she purchased these fun hats for our little ones. Not pictured are the adorable finger puppets she also included in our gifts! Right: This gorgeous cradle was given to us by Ray's parents for Baby W's infancy sleeping in our room. While we won't be co-sleeping, we will be having him in our room/office area (it's enormous) for a few reasons... it's freezing in Chicago in the winter and because it will be easier for us to get used to being parents. Kay & Steve found the cradle at an antique shop a friend of Kay's tipped them off about and another woman from church whom has known Ray his entire life sewed the cradle padding cover. The bear is a gift that Gramie & Papa gave Ray, Luke, and Scott (all cousins born within a couple months of one another) when they were all young. It's nostalgic and now we have it passed on to our son. So many wonderful gifts for our little one. We feel blessed and I know Baby W will feel so loved when we show up next year to introduce the little one everyone was showering!
In an attempt to catch a photo with Liz, my pregnant twin who was also married into the family... we managed to catch a blurry one with us standing next to one another. Bummer. So, we took two more. One of which I am blocked and the other in which she is blocked. Ha. What a balance.
Sorry Liz... I blocked you in this one!
Before leaving, we also managed to get in a few fun games. Ray's Uncle Dutch is always bringing fun games with him. One was an oversized Sequence board. We have the board at our house, but not quite the same size. He also brought ladderball and another game I'd never played (clearly because I'm terrible-- but Ray's mom and Aunt Helen were AWESOME!) called Kan Jam. They were all tons of fun.  

After leaving Seven Springs for our 8.5 hour trek back to Chicago, we stopped off at Aunt Ceil's house in Pittsburgh (what a lovely place!!!) to pick out a piece of her art. Ceil is an art teacher and clay sculptor and all of her pieces have so much meaning and detail. She had been offering us a piece of her artwork since before we married two years ago... and since we had a car this time around, we stopped off to take her up on the offer! It was so thoughtful and we now have a nice piece in our sitting room.

Our drive home was just fine. The road is basically a solid 400 miles from IL > IN > OH > PA. We are already looking forward to next year with our 9-month old! If only that almond cake would reappear... but not to worry-- there are always tons of desserts because Ray's family knows how to eat great food that is never void of sugar or chocolate. That made for one happy pregnant girl. :)


Solange, Nik, Caitlin and Oliver said... [Reply to comment]

YAY!!! I'm so glad you had fun! Your tummy is so cute :) I love that baby cradle-what a great gift. Miss you guys!

AlliFerg said... [Reply to comment]

your dress for the shower is fantastic! and your tummy makes it even cuter.