This was the year for our bi-annual trek to the Cheesehead State. My oldest nephew (and Godson) as well as my oldest niece (and Mike's Ajihada) graduated from college and high school respectively.
After several months of monitoring flights we finally narrowed down our travel plans. Flying is ridiculously expensive now and we tried to think of how to introduce my family to our newest Grand as well. My hubby opted to give up his seat and invited our daughter and grandson to join me.
Deb PLUS Two
Baby C's 1st Flight was uneventful. We left at oh-dawn-hundred, on three hours of sleep, which enabled him to board, eat his breakfast, play a bit and sleep some more.
We arrived, collected our rental car and headed north for Milwaukee. My nephew has an adorable one bedroom apartment just two blocks off of Lake Michigan, very near the Shedd Aquarium - and I love the overall lifestyle in Milwaukee.
While others attended the Baccalaureate Mass we wandered around the neighborhood with my brother and our cameras. Uncle lived in Milwaukee for a few years and happily pointed out different sites for us while we snapped away. (On a side note those pictures will forever be in my memory as I have managed to completely delete them from any other source...).
After Mass we joined the extended family down along the river at Water Street Brewery for dinner at a cozy table for 15! It was a delightfully, yummy meal and great chatter with so many I love to be near.
We overnighted in a Brown Deer hotel, sharing a room with my parents. Think exhausted baby, road-weary travelers and two alternating snorers. Not sure WHO drew the short straw but it was either a very LONG night or a very SHORT night depending on your perspective.
Graduation at Marquette University was held in the Bradley Center. We took advantage of the baby and let everyone go on ahead while Erin fed and dressed him. We joined up just as the graduate procession was finishing.
A little fun with the decor in the Delta Building.
After graduation we returned to Kevin's apartment and celebrated together. It was my only opportunity to see my brother again and I hated when we all had to head our separate ways again. We headed for Janesville to spend a couple of days with the Great-Grandparents. It was nice to be in one place and rest for awhile. Until that point the traveling had been nonstop with scheduled events and poor Baby C was all out of sorts.
Erin with her grandparents
Erin and Auntie Di
I was able to spend a couple of hours visiting with my dear friend Shelly. She still has a daughter in high school and finds herself running ragged with sports and activities. We've all been there. I was prepared to attend a soccer game if that was the only way to get in a visit... not so extreme. There was one year I joined her in the Suburban driving around Rock county running errands. We definitely get it done!
Baby C gives Raymond a test. Still a little young for a solo ride.
Great-grandma Denie and Baby C.
On Tuesday we headed for Chicago. We tried to spend a few quality days with the great-grandparents, and get to Chicago so that Baby C's grand-pop from Michigan could come visit, as well as think about what is best for Baby C and maybe do something I wanted too - like spend time with my sister. And it all worked out.
Wednesday morning Erin's FIL and his fiancee joined us in Chicago for a visit. We took them out for lunch.Thursday was my niece Nicole's graduation from high school. It's mind boggling to think she is 18 years old and heading off to college in the Fall.
Nicole (the Flamingo)
And honestly, THIS is how I still think of her...
And for my sister Di, you are super woman! How you manage to keep up with everyone is beyond me. Your oldest graduated from Marquette. Your second oldest attends Notre Dame. Now after surviving a year of THREE daughters in high school and THEIR schedules you are sending your oldest daughter off to Marquette. I'm sure you have mixed emotions right now but know you are doing an amazing job! I love you.