Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Saturday, May 31, 2014

SIX years!

... a week belated here: last Saturday Dan and I had our 6th wedding anniversary. SIX years! We spent the day driving home from vacation so on Memorial Day Nanna and Pop took the babies so we could go to dinner. Well, every place we wanted to have dinner was closed for the holiday so we ended up going to Hollywood Casino since it was actually open and spent a little time playing Roulette. It was so fun! ... well, fun while we were on a winning streak. As Dan said, "you just can't lose!" Too bad we aren't high rollers who bet enough for it to actually matter :)

mud stash.

This morning Dan ran The Mud Stash- a 4.5 mile race at Perfect North Slopes, weaving up and down the ski slopes and through multiple mud pits, water tanks, a zip line, climbing walls and more. He was pumped for the race and already signed up for the next one this fall. I love races a LOT, but I do not love mud so I think I'll be sitting these ones out and watching from the sidelines where it is nice and clean. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

dan turns 30!

Yesterday Dan turned 30! I am officially married to a man in his 30s. Creepy. The babies and I went on a mission for most of the day to find him the perfect gift. I already knew what I wanted to get him, but we needed to test-drive the options. Dan has big plans of camping with Jackson... and eventually Audrey and Jonah... so we were after a tent. But, not any tent, a BIG tent that hopefully didn't feel so "tent'ish" if you know what I mean. And we found it, set up in the tent display at the "camping store" as Jackson called it. Our giant memory-maker that is hopefully as simple to set up as it claims to be. 

While on vacation we also celebrated Dan's birthday by surprising him with a mini-party complete with gluten-free cupcakes from a local bakery and a roasting of Dan's first 30 years. Before the trip I had asked his family to send me their favorite Dan memories... the highs and the comical lows. I had them on display and then we told and re-told all the memories that night, but here they are captured in headlines...

When he kicked Jess' wedding dress. -Sarah

When he was little, I had a small Christmas tree set up. One day I went downstairs and he had decorated it with his battle beasts. It was so cute! -Mom

Icky Woods. -Cher

All the times at Myrtle Beach. -Dad

I loved my frog decorations from Dan for Christmas one year... I didn't love the Bush bobleheads. -Sarah

When we got the call to meet him at the Brookville exit on 74. Someone had hit him in the trunk of his car. I asked him to open the trunk... he said he couldn't. I said, sure we can. The real problem was that he was coming home from Biggs with beer in the trunk. -Dad

Three of the best: Jackson, Audrey & Jonah. -Jess

The celebrity breaking down in the middle of Plainfield... all for some cheese sticks. -Cher

He loved Delsym (cough syrup) and the teenage mutant ninja turtles. -Beth

Driving up and down the highway in Chicago throwing money in the toll exits. -Brandon

Opening all the presents each Christmas. -Dad

The Fiero on Fire. -Cher

South Point, Hawaii. -Jess

A basketball game at St. Lawrence when he was in 4th or 5th grade... he dribbled down the court and made a layup at the end of the game to seal our victory. -Dad

After a nice visit to Purdue we got a call when we were at the Sunman exit. My sons were laying in the street fighting. What a night. -Mom

In high school when his friends would beg my friends and I to drive them places... and then would jump out of our car and run away. I have no idea why. -Jess

He lived off fruity pepples, lucky charms and bagel bites. -Cher

Dan was always a sneezer. Every morning he would sneeze like 17 times when we were getting ready for school. -Beth

The way you are with our babies...! -Jess

Travelling around the state playing AAU basketball. -Dad

When Dan has a seizure when he was little and mom put him in the bathtub with all his clothes on and then he went to the hospital in an ambulance... and came home with a balloon! -Beth

Little League Championship. -Brian

His relationship with his Grandma Sue and Grandpa Charlie... he always called Dan "skillet" - not sure why. -Mom

Playing baseball at North Dearborn. -Dad

Getting him to kiss Rachel Beetz for a quarter. -Beth

Two of my favorite recent ones: all the signs he made for Joe's 60th and the flower and Mother's Day sign in the front yard. -Mom

Dan has always been the most resourceful person I know. And he's always the first person to jump in and help. -Beth

His many, many nights resulting in pee-filled bed sheets. -Jess

The phone call to come to the St. Leon exit on 74 (are you seeing a patter?...) this time the engine 'blew up' so we had to tow the car home, which was another adventure. -Dad

Purple dress... pretty little boy. -Mom

He would do anything you said if you would count how long it took him. We would say 'go run to the mailbox... 1, 2, 3... stop counting and then start again when he got close... 25, 26, 27.' -Cher

When he held Violet on a visit to Denver when she was just a couple of months old... very sweet. -Sarah

Edamame... why's this stuff so hard to eat? -Jess

All the fall break camping trips in Gatlinburg. -Dad

2007. Toby Keith Concert. Red Rocks. Brian and Dan. Big Trouble -Sarah

All the unfinished projects and your hobby graveyard in the basement... it drives me crazy but I wouldn't change it because it shows your energy and excitement for life. -Jess

Stories around the campfire with Uncle Phil at Redbrush and in Michigan. -Dad

His toast at our wedding. It was very thoughtful. -Sarah

Monday, May 26, 2014

beach nights.

Most evenings we spent watching the babies play or playing cards. We would often go for evening strolls on the beach and spent one night making s'mores. I'm certain there are few things more peaceful than being on the beach at sunset.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


We are so blessed as a family. We have 10 babies ages 6 and under. Being so close together in age means a lot of craziness, but it also means that they are each other's best friends. Just so I can remember years from now, these were their ages this vacation: Mya Elizabeth (6), Grace Elizabeth (5), Mason Anthony (4), Jackson Philip (4), Josie Marie (4), Violet Olivia (3), Benjamin Chase (2), Audrey Danielle (2), Adrian Michael (6 months) and Jonah Daniel (3 months).

nap time...

Jackson hasn't taken naps for years, literally. But, this past week he did take naps a few days because he exhausted himself playing on the beach so hard. A couple of day he took naps with his cousins (we tried that once with Audrey and she was tormenting everyone else trying to sleep). But, the best part of nap time was that it gave me the chance to lay by the pool and let Dan play poker with the guys. 

dance parties.

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