the daily commute – 05.29.12

welcome home

I snapped this picture of my front porch yesterday – I’ve been spray painting a collection of old pots to make them look chic and purposeful…it was a fun project that required little time and little money, which seems to work with my lifestyle at the moment! As the afternoon progressed things kept getting added to the scene creating this rustic little still life….I’ve grown so fond of it I may have a hard time dismantling it to plant my flowers.

On a side note – I have missed the daily commute.  Not the actual 50+ miles a day I was driving but the little niche on this blog for sharing photos of things I see around the area.  I tried coming up with a whitty or appropriate new name for the Daily Commute, but nothing seemed to fit and in the mean time I wasn’t posting photos and I missed doing so.  While the definition of my commute may have changed, I’ve made the executive decision to keep the series going under it’s original name…you and I know I’m not technically driving to an office everyday anymore, but we’ll keep that between us ;)

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

a boy’s life…


Me: Should he have his own kayak now?

Jamie: Maybe… we could borrow a ducky this summer and take him to Silver Lake with it, see how he does.

Me: Well it’s something that we know we’re going to get a lot of use out of and it’s probably not going to get any cheaper.   It would be an inflatable right, so he wouldn’t tip as easily as in a kayak?

Jamie: Oh yeah – by next summer he’d be able to self-rescue. 

I can not believe we had this conversation today…seriously considering getting a kayak, well ducky, for our TWO AND A HALF YEAR OLD!  Ha! The kid is a natural.  Ever since kayaking with him last summer and watching him practice paddling around the house, acting out various roll-rescue scenarios in the bathtub, literally paddling around his wading pool in a blow-up giraffe…let’s just say I’m bracing myself for a kid who may very well grow up to take on waterfalls and rather than try to stop him, we’d better make sure he is prepared and ready to face the challenge.

Even if he grows up to be an accountant who lives in (heaven help us) the city, I couldn’t feel more blessed that he is growing up with a great big wild backyard perfect for camping with daddy and listening for ‘beefoot!’ and fast, crystal clear water to fish and paddle.

…I did have to set a new house rule…no kayaking for Lakelyn until she can hold her own head up!

Mosquito Season Summertime is in full swing in the North Country and with it brings campfires, tents, boating and long days at the beach…Porter’s world just got a whole lot bigger now that the cold, muddy days of spring are behind us.

'dad needs my help'

first camping the backyard

first time in a tent

a lucky local going out for an afternoon float

spending the morning with dad

training wheels off!

Note to the Grandmas – I cropped Jamie out of the last picture ;)

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

reason no. 5,842 why this is a great place to live!


Yesterday we packed up the kids, a task that now takes nearly an hour to accomplish, and headed to the Bear River Whitewater Park over in Petoskey to watch the Northern Michigan Paddling Club’s Spring Rendezvous. It was a great opportunity to see several area paddling enthusiasts put their skills to the test in the drops, falls and play holes the park has to offer.

One thing that struck us as odd was the average age of the paddlers HAD to have been about fifty. I don’t say this to start a conversation about being old or otherwise, but it was almost comical to see so many people in wetsuits and drytops with grey hair – I suppose it’s from some terrible stereotype I have about adrenaline junkies being loud guys in their twenties and in actuality it is the twenty year old who would get hurt.  With age comes wisdom and respect and in order to paddle in whitewater you first need to respect it.  Jamie says it’s because they’re the only ones who can afford the time and equipment for the sport.  So whether it is wisdom of age or resources or both…there were a lot of people in the 50+ set participating.

Porter thought he could simply pick out a boat and go for it…he didn’t understand that the boats along the river bank were not for the taking, even though the looked a bit more his size than the boats we have at home.  Lakelyn had no clue we were ever in Petoskey but I’ll show her these picture someday as her first introduction to paddle sports.

A whitewater park like this is a rarity, only a handful of places like this exist in the mid west. So if you find yourself in Northern Michigan and are interested in going for a float you can check out the following for additional information;

northen michigan paddling club

our buddy rick just playing around

showing him the ropes

a few more birthdays buddy and then you can

whitewater canoes are welcome too

a great day with dad

me and my future kayakers!


Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

proudly introducing…

Lakelyn Irene Jacklitch arrived this past Thursday April 19th at 5:17am – 6lbs 13oz 19.5″ – a little piece of heaven.

Lakelyn Irene

new daddy

I love the look on Jamie’s face in this picture, he looks like a first timer, or as one friend more accurately put it ‘a baby deer in headlights’.

first nap

meeting the newest member

the little lady

I was mistaken last week when I thought I was done hauling the duvet cover into the sunroom for weekly pictures…I forgot the most important one! So here it is, the final installment in the maternity meg series, with a  very special poem for our little girl whose name means ‘beautiful waters of peace’…

40 weeks

There is so much more to tell, so much emotion, humor and sweet memories to share with you in the coming days, but for the moment I am short on sleep and in high demand with these little ones.  Thank you to everyone who has been following along and sharing in this special journey – and for the guys out there who are reading I promise, more hunting and fishing stories to come ;)

Categories: General | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


The only picture I wanted to see less than this one;

chilly place to sit

Is this one;

39 weeks

Snow in April is dis-heartening….almost as much as every day that inches closer to D Day and baby girl still isn’t here. I am now officially more pregnant that I have even been as Porter was early *sigh* I really didn’t think I’d need to whip up another nursery rhyme for this week, but what can you do….no really….suggestions please I’m willing to try anything!

Speaking of snow, I was changing Porter in the nursery yesterday and trying to see what his grasp of the situation was;

Me: Porter is there going to be a baby in this room soon?

Porter: Uh hu

Me: Are you excited to meet your baby sister?

Porter: Uh hu

Me: Are you going to play with her and teach her things?

Porter: Yeah

Me: What are you going to teach her?

Porter: Snowmobiling

Me: Oh really?!

Porter: Helmet

There’s a thought – both of my babies on snowmobiles! Please oh Please let her be a girly-girl!


Categories: General | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

I can not believe I found this in my own house!

When we left the man cave five years ago it was theraputic to say the least – no more orange rusty shower and giant spiders hiding in my clothes, no more oven that had to be lit with a match and a prayer, no more dingy asbestos and critter-filled walls – I was a free woman!!! A new chapter had begun in our married life and even though our new homes has had some quirks of its’ own, it is a castle by comparison!

So imagine my surprise when, after several nights of cleaning ‘his side’ of the basement Jamie asked me to come downstairs and help him organize a few last things, and I peek in the bathroom to see this;

annie get your gun

My jaw literally dropped for a good minute as I took it all in but what really gets me are the guns propped up by the TOILET PAPER HOLDER! HA! I love that the roll hasn’t even been changed and another nearly empty roll sits atop the old one. HOW MUCH MORE HILLBILLY CAN WE GET?! I’m not sure whether to laugh or be ashamed!

And why are the guns in the bathroom in the first place? In case you hear a bear breaking in while you’re going about your business…you’ll be ready? It’s not an outhouse my word! Are the spiders that big in the basement that you need a gun to enter the bathroom?!

This scene is a page ripped right from the man cave itself – the dingy walls, the utility sink, the concrete floor with old rugs strewn about – I thought I had left that all behind five years ago, only to discover it followed me home!!! At least now, there are two other respectable bathrooms in the house and this serves as a reminder as to why I rarely venture to ‘Jamie’s Side’ of the basement.

A note to my husband: Jamie if you ever wanted to hide anything from your snoopy wife feel free to put it anywhere in the above pictured room…I can guarantee I will not be going in there anytime in the near future!

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

…the land of pleasant living

WHEW! Just in the nick of time little miss’ room is ready! Aside from the kitchen, it’s been the biggest and fastest transformation in the house to date!  What was supposed to be an office was really a ‘catch all’ space for junk and miscellaneous items that never found a home – it was our proverbial ‘under the bed’ for when company was coming over to make the rest of the house seem tidy and put together. Sadly it was a huge waste of space! I LOVE the office being in the sun room now (more on that later), it’s a space I actually want to go to and spend time in working in.

HUGE DESIGN TIP! If your current desk is facing a wall or into a corner TURN IT AROUND! I don’t dabble much into Feng Shui but there is a principal within that line of thinking that the energy in a space is dead in the corner of a room (or something along those lines). Your thoughts will be more open if you’re facing into the room while working.

Design Tangent Over

I hope she likes it!

where I'll be sleeping for the next several weeks!

The quilt that started it all (well I guess the baby did technically) the Jones Patchwork Quilt from Urban Outfitters.  I love the unexpected colors in it for a nursery which is how we settled on the peach-y warm color “persimmon” from Sherwin Williams, we color matched it to Olympics low VOC paint from Lowes which is remarkably oderless! I prefer to change babies on beds instead of changing tables (they make me nervous) plus we’re “all set” for her when she outgrows her crib and it gives this mama and place to crash during the bumpy nights ahead.

Every little girl needs her own gallery wall…and every big girl for that matter! The black liberty sign and tin ceiling tile came from my mother’s store and both hold a history of their own, be it barnwood or old buildings.  The squirrel watercolor was done by my mom as a series for Porter’s room similar to Beatrix Potter and I asked for her to let me aquire the Poppy acrylic painting for the nursery as well (thanks again Margie!!!) Porter will tell you that he is ‘picking boobies’ in that canvas photo of him picking berries last summer, it is by far my favorite photo of him. And last but not least….THE MOOSE!!!!!! I couldn’t not believe it when my good friend dropped off an early baby gift a few weeks ago and it was a moose! How awesome is that?! After searching high and low I have yet to find just the right materials to ‘bedazzle’ his antlers with but rest assured he will soon be sporting some serious sparkle!

The curtains are a remnant from this fine etsy shop.  They are part of the Ty Pennington Collection (snickering as I type that).  I didn’t know he had his own fabric line and didn’t expect it to be so organic and folksy and just right for her room. I would also like to send a big hug and thanks to my best-y for working her sewing machine magic on these!

just a few butterflies

The phrase reads “In the Land of Pleasant Living” and if you know where this comes from than my husband wants to be your friend. It is an album title from one of  his favorite bands Clutch and their musical styling couldn’t be farther from rock-a-bye-baby. There’s a lot of screaming in their music…then again…there’s a lot of screaming in nurseries so maybe newborns and clutch have more in common than I initially thought. This phrase was in Porter’s nursery as well and it was important that we find a way to incorporate it into her room also. Afterall, we often feel that way about the rustic northwoods we are so blessed to call home.

That is the same Jenny Lind crib that Porter used only with a face lift.  And let me tell you, the only thing more overrated than natural child-birth is painting a Jenny Lind crib! I will be posting a detailed how to, or maybe how not to in a bit on this little chore.  At the end of the day, the paint isn’t flaking off, it doesn’t smell and is a cute update on a traditional looking crib. I hope she likes it……and if the ultrasound was wrong….I hope our little boy is happy in his purple crib!

more butterflies

The butterfly effect was created by painting the butterflies and saying on the wall around her crib (safety first) and then letting them ‘explode’ to life three dimensionally. Sounds more dramatic than it is but the effect is SIMPLE to achieve with some quality scrap booking paper, and 3M foam mounting tape.

a new twist on an old dresser

That tiny dresser was a Habitat ReStore find and fits the little corner perfectly – we painted the body of the dresser to match the crib and updated the hardware with some new glass pulls courtesy of my best-y! The rocking chair is from Chicago Textiles and was used in Porter’s room with a different cover.  And would you look at that carpet?! That my friends is a fine remnant from Kiss Carpet, it is so plush that we spent the first weekend it was installed literally rolling around on it (I know we’re dorks!). Porter took one look at Jamie and said ‘daddy shoes off!’ and then proceeded to bring all of his tractors and matchbox cars in there.  I still can’t believe what a find that remnant was and how incredible and cozy it makes the room – a big improvement over the cracked tile!

Oh…and since my site was down last night, here’s week 38 in the maternity meg series…many of you may have seen it already on facebook but I thought I’d officially post it here as well! Thank you all for following along on this journey and again I can not express how much your prayers and love meant to us over the past week – I am happy to report that Porter and I both are feeling much much better by the hour!

week 38


Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

a new low…

Here is a phrase you never want to have to Google: pregnancy and pneumonia, especially not when you are 37 weeks pregnant!

Last weekend Porter woke up in the night with a terrible barking cough and fever – we didn’t worry too much about it initially and figured he had a bug that was going around, crossed our fingers and said our prayers that Jamie and I didn’t pick up whatever he was fighting, but as valiantly as I tried, the sickness took a hold of me as well.  I’m a bit more of the ‘wait and see’ mentality but by Thursday as I looked at Porter slumped in the rocking chair with yet another fever and watery eyes, enough was enough and off to the doctor we went.

After looking over the little man, I was surprised to hear the doctor say she wanted to order chest x rays to rule out pneumonia.  Pneumonia?! That wasn’t even on my radar! And after looking at me she said she’d order an antibiotic for him regardless since I am so close to delivery and recommended that I call my doctor and ask for one as well.

So off to the hospital we waddled.  I tried to explain to Porter that he was going to have a picture taken of his insides, like ‘Say Cheese’ but for his bones, but it didn’t make the experience any less traumatic.  I couldn’t be in the room with him since I’m a bit pregnant, but am proud to know that in a dark room with strangers taking his shirt off that my boy will scream like there’s no tomorrow.

We got the phone call at 5:45; it is a mild case of pneumonia in his right lung. Unbelievable.  The pediatrician then tries to warn me to limit my exposure to his germs and not kiss or share drinks….too late. I’ve been sleeping next to the little petri dish for the past six nights, breathing, coughing, snuggling and I was growing sicker by the minute and with each passing minute, closer to delivery.

I’ve spent the past couple of days doing the math…if Porter was eight days early and she is due on the twenty first, how many potential healthy days might I have before she’s born, if any? I’ve heard horror stories of women who’ve been sick and in labor and had foolishly assumed that having a baby in April I wouldn’t have to worry about that.

So I find myself now in a minority of women who want to stay pregnant…even, dare I say, past my due date.  I’m not ready.  It could take a bit to regain my strength from this, the house is a disaster and I have sick toddler who is attached to me at the hip and oh did I mention this morning I woke up WITHOUT A VOICE! Laryngitis on top of everything else?!  By noon I was fed up trying to talk with Jamie so I pulled out my iphone and of course, they have an app for that! I downloaded ‘Type n Talk’ and cannot express to you enough the hilarity that will ensue if you do the same…really even with a fully functional voice – with the right group of people you will laugh-cry messing with this program!

So here it is, week 37, I realize that tomorrow marks the official week 38, but better late than never right?

week 37

Also, we cannot express how much your well wishes, thoughts and prayers have meant to us during this past week.   I am touched and overwhelmed by the people who have reached out whether it is through prayer or through soup and popsicles, it means the world to us – Thank You!!!

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

the birth companion

Birth Companion copy

When we were pregnant with Porter, Jamie and I took a one-day birth class to help “prepare” for labor and delivery. I use the term “prepare” loosely since I believe, now more than ever, that you simply cannot prepare for an event so painful or uncontrollable – it would be like trying to prepare for the pain of someone cutting off your limbs with a plastic knife while on a tiny boat in a hurricane and I am not being overly dramatic here! When people ask me what type of pain killers I had with Porter I laugh and tell them ‘hopes & dreams’. Ladies when the phrases ‘manually dilated’ and ‘episiotomy’ and being thrown around whilst your doctor whields a vacuum extractor in one hand you will need more than deep breathing and focal points to get you through!!!

But back to the birth class.

We had NO idea what we were getting into, but dutifully we went to the class with a dozen or so other expectant parents, practiced deep breathing techniques and watched a series of gorey videos, picked up a mound of papers and pamphlets and on our way we went. One such pamphlet that was referenced frequently thought the day was ‘The Birth Companion’, which outlined for the coach the various stages of labor and how to help relax and focus their partner.  It was the one booklet that I left out in places where I thought Jamie would read it…the bathroom, the nightstand, coffee table….I never once saw him with that booklet in his hand until the night he was packing his bag to take to the hospital;

Jamie: Stuffing the pamphlet into his bag

Me: Don’t you think you might need that before we go to the hospital?!

Jamie: I figured I could read it between contractions. 

Me: You know there will be a lot of time that we’ll be in labor before we go to the hospital…don’t you think you might want to know this stuff ahead of time?!

Jamie: Nahhh..we’ll be fine. 


We were NOT fine and if it weren’t for my mother who know how differently that experience would’ve been. She has had three babies of her own and coached a friend with twins – She IS the ‘Birth Companion’ and instinctively knows that booklet by heart. When we found out we were expecting again I knew there were two things I wanted this time around – an epidural and my mother!


By the way……….we hit month nine on Sunday!!! And while it feels closer, oddly it still feels so far away!

month 9!!!




Categories: General | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

fishin’ camp


…There are two types of people in this world; those who will choose to camp outside in the winter and those who are appalled at the very thought! Jamie eagerly falls into the first category and I’ll let you guess which err…camp I fall into.

‘Steelhead Camp’ is the very week by which his entire man-year revolves and you never quite know exactly when it will occur since it is dependent on so many variables; the weather, the water temperature, the water levels, local fish reports, etc… Jamie and his friends will spend most of March speculating and preparing for this week to the point where you’re usually more than ready to send he and his buddies on their way so the energy in the house can return to a calm normal.

When we found out we were expecting again and started to do the math one of the first things out of Jamie’s mouth was ‘STEELHEAD CAMP’! Mind you this is a place where he has very spotty phone reception! The man has been adamant for the past 8 months that HE IS GOING NO MATTER WHAT! Priorities right? Which to be honest is important for him to recharge his spirits and whatnot so while I tease him about it, I too see where he is coming from – some guys have all sorts of fantasy sports leagues or weekly golf games…my husband has fish camp.

The unusually warm spring weather made for some interesting, and disappointing, differences this year – for one, there were no snowstorms to collapse Jamie’s tent! No fifty mile an hour wind gusts or subzero temperatures! They didn’t have to shovel a spot to set up camp or build a bonfire…no their problems this year consisted of not having a snowbank to keep their beer cold in, or keep anything cold for that matter! Their pictures seem off to me, to see them fishing in t-shirts with tanned arms like it’s July! Overall it was a successful camp – the fish were biting and giving them a good fight and I believe in the official count the fish win this year after some hard-fought battles!

I would like to point out that Jamie is happier in every one of these pictures than in ANY of our wedding photos!

i'll pretend he was this happy on our wedding day!

big fish!

waters that shall remain un-named

chasin' chrome!

catch & release


Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment