This last weekend Ellie had the honor of being the flower girl in Pete's first cousin Danielle's wedding. The Crawford clan hails from Michigan, so on Friday morning, we headed north to Kalamazoo! This was our first road trip since Ellie's car seat was flipped around, so we were a little worried about how well she would do. I was armed with a tote bag full of books, puzzles, nesting cups, and even a tea set. I had also bought Ellie a special road trip treat - a Magna Doodle!
We left pretty early, so for the first couple of hours Ellie rode quietly snuggling her loveys. Then after a few hours she read a book, and I gave her her new toy. SHE LOVED IT!! We made 3 stops along the way, and still arrived in seven hours flat. Ellie napped in the car at her regular time and was ready to go when we got to the hotel - so we unpacked the car and headed to the pool. Then it was time for the rehearsal. I felt so lucky that Danielle was really chill about the whole thing - she understood that Ellie was only two and might not even make it down the aisle, no less do it carrying a basket and walking with the ring bearer, Owen.
We had nothing to worry about! Ellie was happy to trot from Daddy at the end of the aisle to Mommy at the front, holding Owen's hand the whole way.
The rehearsal dinner was back at Danielle and Kyle's house. Ellie spent about 45 minutes carrying the bean bags from one corn hole board to another, one by one. It was so cute. Then we all filled up on delicious food, while Ellie showed all our relatives why keeping up with her can wear us out a bit. At her bedtime we just plopped her in a pack n play in one of the bedrooms so we could catch up with Pete's grandmother, her husband, and the rest of family that was there. (best baby ever!!)
The wedding was not until Saturday evening, and our photo call wasn't until 3:45, so we had the whole morning to play in small-town Michigan. We remembered a great slide from when we went to Ox Roast in September of 2011. So we headed over to Lawrence, the town where Pete's dad actually grew up, and spent about two hours on pretty much the most amazing playground ever. Lawrence has less than 1000 residents, so we're not sure how much use this structure gets. I'm not sure who had more fun, Ellie or us. Audrey and Andrew met us there after a little while, and we all had a great time spending the morning playing with Ellie.
We decided to stop for lunch in Paw-Paw, the slightly larger town next to Lawrence, and ate at Red's Rootbeer Stand. We had lunch here on our last visit, so this seems to be a new tradition of ours.
We decided Ellie was old enough to have her first root beer - the baby size - and were elated when it was delivered in its own mini-beer stein! Ellie had a great time toasting us all as she enjoyed her sugary treat.
Ellie did SO WELL during the ceremony! I couldn't have been more proud - she came right up the aisle to me and wasn't scared of all the people that hadn't been there during the rehearsal. I, of course, had big alligator tears running down my smiling face.
Ellie was very well-behaved at the reception, and only got antsy when the dancing started. We kept having to explain to her that there were "special dances" for other people to complete before she could run to the dance floor.
She waited very patiently.
Finally it was her turn!! She danced her little heart out - with me, with Daddy, and with herself. She tried to dance with the ring bearer, Owen, but he wasn't as into the idea as she was.
We got back to the hotel just before ten, which was the latest Ellie had ever been up in her life! She slept like a champ, and was up bright and early in the morning, ready for our trip home.
So glad we were able to make it up to Michigan - Congratulations Danielle and Kyle - we had a great little weekend getaway!