Thanks to Dad’s company, we got the best seats in the house for our first La Crosse Loggers game at Copeland Park! It was a sweaty-hot evening, but had we stayed in our temperature-controlled house, we would have missed out on the free buffet of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, unlimited drinks, and ice cream cake that filled our private, open-air, premier suite. No wonder so many people love to watch baseball… it’s delicious!
I’ve missed you! I don’t think we even got to see each other last summer. This year, I’m glad you got to meet my sister, Genesee. You sure made her smile a lot… she loved swimming in your pools and touring your facilities! I think she wants to spend more time with you; thanks for making such a good first impression!!
I’m also grateful that you took our friendship to the next level by showing me sides of you I’ve never experienced, like miniature golfing, playing in your outdoor bubble bath, and getting soaked by your picnic basket-turned-waterfall. And, aren’t you proud that I conquered my fears and went down your “BIG blue water slide that is actually green!?” I have boarded your train before, but it’s such a thrill that I decided to take 3 tours this time. I wish we could trade in our Toyota for a locomotive like yours.
There’s always so much to do at your place; I’m extremely lucky that Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Julie were willing to take me there! I truly enjoy being one with nature, visiting with Peter and Mary’s crew, and of course, I love me a good s’more.
You’re the coolest, Jellystone! Now that I’m back home where I only get wet in the boring shower, I’m missing you already. I hope we can be friends forever!!
Your happiest camper (Jaeger)
On June 26th, Genesee turned 11 months old! This milestone marks the age that G:
- became a definite daddy’s girl
- could stand on her own for a solid millisecond
- learned how to wave hello/goodbye
- grew hair long enough to form pigtails
- developed an appetite for 2 jars of baby food
- got moved up to the next classroom at school (where she’ll get introduced to table food and be granted outdoor recess twice a day)
- is still as cute as a button
It’s not too often that we get to visit with my Mexican familia, but when we do, it’s a big ol’ fiesta… especially when it’s in celebration of Great Grandma Garcia’s 90th birthday!
It was a perfect day! First, I played under the blue skies and fluffy clouds while Genesee got passed from one set of loving arms to the next (because she’s adorable, and also, no one had ever met her before). Next we pigged out on a taco bar, tamales, hamburgers, hot dogs, Mexican rice, salads, fruits and more. Finally, we sang to the birthday girl, enjoyed a piece of birthday cake with a chaser of slice #2, and then danced off our buttercream frosting buzz.
We’re so lucky we could celebrate with Great Grandma. Mom always says it’s important to know the shoulders we stand on, and Grandma Garcia’s are strong.
We love you, Great Grandma! Here’s to more years of health and happiness!
Pop quiz: What do you do when the temperature outside hits PERFECT degrees Fahrenheit and your dad has an unexpected short day at work?
Answer: Get out the big boat and head for the river!
Follow-up question: What happens when the water is too high, resulting in a submerged boat landing?
Answer: Find a different landing that’s only slightly waterlogged, roll up your pants, shout “hooray,” and jump in the captain’s seat!
In addition to steering between navigation buoys to keep our family safe within the channel, I also love the view from the tall seat at the boat’s front, particularly when we drift under a bridge so I can yell the obligatory “ECHO!”
Of course, it’s all fun and games until someone loses their balance and almost falls overboard.
Luckily, I lived to enjoy the rest of the ride! And it’s a good thing I survived because someone had to win the fish contest, but also, the world would have missed me.
“It was SO fun!” 4 jalapeno-cheddar hamburgers, 3 beaver sightings, 2 grilled-to-perfection hotdogs, and 1 beautiful sunset later, we were buckled back into the Suburban, dreaming of the next chance we’d get to live like River Rats.
Genesee and I would like to give a special shout-out to all our favorite father-figures that we’re lucky to call “Dad,” “Grandpa,” “Papa,” and “Uncle!”
To the one we get to call “Dad:”
“We love you very much because you’re so cute and you fix the light bulbs.”
Happy Father’s Day to Daddy-o, Papa Florence, Grandpa Goodenough and Uncle Cory!! If this holiday was a contest, I’d say we won!!
To commemorate Genesee’s first June on earth, we introduced her to a Dairy Breakfast because it’s just the right thing to do. Since mom was in Massachusetts for a work-related institute, we were able to leave the house on time and beat the crowd! Once there, we stood at the front of the line within minutes, pointing Genesee to a buffet of reasons we hope to never become lactose intolerant: buttery pancakes, chocolate milk, cheesy eggs, yogurt, fresh cheese curds and Culver’s ice cream.
Genesee was indoctrinated with the Culver’s ice cream of course. And it’s a good thing she became a believer because dairy breakfasts aren’t just tradition in our household, they’re a rite of passage.
I had so much fun showing Genesee how to successfully enjoy June Dairy Days! This year will be extra memorable, not only because I got to share my love of pancakes-on-the-farm with my sister, but also because we got a taste of fame after being featured in the news (TV AND newspaper)!
Tomorrow kicks off my summer schedule, which means I’ll make my commute to Onalaska for academic purposes just twice a week. This transition will be bittersweet. “Sweet” because I’ll spend the rest of each week at home with Ashlee and I LOVE those sleep-in summers with my cousin. But “bitter” because school is WAY better than I initially gave it credit for.
Over the last six months, my new school quickly became a familiar place and my new classmates easily became friendly faces. My transition was eased further by my new-turned-fabulous teachers who plan multiple, monthly field trips across the Coulee Region just so our little minds can see all that the big world has to offer!
Here’s an incomplete list of experiences I’ve enjoyed on behalf of these brave-souled educators:
- Watched the play Pete the Cat at Viterbo University
- Visited Mindoro’s Christmas Tree Farm
- Gained anti-bullying tips at Marcus Cinema’s showing of Ferdinand
- Learned to boot-skate at the Omni Center ice rink
- Indulged in sugary treats at Caledonia Street’s Sweet Shop
- Jumped out my cabin fever at the Playground in Winona, MN
- Bowled my heart out at Features bowling lanes in West Salem
- Practiced gross motor skills on indoor turf at the La Crosse Wellness Center
- Rolled out pizza dough with a Toppers Pizza employee
- Returned to Viterbo University to watch another play, Go, Dog, Go!
- Traveled to West Salem’s Heider Center to view the play, Cat in the Hat
- Bounced around at Jump Start Adventure Park
- Observed incredible balloon creations by Kevin, the Midwest’s premier balloon artist
- Crawled through tunnels and devoured a Happy Meal at McDonald’s Playland
- Hand-dipped my own Dilly Bar during our Dairy Queen field trip
- Frosted delicious cupcakes at Sam’s Club
- Studied self-defense, self-respect and self-discipline at H & H Karate
- Celebrated Public Works Week at the City of La Crosse’s Touch-a-Truck open house
IT’S. BEEN. AWESOME. So, it shall remain a mystery why tears continued to well up in my eyes upon arrival most mornings between late February and early May, thus requiring a teacher-suggested sticker chart to incentivize good drop-offs:
But can you really fault me for not wanting to part with my super-cool parents? (I blame it on that Cancun vacation… I had made a full recovery by mid-January, only to relapse after growing accustomed to that extended family time in February.) Besides, my tears always turn to smiles within 60 seconds and then I pull myself together and get on with my awesome day.
And while it’s true that I now happily learn, grow, and play in a different classroom, I haven’t forgotten the place I came from. In fact, I made good on my promise to visit those UWL pals before semester’s end just for closure and giggles… I remembered them, they remembered me, and we picked up right where we left off!
…So don’t let anyone tell you that I’m not adaptable and resilient… unless it’s during my 1-minute morning meltdown. You know, the one that was eventually cured by a successfully-completed sticker chart, only to return after the extended Memorial Day weekend in late May? Yeah, that one. Old habits cry hard, they say.