The Connection Runners + [travel]

Photo Booth Baby & Canoe Trip on the EJ River

Summer is the busiest time of year. In the last 11 days, Kevin and I have been home for just 4. We traveled to his hometown, Fenton, for the weekend of the 4th, and this past weekend took us to Kalamazoo and then to East Jordan for a canoe trip.

But before we took off for a weekend of college-friend fun, we had an appointment on Thursday for first trimester screening.

What the heck is first trimester screening? Yep, I asked this question myself a while back, too. The screening is basically a series of tests to assess the risk of Down's Syndrome and other potential genetic disorders. It's usually done between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy, and it includes an ultrasound and bloodwork.

While I'm not a huge fan of getting poked with a needle, the bloodwork part of the test didn't bother me too much since I get my blood drawn frequently to check my underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). But I was really excited to get another ultrasound and see LBA in action.

The entire process took about 30 minutes; the ultrasound tech was really friendly and explained everything to us. She took several measurements and let us hear the heartbeat (a quick 152 bpm). When we were done, she gave us 4 lovely photos to keep:

Seriously reminds me of a photo booth!

This was probably the best one of the four. You can really see the little face and hands!

We hope to hear back about the results sometime this week, and then I have to go back in a few weeks for a second blood draw to assess risk of spina bifida.

While the first trimester screening is not required, I highly recommend it if insurance covers the costs. If there is a high risk for genetic disorders, we want to know about it. Additionally, we got to see LBA on the big screen and take home photo booth photos!

After our appointment was over, we hit the road in a packed down car and headed for Kalamazoo to see some friends.

After dinner and drinks (beer for them, Arnold Palmer for me) on Thursday night, we hit the sack pretty late but managed to be up for a run through my old college campus on Friday morning.

Then it was time to move on in our travels, and we caravanned to East Jordan (in northern Michigan, near Traverse City) for the 6th Annual East Jordan River Run.

The EJRR is a canoeing event that our college friend, Andrew (Ando, for short), plans every year in his hometown of East Jordan. And he is serious about it - the event begins on Friday with a golf tournament (which we missed), speeches, videos, fireworks, and, this year, a lighted sign:

In short - it's pretty amazing and well-organized.

The actual canoe trip takes place on Saturday down on the world-famous (?) East Jordan River, where the water flows fast, but the booze flows faster. (But none for me!) This year, 25+ people were ready to hit the river by noon for a 3-mile trip that, with stops, took about 6 hours.

Kevin and I canoed together, a feat that could only be accomplished with me yelling at him to not crash into spider-filled trees, and him actually keeping us on course despite my incessant fears. We'd never survive on one of those couple-adventure shows, but we at least made it through this trip mostly unscathed.

A few photos of the river fun:

Me and Shannon, a Kalamazoo friend, during the first of 6 stops on the river.

Kevin and the EJ River. And yep, he wore those sunglasses all day. He hearts them.

Another stop. So many people!

Going under some rickety old train tracks near the end of the trip.

And then our friend Maura did this on the rickety old train tracks. That's pretty much awesome.

We finished up Saturday with a trip to the local (and only) pizzeria for dinner before turning in really, really early. Guess everyone was pooped.

Everyone packed up early on Sunday morning and after snagging breakfast, we hit the road and made it back home by 1:30. I took a massive nap and snuggled with Baxter, who was pretty pissed that we'd been out of town so much lately.

Now it's back to Monday.

Kevin's back to work after a week-long vacation.

I'm back to watching my nephew, Zach, who's currently taking a nap on the couch.

More or less, back to normal summer living, for now.

But there are plans for the future! Tonight, Megan and I are heading to a Detroit Blogger Meet-up; I'm always nervous to meet random strangers, but the event will be a nice way to connect with other local bloggers and gain new insights. Recap tomorrow!

And this weekend may be a race weekend! We're considering the Fenton Bastille Day 15k (or 5k); I did the 15k race last year and really want to complete it again, but it's a tough course, and running's been getting progressively more difficult these last few weeks.

My plan: test drive my body on Wednesday with a 7-8 mile long run. If I can handle it, even slowly, I'll do the 15k on Saturday. If not - 5k it is! I really miss racing lately.

Alright, off to get my Monday on! Hope everyone had a swell weekend.

Share With Me:
-Do you canoe?
-What did you do this weekend?