Lake Michigan


I swear he smiles and has the cutest dimples, but he hardly ever smiles for a picture!

Ross had heard there was a giant lake around here, but he’d never seen it, so we went in search of it. Weston and Morgan wanted to go to the beach, but Ross wasn’t interested. He just wanted ice cream. Weston and Morgan wanted to go to Chicago, too, and Weston and Morgan wanted to go to the Renaissance Faire. Weston and Morgan wanted to do anything but hang out in the hotel room, but Weston and Morgan didn’t just spend the last two months in boot camp with every hour of the day regulated with sometimes exhausting activity. They’ve finally caved to the realization that this is Ross’s weekend and we’re doing what Ross wants to do. Even if it’s nothing. (I like nothing myself, actually!)

An aside: We were sitting in a restaurant yesterday and a man approached our table, shook his hand, and thanked him for serving our country, then walked away. I thought that was amazing. I think Ross did, too. This weekend is his first experience of being out in public in uniform. (It will be another month before he’s allowed to wear civilian clothes in public when he’s off-duty. I brought some of his clothes with me here and he wore them only in private, in the hotel room.) Earlier in the day, when we were getting ice cream, he said he felt as if he stuck out like a sore thumb in his uniform. Wearing a uniform in public is still a strange feeling for him. It was perfect timing when later in the day this man approached him and thanked him for serving. I could just see it on his face after it happened, that he suddenly realized that the uniform brought so much respect with it. I could see how proud he felt.

Ross, reacquainting himself with the Xbox.

Today is our last day……… We head home tomorrow and Ross heads to South Carolina to learn how to be a nuclear submariner.


  1. Lindsay says:

    Suzanne, your kids seem so wonderful, it makes parenthood seem a little less scary lol. And a huge Thank You to Ross, who put up with a lot to finally be able to call himself a sailor. I hope the rest of our country’s defenders are as brave and giving as he is being. His achievement shows such perseverance, I’m sure it wasn’t always fun (or really probably wasn’t very fun at all, but worth it). Congrats to Ross and your family. Lake Michigan looks gorgeous btw.

  2. Jersey Lady says:

    Thank you for sharing this touching part of your family life.I am happy W. and M. could be there too.You can just tell by the way R. walks and stands in the pictures that he is now Navy.They just have a way about them.Have a safe trip home.May God bless and keep you all,especially R. in this new part of his life.

  3. Nancy in Iowa says:

    Ross is amazing, and his siblings are kind and generous to (finally!) let him spend the time as he wants. \

  4. Rose H says:

    Your post bought a lump to my throat. No wonder you’re a proud parent, your children are amazing. May you all continue to go safely and happily on with your lives.

  5. mary kellogg says:

    Wow what a handsome young man, so mature looking. You must be so proud of him.

    Hugs to you and Ross. And the other two kiddos are real cuties, too!

  6. glenda says:

    I am glad to hear Ross had a wonderful ‘do nothing’ weekend. How fortunate that the man spoke to him at the restaurant. Many of us feel that way, but don’t speak up. He should be very proud to wear that uniform. A distant member of our family spent his adult life on a submarine. He was a career navy man.

    Safe journey home.

  7. Lori Skoog says:

    Ross sure has matured in a short period of time. How perfect that he was approached by that man. Enjoy the day and have a safe trip home!

  8. Mark says:

    God bless you all. Thank Ross, for me, for his service.

  9. ssuther27 says:

    I grew up in Chicago and while it’s a beautiful place to see, spending the weekend with your family as they wish is more beautiful. Thank you to Ross and all the men and women brave enough to serve and protect the best country on the planet. God Bless America!

  10. Diane says:

    The pictures are wonderful. So glad Ross is enjoying him. He is so blessedd to have a family who loves him enough to let him do what he wants this weekend. He will remember that forever. I love that someone walked up to him and shook his hand and thanked him for his service to this country.

    Have a safe trip home.

  11. Miss Judy says:

    I remember how surprised and humbled my uniformed son was when a stranger paid for his lunch.We tend to forget how a few simple words can make an impression on someone that lasts a lifetime. Ross will never forget that mans words.
    Oh BTW Suzanne, has it hit you yet that you are now the mother of a man!

  12. CindyP says:

    Very handsome in his uniform! Bless that man for getting Ross over the “hump” of sticking out like a sore thumb.

    Look across that big lake and a hundred miles north, there I am :wave:

    Have fun today!!!!!!!!

  13. Carmen C. says:

    Best wishes to Ross, he looks awesome in his uniform and looks like ya’ll are having a wonderful time together!!!!

  14. Glenie says:

    Great Pics of a nice family. Glad you had time with Ross.

  15. Heidi says:

    What an awesome thing to have happen to Ross (I mean about the man thanking him). You should be proud.

  16. Zusiqu says:

    Every time I fly, I fly with service people in uniform. They are constantly greeted and gushed over. Sometimes they receive standing ovations for just walking by. They are frequently allowed to board first and if first class isn’t filled, they are bumped up to first class. I love seeing this!

  17. Rhonda says:

    How great for Ross. It’s always so cool to see the people who go to the airport to greet the troops coming home so he’s getting the pay it forward. Ya know, just a bit, he reminds me of Tommy Lee Jones, the eyes, expression.

  18. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    What a wonderful post! I love how you can feel your “mother’s pride” in all your posts about Ross (all of your kids for that matter). Now tell Sailor Ross that we would love to see those mysterious dimples!

  19. claudia w says:

    I was so happy to read that someone actually walked up to Ross and thanked him…it is how I feel, I just can’t be there to shake his hand.
    How very proud you must be!
    Even without the smile for the camera, he is a handsome man!

  20. Pam Glidden says:

    Suzanne, I have studied the many photos that you’ve shared of your son Ross, because of your comments about him not smiling. I think he DOES smile, but it isn’t a big grin! In fact, I would swear that in this new photo of him holding the ice cream cone this weekend, he is smiling. The corners of his mouth are up and his eyes are crinkled like eyes do when one smiles. I’d love to see a big grin on him more often to see those adorable dimples. But I think he has a lovely smile too. Such a handsome young man! My Thanks to you both for his service and God Bless you both! :heart:

  21. evelee says:

    What a very handsome young man, watch out mom, the girls are also watching Ross in his uniform. He should be very proud of himself, he joined and became a military man in a time if crisis, that says alot about his character. Strong and proud, congratulations to Ross and to his mom.

  22. Angelia M says:

    Suzanne, thanks for sharing with us. I check back regularly to see if there is anything new.

    Have a safe trip back. When we moved to Texas, after my husband retired from the Navy, we were in South Carolina 🙂

  23. Laurel in Northeast Tennessee says:

    And for you as the mother of a United States Navy Sailor, I am sure you felt proud to tears when strangers shook Ross’s hand and thanked him for his service and or sacrifice. My Marine is now living in South Florida with his Army wife,(they met in war-zone Iraq)and this mother is so proud of both of my military children. This experience has been wonderful for our entire family, from boot camp to the present. Love and prayers for a safe journey.

  24. Vicki in So. CA says:

    How proud ALL of you must have been when such an unexpected, honest expression of gratitude was given by a total stranger. That experience will not be forgotten by any of you. Best to Ross as he continues with his specialized training. And the best to you, Suzanne, Weston and Morgan, for your ride back home. This is for all of you: :hug:

  25. Miss Becky says:

    thanks for sharing your beautiful family and story Suzanne. enjoy the day and safe trip home :hug:

  26. northcountrygirl says:

    What a beautiful weekend! I’m so glad everything went well. Ross looks sooooo handsome in his uniform. Have a safe trip home now and lots of beautiful memories in the future.

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