A few months ago a friend showed E the compound bow he hunted with. He brought it over and a couple of guys shot at a target in our side yard.
E had mentioned interest in archery before, but after using the bow several times he began talking about it. a lot.
When I was last in Chicago for work, I was able to see some family, and shared E's interest with my cousin (who is into bow hunting). He just so happened to be selling his old bow for a newer model.
I made arrangements to purchase it, and got a bunch of accessories from a local sporting/hunting store, and gave E the whole package on Christmas.
He was pretty surprised, but excited about it. My cousin came over and showed E a few things about the bow and they practiced shooting into a hay bale at my parents'.
also pictured: my parents' quaint country chicken coup. (my mom raises free range chickens for eggs)
I'm glad I have these few pictures of snow, because the next day the temperatures got SO warm and all the snow melted and wasn't seen for the rest of our trip!
Then we headed to Wisconsin to celebrate New Year's with E's best friend Alex and his family, who are basically E's second family.
While there, we engaged in more outdoorsy activities and went to a shooting range.
However you feel about guns, (and I'm not sure I'd ever want to own one), I have to say that learning how to use the gun correctly made me feel safer and more respectful of them.
(Feel free to skip the next few pictures if you don't want to see guns in use)
(it was a pretty foggy day, but we were at 10 yards, and the only people on the range)
not bad for my first time shooting a handgun in about 4 years!
we had lunch at the cutest small town cafe
New Year's was spent with games, good food and great friends.
(clockwise, from top left) an old fashioned, bananas foster (SO fun to make!), port wine Merkts, and gold-flecked chocolate
Happy new year, indeed.