When I was a fresh new mom of one and Naomi was around 4 months old, I took a trip back to my home town with her sans Mike. I thought I was being so brave doing the car trip solo but after many many hours of a screaming baby who I was sure hated her car seat more than any baby in all of babydom (I have since learned there is nothing special about a baby who cries in their car seat) I firmly resolved to never ever again take trips with children without a husband in tow. Fast forward 4 years and that resolve has been thrown out the window on several different occasions, and after this past week I am looking back at my weak willed self and laughing a hearty cackling sort of laugh at how young and naive I was.
I got back Friday from a week long adventure that spanned many hundreds of miles and at least 16 hours in the car with the three girls, leaving our 2001 Sienna looking like it got hit with a Cheeze-it infused graham cracker bomb. Many lessons were learned, an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch was ingested by one 28-year-woman...
And plentiful family and friends were seen to keep my heart full and happy until the next journey is taken.
Lest I lie in the face of all the bogging world, Mike was with me for the first 2 days for his cousin's wedding in Richmond, Indiana. I completely failed at photographing almost anything at all which stinks because it was the most Pinterest perfect reception I have ever seen and I even I wore my new necklace and bracelet set from Olivia and looked smokin, plus Mike was dressed in his best and the girls were matching, with zero pictures taken. Worst ever. I did snap a few of the girls livin it up in the lap of luxury in their individual queen sized beds in their very own room, thank you Lord for adjoining rooms to make a hotel stay 100% less horrible.
Rich Mullins, Mike's all-time favorite singer-songwriter. It was really beautiful to go with Mike who tries to get there any time he can.
Unfortunately I have no idea how to pose in front of a grave stone and the picture of me made me look like a 30 week pregnant dwarf.
After the event Mike bussed it back to the Bend and I ventured off with my three wee travel buddies to the Louisville region to visit my sister, her husband and 4 boys and my brother, his wife and their sweet boy (and in-utero babe). It was so great to see them and have the girls get some good cousin time, particularly of the male-cousin persuasion, because they are generally really wimpy when it comes to joining in any boy type play, I think they were adequately immersed.
My sister runs a fabulous etsy shop and it was so cool to see her in action and working on some of the cutest stationary I have ever seen. She even gifted several to me which I had big plans to frame and hang and make my house look a tiny bit less like a monastery but I absentmindedly and oh so stupidly forgot them at their house and so the Hahn monastery remains. I was working hard at trying to convince her to start her own business blog that I can send everyone over to and am hoping she comes around to the blogging side.
I got to be there for my sweet nephew Charlie's 1st birthday and seriously was kicking myself for leaving my camera at my sister's house while he inhaled his birthday donut because I have never seen a sight so cute. I loved getting the time with my sweet sister-in-law and it definitely left me wishing there was some school Mike could get hired at in the Louisville area.
After a few great days in Kentucky we packed up and hauled ourselves over to St. Louis where we first stopped downtown to selfishly sneak a peek at the arch and see the down
town area a bit. Since we had just been in the car for 4 hours upon
arriving we made a little pit stop in a poshest hotel I have
ever been in to get a coffee from the equally posh starbucks located in the lobby and use the posh hotel loby bathroom.
I feel the need
to give a shout-out to that Starbucks and particularly the nicest barista I have ever encountered who gifted us with multiple free rice crispy treats and made me feel significantly less like a crazy woman
alone with 3 kids in a big city, because I felt a little crazy.
And most of the people just kind of stared at me with really confused/horrified looks.But we came, saw and conquered downtown St. Louis
Our real reason for the visit was to hang out with Grace during Simon's horrible night float work rotation, during which time I came to one general conclusion: they are both amazing. Simon's insane hours doing such grueling and important work left me totally floored and Grace does an incredible job holding down the fort keeping those sweet kids so happy and healthy without Simon home so much of the time. I have come home with a renewed gratitude for all the time I get to spend with Mike and for his normal work hours and a much greater appreciation for all residents and their wives and kids.
And despite what Grace says, she was the very best hostess, the very best. She took us around to some of most awesome parks in St. Louis and bought me donuts and a pumpkin spice coffee and if anyone knows me they know that the way to my heart is through donuts, pumpkin and coffee. She also sent me home with a parting gift of some super cute clothes- again, she was the BEST. We had a great time having normal adult conversation while the kids ran circles around the various parks and I would say the girls bonded swimmingly with Julia fairly immediately.
I just wish that we lived nearer to each other so that the visits could be much more frequent, but then I wish that about many a blog friend living so distant. For now it suffices to take trips and close the gaps just little.
Now for some unpacking and trying desperately to adjust these girls to real life without copious television watching, juice drinking and fruit snack eating. Detox or bust!