Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We are back!

What a trip that was.  I am so glad to be back home in Ohio and where I have my own space.  The stories I could tell...and will just give me time.  :)

Here is a glimpse of what our trip was like...

We left on a Friday morning.  We did a couple of errands before we left, quick trip to Target, an auto parts store and at Starbucks.  But by 9:03am we were off.  We were making GREAT time.  The kids were in great moods and by 9pm we had gone through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and almost through Iowa.  Almost, through Iowa.  We were in fact in north central Iowa at 9pm that Friday night.  The night the lights went OUT.  We had just filled up the van with gas.  To our surprise we got about 25 miles to the gallon!  YAY!  I had taken the girls in the truck stop we were at to use the restroom.  Dan had filled the van and the changed the baby.  Dan then pulled the van forward so that he could use the restroom.  Something to note about this situation is that we had been following the edge of a storm.
We could see it.  There was hail in the clouds and after listening to the radio we knew this storm had some power.  So, Dan has entered the truck stop.  I am outside the van chatting with another traveler about the oncoming storm.  And it happens.  Pitch black.  The attendant comes out and says, "Everybody INSIDE!"  I am thinking, WHAT?!  How in the heck do you expect me to get ALL THREE KIDS inside BY  MYSELF while there are freaked out motorists racing by my van (paying no attention to this mom who could use a hand).  Thankfully the motorist I was chatting with pitched in.  I handed her Butterfly and she and Butterfly waited while I got Bee and Bubby out.  By that time my hubby had made his way out to help and he took Bee.  We got inside and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  We were entertained by a small dog...by entertained I mean, we went to look at it (in the dark by the light of a cell phone) and then the girls would squeal and run away.  We did this for an hour, all the while the kids begin to fall apart.  After all this is all happening between 9-10pm central time...that means it would be 10-11pm eastern time...where we came from....oy!  So at 10pm, we decide that the risk is past us and we are going to go now.  So we did.  We loaded up in the van and headed out.  Leaving the truck stop no worse for ware...I hope.

Early Saturday morning (1am) we arrive at my parents house.  We throw the kids in the appointed beds and sleep.  Ahhh, sweet sleep.

Saturday was our anniversary.  And on this anniversary we actually got to go out!  YAY!  What a treat.  A free babysitter, my parents, and a trip to Applebee's was in order.  We headed out and found a GREAT parking spot...like right across from the restaurant.  We head in order our drinks (after the night before we were looking for something good) and our food.  I had had about a third of my margarita and my hubby had a bit of his Jameson when a little voice above us says something.  It was much like the voice of the adults in the Peanuts cartoon...waaa waaaaaah waaaah wah waaah.  Ok, that was weird.  So we continued with our drinks.  Then our server comes over.  Great.  Now we know something is wrong.  She was very polite but..."I am sorry to have to interrupt your dinner but the tornado sirens are going off and we need you to move to the bathroom."  Really?!  Two nights in a row?!  You have GOT to be kidding me.  Don't you know this is my anniversary?  There are no tornados allowed on my anniversary.  But alas, the weather did not listen to me and we spent a good chunk of time in the bathroom at Applebee's.  Rest assured, all was well.  When the warning lifted, we returned to our table, they re-fired everyone's orders and we got a coupon for a free appetizer the next time we came in.
Upon our arrive back at my parents house we were glad to be home.  We had expected to be out later but with the rain continuing from the storm that had us in the bathroom we decided that we would head back.  So we got to enjoy our kids and my parents.  I hear the front door.  I think, "We didn't get it latched so it is swinging in the wind".  Nope, my parents had invited my inlaws over to help us celebrate our anniversary!  How sweet!  So we had Coldstone ice cream cake and we played Pictionary.  Just for the record...NEVER let my father in law, husband and brother in law on the same team.  They will wipe the floor with you.

And this was just the first two days.  The days following included days of teething for Bubby.  Which meant high fevers and lots of holding.  On Sunday, we had a family reunion to go to on my hubby's side.  It was a fun afternoon in the park.  Everyone, but Bubby, loved it.  Bubby was miserable.

The next couple of days were spent at my parents house.  Just hanging out.  We went to the park, ate at McDonald's and had a good time.  Then we switched houses.  My parents and my in laws live abo ut 40 minutes away from each other.  So when we go back we have to choose carefully where we stay.  This time we stayed at my parents house first.  Then part way through we switched to my hubby's parent's house.  My sister was coming in to stay with my parents and there just wasn't enough room for her family and mine to be in my parents house.  So since we had another option we headed down to my in laws.

My in laws live in the sticks.  It literally takes one 45 minutes in 3 different directions to get to a Wal-Mart...and Wal-Marts are EVERYWHERE!  But we love it none the less.  My father in law was a dairy farmer for 25ish years and this year quit.  We love that he is now able to hang out with us more and play with the kids more.  We took a quick trip to Sioux Falls, SD to switch out some diapers (Bubby decided that he was going to grow JUST enough to make the size 3's too small), so on a hope and a prayer we headed to the nearest city (2 1/2ish hours away) that would have his brand of diapers (since his butt is so picky, he will break out in any normal sposie dipes).  We had much luck and found the diapers.  YAY!!!  Then we did a bit of shopping and back to the farm we went.

One of our favorite things to do when we go back to MN is to go to the races.  Dirt track racing.  Stock cars, B modifieds, A modifieds and the hornet class.  The wind in your hair, the dirt in your eyes, and hoping and waiting for someone to wreck...oh I mean win.  This is what we did that first Friday night.  It was me, my hubby, bro in law 1 and bro in law 2 and my father in law...and yes, they wanted me to go.  We had a GREAT time.  :)

The next few days were filled with birthday parties.  On Saturday evening we went to my grandma's house.  For simplicity reasons she will be referred to as Nana so I don't confuse myself...lol.  My uncle and his family were there, my aunt and her family was there (represented in part) and my sister was there with my parents.  My uncle made the BEST ribs ever and we had a family party for Nana.  The kids sang Jesus Loves Me and then we had a good ol' sing along.  It was so much fun.  But we had extra cheese puffs.  And you can't just let them go to waste.  So out come four volunteers (myself included) and the shaving cream.  Faces armed with piles of shaving cream and hands loaded with cheese puffs, we had a contest.  Who could get 10 cheese puffs to stick on the faces of those with shaving cream.  I haven't had so much fun in a REALLY long time.

Sunday came and it was time for the open house for Nana.  My cousin Danielle, a pastry chef, designed a cake for her and it was as beautiful as it was tasty.  Nana was so happy to see all of her friends.  Her friends span the ages.  She had people come to see her that were her close friends growing up as well as little babies and children.  My Nana is a well loved woman.  I am so blessed to have gotten to spend that special weekend with her.  I got to know my cousins better and my kids love their kids.

After the party we went back to Nana's and had more food (cuz we didn't eat enough at the party?...lol) and we lif off fireworks.  :)  Gotta love that.  Although Corbin was still feeling yucky, he perked right up as we lit those fireworks off.  He loves them!  Who knew?!

We then headed out to my hubbys parents house where we could watch the local fireworks (ok, it is more like a village of people, about 300 or less people).  We invited a couple we knew in high school to come.  They have 2 little boys and we haven't gotten to see them in a long time.  So we watched the fireworks, got eaten alive by bugs and then headed back to the farm to catch up some more without the bugs.

Monday came and it was time for one more birthday party.  This time for my little girl.  For Bee.  She turned 3.  I am going to make a seperate blog post for her birthday festivities but she had a great time.  We had a little party for her with friends and family, which allowed us to catch up with some old friends.   It was a great day.  She loved every minute of it.

Also that week, we enrolled the girls in swimming lessons.  All week the girls did great.  Little by little the girls got more comfortable and now I feel more comfortable with them being in the water.  They are by no means skilled but I know they can float if they need to.  :)

The rest of the week was more like vacation.  We did what we wanted to, when we wanted to do it.  The girls played on the farm and even got to "drive" the lawnmower.  They had four wheeler rides and went out to see the cows, cats and dog.  Brenna even got used to Betsy, the family dog, and would pet her every chance she got.

We took two days to come back home.  Day one didn't go very well with the kids so we stopped a little over half way and stayed at a hotel.  The girls got to swim and we got to sleep a bit in the hotel.  Then we made the rest of the venture home yesterday.  It was much better than the first day.

As glad as I was to go visit everyone I am glad to be back in my own space.  I really truly miss everyone back in MN.

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