Saturday, April 24, 2010

Next stop...Jarrett families

The last half of our trip was spent with Kurt's family. Our first stop was in Greenfield to see his grandparents and his Aunt and her family. His Dad and Susie also drove down from Huntington to visit with us and have dinner. We had a very nice visit and a wonderful dinner getting to see Aunt Debbie and Uncle Tim and their two children and families. It was so nice to meet little Ainsley and get to see Xavier and Trent. And of course it is also fun to chat with Tara, Gabe and Shantel. ;) Unfortunately, it was a little busy at dinner so I didn't get a chance to pull out the camera.

We also took the boys to Riley (as in James Whitcomb Riley) Park in Greenfield. We brought Harold along with us and he enjoyed getting to see the boys play and run free for a while. Luke got some sliding out of his system and there were these little spinner things that made the boys so dizzy but they thought it was so much fun. We all got a kick out of how they couldn't even walk after they got off! Luke didn't care too much for getting dizzy.

After our stop in Greenfield, we headed further north to Warsaw to visit with Grandma Lana and Kurt's 3 brothers. We had a yummy lunch at a park in town and the boys' got to play with their cousins, Jonah and Annabelle for a few hours. It was great for us to get to see Jonah and Annabelle too. They have grown so much since we last saw them. Jonah is just a man on a mission and couldn't be any cuter. Annabelle has such a sweet little personality and is absolutely the girl version of Brett! Kurt got to spend some time catching up with his brothers and Mom. Our boys' had fun climbing, sliding, playing basketball, playing in the sand and swinging. And swinging, and swinging, and swinging. I think I pushed Luke on the baby swing for over an hour. It was around nap time and the swing faced a lake so I think he was entranced. Every time I asked him if he wanted to go do something else he would say in his cute little voice "no." Later that evening we enjoyed dinner at Hacienda with Lana.

We also had fun swimming a couple of times at the hotel. Blake has become a pro at jumping to his Daddy off the edge. Even Luke got in on the action with his little "I jump!"

Then after a leisurely Friday morning, we hit the road back home. We decided to drive straight through this time (11 hours). It wasn't TOO bad. We had a few "moments" having to quickly stick a diaper on Blake while we were driving through stop 'n go Chicago traffic because, of course, that was the moment when he had to "pee really, really bad." So, we made it and sound. We had a great time, but were glad to sleep in our own beds again. The boys have had lots of fun today playing and not being confined to their car seats! :)

Every 3 Year Old's Dream...

The first stop on our trip was Mammaw and Pappaw Grady's farm in Spencer. We were able to spend a few wonderful days visiting with my Mom and Dad. It was so fun to see the boys bonding with them. My Boys were instantly infatuated with Cotton and Ellie (my parent's dogs). They were always heading up to their kennel to talk to them, pet them and give them a treat (with Pappaw). As soon as we got to their house on Saturday, my Dad had the tractor ready to go. You can only imagine how excited Blake was to get to ride on a real tractor and do some digging in a giant dirt pile. He was so serious about doing "work" and was living every 3 year old boy's dream. Even Luke got in on the action too. He liked riding the little "tractor"...mainly because he could climb on and off on his own.
(Yes, my Dad is wearing a Purdue hat. What can I say, we were card carrying Bobby Knight fans...there are some things you just don't mess with in Indiana and IU Basketball was one of them! For the record, he sported Texas Tech when he could.)

Look at that concentration!

Luke and Mammaw riding the little tractor.

On Sunday, we got the chance to hang out with my 2 Sisters and their families, my Grandparents and my 2 Aunts. It was so much fun to chat and see all of my nieces and nephews. They have grown SO much! My oh my how time flies! I can remember when each of them were my children's ages and it seems like yesterday. My Mom really did it up with some of my favorites...beans & cornbread, strawberry/rhubarb pie and carrot cake!! I won't need to eat for a few months after this trip!
My Grandparents with all the grandkids...Annie (10), Blake (3), Jacob (9), Drew (9), Alex (14), Luke (1 1/2) & Maddie (12).

Another highlight of Sunday, was the "field of dreams" diamond my Dad created in their yard. My Dad is a huge baseball lover and was quite the pitcher in his college years. ;) Knowing how much Blake and 2 of my nephews like to play ball, he mowed a diamond in the yard and made bases for them to play. It was a hit! The boys/men played ball nearly all day! My Dad even pitched to Blake for a bit and he made contact quite a few times. Luke wasn't quite ready for "homerun derby" yet, so he was entertained all day by Maddie and Annie. They are the best babysitters!

(Yes, that's a Minnesota hat...much better)

Jacob taking a rest in the outfield.

Look at that form!
Swing, batter, swing!
Must have been a bad pitch! ;)

On Monday, we picked up my Mom and took a trip over to campus (Indiana University) to walk around and discuss how kids must be starting college when they are 12 these days based on how young they look. There is NO way we looked that young at 18 to 22...right? We hit up the new version of Steve and Barry's to stock up on IU tees and then to Village Pizza for lunch. I love that pizza! Campus was just beautiful with all the red and white tulips in bloom. We also let the boys burn a little energy at a playground at McCormick's Creek State Park where we stay while in Spencer. It's a beautiful park and we had some nice weather to enjoy it for a bit.

Blake wanted to sit on Herman B Welles' lap. He thought it was Barack Obama. Infer whatever you want...just remember he's 3 1/2!

There's Trouble!

As always, our time with my family goes way too fast. I always find myself wishing for another day, or two, or three!! But we certainly treasure the memories made and I know we all part looking forward to the next opportunity to see each other. Thank you for making our visit so fun! We love you Grady/Risley families!!

Are we there yet?

We began our trip back home to Indiana last Friday afternoon. It's been almost 18 months since we last made this road trip and we were anxious/excited to see our families. It's a long trip and there is a lot of ground to cover with both of our families being from there but at opposite ends of the state. We knew this time was going to be a wee bit more challenging with a preschooler and a toddler in tow. Unfortunately, none of our family members have padded rooms for us to lock the boys in to burn off some of that "all boy" energy! We were fortunate that this was the first trip where Blake wanted to watch movies the whole time in the car. Whoever invented the portable DVD player/TV is a Saint! Luke was a tad bit more difficult to keep entertained. ;)

On the way there we made pretty good time and drove until about 11:30 Friday night. The boys had been asleep for about 2 1/2 hours when we finally stopped at a hotel for the night. Luke was so upset from being woken up that he started crying really bad and ended up puking in the bed we were sharing. That was fun.

We made a lot of new memories on this trip. One of which will make me smile forever...we had just got to Woodbury, MN at the start of our trip (for the non-Minnesotans, this is suburb about 45 minutes away from our starting point) and Blake asked his first (of many)..."are we there yet?"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter 2010

Happy Easter everyone! We had a wonderful day. We thought we were getting a little rain this weekend, but apparently the weathermen didn't know what they were talking about. Thank goodness...and thank goodness those Butler Bulldogs have shown all their doubters they don't know what they are talking about either! Go Butler!!

So, we ended up with a beautiful sunny day today and had a nice brunch, Easter egg hunt and trip to our playground with our friends Aleksandra, Natalia and Chad. Our boys woke up to a special delivery from the Easter bunny too. He was so kind to leave it on the front door step, just in case Blake was a little scared about him coming inside our house while he was sleeping. (I can't really blame him...that's a weird thought.

Surprise - the Easter Bunny came!
The Easter Bunny brought Luke a new watering can.
and a chocolate bunny and M&M's.
and bubbles...

Good times at the playground - Wee!

Hitch'in a ride...Blake taught Aleksandra how to ride his 4-wheeler today.

Luke realizing it's much easier to find eggs from someone else's basket!

Group shot - always impossible. Especially when Mommy says "look at the airplane" to get their attention and then they all start turning around to look in the sky!
Comparing their loot.
Looking hard!
Found one!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday was my birthday and thank you to everyone who sent well wishes my way! I had a very nice day and started the celebration and extended it as long as I could. :) Kurt and I had a grown-up celebration last weekend and went with some of our new neighborhood friends to a dueling piano event at Rush Creek Golf Course. It was so much fun and the ladies and I even got to do a little dancing...after a bit of liquid courage of course! Friday I was happy to wake up and see that my dear sweet Dad had given me a buzz to wish me a Happy Day...Sorry, I missed the call, but 3:30 CST is a bit too early for this gal! (thank you Dad - love you!) My co-workers planned an ice cream treat for the afternoon and I was so pleasantly surprised to find these beautiful tulips on my desk from my awesome Business Analyst and friend Andrea. Friday evening my bud Megan came over and had dinner and cake with us. It was a great day! Only 363 days until the next one!

Some new favorites...

New favorite game - Hide 'n Seek/ "Pee-Boo" as Luke calls it. This is the only spot they play though.

Ready or not Blake got caught! Favorite new ride on "toy" - Daddy's lawn mower and wagon.

Favorite TV watching spot. There is usually a fight about this depending on whether Luke is in a biting mood and whether or not Blake wants to share the oh so coveted couch space.