Thursday, January 19, 2017

Basketball, MoTab, and Airplanes

The last weekend of our trip we went down to Utah and stayed with Amelia in Salt Lake City.  We got down to SLC a little earlier than we had planned since there was yet another snow day causing school to be cancelled. It was nice to get in earlier and relax and let the world travelers plan out all their fun upcoming trips. 

On Saturday we headed down to Utah Valley. We first met up with my girls Kaitlin (and family) and Kaitlyn for some yummy Mexican food (something we don't have in Ithaca). We then went back to the Rackhams to hang out for a bit before heading down to Provo. The time went by way too fast, as it always does. 

We then headed down to Provo. It was quite snowy and took us much longer than anticipated to arrive. We met up with Ammon at the Wilk and then headed down to Slab for some pizza. Since we arrived so late, I knew that a quick dinner wasn't going to be enough time to catch up so we convinced him to come to the basketball game with us too. Although it was a quick visit, it was SO nice to see him.

Shae: "Look mom, I took my first selfie of myself!" First of many. What a gem.
Slightly better selfie with the help of the selfie master.

Sunday morning we met up with the Nystuls to watch Music & the Spoken Word. It was Kaitlin's first performance with the Orchestra at Temple Square. I felt so lucky that we got to be there for it. How was I blessed with such talented friends? Kaitlin is a rock star. She's amazing.

Here she is in the back playing her violin, right next to the guy with his back toward us in a suit.
 Loved being here with my main squeeze. He left me the next day for a two week research trip, so it felt extra special (and maybe made me extra emotional) to do something sans kids right before he left. (Thanks Amelia and Sharon for making this possible! In more ways than one...the kids...the cars..etc. etc. etc.)

 Love these people SO much.

Sunday afternoon was hard because we had to say goodbye to Sharon. I'm always worried that we are going to overwhelm her with our loud, busy, boisterous kids...especially when we crash her house for THREE whole weeks, but she is just amazing, letting us take over her peaceful home and turn it upside down. We are so thankful that we got to be with her for the holidays and enjoy some quality family time. We all love her so much.

Monday we packed up and were on our way. Said bye to Amelia, which is also always hard, and Shae always asks about her the rest of the day, and even days after leaving her.

I forgot to post these pictures from our trip out and since I barely took any on the way home thought I'd post them here. Filling out there suitcase tags:

(Please picture me solo with all that stuff and two kids--one of which was trying to run away while the other pulled on her sweatshirt frantically trying to be helpful to me, but ultimately letting go and letting his little sister run away--trying to get out of the airport on our way home to meet up with our friend who brought us our car. Wish I had a picture of what that looked like, or maybe I don't...especially the part where everything fell off the cart, right in the middle of the street as we were crossing it. Good times :).
 The lap child. Getting checked in.
 Our flight out was delayed an hour so we went on a nice walk through the airport, trying out all the walking escalators on our way before grabbing some Chinese food.
 Ready to go! Showing off his pups from grandma.

Everything went so smoothly the day we left to come home. Somebody was definitely looking out for me. We got through checkout and security without incident. Got to our gate right as they were calling for family boarding. Said the quickest goodbye to Darin and we were on our way. 

We had really talked up being our "big helper" to Shae and he really was the BIGGEST HELPER. I was so impressed. He did anything/everything that I asked him without complaint and kept asking me what else he could do to be the big helper. 

The flight was only 3.5 hours instead of 5 like our flight on the way out (like I said, tiny miracles). Belén was a bit restless at times and wasn't entertained by movies as much as I had hoped, but thankfully our flight wasn't full so we got a whole row to ourselves (miracles) and she was able to move around.
 We survived our flight photo!

The craziest part was definitely getting all the luggage while trying not to let Belén run away (which is EXACTLY what she wanted to do after being stuck in a metal tube for 4 hours). There was a super sweet man at baggage claim who stayed with me and made sure that I got all my luggage (miracle). Then there was the suitcase disaster in the middle of the street that I mentioned above, but so many people around me jumped up to grab my kids and my stuff and get me to the other side of the street. There were saints at the airport this day. 

The drive up to my parents was mostly smooth (the check engine light was on which always makes me think I'm hearing and feeling everything out of place...), but Belén slept! For 45 minutes! This NEVER happens. Confirmation that somebody upstairs really was taking care of me on what I anticipated to be a very difficult day of solo parent traveling. 

Prayers are heard. 

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