Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Home Again

Vacation. Justin and I used to be able to pack up on a whim and run off to visit some friends or go camping. Now that we have two beautiful little girls it’s a bit more challenging. We took our longest trip ever and had the two little people with us. Two weeks away from home. We planned, schemed, and made lists. All in all, I don’t think I forgot anything of any importance, a pretty grand accomplishment.

Two weeks ago we left in the wee morning hours to drive to Kentucky to visit my parents. The girls did great on the drive over. It’s about eleven hours over, including all the stops for the bathroom and eating. The time there is spent mostly hanging around the house and scanning an obscene number of pictures of my dad’s side of the family. I’m getting pictures together for a reunion for the fall and I literally spent hours scanning in old snap shots. I spent a quiet evening with my dad’s mom going through all of her photo albums. It was nice to have a visit with her, just the two of us, even if I did have to sneak out of the house after the girls went to bed.

My little sister was able two be with us three of the evenings. Our last night there was so fun though. Kate talked Aunt Holly into playing hide-and-go-seek. It was Kate’s first attempt at the game. As most two year olds are, she was horrible at it. We all laughed so hard. First we’d hide—she’s okay with seeking, but it was even better when we had her hide.

“Is she out on the porch?” Justin asked in mock shouting as he searched.

“No!” called a little voice, “I’m in the kitchen. Under the table.”

Then we traveled to Ohio to see Justin’s parents. We had planned to stop just outside of Cincinnati to see an old friend of mine, but her step daughter had gone into labor causing a change of plans. We still ate in our old town at Justin’s favorite chili restaurant. Kate thought it was odd, but she eventually ate some of her chili cheese sandwich.

We spent our time in Ohio going from one activity to another. There were parks to visit, pools to swim in, and paths to walk. We were able to visit with Justin’s grandmother while we were there too. With our family of four we couldn’t comfortably stay with his parents at night, so we had a little house in the village where they live that we stayed in. It was really nice. I enjoyed having a place where we could retire at night and put the girls down.

On our way back we were able to see my friend Miss Margie and have breakfast with her. It was so good to see her. We weren’t able to visit long, but it was wonderful to spend some time with her. Margie and I had worked together for several years and we always had a great time. She’s a wonderful lady. We chatted about the school where we used to work and her new grandbaby.

We drove on to Evansville to visit with some of Justin’s high school buddies. One of them has two little girls that are each a year older than Kate and Gabby. The girls got to play for awhile, before we headed off to dinner with Ryan and the littlest one. Then we met up with another fella and his fiancé for ice cream. Miss Emily was a big hit with Kate. Kate demanded to sit with Emily and hold her hand as we walked back to the car. We’re so happy that our friends are doing well and are happy. It had been a long time since we had been with everyone. We got back to our hotel and put the girls down at about ten-thirty that evening. We would have loved to have spent more time visiting, but after two weeks we were anxious to get home. We had a long day, but finally made it home at about five-thirty yesterday evening.

Then came the crazy part of being away… When we pulled up, our driveway has been cordoned off. The city tore it up to replace a water line a few weeks ago and they had newly cemented it. We couldn’t pull in to unload and Justin’s car was stuck on the driveway. We get inside and the clocks are flashing. We wonder if everything in our fridge and freezer need to be tossed. I opened our mail and found a notice that we owe over $700 in taxes to the state of Kansas. Next as I’m carrying things upstairs and find that the shelf that holds my jewelry box and some books fell off the wall and dumped it’s contents all over the floor. Great. Well, my dad says that we can drive over the concrete, just not park on it tomorrow. We talked to the neighbor and found out that the power was out for just a couple of minutes. The state of Kansas, who has already deposited our check, must not have correctly credited the check I sent—because that’s the amount we already paid. The only one of our little disasters that didn’t work out as soon as we discovered it is the shelf. I’ve cleaned it all up. Now to find the other half of the three sets of ear rings that seem to have disappeared and our return home will have been a success.


Some of my favorite quotes from Kate while we were gone…

Justin was trying to get Kate to let him give her a bath (she always wants my mom to do it). “Maybe she needs a break,” Justin quipped.

Our little fireball squared her shoulders and looked him in the eye before she said, “You need a break.”

Gam gave the bath.


“Kate, are you holding Gabby’s hand?”

“No, Gabby’s holding my hand. She keeps it safe, like a band-aid.”

As we were preparing to go out, Nan wasn’t moving fast enough to suit Kate, so she went and got her sandals for her. As she handed her one, Nan asked, “Is this a hint?”

Kate didn’t miss a beat. She handed her the other sandal and said, “Here’s another one.”

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