I knew Thanksgiving would be hard without my sister, and it was. But, it was still full of great times, laughter and love. The kids went swimming. The pool was about 60 something degrees, but the kids went in. My brother was filming them.
Here's the smokers.
We played some pool.
Here's Suzy (who cooked a huge delicious feast) and my Mom.
Here's my brother Joe and Scott. Scott is Tiffany's Dad. So, my sister's baby Daddy. :)
Mr bro and my boys.
And how beautiful is the view from my Dad's backyard?
It was a wonderful Thanksgiving and it was so nice to get together with my family and be happy.
Today, we drove to Sedona to spend the day with David's extended family. We had a lovely lunch on the creek in Sedona at a fancy resort. I gave the speech that we were eating somewhere fancy with cloth napkins and real glasses. They were on their best behavior, but as Ben said, "Ok, this is really stepping out of my comfort zone". That kid kills me.
This is Eunice and new baby Kate. Oh my gosh, Asian babies are just the cutest in the world. Kate was so, so good. I mean, she didn't make a peep the entire time.
This is Bill, David and Ben hopped in the picture at the last second.
Then, Noah hopped in. He was feeding the ducks our leftover fries. It was like one for the ducks, two for him...
Here we go, no kids!
Then, we went back to their cottage, so Eunice could feed baby Kate and Noah was posing in this tree.
Oh, he can be a ham alright.
Emily was not cooperating with my photo taking, but she still looks pretty.
Then, we headed back over the mountain home. It was a wonderful afternoon. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by so much family.
Tomorrow, we decorate for Christmas! I think that is one of the kids' favorite days of the entire year.
I decided the kids needed to do something productive today besides play Minecraft. So, we started the day with sucking up six huge bags of leaves from the front yard. Noah helped for about 5 seconds. Ben helped for a few minutes and then said his muscles hurt.
Whatever. So I put them on garage duty. The other day it was wicked windy and we'd open the garage for 2 minutes and about 100 leaves came in. They actually did a pretty decent job on the garage. Although, I had to do a final sweep.
I really need to get back into writing. Two posts in a month is not good.
When we were in Chicago, David's cousin, Jenny, was talking to me about geocaching. I'd heard of it, but didn't really know what it was. She explained it and I knew the kids would find it fun. It's like a treasure hunt. People hide stuff and you have to find it. There are sometimes little toys in them, which I knew the kids would like. You take a toy and leave a toy.
We found some in our neighborhood and headed out the other day. It was so cold out. David is the master at geocaching. We'd all give up after a few minutes and he'd keep looking and finally find it. This was the kids first ever geocache. Unfortunately, water got in it and it was mostly mold, but they didn't care. We found five more and couldn't find two. The kids had fun and it was something different.
Noah drew this picture of Grumpy Cat. I was dying laughing. It seriously looks just like him.
Now, for a mass of pictures. We took our good camera to Chicago with us, but we didn't take a computer. I knew Ben would be lost without the laptop for 4 days and Emily would feel the same without her tablet. So, we only had our phones. I managed to blog from that, but an iphone picture and a Canon picture are night and day. So, here are the good pictures.
I think I already wrote about the story. So here's pics of the family. After being with David for 12 years, I just met all of them for the first time.
Here are pics from our trek around Chicago. Looks cold, eh?
This is the Bean. The reflection is the coolest.
And this is The Field Museum:
David not enjoying the Egyptian beds.
The view from the museum.
The Sears Tower.
We chose to go to the top of the John Hancock Building instead of the Sears Tower. They are close to the same height and I've been in the Sears tower. I was worried that we were going too late in the day, but it was perfect timing. We did one lap around and it was still daylight. Then, it turned to night and everything was lite up.
In this photo, you can make out the McDonald's right in the middle. Our hotel was right by that.
David and I had such a great time!
Ok, in an effort to get me back into blogging, I'm going to attempt to write something every day. Wish me luck!
We have packed so much into 48 hours. Today started with these huge donuts.
We needed nourishment for our 2.5 mile walk to the Field Museum. But, we passed The Bean and had to get some photos. It was super cool to see the reflection of the city in the bean.
The walk took twice as long because we kept stopping for pics.
We finally made it and saw Sue, the t-Rex.
The museum was awesome. We could've spent the entire day there. We left after lunch. It was about zero degrees with the wind chill. I was warm but my legs were freezing.
We walked the 2.5 miles back and went to Portillos. David had a hot dog with everything and I had an Italian beef sandwich. Yum!
Then, we came back to warm up. My little pork chop legs felt like they were in a meat locker.
We bundled back up and walked the mile to the John Hancock Tower, 95 stories up. Wow! It was dusk so we walked around once and it looked like day. Our second lap, all the lights were on. It was awesome timing.
Then we walked another mile to eat at Lou Malnati's. We kept it light with wings, soup, and salad.
Then, what else do you do when it's below zero outside? You get frozen custard! So, we walked a half mile for that. And it was so worth it!
My feet are sore and we are wiped out. We head to the airport in the morning. We had the greatest anniversary. After 11 years of marriage and 12 years together, there is nobody that I'd rather spend my days with.
Wow! What a trip we've had in just two days. We arrived in Chicago yesterday afternoon. We rented a car and drove two hours south to Uncle Jim and Aunt Linda's house. It was her 50th birthday and we were surprising her. She was very surprised.
We had a great time at their house. They are wonderful hosts. The made a huge breakfast for us this morning. It was a short and lovely visit.
This is their two daughters jenny and Sarah.
We drove to Chicago and check in to our hotel. We headed straight for deep dish pizza.
It's a little cold in Chicago in November. Below freezing.
We found this great restaurant / store called Eataly. Like Italy. It's Mario Battali's place and super cool. David was in stinky cheese heaven.
Tomorrow is more yummy food. Maybe a museum and exploring this awesome city.
I haven't felt much like blogging lately. I want to do a post about my sister, but I know it will be emotionally draining and I just keep putting it off. So, I'm not writing anything.
The good news is Ben has been writing on his blog. You can read it here. It's some fiction some non fiction. Mainly, it's just Ben's imagination at it's finest. Sometimes he blogs from my phone and for someone who doesn't know how to type, it takes him awhile. I admire his dedication.
David and I are headed to Page, Arizona for a weekend getaway for our anniversary. We've been married for 11 years tomorrow, together for 12. Wow! Where does the time go? I'm looking forward to a little time away with him. My Mom is coming up to watch the kids. Page isn't quite as hopping as Vegas, from last year, but I've been wanting to see some National Parks in Page. They are just stunning, and I can't believe I've never been when they are only 3 hours away.
I've been happily married for 13 years. We have three kids. Emily is 12, Ben is 11 and Noah is 7. I'm a stay at home Mom which means I teeter daily between having the time of my life and losing my sanity.