This summer has turned into the summer of travel for me.
In June, I headed to Kansas for my sister's wedding.
In July, I headed to Kansas for my grandmother's funeral. Traveling to Kansas more than once a year has only occurred one time before. I believe it was the year after Jeff and I were married. Three siblings got married in just a few months, so I was there 3 times that year!
In August, the whole family drove up to Oregon for Jeff's sister Kari's wedding. Of course, since Jeff has so many weeks of vacation saved up, we decided to go up there a week early and visit all of our friends as well. We left on Friday afternoon, picking Jeff up from work on our way out of town. We arrived at 8 in the morning on Saturday. I think we surprised his parents. I never know what Jeff has planned, but knowing him there were probably no arrangements made! I had arranged for us to stay with my friend Celina for part of our trip (because no one wants house guests for 8 days, and I was also guaranteed some time with her if we were stay with her). We stayed with his family until Thursday afternoon.
Saturday, Jeff and I tried to get some sleep. Drew didn't want to cooperate. So we went to our house to see how it was holding up. There were no signs of squatters, so that was good! Natalie cried because she misses our house. I miss it too! We looked around in the garage and found a few things we had forgotten. That night, Jeff's parents made kabobs and both of his sisters and families were there. It was nice to hang out all together and I know our girls sure love playing with their cousins!
Sunday morning we got up and headed to church in our old ward. It started at 9 am and we actually made it on time! I don't think that ever happened when we lived there. It was so nice to see all of our friends there. We socialized with all of our friends instead of going to Sunday School. I know my dad would not be proud of me for that! We went to dinner with the Daltons. It was just like old times. I have really missed them.
On Monday we met our friends, Bridget and Louis (and Saya too) for lunch. We got to spend most of the afternoon with them. We had a picnic dinner at the park as a family. That night I went to my friend Alysha's house for her sister's baby shower. Jeff and the kids got to hang out with grandma and grandpa.
On Tuesday we headed out for some errands. We got the girls some shoes for school at Fred Meyer. I think Fred Meyer is one of the things we miss the most about Oregon. Not a week goes by that Jeff and I don't say how much we miss it. It has everything! We took the kids to the old house so they could see it. Alona cried. She said she really misses Oregon. That night, Bonnie planned a girl's night out. So, Jeff bathed the girls (after eating some yummy spaghetti grandma made for them) and put them to bed while Drew and I headed over to her house. So many friends were there. I really have missed the social life I had in Oregon. Of course, Alysha didn't show up til at least 10 (she had a good excuse, though) so we ended up hanging out until almost 1 am.
Wednesday, we headed over to the coast, but not until Jeff got a haircut. I love the Oregon coast (or any beach or coast for that matter). It was in the upper 90s that day in Eugene, but the coast was 53 degrees! The ocean mist/fog was ridiculous and it was really windy. We decided to skip the "beach" area we usually go to and headed up to Heceta Head. We hiked up the path to the lighthouse. This is a very popular spot for us. We have been there many times. We have many, many pictures of the kids at the coast. Of course, I wanted to get new pictures of them at the coast for our living room to replace the ones that are now 2 years old. I don't think Drew liked the cold wind. The girls ran around and enjoyed it, posing for the camera. Then the battery died. :(
Thursday morning Alona woke up not feeling well. She went back to bed for a bit while I got the kids ready to go to a play group with our friends. When it was time to leave, she jumped up and said she felt all better. So we all headed over to the park to play. Kelsey brought Griffey and I cannot believe how big he has gotten. It seems like he was just born (that was a year ago!). It was fun to watch him get dirty in the water and sand (but I don't think Kelsey thought it was as funny as I did). We got to see Ashley's piano teacher Christy and her kids. Alona met up with her friend Miriam (they were in the same class at school and church). Natalie played with Abrianna. She had been begging to see her since she found out we were going to Oregon. She was so excited to see her. (Abrianna came up and hugged her as soon as she could at church on Sunday.) After the play group, Natalie went to her house for the afternoon. She had a blast! Michelle (her mom) said Abrianna told her that Las Vegas needs to move closer. That was just too cute!
Our brakes were in need of some work, so Jeff replaced the pads that afternoon (exciting stuff!) while we hung out at his parent's house. Then we packed up the car and headed to Celina's house. We got there and I helped her make cookies to take to dinner. We went to the Raven's house for dinner with the Daltons, Ziolkowskis, and Marianne and kids (her husband wasn't feeling well). The kids ran around and played. Then decided to watch a movie (while running around and playing. It got quite chilly that night. Drew took his first steps at their house! It was so nice to visit with Naomi and see her new home.
Friday was the last day of the kid's free lunch program, so Celina suggested we take the kids. We all headed over to the park nearby. The kids got their lunches and sat down to eat. The wind was blowing pretty hard and it was COLD. They normally make the kids eat the lunches in the area where they serve the food, but they let them leave so we could sit in the car. The poor kids were freezing. I have to say, I do not miss Oregon weather one bit! After lunch we headed out to some thrift stores in search of jeans for the girls. We found Gap and Old Navy jeans in great condition for $1.99. We headed over to Kristin's new house. They have been working hard to get it ready to live in. It is really cute. I am excited for them to have a place of their own again.
That night we had dinner with Celina's family and the Daltons. Alysha and Ian came over after dinner and we all played Rock Band. I really miss playing Rock Band with friends! We stayed up way too late and ate far too many cookies. Spotted dick was talked about all too frequently (thanks to Greg). Of course, all he knew was that it was some type of food. So I looked it up to see exactly what it is. Some sort of dessert that has currants (thus spotted) and is custard like???? Still not quite sure and I don't think it sounds appetizing based on the name or description, but it was funny to hear him use that word as many times as humanly possible in one evening (I guess it was the word of the day at work).
Saturday we planned to run more errands. We met up with Alysha and shopped at Costco and then searched for giant marshmallows (or smarshmallows as Natalie calls them). We didn't have any luck in our search. We headed back to Celina's to clean out the car so it would be easier to pack up after the wedding that night. Alysha helped Alona clean the back of the van. It was pretty bad! It was nice to see the car looking a little cleaner. We hung out and talked until it was time to head to the wedding. We dropped Alysha off at home on our way.
The wedding was really nice. The reception was at Jeff's parent's house. It was quite cool out, so we brought jackets and jeans for the kids to wear once the sun started going down. Alona started to get a fever and really slowed down (this was the third day of a fever with no other symptoms- to our knowledge). I guess her throat was hurting (although she only mentioned it once and said it only hurt a little). Jeff's sister had strep throat (not the one getting married), so we decided to take Alona to Urgent Care to get her checked out. She really wanted to stay for cake, though, so we waited a bit. She was pretty miserable. It was sad that we didn't really get to enjoy the reception. At Urgent Care, they looked at her throat and tried to get a culture, but she didn't cooperate well. What kid likes having a long swab stuck down their sore throat? The doctor said it was definitely inflamed and gave her an antibiotic. What a fun night!
We had to leave early Sunday morning to make it back for school to start on Monday morning. We got up just before 7 am and started loading the car. We walked out to find our car decorated.
The windshield has "smarshmallows" (there was even an "s" added in front of marshmallows on the package. The yellow sign says Sunshine in the Soul.
The back side of the yellow sign.
The driver's side.
The back side of the orange sign.
The back window on the driver's side. (from Rock Band-Motley Crue's Without You)
The back of the car. (from Rock Band- Modest Mouse's Float On)
We love you, Alysha!
It was obviously Alysha's doing.
We got the car loaded and headed to Jeff's parent's to pick up a few things and say goodbye. Our goodbyes the night before were cut short because of Alona's illness. She woke up feeling like herself again, for which we are grateful! It was nice to be able to spend a little more time with them before we left.
We made it home at 1 am. Luckily, it was nice a cool (a rarity even at night here) so Jeff and I cleaned out the car right away. I think we finally got to bed at 2 am.
Ashley and Alona started school today. They even made it on time. They slept in the car, so they weren't as tired as us. We celebrated Jeff and Alona's birthday this evening with presents and cake. Alona wanted an ice cream cake with mint chocolate chip. I know Jeff doesn't really like mint, so I made the cake with half mint chocolate chip and half cookies and cream. It is just a chocolate cake in a 9x13 pan with ice cream on top of it, but it seems to be a favorite. Alona got a few items in the mail from family, some Littlest Pet Shop toys, an iTunes gift card - because she LOVES music, and a scooter. She rode around the kitchen and living room to try it out.