Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kansas, Colorado, and a whole bunch in between!

We recently took a family road trip down to Kansas to visit Dan's family and celebrate his mother's 60th birthday! What a blast! We wanted to extend the trip a little longer and visit some friends in Colorado so we got plane tickets, thanks to my father-in-law's frequent flyer miles, and flew there as well. Greta got to experience the ride too and we had a wonderful time there. Here's a play by play of our trip down there.

Thursday 7.29: I'm was officially 22 weeks then and had a midwife appt! Emme came to my place to check me out, chat about the pregnancy, and talk more about this birth we are hoping to have. With each visit I am more and more convinced that this is the right path for us. We cannot wait to see what a neat experience having a home-birth will be! She also helped me load the car with our luggage and I took off to pick up Daniel. We drove to Kansas, leaving town around 4 pm, and arrived right around midnight. We were exhausted but Greta did great in the car!

Friday 7.30: Party prep day! Alan, my father-in-law, and I took off bright and early for some grocery shopping for the party. Although we decided to have it catered, we still had to make quite a bit of the side dishes and desserts for the big event. I made Secret Cookies (I'm not sure if I can share the recipe or not so I'll wait to give it out until I have permission!). They take quite a bit of time but they are so worth it! I also make a watermelon, basil, lemon salad that was quite delicious. The other girls in the family were busy either helping me or Kit so we spent the day there! Mama Hansen also helped here and there but had to answer a ton of questions from all of us. At one point, since it was so hot out, she decided to give Greta a tubby in their cooler. Ahh- how sweet.

I also made dinner for the family that night: cream cheese wontons, pork egg-rolls, and white rice. Yummy. We played some games and enjoyed eachother's company.

Saturday 7.31: Party Day! We got up early, started getting the house ready, and prepped the rest of the food! We were literally busy until the guests started arriving- at which point I was presenting Mama Hansen with my gift to her- a video slideshow of her wonderful 60 years so far! All in all, the party was a huge success and Mama Hansen felt loved! We even found a way to get photos of all the guests at the party so we could put them in a memory book for her too! Here's our family photo!

Sunday 8.1: This day was all about relaxation. I had hoped to make it to church with the parents that morning but Greta wanted to sleep instead- fine by me! After we all enjoyed some leftovers for lunch we went out, just the ladies, for manicures and pedicures. Such a fun treat! That night we left Greta at home with Grammi and Grandpop and all the siblings and their significant others went out! We had a great dinner and laughed a bunch. Greta did great with them too- as expected- and it was so fun to be out with Daniel- sans baby!

Monday 8.2: Pool day! Some neighbors were kind enough to let us borrow their pool for an afternoon. We all got into our gear, loaded a cooler, jumped into the conversion van, and spent the afternoon at the pool. Such a treat! That night was our last night with Kit and Paul so we just hung out at home, relaxing and playing more games.

Tuesday 8.3: Our day with the Flanery's! Part of the dilemma we face when coming to Kansas is spreading out our time with not only our family but also our friends. Some of our best friends live just 30 minutes away and we always try to make time to see them. We had a lovely lunch with them and their three beautiful children (number 4 is due in less than a month!).

Then Crystal and I got to take off, sans kids, for a little Target run and smoothie treat. It's truly the little things as a mom! Then we all headed off to their local neighborhood pool and went swimming for the afternoon. Poor baby Greta got some sunscreen on her hands and then rubbed them into her eyes- she recovered but was oh so sore. After that we enjoyed a lovely dinner cooked by Dick at the Truxaw residence. Again- another wonderful day.

Wednesday 8.4: My brother's birthday! Although I had to be away from my brother on his 29th birthday I mailed him a card, and thought about him all day long. Such a great guy!

This was our travel day. We took off for the airport around 2 pm. Got there. Checked in. Loaded the plane. Took off. Greta did great! You would think she was a pro at flying. There was a little boy who sat behind us and kept her entertained the whole flight- well, most of the flight... here's what happened. We actually got to Denver about 20 minutes early and then the pilot announced, "we won't be able to land quite yet, due to weather, so we'll keep doing circles over the airport until they tell us it's time to come down". OK, no big deal. Ha! After about an hour, and another brilliant announcement, "I'm optimistic we have enough fuel to make it" we started heading for Colorado Springs. Bummer. We landed in there, through plenty of turbulence, and sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half. Because there was no gate there for us, we couldn't get off the plane. That's right. We were stuck. I'm 23 weeks along now, almost 6 months, hungry, and have already nursed Greta twice so I'm starting to feel a little dehydrated. They didn't come around and ask if we needed anything- which was a huge disappointment- but we understood. We waited patiently and then heard it was almost time for us to leave. We got to the runway but then stopped again as the pilot announced, "It appears we are not the only plane ready to head back to Denver. We'll just wait for our turn". Great- so now he's a gentlemen! Once we took off, and I nursed Greta again- we had a quick flight there. We landed and then sat on the tarmac again, as all the gates were full from the planes that got there before us! We finally got the gate and realized that all the restaurants were closed- just 5 minutes before we landed. BUMMER! I was super hungry so we got some taco bell from another terminal and then got our rental car and luggage. I have to say, Greta did better than we did. Both Dan and I were starting to loose it at one point and she was so happy. Praise God!

Once we finally got to our friends Jon and Kendra's place we were exhausted. We were supposed to have a BBQ with our friends there but missed them all. We ate something quickly, chatted for a little bit, and then when right to bed. Tomorrow would be another day!

Thursday 8.5: We spent this day just hanging out around town. We missed seeing Joel and his kids the night before so we really wanted to get together with him. He had 2 guest passes to the Denver Children's Museum so we went there for a play-date with his adorable sons. We had a great time!

After a drive home, a rest for Greta, and showers for Dan and I, we took off for dinner with our friends, Jeremy and Marie. When I lived in Denver, the summer of 2005, I spent most of my days with Marie and her cute kids, Caleb and Eva. Eva was the only one there that night but we had a lovely evening. So good to reconnect with them!

Friday 8.6: Dan used to be an optician and so he wanted to visit his old co-workers. We drove out to his old office and spent some time with them- always great! Then we had lunch at Baja Fresh, one of his favorite chair restaurants in Denver, and drove home. Greta fell asleep in the car on the way home and continued to sleep for another 2 1/2 hours- I think she's growing! We got up, got dressed, and were off to dinner with our friends Gary and Melanie and our cousins, Ross and Katie. We had such a fun night with them too- Greta went down great in the pack and play that we brought- so we were able to enjoy a whole evening as adults!

Saturday 8.7: Our day with the Clarks. Jon and Kendra- our hosts- are amazing.

We love spending time with them, whenever we're out there, and Saturday was nothing short of that. We had a lovely breakfast in the am, drove out to Mt. Evans, and spent an hour or so hiking around the trails. Greta did great in the baby bjorn on Dan and I managed to not get sick- it's a lot of work to stay hydrated while nursing one baby, growing another, and hiking in the high altitude!

We got to have Thai Basil for dinner that night- my favorite restaurant in Denver. It was just as delicious as I remembered it. Again, another wonderful day.

Sunday 8.8: When Dan lived in CO he went to this great church called Denver Community Church. It has been through quite a few changes over the past few years, new pastor and lead team, new interior, new structure spiritually, but it still felt good to be back. We enjoyed a nice Sunday morning service and then headed off to lunch with friends from our old small group. We had a great lunch at Todd and Tonia's and were able to visit with almost everyone from our group. Such a great reminder of the love surrounding us from afar! Greta was a hit too!

Since we had to wake up at some awful hour the next morning we called it an early night, watched a movie, picked up a pizza, and got to bed at a reasonable hour.

Monday 8.9: 3:30 am. That's right. 3:30 AM! That's what time my alarm went off. We had packed the car the night before so we got dressed, brushed our teeth, woke Greta up, and took off for the airport. We got there with plenty of time, dropped the car off at the rental place, checked in, went through security which took way longer than it should have, and barely made it to the plane on time. We did however, have a smooth flight, and made it home by 8:30 am! We promptly went back to bed upon our arrival back.

We spent the day hanging out with the family, cleaning Nana's (Dan's 95 year old Grandmother) fridge, and relaxing. Such a great end to our wonderful vacation.

Tuesday 8.10: This was our last day of our trip. We got up early, with Greta, had a delicious pancake breakfast, and took off. After 7 1/2 hours of driving we arrived at our house- warm- but home. My folks came over with food to stock our fridge with and pizza! Such a treat.

I love traveling with Daniel. Just another reminder of how good we are together and what a gift he is to me.