Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Hello, again! We have returned from our trip up north and are trying to get back into the swing of things here. It was a great trip, but also extremely busy. It's hard when we go to visit because there are several family members and friends we want to see, but only have a limited amount of time. And with a 20 month old it makes it harder yet. But here is a summary of our time spent north of the Mason-Dixon.

Saturday, 7/29 - Woke up at 5:30, got ready, finished up some packing and on the road by 8:00. Getting Elise in the car was difficult since she was perfectly content playing with a football in the driveway. I picked her to put her in her car seat while she screamed at the top of her lungs. Probably woke up half the neighborhood, but finally we wrangled her in and we were off. Five hours later we finally stopped for some lunch at a rest area. They had a playground so we figured it would be a good chance for Elise to blow off some steam. She had a blast until we had to put her back into the car. Once again, she screamed bloody murder. I told Jeremy we had better get her in the car quickly before someone called the cops on us thinking we were kidnapping this child. Fortunately, we made it the rest of the way in peace. We finally got to my sister's house, got a babysitter for all the kids and went out for a nice adult dinner.

Sunday, 7/30 - Got up, got ready, went to church with my sister and her circus. After church, we headed up to Grand Rapids for my Grandpa's wake. When we got to my in-law's house where we were going to be staying, we discovered the air conditioning was broken. My step-mother and my dad offered to let us stay with them at my step-mother's sister's house (i guess that would make her my step-aunt).
After the wake, it was off to the Olive Garden for a nice dinner and to finally relax. When the waitress came to take our drink orders, she reminded us that since it was Sunday, she could not serve us any alcohol (city law) but she would be happy to get us anything else we would like. Total silence. 7 people (all of us except Jer) looking at this women like 7 deer in headlights. Disappointed, we all ordered Diet Coke or Iced Tea.

Monday, 7/31 - Up early to get ready for the funeral. It wasn't the happiest occasion, but it was nice to see some family members that I haven't seen in a while. After a nice luncheon back at my Grandpa's house, we headed back to Chicago.

Tuesday, 8/1 - Did nothing. Well, that's not entirely true. I took a nap! A whole 2 HOUR nap! Elise slept for 2 1/2 hours which never happens! It might have had something to do with the small dose of Benedryl I gave her. Oh well, so I'm not "Mother of the Year."

Wednesday, 8/2 - Went over to BFFW's house for coffee and stayed all morning and through lunch. Elise had a fun time playing with her 3 girls, but got banished to the kitchen with us because she kept turning off the TV while the other girls were trying to watch cartoons. In the afternoon, I went to babysit my nieces while my sis and bro-in-law went to a funeral. Elise and I ended up spending the night out there.

Thursday, 8/3 - Went straight from sis's to my Grandma's house to have lunch with her. This is always nice. I love spending time with my Grandma and we had a very nice meal and visit. Then it was off to the Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together. This turned more into the "Some Blogging Girlfriends, Non-Blogging Girlfriends and a Few Stray Husbands Get-Together." We had a good time and it was nice to meet some of these girls for the first time. I wasn't able to stay for all of the festivities (which involved pizza and cases of beer) because I had to pick up Jer from work. Even so, we had fun going out to dinner with just the three of us. It turned out to be a lovely evening.

Friday, 8/4 - I went over to BFFW's house again for coffee and of course stayed all afternoon. We sat at her kitchen table and talked and talked and talked and talked. It was great. I miss her so much and wish we could do that every week with each other. And once again, Elise was banished to the kitchen because she wasn't making any friends turning off the TV on poor Nora and Ryann. Anyways, since we couldn't stay in one place for too many nights in a row, we were off once again to spend the weekend at my sister's. We spent the evening trying to get the kids in bed and then got greasy take out from the local joint down the road in Cedartucky.

Saturday, 8/5 - On Saturday morning we were off to see my step-brother, Josh, and his girlfriend, Sara, for breakfast. They were in town for Lollapalooza and were willing to get up early to spend some time with us. We enjoyed our time with them and then it was back to sis's. Jen, Caroline, and I were able to escape in the afternoon for a little lunch and shopping trip. Our first stop was for an oil change and car wash on my car since we were planning on selling it to my sister-in-law the following day. Then, on to lunch. And no shopping trip with my sister is complete until we go to at least one second hand baby clothing store. We did make it to Target too, which is always fun. We bought ourselves some cute new clothes.
Back to the house to get ready for what I thought was going to be a normal dinner at the Country Club with my family. We got to the restaurant and were told there was a private party in the regular dining room so we needed to head another direction when we got into the building. Once we entered the room, I saw my entire family gathered there along with my step-brother, Joel, his wife, Liz, and BFFW and her husband (and my good friend from high school/college), Dave. Surprise!! It was a nice surprise birthday dinner for me. Liz and Joel had driven down from Grand Rapids and Dave and Jana had subjected themselves to an evening of my family, all for me. I was so honored that everyone there wanted to celebrate my birthday with me. Thank you Dad, Judy, Grandma, Jen, Tim, Jeff, Seana, Joel, Liz, Jana, Dave, and of course Jeremy for putting that together and spending the evening with me. I love you all!!!!

**don't worry - I only have one more day left**

Sunday, 8/6 - Happy Birthday, Caroline!!
Our final day was probably the craziest of them all. Jer and I got up early to drive from Cedar Lake, IN to O'Hare airport to pick up a rental car for the drive home. On the way back, Jer picked up his sister Megan and her boyfriend, Kyle, from the train station downtown. We drove back to Cedar Lake, got all packed up and then went for lunch with Megan and Kyle. I had to say goodbye to my cute little '99 Grand Am. Sold it to Megan. Jer and I will be getting a new car soon. For now, we are a one car family. Anyways, after lunch we finally got on the road to head back to Memphis. We didn't get started until almost 2:30 and it's at least an eight hour drive. Let's just say that after our drive home, I'm not sure how soon we will be coming back up to visit again. Elise was fine most of the way until we stopped at a rest area. We wanted to let her run around a little to burn off some energy and stretch her legs. We didn't stop for any food because Jer and I were still full from lunch so I figured I could get Elise some crackers from the vending machine. Lesson learned - Do not feed beef jerky from a vending machine to a toddler. After she played and ate her "dinner" we once again had to hurry getting out of there for fear of being reported as kidnappers taking a screaming child. About 20 minutes after we left, Elise puked all over herself in her car seat (see "lesson learned" above). I did manage to clean it up fairly well with two bibs so we didn't need to stop, but it didn't smell so good the rest of the way home. Oh well, it was a rental car. After the puking debacle, she screamed most of the way home unless I read books to her out loud from the front seat. We finally made it home about 11:15, but still needed to unpack the car and return it to the rental place at the airport by midnight. Jeremy offered to go do it alone and take a cab home. I got Elise to bed and started unpacking but got a little worried when Jer still wasn't home at 1:00. He had gotten a cab with a few other people at the airport and they had been over-charged by the cabbie so Jer hopped out early and walked to final 2 miles home. But, the good news is, we didn't have to pay for an extra day for the rental car!!

Phew...that was long. If you are still reading at this point, thank you for staying with me and reading all about our exciting trip. I apologize for the length, but wanted to give you all the highlights. I've posted some pictures below. Hope you have enjoyed my essay about what I did on my summer vacation.

Enjoying lunch at the rest area

This picture speaks for itself

Reading books with Nana

This is what becomes of your manners when you spend too much time in Indiana...

Enjoying a drink after the birthday dinner

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8 Comments:

At 7:17 AM, Blogger one hot momma said...

Hi Kim,
It was really great getting to meet you face to face finally! I know it got a bit overwhelming on Thursday at the "blogging girlfriend" bash! It was not like it usually is with the hubby there and all. That was very unexpected! Hope we can see you again sometime! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Laura

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Come back!! We miss you all. . .esp "Lise!"

Jer walked 2 miles in the middle of the night? Only Jer. :-)

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Jen said...

And we really do not normally have shoes on the table.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Mommy Brain said...

I've seen shoes on the table many times!

Jer walked 2 miles to save how much $? I'm still laughing!

Happy Birthday! I wondered if that party was still a go? They have been secretly planning for many moons! Sneaky!

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Joy said...

Oh Elise... I have so much to teach her about cleaning. Shoes on the table while she eats? I think I started having heart palpatations looking at that picture(You know me and shoes) Has she learned nothing from visiting my house? Maybe once she is a little older she and I can start our "cleaning is fun time..."

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger JD said...

must be i'm pretty acustommed to shoes on the table because i thought the point of the picture was elise eating with her fingers and the food all over the table. Hmmm... did we have any shoes on our table the two days you were here? If not, i must have really cleaned the house for your visits:)

you forgot the part about your treacherous escape from my house and how you ran down the street - with one shoe on, duct tape around your wrists and ankles, and rips in the seat of your pants, elise under your arm like a football, and hair flying all over - screaming for rescue. And how Jer happened to be driving by at just the right moment and flung the door open, grabbed the two of you and sped away yelling, "You'll never keep my girls from me!"

I'm still not sure why he dared to drop you off in the first place - i've made no secret of the intent of my invitation for coffee. Next time you won't get away so easily.

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Amanda said...

I'm glad you have a good trip overall. Traveling with a 20mo. old is definitely an experience! Sorry I wasn't able to connect with you that Sunday...that was one of the days I took a trip to L&D. :P
Jared has been promising me a trip to Nashville someday, so we'll extend it to Memphis, too...eventually! :)

 
At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Just for the record - I saved $30.

 

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