Anyways - we had this family vacation trip planned for a while and I can't believe it's already done with. We packed TONS of stuff into our trip in a pretty short amount of time! But we enjoyed every second of it.
I'll let you in on a little of our craziness - and hopefully you don't get to confused. :)
1. Leave on Wednesday evening after Richard's work (june 15th) to stay at Brother's house near Philly airport (well, sorta near, closer than we are anyways)
2. Wake up at 2:30 AM (eastern time) on Thursday, june 16th, drive to airport with boys and catch flight at 6 AM. Flight was fine, kids did great. Arrive in Denver CO at 8:30 (Mountain Time) ready to hit the ground running literally for wedding preparations
Carson loves Airplanes right now!!!! He loved seeing so many and yelled "airplane" a million times I think. He was a little aprehensive about the whole take off/stomach doign weird things/load odd noises that happens when you're actually in an airplane, but no crying just looking at mom and dad for reassurance that everything was ok.
3. Enjoy a weekend of utter craziness between 13 grandkids (all but 2 are boys under the age of 8), practically everyone from out of town, aunts, cousins, amidst a lot of wedding work. the wedding was Absolutely beautiful. We were honored to watch Richard's sister Becky get married. She was beautiful and everything went on without a hitch. Congratulations Becky, and Welcome to the crazy family Chris Fuller. :)
The "con cunadas" (sister in laws) that married the
3 Gardner boys
The 6 Sisters
Richard with his Brother and Grandparents
I love this one!4. since Richard's parents had all their grandkids in town at the same time (we are pretty spread out from HI to PA) we took advantage of it on June 19th, Sunday and drove to Breckenridge CO to spend the day. lovely town in the beautiful Mountains, petting zoo, burro riding, ice cream and coffee, great lunch, and great walking. It was a good day to be together
Richard loved it; Carson was pretty aprehensive
Look at our entourage - tons of kids and mothers and strollers
all waiting patiently for a restaurant
to let us ALL in. :) It was very good!
This was a common site for us! :)
Petting Zoo in Breckenridge CO
5. After our time in Breckenridge we drove the rest of the 3 hours over the mountains to Grand Junction CO where Richard's parents live. We got in late but were so happy to be in Grand Junction visiting again. We spent 4 and half days there.
We filled the days with a Big family BBQ celebrating Josiah (the oldest grandson's) Birthday; shopping for the ladies and golf for Richard with his dad, the coolest pool-blow-up-slide thing EVER; Going up to "the Mesa" (i think biggest flat top mountain or something like that) for a big family picnic; going out to eat; chilling; chatting. You know all that vacation stuff
Family BBQ celebrating Birthday
Poor Landon always seems to be
left out in the yard :)
Coolest toy EVER! It somehow sets up the tee on it's own
Kids Favorite thing
We borrowed this cool blow up thing and it was a major hit!!! Kids loved it!
Family Picnic on "the Mesa"
A beautiful place
6. Leave on Friday June 24th to go back to Denver, switch cars with sister and brother and drive to Fort Collins CO to attend a Church Planting Conference called "the Catalyst" that was put on by The Crossway Chapel. go check it out. That weekend was PACKED with meeting tons of new-very-nice-and-caring people. This weekend was GREAT but pretty draining- both intellectually and emotionally. But we are so thankful to go to it. We were so encouraged by it. We have not been as encouraged, challenged, convicted and uplifted spiritually as we were at this conference for a while - so we loved it. More on that to come as we pray and make decisions . . .
7. Leave on Sunday afternoon (june 26th) to drive back to Denver to stay with Richard's brother overnight.
8. Wake up at 5:24AM (mountain time) June 27th, when needing to leave house at 5:30!!!! and drive to airport; leave on a Jet plane hopefully we'll be back again (and soon maybe). We made it on the plane, but no without rushing a lot and not getting my coffee until we landed and started to drive home!!!!!! (if you know me - that's ludicrous-y)
(side note: they do not make security easy with families and strollers, with all the take off shoes, put their precious blanket on the belt, fold up stroller and put on belt and then carry both children crying in your arms barefoot on gross floor, leave wallet out in the wide open for anyone to take, get to other side, try to set up stroller again with 2 kids screaming in both hands barefoot while husband is being patted down, offering no help to me, then asking to test my babyfood. hahaha - we still made it fine and actually lived through it - but not that simple)
9. get to Philly airport around 1:30 PM (eastern time), sister in law pick us up, drive to her place, once again switch our stuff and car seats to our car and drive the hour and half back to our HOME! Finally getting my coffee of the day!
I wish i could count the number of times Richard switched our car seats back and forth from cars; or loaded and unloaded our stuff; or how many granola bars Carson ate (and then how many meals he did not eat); or how many times I fed Landon in the Car Seat; or how few hours of sleep my children got . . . (actually if I was as good as my mom i would've already counted all that stuff and known very detailed what happened :) )
My boys did Awesome! We required a lot from them and they passed with Flying colors. Carson slept on air mattresses, floors, couches, or was moved in the middle of the night; Landon slept in like 4 or 5 different pack and plays; meal times were abnormal; 2 Hour time change; lots of time in the car; carted around a million places; met tons of people. But most of the time they were Happy, respectful, polite (as polite as a 9 month old can be anyways) slept when asked to sleep; awake when asked to be awake - Just What Every Parent Wants their kid to be like. I'm so proud of them. I as the mother, prayed a lot about this trip, that the kids would do good, that things would go smoothly and I'm so thankful that God gave us wisdom and grace to enjoy this trip!
Overall it was a PERFECT vacation! Richard spent all day each day with us. We were with our dear family and met cousins we had never met, grandma squeezed cheeks she isn't usually able to squeeze, and truly enjoyed ourselves.
Now Back to reality . . .