How Many Have Visited....

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Highlights of Chicago & MI

OK, we have been home for almost 3 weeks-and on April 21, I started drafting this blog! Here it is May 7 and Ugh! I finally have had the time to sit down, upload photos, debrief our trip and finally publish.

I love that we got to visit my family. But there are some "not so good" moments that always occur while we are away-and as my mom says, "it will make me laugh SOMEDAY" -so I better blog about them for now. 'Cause I don't laugh in most of my stressful moments when we are away OR HOME for that matter! Oh, the joys of being a parent. :)

There was so much that occurred and so much to remember. But not one part of our 10 days makes me regret going. You can not put a price on being together with family, and it is treasured much more when distance separates us. :)
 So, I collaborated all our "peak" moments and put them into a top 10 list.
10."GATE-PASS" The whole reason this trip was "somewhat" successful, is all because of the gate pass we got Mike. (Well the prayers from all of you and family was what really made it a success.) But if you have to travel alone with small children you need to call the airline and add a "Gate Pass" for your spouse or 1 family member to assist you all the way through the airport. I could  not have done this flying trip with both of the boys and no assistance from Mike or my dad. What a huge blessing it was.
I am the first to admit: 1.NO, the flight was not relaxing for me
2.No, I do not recommend flying with a 15 month old who is ACTIVE,
3.NO I do not like changing a poopy diaper on a plane in the bathroom,
4.NO, I do not like having to ask for assistance from strangers for help with the boys.
5 BUT I LOVE having that Gate Pass and we may just do it again (but hopefully not for a while!)
(FYI: You can not walk up the day of travel and get a gate pass, it has to be scheduled ahead of time).

9-Trip to the know when we go away that somebody always gets sick! Well,Kaden didn't sleep the whole first night....he was coming down with double ear infections. Our second day in Chicago he spiked a fever (101)and my dad and  I took him to the local ER.  By the time we arrived his fever had spiked to102.3. Dr. Diagnosis=Double Ear Infection & Upper Respiratory. Poor little guy was miserable :( I have to give a shout out to the Alexian Medical Staff from the hospital. We got in and out in 45 min!!! Unheard of for a trip to the ER?!!

We were VERY Impressed. I cringed that we had to miss a family cook-out, but I am so glad we had Kaden seen.

8-Chocolate & Chi Tea-that was my sanity for those sleepless nights. My dad and sister learned fast what to order me from Starbucks "Chi tea late with non-fat milk! Amazing how little things make the day much better when you are away :)
7.-Birthday Celebrations, My mom's official birthday fell on Easter this year. We really wanted to be in MI for the special day, but changed plans to attend my Great Uncles Service. We made sure to celebrate my mom's birthday one week early & Ordered her, her favorite cake from a local bakery! Cake was gone by the end of the was GOOD! :) We made it even extra special and celebrated with our long time family friends, since our "2nd Mom" has the same birthday as our mom.
6-Friends! I had a great visit with a great friend from College, Jen and her kids. They drove an hour to come and see us and we had a blast hanging out at my sisters house. It was amazing that it had been 10 years since we had seen each other, but good ol' FB has kept us in touch. Jen's kids were adorable and the girls played great with Parker. Her youngest little boy, Maverick is just about 5 weeks older then Kaden, but go figure-he looks like he is months older in the photo. It is always a tradition when we are home to get together with Family friends..The Hutchins. And I love catching up with Becky and seeing
Mom :).


5. Sisters-I had a sweet time visiting in Chicago with ALL my sisters in Chicago & bonding with 2 of the three in MI. We even got lucky one night and had a Sister only dinner...and splurged with face masks and just relaxed  with some good ol'chocolate! :) I always wonder what life would be like if we all lived near each other? :)

4.Kodak Moments-we took so many photos while we were away...but these are some of my favorites. I am so thankful for Modern Technology and being able to capture these moments.

(holding the newest addition to the Clark family, Graham :)
3, Uncle Richard-My heart sank, when I heard that Great Uncle Richard was not going to make it around the end of March. He was SO precious to the Wilson family and he was the glue that kept us all connected. Even though distance kept us apart, it was still so fun to get duplicate Christmas Cards from him, have calls from him once in a while and have that "grandfatherly" care from him. My grandpa and Great Uncle Richard had a rough upbringing and I am amazed that  they did not let history repeat it self. They left us so many stories for us to cherish forever. It was an honor to be at his memorial service and then able to attend his Internment service. He served in World War II and I was speechless and in awe of the tribute that was given to him that day. I always get chills when I see military men and women folding the precious red/white/blue and then presenting it to the family. My Aunt Mary was given the flag and I know she will cherish it forever. All of us Wilson girls got bracelets to wear (from my mom and Aunt) as a sweet memory of Uncle Richard's love to us (and they have a little heart on them).  You are deeply missed Uncle Richard-Thank You for the beautiful legacy,financial example,godly wisdom,advice, and most of all your love and care to our family. :)

2. Sleep (on vacation)-Kaden was cutting 4 teeth while we were away (on top of getting over his infection) so he did not sleep the greatest :( Unfortunately, most of the family was affected by a screaming 1 year old when the Motrin wore off nightly (eek) but thankfully, near the end of the week-we all started getting some sleep...and the Hallway closet that we had Kaden sleep in was perfect :) He needed a private room to be in and get accustomed too LOL (It was not working sleeping in the same room as mama :)

1. My Family, THANK YOU for all the love and hospitality while we were away!

 A shout out to my awesome Brother-in-law,Eric for getting us rooms (suites) at the hotel. It was so much more "homey" for the long weekend. My parents aged a bit more with the activeness in Kaden (but it was a blast to be with them for 10 days). And the week in MI could not have been more fun for Parker and Kaden, with a special shout out to my Sister, Jodi, brother-in-law John and Grace and Josh for putting up with us for the week and allowing us a blast on the family "farm!"

Ok, I have finally debriefed and now I can't believe mother-in-law is begging me to get on a plane and fly up with the boys the end of June for a family baby shower!!!
Hmmm?? I wonder if Mike is going to go for this trip.
FYI- that sleepless night in the hotel, Mike's cell phone was flooded with me venting via-text message. Again, I can't say it enough-if you have to fly alone with small kids, get a gate pass for a member in your family to help you~Thanks again to Mike and my Dad for making the trip much, much easier. We will keep you posted on the next trip :)

(I must say that part of my delay has been issues with blogger photo upload.) Anyone else struggling with this??! So annoyed :(

finally home in daddys arms