Oh, to be home again! I love to travel but at some point, it is just nice to sleep in your own bed, go to your own ward, and, above all else, it is really nice not be in the car anymore.
We have been doing more than our fair share of traveling over the past month or so. Here's a quick rundown of our adventures:
May 11-13 California
May 14-17 Utah
May 26-28 Utah
June 6-13 Washington
June 14-18 Utah
May 11-13 in California, getting a few projects done and getting in some serious beach time. We crashed our entire family on our friend's couch. It is amazing any of us lived through the experience. I give a lot of props to mom co-sleepers because there is nothing that brings me closer to losing it than having a three year old kick me in the face all night long.
We learned a few interesting things about the kids though. Turns out we are raising a big bunch of wusses. I don't know where we went wrong...
Rhode was TERRIFIED by the beach. Something about those waves washing up against the shore put him into an absolute panic. So he and I spent most of our time at the farthest point possible from the water's edge, trying to be distracted by digging sand holes and crunching dried up seaweed. Every now and again, he would still give the water his evil eye, made sure it knew what he thought about it. Shockingly, the water did not seem too perturbed by this.
Scarlet is not the biggest wimp in the world. She was a bit more daring but not by much. Of course I took absolutely no pictures of the trip at all and this is all I have to show from our trip.
Gotta love a great picture of someone else's kid. Heck, it's a better picture of the dog than of my kids.
May 14-17 (notice the one day between this and our last trip) in Utah staying with Jon's sister, Cara and family. Having them in Utah is really nice. Not that I don't love intruding in on my cousin's lives all the time (because I actually do love it) you always feel a little less of a burden when it's a sibling whose life you are disrupting. Not only did they let us crash at their house but they watched our kids a ton. It was awesome.
May 26-28 back in Utah and back at Ben and Cara's. They must really love us to see that much of us in that short amount of time. And they only kicked us out like one time! Ok, that didn't really happen.
***Funny side story****
When Jon and I were dating, he took me on a trip to Lake Powell with his family. Before we got there, he must have told me a million times, "Nielsen's help out, they aren't going to like you if you are being lazy and not being helpful." Thanks for the pep talk buddy.
So I spent the week in turbo helpful mode. Not only did I spend most of the day washing dishes and making meals but by the end of the weekend, every woman on the boat had two french braids courtesy of Kacey's hair styling skills. They loved me.
Not that I wouldn't have been helpful otherwise, I'm not that lazy, but Jon really got me in a frenzy. From then on, whenever we were staying with his family, I was like a cleaning machine the whole time trying to be helpful. I also totally love when someone has cleaned up for me so I try to spread the joy ya know?
Anyway, after five years of knowing me, Cara had never stayed at my house. But they were here for Thanksgiving. She then admits to me that for years she thought I was a total neat freak, just as clean and organized as possible. As she told me this, I could just imagine my mother's reaction to this. She would either faint with shock or be rolling on the floor with laughter. Her daughter, a neat freak? Hilarious. Well, a week at my house got her over that idea quickly.
*** Back to Crazy Calendar***
On June 6th (a week later) we flew from Las Vegas to Pasco and stayed a week with my family. It was recital weekend, graduation, and my dad's big annual golf tournament. Most of my family will find it funny that I mention it was graduation that weekend. All week, people asked, 'oh, are you guys in town for graduation?' because that was why all of their supportive relatives were there.
Nope, in fact of the 13 of us that were in town, only my mom went to watch Kylie graduate. I'm not sure I would have made an appearance towing the kids either way, but it was a no-brainer when I found out they were graduating on Lion's Field in the middle of the afternoon. Not awesome. So Rhode, Scarlet, Kristy, Trevor and I supported Kylie across the street at the aquatic center.
My kids love being at Grandma Peggy's house. And who can blame them? A TV screen that makes Dora the same size as Scarlet that would be turned on by any member of the family (except mom and dad that is, they stopped asking us after awhile). Snacks of all kinds within fingertip reach. And, if they were just a little out of the way, there was always some willing aunt in the kitchen ready to make their M&M wish come true.
It really hit the pinnacle, though, when we took a little trip to Walmart with Grandma Peggy and she went through the toy aisle, just haphazardly tossing shiny, noisy objects into the cart at will. My kids eyes were as big as saucers at the glory to behold.
"Mom!" I told her, "my kids do not know you can take the toys home from stores. They think they are just there for the occasional button pushing when mom is in a nice mood!"
"But I don't have enough toys at the house!" she replied, "they'll be fine."
Says the woman who lives four states away.
It is a true miracle we were even able to get our kids to leave.
We got back late Sunday night and I took off Monday for Utah once again. This time, sans the rest of the Nielsen family... and with the only car we own. So Jon and the kids spent four carless and momless days. It was quite the adventure.
I, on the other hand, had my own kind of adventure. This time, I stayed with Courtney in her BYU apartment. It was so surreal. Roommates, who's turn to empty the dishwasher, 10 p.m. is still early, talking about the most random things until finally someone stops talking and everyone instantly passes out. No kids, no car seats, no nap times, it was the craziest couple of days. I enjoyed it to its full potential.
At some point, Rhode figured out how to call me from the house phone. So every now and again, i would get a call from what I thought was Jon, but instead hear a very excited, "mama?!" He never had much to say other than that but he was pretty stoked his button pushing would work.
Now I am back home but not for long. Maybe with all of this traveling, this miserable Las Vegas summer will be over before we know it! It's already August right? No... only June?
It's not working.