I KNOW!! It's almost been a month since the last time I posted! I have some serious catching up to do! The girls and I have been home since Saturday night and we were very ready to see Nathan!! Our Christmas vacation was so wonderful. Since I use this blog as a journal of sorts and because I haven't written anything in so long - be warned!! This might be a little lengthy! I have so much that I want to remember and to tell about.
OUR DAY OF TRAVELING:
Our vacation began on the 19th with me and Anika heading to AZ and Nathan and Keslie flying into Salt Lake City. Nathan and Keslie stayed with Brendon and Brianna (cousins). Nathan was very excited to see Brendon - they have such a good time together. Meanwhile Anika and I were picked up from the airport by beautiful Jordan. I had a fun visit with her while we were stuck in rush hour traffic and then when she was forced to drive us all over the place! What a trooper! She dropped us off at Steve and Mandi's house - which is one of my FAVORITE places to be! There is nobody quite like them! I'm glad that I love them so much because the next morning we started our LONG drive to Utah and we were all in the car together for 12 hours.It was great to laugh and talk with them and the kids did remarkably well. Steve dropped Anika and me off at Grandma West's house where we had Nathan, Keslie, and a delicious, hot meal waiting for us. Our stay at Grandma's home was much to short, but we did get to enjoy an hour or so just relaxing and talking to her. She was so kind and it was so good to see her! Our next stop was Brendon's house. We got to see Brendon's wife Brianna and their two sons Caden and Rylan. Those boys are so cute and so is Brianna! Our last stop before heading up to Idaho was at Aunt Becky and Uncle Dean's house. They are so much fun! I wish that we hadn't been in such a hurry! We finally made it to Idaho by about 1:30 AM. We missed the turnoff on the freeway - so we had to turn around and had a good laugh at Brendon going the wrong way on a freeway ramp. Luckily it was the middle of the night in Idaho - so not much was going on!!
When we got there all the kids came running out to meet us. They were barefoot and it was SO cold outside! I guess that they really love us! We got the grand tour of the house. LOVE IT!! My mom did such a great job decorating. Anika was one happy camper the whole time we were there. I hardly saw her! She was off playing with the twins or running around with Samuel or loving on Nana "Tivett". Keslie also did great - but she was a little bit harder because she didn't feel good for a lot of the trip.
The first day we got to go see my Dad's office and where he teaches. It's pretty cool! I wish that I could have sat in on one of his classes. I know that he's a great instructor. Afterwards, they took us out for a yummy Mexican food lunch which was much needed because the Mexican food in CT leaves a lot to be desired! My mom gave us a grand tour of Rexburg on the way home. She's a DANG good salesman. I don't have Nathan convinced yet, but I went there thinking that I would NEVER live in Idaho and I left knowing that I would LOVE it! It's such a cute little town with everything you need. It feels safe and wholesome. So, where will we end up? I wish I knew!
This Christmas was so nice because we could just relax. We didn't feel like we needed to be running from house to house. There was no guilt. I loved it. We watched a lot of TV shows on DVD (24 season 5 and House) and did puzzles. We played lots of hand and foot! We got to go to the temple in Idaho Falls and out to lunch with mom and dad. We got Keslie's ears pierced. She was MAD! She was screaming and throwing herself all over the place before we even started. I think I would have given up - but the girl had already opened the earrings and so we just did it. There was a REALLY grumpy, old lady that just stood there frowning at me the whole time. Some people are so lovely. We went to Wal-mart and K-mart. I pushed Kensi around in a cart and we laughed and laughed. We played pool. We played in the snow. My dad pulled us around with the suburban while we sat on the sled. We went to the greatest craft store imaginable. I left feeling more grumpy than happy because I wanted to buy so much and left empty-handed because how would I have gotten it home?!! We have nothing like that in Connecticut! URGH!! It was so fun to have all of us together - I wish we would have taken a new family picture! Who knows when we will all be in one place again. Each person in my family is so wonderful and they each have such great, fun personalities! Last night Keslie was being really goofy - falling on purpose and then rolling around all over - and Nathan said - well, it looks like both girls got the Kivett goofiness. =) Haha. In the end he admitted it's a good thing and he wouldn't have it any other way. I guess we CAN be a little dorky - but we have fun!! Kelyn and Brittney are both so good at being buddies with the kids. I keep thinking that once the kids are older and married and having their own kids they might feel like they have more in common with me than they do now. Being the oldest is hard sometimes because I get thought of as "OLD". Oh well. =) Anyway - being in Idaho was fantastic and the week and a half went much too fast. Nathan had to leave on the 28th. I was so sad to see him go. After he left it just wasn't the same. I was so homesick for him.
My mom decided to drive down to AZ with me because she didn't want me to have to do it alone and because her mom has been really sick and she wanted to see her and be with her for a big Dr. appt. I was dreading the 16 hour drive, but it went so fast! It was great to talk to mom and she was a HUGE help with the kids. We stayed at Cam and Afton's cute house just to break the trip up a little bit. Thanks guys! The next morning we set off and stopped at Mickey D's for some breakfast. FYI - never ask a McDonalds worker for directions. She sent us completely the wrong way and I was so FLUSTERED and hello! I was trying to eat my McGriddle!! So, I guess I was going a little fast. I got pulled over and got a pretty good lecture, but he didn't even check my license or insurance. I think he got called to an accident because there were a lot of cops rushing by with their sirens on. WHEW! I was so relieved!
I dropped my mom off at Annie's and I got to experience the NEW loop 202 east. It's pretty slick! I honestly think I am going to take into account how much I love the freeways in AZ when we are deciding where to live. They are so awesome! I made it to the West's just in time for dinner! Seeing them is always great and once again everyone was together (except Nathan!!). I got to meet Taylor and Carolyne - finally! They are SOOOOOO cute! We had a fun New Years. We opened presents and were totally spoiled, we played Settler's of Catan, and at the stroke of midnight I got a kiss from Drew and got to toot my horn for as long as I wanted out front!
Being in AZ was a little rough on the girls because we were all over the place. There are so many people that we wanted to see while we were there and there was so little time! So, we stayed at Granny and Papa's house on Tuesday night. Papa has a little puppy named Coco that Anika LOVED! They ran around out back for a good long time! It was so cute. That night a bunch of Aunts and cousins came over and we all just visited and laughed. I just love that group! It's so fun to be around them. Granny was an angel and got up the next morning with Keslie and I got to sleep for an extra hour! When I woke up she was fed and happy. The night before Granny stayed up talking to Kelyn and me and told us stories and read us a letter she had written for her high school reunion. Of course we were all teary-eyed. I love to be at Granny and Papa's house. The next night was at Grammy's house. She took us to zoo lights!! We had such fun and I got to see Stephanie, Devvon, and their new little boy Kaison. Anika was very glad to see my mom again and clung to her most of the time. We got to ride on the carousel. Aunt Jolee helped with Keslie. I think she liked it! This was her first time to ride a carousel! I think. Afterwards, we went to Grammy and Aunt Jolee's new house for dinner. Grammy made her fabulous bean soup and corn bread! After everyone left, we (me, Aunt Jolee, Grammy) played a round of hand and foot. We were all so sleepy so that was all we could handle!
I was able to stop by the cemetery to visit my mom's grave and leave some flowers. I haven't been there in a long time. The cemetery really is such a peaceful place. I had a really good experience.
Thursday afternoon was spent making bows for the grandkids pictures. I think they turned out really cute. They were camoflauge to match their pants. So fun!!
Friday I took the girls out to Aunt Rhondie's "mini" farm! They had such a good time. I wish that we could have stayed longer! They have two donkey's, baby lambs, dogs, kittens, frogs, birds. Pretty cool. It was fun to see all of the kids! They have grown up so much!
I loved my last night. I went on a girl's night out with my sisters, Kelyn and Brittney. We had such fun talking and laughing. The movie that we saw didn't really hit our spot - but it was nice to just be together without any kids. The next morning Kelyn was an angel and got up to take me to the airport. She is such a good sister to me and she loves my girls like they are her own.
Coming home with two kids wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. They were pretty well behaved. We flew into Denver for the first leg of the flight and I got so sick and threw up (in a bag!). I was pretty annoyed. Here I was with a carseat, a baby, a toddler, a purse, a briefcase, and a bulky back pack - then to add on a barf bag?! I wasn't sure what to do. So, I asked the flight attendant if she would mind carrying a couple of my things for me just until I got off the plane, that way I could grab my "garbage". She looked at me for a second and then said - "just leave your garbage on your seat" and she went back to her fluffing and straightening. I said OKAY!! and stumbled out of the plane. I hope when she picked it up it broke on her or leaked through or something. Alright - that's pretty mean of me - but sheesh!! I had to run across the airport because my next flight was scheduled to take off in 20 minutes!! When I got there the lady said that she only had one seat left - but she took pity on my and put me in FIRST CLASS! SWEET!! Things went great with that flight - aside from throwing up while landing once again. We got off the plane and Anika started BAWLING and kept on bawling all the way across the airport. That was the start of a lovely week of listening to her cry. That's another story. They put our luggage on the wrong plane!! So, that was a big bummer. All of us girls were SO happy to see Nathan! Anika said to Nathan as we were walking away - "they better find our luggage fast!" She is so funny! The rest of the night was great! Nathan had the house spotless and even had a vase of flowers waiting for me! It's so nice to be home!!
I was terrible at taking pictures on this trip. A lot of the ones I have are ones that I have stolen from others. Sorry!! I hope that everyone is having a great year so far!