On Thursday afternoon some of the cousins gathered together for one last project at Grandma’s house. In past years we have cleaned out old canned food from the storage room. We all have great memories from working together. This time we emptied out canned and bottled water – some dated as early as 1985 – and magazines saved for fire starter.
It took us a little while to get into a rhythm as we switched from old bleach containers to glass jars, but we had plenty to figure out an efficient system. Emily and Nathan even helped. Emily exclaimed, “You told us stories about this!” and “This is so fun!” as we were working. I love working with my cousins and I’m glad this is how we spent our last afternoon.
Christine capture a few moments of the kids playing. Nathan is wearing Uncle Cary’s old hat from when he was a little boy. Emily played store and sold Christine a single pea for $80.
Our last night we watched the Terminal. Watching movies and Grandma’s house have gone together as long as I can remember. She had a carefully curated collection. It was on my bucket list to watch one last movie there, and this comedy fit the bill.
We woke up around 4:30am to head to the airport. Andrew’s parents met us there to take the van and to give us a box of wood that Andrew’s dad cut for us. We traveled with my dad and siblings which was amazing. Christine held Laura almost the entire flight. We got lots of looks and fingers pointing for having three young kids.
Two travel pictures from the way out:
Chicago was 15 degrees and in the middle of a snowstorm. It took us a few extra hours to drive home but we made it safely.
Andrew quickly succumbed to the fever and flu that a few of our family members had in Utah. He was nonfunctioning for about four days. I was so grateful we were able to hang out with my family so they could help me out with the kids during the day and let me squeeze in a nap after some long nights.
In the evening after we tucked the kids into bed we would watch movies. Nathan was determined not to go to bed and was up happily playing after 9:30pm. Andrew and my theme for the week was “Come what may and love it.” This included not spending my night fighting Nathan to stay in bed.
Nathan handing me his tissue collection so he could play with Derick.
On Monday morning I woke up feeling a little bit sick and Andrew was only sort of on the mend. The kids were healthy so I decided to get us home before anyone else came down with this bug. Derick, Brian, Christine, and my dad helped me pack, load the car (thank you Derick for doing that in sub zero temperatures!!!!), fill up the car with gas, and entertain the kids. I was just spilling over with gratitude for the chance to be with them and for all of their help!
I drove the first couple of hours and then we stopped for a bathroom break as the sun was setting so that we would have light. The kids were fabulous. When we got home Andrew and I unpacked the car in -15 degree weather and FROZE even with our short bursts to the car and house.
We had one day of getting settled before the sickness descended on everyone else. That was a really really hard week and a half with kids up at all times of the day and night. Nathan cried/whined without ceasing. Emily threw up lots and had a super high fever. Now that we are on the others side of it I don’t know why it was so draining, but it was, and I have greater empathy for anyone with sick kids!
And that brings us to the end of the first six weeks!