We’ve almost been home for a week from our trip – and a glorious trip it was! As soon as we crossed over the security line at the airport we were met with a wall of family members ready to…hang out with Emily. I’m afraid there just wasn’t enough of her to go around during this trip, but she at least got a pretty good introduction to family.
Andrew’s family got Dominion for Christmas and we were happy to help teach them how to play. With every good game a large amount of candy follows – Jelly Bellys in this case which require careful sorting to avoid the really gross flavors.
The first few days we were there Emily was pretty sure she didn’t want to take naps. We were pretty thrilled when she finally conked out in her Aunt Hannah’s arms.
Aunt Kimberly was the first awake each morning and was a huge help with Emily. Andrew went snowboarding with his dad on Friday morning and to the temple with his mom on Saturday. I loved having the extra hands and Emily loved the company, especially during tummy time.
Andrew pulled out some of his old piano music and put on a little concert for Emily. LOVE!
Friday evening we headed over to Emily’s great-grandma Jackson’s home. It was such an enjoyable evening just talking with Grandma Jackson and fun to have her meet Emily. The occasion warranted a four generation Jackson picture.
Andrew snapped this picture because we caught Kimby sleeping in the exact same position that morning. Emily takes after her aunt.
Emily love everywhere :)
On Monday all of the Utah residents had to return to school and work. We took the opportunity to go see the movie that everyone had been raving about: Frozen. Andrew found a 2 for 1 deal with a medium popcorn. It turned out to be family day so the three of us got to see a movie with popcorn for $3! We really enjoyed the story and the music. Emily slept during the first half hour or so and then was happy to watch with us. Andrew did save the day by changing a really full diaper during the movie on the floor by the door where there was some light. By the time the movie started there were probably 10 people in the theater total, but we enjoyed having the place to ourselves for a little while.
Emily with her Grandma Jackson. With all of the excited aunts around, their time together was a bit short. I was pleased that I caught a moment on camera as proof that they did see each other.
Saturday evening we had a big dinner with Andrew’s family and two other families that they have known for many years. We played The Game of Things (I won!) and just talked about life. Emily’s lack of naps was catching up to her so we said good-night a bit earlier than usual.
Sunday evening we had a Jackson sibling Christmas. This mostly meant that Emily opened presents – or Andrew and I opened presents for Emily. She received some very CUTE clothes, a Snoopy stuffed animal, and lots and lots of books (I am thrilled about this development and they have been read everyday since we returned home).
Monday evening we had a group date with Andrew’s and Aimee’s friends from high school. We played The Game of Things (I lost!) and had brownies and ice cream.
Aimee and Emily hung out during these evening events; clearly Emily was worn out from all the activity!
On Tuesday we headed down to the Provo/Orem area. We started with lunch at Thai Drift with an IT Training co-worker of ours and her husband. It was fun to catch up and Emily got along famously with them and didn’t mind hanging out with us for 1.5 hours.
We then went to my grandma’s home, my home away from home. Emily was a bit fussy that day (and night – we didn’t get to go to bed until after midnight and then we were up at 3am again) but she was able to spend a few minutes being held by her great grandma. I not-so-secretly wish we could have stayed there for a few more weeks at least.
Emily took a short nap in the children’s room. I played and slept in that room, on that bed, many times during my childhood. It is fun to see her in a place that is so dear to my heart.
Hanging out some more after a diaper explosion while we cleaned up. This was the only explosion of the whole trip!
Tuesday night we had a pizza party at my grandma’s home with my aunt Angela, my cousin Andrew, my cousin Frankie, and her two daughters. It was so fun to see everyone! The girls were soooo cuuuuute with Emily! I need a 4 year old to hang out with her all the time just for the cuteness of it.
On Wednesday we went to BYU and gave Emily a little tour. We visited with more friends from our time at IT Training, I talked with an old roommate, and Andrew met with some professors. We then headed up to visit our neighbors in Sandy and it was strange to not be able to just be able to walk downstairs and go home. It did my heart so much good to spend time with dear friends that became part of my college family while we went to BYU.
On our last day we went to Fat Cats where Aimee and her husband Patrick work for a night of bowling and pizza. Emily slept through the first game and woke up partway through the second. It has been about two years since Andrew and I went bowling so we were a bit rusty. Andrew started off with a strike though so I had to really step up my game and got a spare. It kind of went downhill from there in the numbers, but we had a lot of fun.
We ended the night with delicious bread twists, pizza, and a hot cookie with ice cream on top (can’t remember the fancy name for that dessert). It was the perfect end to our time in Utah.
Our travels home were eventful. It didn’t seem that exciting at the time, but as I started going through all of the days events it appeared rather epic.
Highlights from the trip home in chronological order:
- VIP treatment through security because we had Emily.
- Andrew throwing up on the first flight. The guy next to us handed Andrew a piece of gum.
- 3 hour layover in Denver during which we found out some people on our plane had been trying to fly to Chicago for days and we were grateful we already had tickets.
- After being told we were going to land in Chicago early, we circled that city for over an hour due to a mechanical problem that prevented the wheel from lowering. They had to do it manually. It took forever. We landed fine and the entire plane belined it to the bathroom (the people…).
- We waited for 1.5 hours for the shuttle to come pick us up at the airport. At this point we are really grateful for all the food we packed. It was 8:30 Chicago time when we finally left the airport and went to th hotel.
- Our car started at the hotel and Andrew loaded up the car while I fed Emily.
- We were about to drive out of the parking lot when the car stalled. It would not start again. Andrew got out to push it back into the parking lot…on a sheet of ice with water past his ankles deep. It wasn’t working so he went to the back of the car where the water was even deeper and I went to the front in the ankle deep water and alternated pushing until the car got enough momentum to roll back into the lot. We took Emily back inside and I started booking a hotel room and Andrew grabbed essential bags.
- Andrew decided he really wanted to go home and went back outside to see if the car would start. It did. We got back into the car and headed for home with our wet shoes and socks.
- We realized we needed to go to the bathroom after and hour. The shell station we went to was closed so we went to Denny’s, left the car running, and took turns.
- Emily woke up from her nap and was hungry while we were at Denny’s but we needed to keep moving. The pumping stuff and bottles were not convenently located so I stood up on the seat and leaned over Emily to nurse her. Not comfortable or safe. Wouldn’t do it during daylight hours. Probably won’t try that one again, but it worked for our near midnight journey.
- About 30 min from home we hit a really really really dense fog and we could barely see the lines in front of us. It took us an hour to get home on the dark farm roads with lots of prayers and both of us looking for the road. We were soooo glad to be home by 1am!!! Emily went right to bed after a quick snack and we soon joined her.
And that was Utah. The perfect break between semesters before we join the midwesterners for the rest of winter.