So much to blog! So many pictures. So much to document. We have had a great, yet very busy summer--and that doesn't even account for this baby coming in less than two months! We still need to get ready for her and for school. Life is crazy, yet beautiful.
We just got home from a 15-day vacation. We saw all three of our families. (And I have pictures that I have downloaded and gone through and others that I am currently downloading) Now, being 7 months pregnant, the only way to take a 3600 mile road trip with my doctor's permission was to commit to walking 15 minutes for every hour and a half in the car. We did it and it was much easier than I expected. The kids loved the frequent breaks and we worked to time most breaks with a gas stop or a food stop. We used to not eat in the car, but we did and it worked. Within a day, we saw most of XDH's family (only missing 1 nephew, 3 nieces, and a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law (nephew on a mission, rest in Boston), on multiple days we saw all of CK's family, and in less than a week, we saw every member of my family--they were more spread out, some in Utah, Colorado, and Texas. That, alone, is success!
Here is the brief before-picture recap:
Day 1: Drove to Colorado, 14.5 hours, 800 miles
Day 2: Spent visiting in Colorado, went to the Denver museum, saw my dear friend, J.
Day 3: Drove to Utah, 9 hours, 520 miles: CK and A went up to Idaho with his parents, while the other three kids and I spent time with our other family (XDH's family).
Day 4: Went to church with my sister-in-law and her family, had family dinner, and celebrated some family July birthdays with everyone.
Day 5: Hung out with cousins and loved being together!
Day 6: Went to downtown SLC on the train. We saw the temple, the church office building, and the new mall. It took hours for L and I to figure out how to make it all work and it didn't go as planned, but all were safe and happy by the end--and that is all that mattered.
Day 7: Spent the morning with the Utah family, then drove to Idaho, 2.5 hours, 150 miles
Day 8: Drove to the cabin where we were holding the family reunion (Island Park, ID), didn't record miles, but approximately 4 hours.
Day 9: K Family Reunion: Went out on the boat, including tubing. We also floated down the river. Mostly we enjoyed being together.
Day 10: More reunion: Rode the boat together, I paddleboarded (that is a site to see with my prego belly). The kids broke pinatas and did a scavenger hunt. After lunch, we all cleaned up the cabin and headed out.
Day 11: We went to church with CK's parents, who happen to live in the same small town as many of my cousins and my aunt and uncle. It was great to see everyone. We ate a quick lunch and headed to Utah. I didn't write down any notes on miles or timing, but it took a while. We went to my brother's home where we ate dinner with him and his wife and another brother and his wife. K and A went home to sleep at my 2nd brother's, while the rest of us stayed overnight there.
Day 12: All of us met for breakfast and then we headed to Colorado, 10 hours and approximately 850 miles.
Day 13: Visited my friend, J, who now had a baby girl, born while we were in Utah! We also went to a local amusement park with all the Colorado family and my best friend of over 20 years.
Day 14: Attended a session at the Denver temple with CK and K then joined us (thanks to Grandma!) and performed baptisms for the dead. We also met A (my best friend for over 20 years) and her hubby for a double date and then played croquet together in my parents' backyard.
Day 15: Drove home. 16. 5 hours and many miles. We were halfway home when a light indicating transmission problems came on. We stopped at a couple of mechanic places-they gave different ideas and could not help us directly, so we called our mechanic here in town. He said that the light going back off could mean we were okay to drive home, but if it went back on, his suggestion was to take it in immediately. With that advice, we drove on-45 minutes- and the light came back on. We were in the middle of nowhere with hundreds of miles of no big cities ahead of us. We turned around, found a Honda dealer, set up an appointment, and took the van in, 45 minutes back-the wrong way! Due to all the unexpected chaos, we had not even eaten lunch. The kids were actually very good. I am impressed with all four taking the situation in stride. We left the van doing a diagnostic and walked over to a fairly close WalMart that had a McDonald's inside. We ate and hoped that we wouldn't need to stay overnight somewhere. When the call came, the diagnostic revealed that our transmission was okay, but the sensor was bad. PHEW! We will need to take it in soon to replace the sensor, but still--what a blessing!
Finally, we were home!!!!!