Wednesday, June 17: We had a late flight (8:45 pm from Tulsa) that ended up being delayed an hour and a half... luckily airports have WiFi, so we watched some Netflix to kill the time! Despite being delayed, we were really blessed that day. We stopped in Denver, but stayed on the same plane to continue to Seattle. If we would have had a connection to make, we would have been staying the night in Denver because by the time we got there, no other connections were being made. So basically everyone on our flight to Denver ended up staying there. I felt badly for them but grateful that we were able to stay on the plane and continue on to Seattle. We arrived around 1:30 am local time I think? Michelle picked us up at the airport and got in some Evie snuggles before our 35ish minute ride back to her place where we chatted with Bryce for a bit before heading to bed.
Thursday, June 18: Peter had been sick on Wednesday, so we took things easy on Thursday. Also, we were all dead tired from being up so late. Anyone who knows me knows that I like going to bed early. And, well, getting to bed at 2:30 am local time (so 4:30 am on my body clock), is not early. The boys all got to meet Evie when we woke up for the day. It was fun getting to see their first interactions! The older boys (Connor and Jefferson) had learned previously how to correctly hold a baby. Only, Evie is a little bit bigger than that now and does not really like to be held like a newborn/tiny baby. So we had to show them more of how she liked to be held so she could still look around and not squirm in their arms the entire time. Jefferson was definitely the most interested in her and was always asking if he could hold her. Also, when she was napping he would say "Aunt Marissa, is it time to wake up Evie yet?" He absolutely loved and adored her and it was oh so precious.
Friday, June 19: We went to the zoo! For Christmas 2014 they bought family passes to their zoo (and they got them on sale and were able to get this awesome deal where they get 3 guest passes every time they go!), so we took advantage of that to have a fun day out without having to drive too far with all of the kiddos. We were able to see some incredible animals! They have an aquarium section where we were able to see stingrays (and pet them!), jellyfish (several varieties), sharks, various fishes. The boys (minus Peter, since you had to be at least three to do this) rode a camel, and all three boys were able to feed the budgies. Peter even did a great job of holding the feeding stick still enough to feed some! They had clouded leopard cubs (only 6 weeks old and so dang cute) that we were able to see briefly, and we also saw tigers, elephants, meerkats, and penguins!
Saturday, June 20: Jefferson had a t-ball game that morning (lots of fun!) and he got in three great hits. Graham took Peter to play on the nearby playground during the game. After they came back Graham headed to the restroom and Peter started to run after him going "No, Uncle Graham! Wait for me!!" thinking that Graham was headed back to the playground. That night we went to Bryce's parents' house for his sister's birthday party. She had lots of her friends over and there was tons of great food and fun! We got a volleyball game started and it quickly filled in with people (who were probably all wanting to play but nervous about being the ones to start).
Sunday, June 21 (Father's Day): Graham and Bryce both slept in, and Michelle and I made cinnamon rolls for a special Father's Day breakfast. I visited Primary (our church organization for children ages 3-11) with Michelle to watch her do music time with the children (check out her music ideas at purposefulprimarymusic.com!). Right after church we headed to Gary and ReNel's again for dinner. Graham was very happy--steak was on the menu for dinner! We also had corn on the cob, fruit salad, and a vast assortment of desserts. We loved the opportunity to spend time there for two days of our trip. Bryce's parents always make us feel welcome and they are incredibly wonderful people!
Monday, June 22: We had another relaxing day at home (since we had been on the go for the past couple of days and Evie had to catch naps whenever she could--often in the car). Bryce left for a work trip so I helped with breakfast clean up and insured that Connor and Jefferson were prepared for swim lessons when Michelle returned (which they were! woohoo!).
During Evie's afternoon nap (when Peter was also napping), the rest of us played Settlers of Catan. Last year when we visited we played this game just about every day (I think I only played once or twice though, because I often opted to nap instead of play. Can you blame me? Remember, I was 17ish weeks pregnant at the time), so we had to play at least once on this trip! Because there were so many of us playing (me, Graham, Michelle, Connor, and Jefferson) it took a lonnnngggg time to finish the game. Graham came out with the win. Which, as he reminded me, is consistent with last year as he won most often during those games ;) That night for FHE we watched a video about the martyrdom of Joseph Smith in honor of the anniversary of the martyrdom (June 27), and then watched Big Hero 6. Graham and I had not seen it before, but now I get "Immortals" stuck in my head all of the time.
Tuesday, June 23: Michelle made "Seymour" pancakes for breakfast (which were exceptionally healthy and tasty when topped with peanut butter and real maple syrup), and Graham and I took the opportunity to visit the temple since it was so close. We are normally 4 hours away from a temple, so we couldn't pass up a visit when it was only 35 minutes away! (You can learn more about temples here if you are curious.) We had a great afternoon there, and walked around the temple grounds a bit afterwards to enjoy its beauty even more.
Later in the afternoon, we all went outside and had a mini water balloon fight, ate popsicles, and played in the water.
Before bed, Michelle, Graham, and I finished the puzzle! I think I failed to mention it earlier in the post. Michelle bought a 1500 piece puzzle at Goodwill for us to work on while we were visiting, and she was thinking that when Mom and Camille came up a few days later to visit that they could work on finishing it during their visit. Graham worked hardcore on it several different times. One night I went to bed and he stayed up until 2 am working on it! Connor also put in a lot of hard work on it. Jefferson even found a match or two! Peter did an incredible job of not destroying it, which I think is quite notable as well ;)
|Sadly, one piece missing. The risk you run with a Goodwill puzzle!|
Wednesday, June 24: Our last day :( Graham went to swim lessons and helped with Peter (Michelle had him enrolled in a "mom and tot" class), but I stayed home because I had been taking a nap while Evie was sleeping and wasn't ready to go even though she woke up just before they had to leave. Right when they got back from swim lessons, Graham went for a run (they have a gorgeous gravel trail close to their house, and Graham went running several times. I went once with him and did two miles). We had a quick lunch, got everything packed up, and headed off for the airport.
Our flights went well, and Evie did really great on them once again. She napped some on both of them. I started reading Visitors by Orson Scott Card (such a great series! It's a mix of sci-fi and fantasy and I love it!) and also played some random games on the iPad. Our second flight was delayed, but it did give us the opportunity to have time to get something to eat before continuing on. When we got on the plane, there were two open seats in the very front row, so we took them! After getting to Tulsa and gathering our things, we headed home on our last leg of the journey. I had brought my pillow and left it in the car, so I was able to sleep on the ride home (as was Evie--she conked out before we were out of the airport parking lot).
Thursday, June 25 (First day back home): Evie and I slept in, but Graham had to be at work at 6:45 am! He had the next day off though, so he was able to sleep eventually. I did lots of laundry, unpacked everything, went grocery shopping, sorted through the mail, and lots of other random things. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was actually able to accomplish. I attribute it all to how beautifully Evie slept (on our drive back from the airport I told Graham: "Tomorrow I think all I will be able to do is shower and a load of laundry because I'm so tired.") She took two long naps (after sleeping in) so I was able to get lots done. And she was a champ during our grocery shopping trip. Only spit up once ;) and even then, it was only a little bit.
It's good to be back home, but we already miss the Smart family. Our time there seemed to go by too quickly, but it was tons of fun to see the boys and have them get to meet Evie before she was any bigger. Graham and I are about to head to the pool with Evie (when she wakes up from her nap). It should *hopefully* be lots of fun! (Not sure how she'll react to that much water...)
From Marissa, with love.