I am not really sure how to describe how wonderful and rejuvenating our trip was for me, and for all of us. I have such a renewed sense of hope, direction and peace that now fills my soul. When we left for the trip, I was hanging by a very very thin thread, and had been for a while. 2009 was enough to almost kill my body and my spirit. I am walking into 2010 feeling alive and new. I am so grateful for the trip we had, for the memories made, and for the healing of my spirit that took place in the midst of family, friends, peace and love. We had an absolute blast!
It took us 16 hours to get to Boise, but we split it into two days. 10 hours on Friday and 6 on Saturday. We stayed the night in American Fork, UT with our friends Ben and Megan (the friends who stayed with us for Thanksgiving) It was a lot of fun seeing them again. They were so nice to let us crash in their home. They even put an electric blanket on the bed for my back. How thoughtful is that! And if you guys are reading this...sorry again about Noah or Moses or whoever that was, in the butter. hehehe
We were worried with my back being so bad (which we now know is most likely my gallbladder..which is REALLY bad), and with Ben's surgery recovery, that the drive would be torture, but the traveling was great! Truly. We did not have one breakdown with the kids. They were happy and content for the whole trip. The dog was very well behaved. The roads were great and the weather could not have been better. All of the Birthday and Christmas presents made it in one piece as well. Few!
When we got to Boise, we were treated to an awesome dinner at the Maynards where we reunited with some of Ben's brothers and their families. The house began rocking that very moment, and didn't stop after that. The next day, we were able to see even more family and it was non stop playing and fun. There were 10 cousins running around, and Mary and Sam laughed and played and laughed and played and laughed all day. Mary and Sam had an absolute blast. We hardly saw them during the day, and they fell asleep every night before their heads even hit the pillows.
Ben and I thou roughly enjoyed ourselves as well. Jolene is an amazing host whenever we go to their house and she always makes sure we are comfortable, happy, and VERY well fed. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we relaxed, we played and we just soaked it all in.
On Tuesday, we took Mary to Build a Bear for one of her Birthday presents. She LOVED IT! It was an adorable store, and Mary went nuts picking out her little dog, stuffing it, giving it a special little heart (with kisses on it from her), fluffing it, picking out clothes and shoes and printing off the birth certificate. She has not put the dog (Brownie) down. It is soooo cute! She was so happy, and that made me happy. It was really cute to see her in there holding her dog with so much love.
naming the dog
dressing the dog
brushing the dog
giving the dog a special little heart
Mary's 5th Birthday was Wednesday. She had a party with 9 other cousins. The house was loaded with kid energy! We played games and smashed the princess crown piniata. She had her heart shaped rainbow cake with blue sparkles and shocked us all when she blew out the candles and let us sing to her....all with a smile on her face! (she hates that part and normally won't let us sing to her. It embarrasses her. Wonder where she got that from). She got a little shy when opening her presents, so the adults went in another room (at her request) and Mary and the cousins opened the presents without us. She cracks me up!
pin the tail on the donkey
Mary had a great Birthday and she grinned non stop all day. She informed me right when she woke up that she had grown about 4 inches. I have loved the phase Mary has grown into, and I am excited to see what this next year will bring with her. She is a little princess in our home and we love her sweet heart and her spunky fun personality.
While we were in Boise, we were also able to see our wonderful and long time friends, the Darringtons. They have been a non-stop support to our family through all that has gone on, and they are just true and amazing friends to us. We cherish our friendship with them. We only see them when we get to Boise now, but we wouldn't miss it for the world. We had a great visit with them and had fun meeting their little Jane, who is adorable!
We were also able to see Ben's best friend since childhood and his wife. Doug and Naome. We totally forgot to get a picture with them. Dang! She is due with their baby boy just a few weeks before I am due. Pretty cool.
We had a wonderful trip and a great time in Boise with the Maynards. It was great to see so much family and some great friends. And it is always a fun time when Ben and his brothers all get together. There is never a dull moment or a lack of some joke flying around.
We said our goodbyes and left for Pocatello on Wednesday evening. That is where this post ends and a new one will begin. ;) For now, I am signing off. Toodles!