While we were in Colorado Springs, we stayed with our rockin' awesome friends, the Fortin's. We stayed at the "Fortin Inn" where we received 5 star treatment. Seriously! We had amazing food, awesome company, good conversation, lots of laughter, and one night, they watched the kids for us, and then bathed them and had them ready for bed when we got back. Wow!
We even had a survey, left on the nightstand by our bed, that we were to fill out regarding our stay.
On the bottom of the survey, in small print, it says..."18% Gratuity will be added to all guest parties of 3 or more. 25% added for children 6 and under. 48% for Utah residents."
It was hilarious...uh, I mean, it was very professional and courteous of them. We hadn't planned on staying with anyone overnight, because we didn't want to burden anyone. After watching Mary, Sam and Tyler so happy together, it was impossible to separate them. Not to mention, Ben and I and Mike and Mel. We are very grateful that we were able to stay with them. The kids were grinning constantly. They played hard and begged and begged to stay longer. Ben and I felt the same. We love Mike and Mel so much. We went to the park for a few hours on Saturday, and got some good pictures. Mike put a video together that pretty much sums up what going to the park with our family is like. I am trying to get it to work on the blog, but until then, I will let you all guess what went on. While we were at the park, we met up with a few other friends as well. I didn't get any pictures with them. In fact, I didn't get many pictures of this trip. We were all too busy enjoying the moment and soaking it all in. I don't think pictures could really capture the feelings we felt anyway. It was awesome, to say the least.
Saturday evening, Ben and I met up with some of his good buddies from Cintas at a restaurant one of them started up. It was fun to hang out with them and their families. I know that Ben holds them in high regard, and really loved being with them again. The Philly Cheese stakes were phenomenal as well!
We went to our old ward on Sunday. It was so weird to be sitting there, and to feel so at home and comfortable. It felt like we had never left the ward. Everything just felt so right and we fit so naturally. We stayed behind after Sacrament meeting and relished in the goodness of so many good friends and people. The warm embraces of so many friends warmed my spirit and filled a deep hole inside of me. The hole that was created when we left. I didn't want to leave....ever. I had a good cry in the car after we pulled ourselves away from the church building. It was one cry of many this trip. I felt so torn between where I wanted to be and where we need to be. It was so hard. I am so grateful for Ben, who just held my hand and listened. His Faith helped me a lot on this trip.
Sunday evening, Mary was jumping on Tyler's bed, and she tripped. She smashed her face on the bed post with such impact, that the blood from her nose literally sprayed part of the wall. Mary does not cry from pain very often, so when I heard her screams, I knew something was wrong. Her nose bled through my shirt, Tyler's sheets, Mary's dress, the white carpet, and everything else Mary got near. Her nose swelled quickly, and she is now sporting two black eyes and a very bruised and swollen nose. We won't know if her nose is crooked until the swelling goes down. Mary was down for a while, but after some ice and Motrin, she was back to playing and laughing later on in the evening. Her nose continued to bleed about every three hours for the next two days, and it is very tender, but she is doing ok. Poor kid!
We had dinner Sunday evening with our good friends, the Murdocks. They live just down the road from our old house. We drove by our old house, but to be honest, I couldn't stand looking at it knowing that someone else was in there. We didn't stay in front of our house very long. It would not have done anything good for my already fragile emotions. I LOVED that house, and I love the memories we have in it. Dinner was great and it was really fun to be back in the neighborhood, with friends, just hanging out on a Sunday evening. Again, it felt so normal and so comfortable. I felt like I was home. The kids had a blast playing with their friends they haven't seen in a while. They hit it off again quickly.
Monday morning, we went on a hike in Monument, with the Fortins. It was a pretty hike, and the kids (and Ben) had fun climbing the rock we hiked to. We also saw some VERY random people with Lamas??? Monument, to me, is one of the most pretty places I have ever been. I thought that when we lived there, and I still feel that way now. We did a lot of hiking there. (that white building is part of the Air Force Academy..can you believe we got to see a view like this every single day!) After the hike, we said a sad goodbye to Mike, Mel and Tyler, and headed back to Utah. We made one quick stop on the way home. "Santa" had to stop at the American Girl store. Once I saw how cool it was though, I found an excuse to have Mary go into the store (after my Santa duties were done and safely hidden in the trunk). Her black eyes were wide with excitement, and she loved everything about it.
I have to admit, it was pretty amazing! It was like a museum of very cool dolls and hundreds of accessories. There are currently only three American Girl stores in the United States, so we were excited to see the place. It did not disappoint. This is what Sam thought of the store.
We made it home at midnight Monday/Tuesday, and started school and work the next morning.
Aside from the emotional roller coaster I mentioned in the last post, it was truly a wonderful trip. Our family had so much fun! We plan on visiting Colorado Springs at least once a year from here on out. It is too much a part of our lives and our hearts to not go back. After all...it is our home away from home now.