Monday, June 26, 2006

Long Recap of our Trip

Whew. It is so nice to be home again. It is refreshing. This is the first time all month that life is normal and it feels so good. We had a wonderful time in 'da U.P.' visiting family and friends. It was a shorter trip than last summer, so we only had the chance to see some people only one time. But I guess once is better than not at all. I am one who really likes to spend time with people though, so seeing somebody for only 2 hours out of a whole year doesn't cut it! Especially when it is family! But, what can you do?

We had a great time with our family. My mom had a picnic for us one day with her family. My family is a bit crazy (whose isn't) and there are some disputes among my grandma and some of her children. Last summer was the same way and she didn't come to our family reunion activities because of it. This summer I sat with her before the picnic and told her how important it was to me that she be at the picnic. We all worked on her all week, and I was so excited to see her come! Maybe her heart is slowly softening. I can only continue to pray for her. Then, bless her heart, our last night there she wanted to come and visit us so badly but the power went out in alot of the U.P. and she couldn't get gas because of it and couldn't come and visit. I could tell she was disappointed. She has faults (don't we all) and tends to play favorites with her kids and grandkids. I am one of the favorites. I don't like it, but what can I do? For a long time I was the youngest grandchild. I practically lived at my grandma's house as a little girl. I have many fond memories of being with her and spending time with her. Anyway, I am getting off track here...Sorry. Our picnic was fun, despite the rain and thunderstorms. It was good to get together with the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Well, on that side of the family. It is hard because both Zach's and my parents are divorced, so we have 4 sets of parents to see!

We got to visit with Zach's dad a few times and he had fun spoiling the kids with gum, ice cream sandwiches and the works! They had fun running in his sprinkler in their underwear and torturing his poor dog. On our last visit there when we left J just bawled. I have never seen him cry like that over saying good-bye to somebody! It was so touching! He wanted to stay with Grandpa Larry!

We saw Zach's mom only for a few hours. She lives further away now, so it is difficult to squeeze in a visit. We went out for pizza and took the kids to a park. It was good to see her. H had fun talking her ear off and riding with her to the park!

We visited with my dad, my grandma, aunt, cousins and kids for a few hours another time. While a short visit, it was nice to see them all. Like my other grandma, I have wonderful memories of this grandma too. I think she is the cutest old lady. I always have. She can be stubborn, I am told, but she is so sweet. It was good to see my dad and stepmom, Pat. I always love joking around with my dad. It was fun to see all the kids play together too.

We also saw Zach's sister, Rachel and her four girls. They had just moved into a new house so I got to help her unpack a few boxes and hang a few things. H had a blast playing with the girls! From the moment we arrived I didn't even see her until it was time to eat! It was nice visiting with Rachel too. Wish we would have gotten to see her husband, but he was off at work.

One day we played at my cousin, Jodi's house. My kids love going there. J got to drive a 4 wheeler (my aunt showed him how). He was having so much fun- until he ran over Jodi's son. Luckily he was ok, but I guess J completely ran him over! Good thing it was a child size machine. H was even getting in on the 4 wheeler driving! They all were cruising around the yard! The kids always have such a fun time together. Zach got to learn to play ladder golf and had fun doing that with the guys.

Besides seeing family, we also had some time to see some good friends:
*On the drive up we stopped in Milwaukee, WI and visited our long lost friend, Chris. She was my maid of honor. We lost touch for many years (I hadn't seen her since my wedding), and just recently began communicating again. It was wonderful to see her again and to meet her husband.
*Zach got to visit his friends, Harm & Jim (though it was a brief visit). They've all been friends for forever and Zach talks to Harm on the phone more than anybody else. Harm drove all the way from Wisconsin to visit with Zach only for 1 day! They're both Packer fans and as close as brothers.
*Another long lost friend of mine is Jodie. We went to church and youth group together. We tended to be the more rebellious ones of the group, though not too rebellious. I hadn't seen her since her wedding (almost 5 years ago) and we hadn't seen each other's children (although she did see H when she was little). We met at the Bridgefest parade and it was awesome seeing her and her cute kids. They were real shy, but after awhile her daughter warmed up to me.
*We went to Marquette where we went to college and I stopped in to see this lady I worked with. She was kinda like a second mom to me while in college. I hadn't seen her in years either. Last she knew I had two kids. Boy, did we surprise her! It was so fun seeing her!
*The couple we look up to the most, our old campus minister and his wife, John and Dorothy, were a stop on our trip too. It is crazy to see how much their children have grown! It was so fun to sit and visit and eat with them. Just like old times. They are such a neat family and we had a blessed visit with them.
*We also saw my friend from college, Jen and her family. (She sometimes leaves comments on my blog). She was a social work major too, but a year or two ahead of me. Then she got married and moved away. But we've kept in touch. She has three children (her oldest a girl and the younger two boys) just like us. She is so sweet and while we only visited briefly it was great fellowship for us all.
*Due to taking a wrong turn in Chicago on our drive back we went to St. Louis and saw the Arch. Then we visited some friends at Scott AFB (where I REALLY want to go next). Their names are Jamie and Jamie and they were our neighbors in N.C. Our last names even start with the same letter. We call the male Jamie James. They had twins 9 months ago so we got to meet them. We totally surprised them and it was a blast to see their faces!

It always amazes me that even though time may pass at a fast rate between visits, phone calls or emails, you seem to pick up right where you last left off with old friends. It's like years never slipped by, but only days. It is neat how friendships work like that. That includes friendships with family too. My cousin and I are real good friends, and I think of all of my family as friends, for we just pick right up and carry on until next time.

We had such a good trip, despite a few brawls with the in-laws and each other (it is always hard staying at somebody else's house). Not for me as much, since it is my parents, but Zach has a hard time of it, poor guy. I think I'd be in his shoes if it were his parents house too. But, boy there is no place like home and it is good to be home again! Will post pictures soon. And if you made it this far you deserve an applause!


Choppzs said...

I made it, I made it! Whewww! lol Thought I better leave a comment so you knew I read everything!! Glad you had fun on your trip. I hope sometime soon we get to make it home again. Isn't brawls with the in-laws a given when going home?? lol I thought it was the norm. And it's always good to catch up with the really good friends you make throughout the years!!! Glad your back in one piece!

Choppzs said...

OH and what's my prize? lol

Amie said...

Wow, thats a lot of visiting you squeezed in to one trip.

I can imagine that it feels good to be home.