Last weekend was a blur of a road trip to Mesa, AZ, and a couple of quick days to be with this little princess on her 1st birthday:
My traveling companions were Scott and Ashley. (Remember them? They got married this past June)
Scott drove, Ashley alternately slept and conversed in the back seat, and I rode shotgun. I'd anticipated sleeping a lot (my usual behavior after 10 minutes in a moving car) but Scott likes to talk a lot more than L does, so I was entertained the entire way there. He can recite quotes from just about every movie he's ever seen as well as Project Runway, of which he is quite a fan, apparently. (I like what marriage has done for him!) He kept me laughing and the drive went quickly. (For me, anyway...) We arrived at Katie's house a little after 9pm and Mia had been waiting up for us. She ran out and gave us all big hugs. Then she told us that they'd been cleaning up their house all day long. *oh really? I thought it always looked spotless...* But trust a 4 year old to air the dirty laundry. Literally.
The next morning, the little girls were up bright and early. Like 6am early. No bueno. But how do you resist this little face coming in to get you up when she says "Mema, get up! It's a very sunshiny day!"
I'm always surprised at how long it takes to get everyone ready in the morning. I probably take longer than anyone, but it's especially hard when you try to shower and Mia wants you to play. We finally finally made it out of the house in time to all go to lunch together. It was so much fun to have 2 of my 3 kids together, along with our newest family member, Ashley, and the two little girls. We laughed and laughed and had a great time.
We made another trek Friday night to the Children's Museum in Phoenix and then Katie stayed up late sewing a cute outfit for Hayden to wear for her birthday party the next day. Hayden isn't fond of sleeping through the night these days, so after 2-3 times up with her, Katie was exhausted. Mema was in charge of breakfast in the morning. Surprisingly, I managed to muddle through. Katie got up, and we all trudged to Trader Joe's (me sans shower or makeup) and a regular grocery store for party ingredients. We made pink princess cupcakes, chocolate dipped pretzels and marshmallows, and got the party organized.
The guests arrived, Hayden was adorable and picked away at her cupcake just like we hoped she would. The only snafu was when she tried to take off her pink party hat and the elastic snapped back on her face. I think it hurt her feelings and she cried.
After the guests left, Scott and Ashley ordered some Indian food and we sat around the dining table and laughed until we cried. I think that's what I love most about being with my kids - we just laugh so much. One old friend, now living in Mesa, came to the party and stayed after with all of us. I haven't seen Sandy in a few years and it was great to catch up. She remembers Scott from when he was tiny and he'd stand on the bottom of her refrigerator looking inside to see what there was to eat. She always doted on Katie because she had no girls of her own. And Rex was like one of her own. I love Sandy and it was wonderful to sit and laugh with her over old times.
Too soon Sunday morning came, and it was time to leave. Mia (predictably) cried, which made me feel like crying. She had on her new pink shoes that she calls her "happy shoes." We'd gotten them on Saturday when we were out. She was wearing them to church, and through her tears she promised me she would be a happy girl and sing her Primary songs.
Why is it that you're barely back from being away, and all you can think about is the next time you can go back?