We are finally home and getting back into our routine. We had a great trip with our couples from church in Gatlinburg the weekend before Thanksgiving. We go every year to a Chalet there. It has 11 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. It has a living room with big screen tv, couches and a couple of chairs, kitchen, and two big kitchen tables. Downstairs has an area for a tv and pool table. It is kind of a circular building and looks like it is gonna fall off the side of the mountain. It also feels that way driving to it. We had 20 couples and a 4 week old baby girl. Did you catch that? 41 people, 11 beds, and 4 bathrooms. That is the largest group we have ever taken and we still had a lot of fun. Most of the people went to the Dixie Stampede on Saturday night but I am deathly allergic to horses so me, Stephen, Candy and Andrew went out to eat at Calhoun's and then walked the strip in the freezing cold. Then we decided we should play indoor golf and go to the mirror maze. It was heated. And it was a lot of fun. We always have fun when we are with Candy and Andrew. They keep us laughing!
We got home Sunday afternoon in time for the evening church service. Came home, unpacked and started laundry, and washed and repacked like a crazy woman. The boys had been at their dad's house since Wednesday and there was a lot of dirty clothes between all 5 of us! I wanted to update you all before we left town again, but there was no time. I hate feeling rushed when I am packing to go out of town. That is when I always forget things. And with a baby you can't be forgetting things. I wasn't sure if I would have stores close by if I forgot diapers or wipes. I was a nervous wreck the night before. Then on top of that, I knew it took my parents 11 hours to get there last time. Without us and only stopping when they had to. The boys did wonderful! I could not have asked any better from them! And yes, we told them that over and over! We headed out Wednesday morning at 7:30 sharp. We stopped for breakfast in Ardmore and didn't stop again until somewhere in Indiana for gas. Then we ate lunch there at Cracker Barrel. When we got back in the car Bryson took a nap (I think he napped a little after breakfast too) and didn't get restless until it started getting dark. That is when I broke out the DVD player that he had never seen before! I turned it on and when he saw Mickey Mouse he grinned behind his thumb that was hanging out of his mouth. Brayden and Blaine had their own DVD's too and that is what kept them from going stir crazy. They read a little bit too at the start. And I do mean a little.
We met my sister when she got off work and went out to eat next to the hotel. Bryson didn't do very well there, but it was 2 hours past his bed time. But the waitress seemed to be fascinated with us. She announced to the others that we drove there all the way from Alabama. She even hugged the boys when we left the restaurant. Then we headed for the hotel and went to sleep. Bryson was in our bed, and needless to say, we did not sleep well at all. He got a pallet in the floor the next two nights and we all slept much better.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's the next day and had a lot of fun getting to visit with her. Right before the sun went down she took us on a tour and showed us around town. We went to Lake Michigan and saw the building that she lived in before, that overlooked the lake. We walked on the beach a little. It was really cold at the beach so we didn't stay long. She showed the boys the baseball stadium and the Bear's stadium. Then she drove us downtown to Michigan Ave and showed us where she works. There were a lot of people down there even though none of the stores were open. All the windows were all lit up with Christmas decorations. It was really pretty. They had the "lighting of the magnificent mile" the weekend before. Then we went back to her apartment and ate left overs and planned what we were gonna do the next day.
On Friday we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. That was a lot of fun. We got to go on a submarine called the U-505 that we captured from the Germans in WWII. The boys really liked that. They had one whole section about farming. It was funny to go to Chicago and see all these kids from a big city looking up at a Combine with their mouths wide open. They learned about dairy farming, how milk is processed, pig farming, soybean farming, and about going green. We saw so many things there that I can't even remember them all to name them. We were there from the time they opened until they closed and we didn't see it all. That is how big this place was.
We asked the boys what their favorite part was and Brayden with his 5th grade humor said, "The hot chicks."
They had a chick incubator and they got to watch a baby chick hatch. That was my favorite part. But the boys liked the sub the best. Brayden just thought it was funny to say the hot chicks. Boys....
For dinner that night Rachael took us to a place that is famous for it's steak sandwiches and hot dogs. Portillo's, I think is what it was called. And yes...the hot dogs were real beef! Yum! Topped with mustard, onions, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, and a dill pickle spear, on a poppy seed bun! I was sharing mine with Bryson and he ended up eating most of it and crying for more so we got another one and shared it, too! Stephen had the steak sandwhich with peppers. It wasn't nice to him, but he said it was good.
After all that fun and excitement I am so glad to be back in my own bed. Of course, it is way past my bedtime now and I can't sleep. I have all these things going through my head that I want to get done. Every year I say I am going to get my cards out earlier. After all, I did buy them the day after Christmas last year! I told myself I could have them all ready to go out and when the pictures come in, stick those bad boys in there and throw them in the mail! Thanksgiving weekend. Didn't happen. We had our pictures taken on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I haven't even dug them out of my secret hiding spot. Not that they are secret, that is just where they ended up getting stuck. I have Brayden's quilt ready to sew as soon as he leaves for his dad's this weekend. I have the patterns cut for their p.j. pants I am going to attempt to make. Attempt. That fabric may end up in a quilt if I crash and burn!
My mom asked me the other day why I have been having trouble sleeping. I told her that if I told her why she would laugh.
"I craft in my sleep. You know...I come up with ideas to do. In my sleep."
She did laugh...and roll her eyes. Then she told me she decorates rooms in her sleep. Now I know where I get it! Never make fun of your mother. You will end up just like her.
Well, that is enough for today. I realize I have written a book. Sorry for that. Oh...and where are the pictures from our trip? I got there and started looking for the camera. I asked everyone if they had seen it. No one had. So I finally decided that I had left if on the kitchen table, which was weird because I thought I could remember sitting it in the front seat with my purse and my purse was there! On the way home Stephen says, "You know...I think I stuck your camera under the front seat in that drawer." Thanks Stephen.