Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summertime, summertime ... Part 1

My Goodness, time flies!
This has been the busiest summer for our family, yet! Well, besides moving here last July.  :)
You would think with this being our first full summer in Colorado, that we'd be bored and looking for things to do. Uh-uh ... Not at all!
Soon after the children's last day of school, Richard's parents came for a visit the last week of May/first week of June!
It had been more rainy than "normal" here (although natives say there is no "normal" in the mountains), but we had a fantastic time showing Paul & Lynette around, sometimes dodging raindrops.  :)

Since we had planned a trip to the Midwest & New York City the next two weeks, Caleb & Antonin traveled back to Southwest Missouri with Richard's parents, so they could spend more time with cousins & Missouri family until we'd re-join them.
Six days in CO without the boys felt a tad strange, with a hint of normalcy. Ashlyn enjoyed at least two play dates, and I fit-in a Dr visit, then packed & prepared for our ten day trip. [My first Colorado Dr privatized his practice only 5 months after being his patient, which meant I found a new one]
June 9th, Richard, Ashlyn & I boarded a Southwest plane, headed for St Louis, Missouri!
As we were landing, Ashlyn was impressed with the trees. "They look animated, here, mom!" :)
We then rented a van and drove to the Springfield, Missouri area, where all Richard's family lives.
I guess I should mention that visiting the Midwest was my birthday gift ... to celebrate #40.
Richard had asked what I wanted to do for my 40th Birthday, and I asked if we could somehow visit both family & friends. Of course, it felt a bit odd not including my immediate family in South Bend, Indiana .... but we're traveling there in July (my parents are celebrating 50 years together!!).
Since the Midwest is half-way to New York City, and we had postponed the NYC plans a year ago for our move to CO.... we decided to include NYC into our Midwest trip as well.  It was purely coincidental that my 40th Birthday fell during New York, but I was later thrilled with how things panned out. 
We had a fun time meeting up with our boys, and celebrating my 40th, in Southwest Missouri!!

 The ladies in the family went antique & retro shopping. With having been born in 1975, I just had to experience what life was like back then ...   :)  :)
 We also ate at a Tea House in Ozark .... and here I am with my Birthday dessert!!   :)
 I took a selfie or two, and wondered if I looked 40 yet ...  Haha!
I'm tired of hearing the number now ... since it is only a number, you know ....and because I ended up celebrating "40", over the span of two weeks. UGH!  lol!!
... we then drove to the Southwest Illinois area, and celebrated my 40th there, too!!
I enjoyed a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel, visiting with the friends I had said goodbye to a year ago. I sat and thought about how I had first met each one. A different story for each friend.
Just not enough time to visit with each one, individually.  :)

  ....  it was SO good to see Illinois friends & church again!!!    :)
 It was like going back to see family- we all picked up where we'd left off.
I honestly didn't want to leave~
Someone asked Richard if he'd do it again (move to COS). He said he's never regretted it.
A friend turned to me and asked if I felt the same way. Cringe!! :)
Umm ... if I could transplant all our Illinois friends to Colorado, that'd be great ... lol!!  :)
I really didn't know how to answer the question on the spot. No, I don't regret the move, because I know it was all God's plan. But is life perfect? No.  :)  :)  :)
That said, I know God's plan is always perfect, so we'll see how the rest of His story unfolds ... and we'll continue enjoying Midwest visits, and people visiting us in Colorado!!   :) 
We've known the Swenson's the longest; we met their family soon after moving to Illinois (10 years ago). Jean's grandmother lived across the road from us, and the rest is history. What a great visit! :)  We saw their family Sunday evening, before heading to St Louis. We were flying to NYC very early the next morning, so stayed in a hotel next to the airport.
With a sad heart, saying goodbye to Midwest people ... we flew to NYC, and immediately put on our fast-paced shoes.
I determined I had never seen SO many people in my entire life!
At first, I wasn't impressed ... because NYC looked like a dirty, filthy city, filled with WAY too many people.  Well, the city IS dirty and over-populated ... but there's a beauty about it, too, and I can't wait to share it with you...   :)
During past trips, I  documented our activities day-by-day.
This time, instead of taking notes, I made sure we stayed together on the sidewalks, and got on/off the subway train together. One needed to be on high alert at all times in NYC- especially navigating the subway system!!  :) 
Since I have so many pictures to share, I'll save them for my next post!
Next post ... coming ...    :)

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