i flew out of dc last thursday morning and was so excited that i could barely contain my joy. after an easy flight, i finally touched down in dallas and quickly found my bag. happily, sarah was already there waiting for me with scott and molly in the car fast asleep. on the drive to her house i couldn't stop poking the kids and playing with there feet. it was hard to believe that i was finally there in texas seeing them for the first time in over a year.
it was nice to finally see my sister's house after all of this time. the dining room was one of my favorite spaces in her home. even though none of us particularly like mission style furniture, we all love this dining room table, and especially the oversized chairs. go figure.
one of the first things we did was to stop by sonic so i could get a route 44 cherry limeade. we went there multiple times during my stay. one of my new favorite drinks is the lemon cream slush. it almost tasted like a tart 50/50 bar.
when we picked sophia up from school i stayed in the car then jumped out when she got close. i was so happy that she remembered who i was without any prompting!
that evening we went to sophie's school to see the kindergarten play. not only did she have the best costume, but she was the only child who you could hear clearly. the experience kids gain using microphones to give primary talks certainly pays off!
the next day was field day for her whole school. i got to eat lunch with her in the cafeteria, and i knew i had to document her beloved pink milk.
that morning scott and i had made posters to cheer sophie on. can you believe that we were the only people there cheering for anyone? when i was in school field days were a major deal. i guess times have changed...
later that evening we went to the wiggles play center, which is basically like chucky cheese. the kids were exhausted but they pushed through it, as all children do when they really want to play.
that night my mom flew into town since she just couldn't help but be part of the good times. graciously, i allowed her to crash my vacation.
guess what? she has hair now! it's soft and fluffy like duck down and we all love it. eventually she will be able to get it colored, and then after a while her normal hair will return. we're so excited for her!
by saturday morning i was suffering from a major cold, though my dad thinks i contracted pig flu. i'll go along with that as long as it garners me some sympathy. i had body aches, a burning throat, and was seriously congested. the nice thing about being sick at someone's house is that there are people there to take care of you. sarah went out and bought me some juice and kept me on a steady supply of mucinex, advil, chloraseptic, and this amazing prescription gargle with codine in it. hot darn. it completely numbed my aching throat.
that day we did a lot of shopping at hobby lobby while the kids were at a primary activity, then ate lunch at an organic market called sprouts. more on my wonderful shopping experiences in another post.
one of my 'to-do' items for this trip was to see the dallas temple while i was there. i love to see the temples when i visit a new city, and the children had never been before. i took a very sweet video that makes my heart melt of sophia singing 'I am a Child of God' outside the gates.
sarah commented on how peaceful it always is around a temple, regardless of where it is located, and wondered if we only felt that because we knew how important they were, or whether everyone could feel that peace. i think anyone with their heart in the right place can feel a portion of the Spirit when they are near the temple.
we then went into downtown dallas and had lunch at a place called twisted root were don had been with some friends from work.
the food was excellent, particularly these fried pickles. they tasted like fried zucchini but with a little kick.
funny thing, they were featured on diners, drive-ins and dives a couple days later, and we were able to watch it on the food network before i left.
while were were dowtown we also drove past the flagship neiman marcus. who knew it was in dallas?
after eating we made our way over to the kennedy assasination spot to see the book depository and the grassy knoll. coming from monument city usa, i was a very disappointed with the area. you would think that there would be something marking the spot were a beloved us president was assasinated. there was a monument a few blocks away, but it was in abismal state. maybe dallas just has no love for democrats, assasinated president or not.
from there we went to fort worth to see the stockyards and the twice daily longhorn parade. while we were waiting grandma paid for sophie and scott to ride the ponies. they were in hog heaven.
can you believe that don spent the entire day sitting in between two carseats so that my mom and i could have more room? what a nice guy.
on monday we did a lot more shopping, then dropped my mom off at the airport that night. i cried my eyes out in the car. it always hurts when your mom leaves.
tuesday i went to scott's preschool to drop off a snack and read to his class. i've wanted to make that dirt dessert since i saw it at a relief society meeting when i was still in primary. i thought preschoolers would appreciate it.
scott is just so darn cute. it was western day and he looked ridiculously adorable in his cowboy hat.
later in the day i helped sarah prepare for some classes she and don were teaching for a parent meeting at his school that night. she taught a class about cooking with kids, and don taught about gardening with kids.
when we picked sophia up from school that day, it was finally time to buy her the fish i had promised. after narrowing her choices down to something that could fit in a tiny tank, we still spent a good amount of time going over and over all the options. about 10 minutes into the deliberation process, i saw a display of beta fish complete with tanks, food, and water conditioner. i then made an executive decision that a beta was the easiest thing to buy, and since we were only getting one fish i figured it was a natural choice.
we then spent another good chunk of time going over all the color choices until she finally settled on a pretty blue and purple variety.
do you have any idea how cute it is to hear a six year old tell a fish how much she loves it and that she promises to take good care of him forever and ever? priceless.
wednesday morning i was slated to leave on an 11:30 am flight, but before that we took the kids to the dentist so that sophie could get two teeth pulled and scott could have a cavity filled.
these were the first teeth sophie has lost, and she was over the moon about it.
after we left the dentist, scott got a hold of a full sippy cup and chugged most of it down in under a minute. this massive intake of fluid combined with the pain medication he had to drink in the dentist's office, and the fact that he hadn't eaten that morning, led to a throw-up accident in the car. i felt so bad for the poor kid, but luckily he was so out of it he just sat there, said, 'mommy, i'm gonna throw-up,' did his business, then dropped off to sleep.
at one point he woke up again and started drinking what was left in his cup. as we were barrelling down the freeway sarah and i both turned around and started yelling, 'drop the sippy cup! DROP IT RIGHT NOW!!!' he kept wailing back, 'i can't help it! i so thirsty!' then he threw-up again and dropped off back to sleep. poor, poor kid.
we finally made it to the airport and i started weeping profusely. i was not eager to go back to my life as it is in dc, and i couldn't bare knowing that it would be a long, long time before i saw any of the children again.
since returning home, i've felt disoriented and very disinterested in being here. after acknowledging the fact that there were no external influences making my life in dc miserable, i realized that it was a matter of attitude and faith. slowly, slowly i'm coming around. but, man, i miss the suburbs, i miss family and children, i miss easy access to the things i need, i miss overtly friendly people, i miss peace and quiet, i miss big blue skies, nature, and flowers on the sides of the rode, i miss livestock in people's yards, i miss moms who stay home with their children, i miss sunsets, i miss little voices and tiny hands...i could go on and on, but i'll stop there. i'm thankful that i was able to spend time with my family and live in suburbia again, if only for a short time. this vacation gave me hope for the time when my work here is done and i can go back to a more pleasing living situation.
more about each child, and the fun details of my shopping excursions tomorrow!