Sunday, November 7, 2010

After a brief hiatus ...

... we're back!  It was a lovely week in beautiful, autumn-laden Pennsylvania.  The house is a wreck of piles of messy dishes, dirty laundry and new birthday toys, the boys are both fighting colds, and I really need to finish unpacking.  But first I should update cyberspace with a few tidbits of our latest adventures.

We went "home" last Friday so Jon could be a groomsmen in one of his high school buddy's wedding.  It was a beautiful crisp, clear fall day.  And cold.  Did I mention the wedding was outside?  Brrrr.  Jude's still only breastfed (with some solids), and although he's getting better with the occasional bottlefeed, I'm not willing to leave him for more than a hours.  So Jude-bug braved the 51 degrees forecast, and sacrificed naptime, to be my date at the ceremony. In other words, I sat down just long enough to watch the bride walk down the aisle ... and then spent the rest of the ceremony trying to rock an afghan-encrusted baby (who tends to groan loudly when he's over-tired and trying to fall asleep), in my heels, in the mud, a few yards away from the blessed event.  Thankfully the grandparents took him home during cocktail hour so Jon and I could enjoy the rest of the evening kid-free.  Which was nice.  Because following the reception there was an after-party, which also took place outside, and by then my toes were just a wee bit numb.

Despite the chill it was a very sweet, special wedding.  We're thrilled for Wes and Amy, loved being part of their big day, and thoroughly enjoyed all the "little touches" that made their wedding uniquely them!

It also happened to be our twin nephews' birthday so since we hadn't had a chance to celebrate Jack's big 2 with the family we decided to combine them all in one big celebration at Uncle Micah's house.  Marmie made the boys a "Thomas the Engine" cake.  Usually Thomas the Engine is blue, but Marmie was up very late working on this masterpiece and kinda got her icing mixed up.  No matter, Jack knew immediately what it was when he spotted the cake the next morning and successfully managed to de-wheel a few train cars before the party started.

This past week was Jon's finals week.   So rather than stress him out while he needed to be studying, and rather than stress me out trying to be solo-parent for the week, the little guys and I opted to stay up at my parents' and give Jon a quiet house for the close of his quarter.  It really worked out well.  The boys had a nice change of pace to their daily routine, and I got a much-needed break from constant parenting.  Marmie and Poppa still had to work, but when they were home both boys basked in the extra attention.

I even got a girls' night out with two my childhood friends.  We ended up spending most of the evening talking about our kids and motherhood, but it's even nice to talk about being a mom without having to be one in that moment.  And even more nice to be able to eat my dinner while it's still hot, without having to cut someone else's food first and then spend half the meal encouraging that little someone to eat.  Or to eat with both hands, instead of trying to nurse a baby with one and serve up soup with the other.  Ahh, if only we lived a bit closer to the grandparents and could take advantage of their generosity more often!

Of course, it wouldn't be a trip home if we didn't stop by Poppa's office to visit Jack and Jude's fans.  Poppa's lunch breaks were occupied by a trip to the famer's market and a thorough wearing-out at the park with Jack.

There was a visit to Marmie's classroom to offer Jack a change-of-scenery (and a host of different toys) during Marmie's lunchbreak.  Jack felt like a celebrity walking down the halls, waving at all the big kids.  He couldn't stop smiling.  And Jude, well Jude borrowed a baby doll's highchair for his lunch ... and then had a hard time getting out when he was finished.  He's little, but not THAT little.

We also made sure Jack got some quality time in with his lady-love, Edie.  The duo were video-chatting a few weeks ago, and were positively giddy over a face-to-face reunion.  Jack's been talking about the evening ever since, in typical two-word sentence structure:  "Eeee-die, train."  Apparently Edie's train made more of an impression than Edie herself!

And of course we took full advantage of country livin' while we were there.  I took the boys on a drive to my Pappy's old cabin, just to see how much it had changed in the past 15 years.  On the way there we passed cows, pigs, goats, sheep, horses and buggies, and "kiiiids" (what Jack screamed when we drove by an Amish shoolyard).  We also made a visit to Great-Aunt Jani's farm to pet the doggies and horse, jump in the hay and take a tractor ride!

So yes, we had a wonderful time, which we would have had no matter what time of year, but it certainly was an extra bonus that we got to see this

roll around in this

drive down streets like this

and breathe in cool, mountain air blowing through this

Oh yeah, I got my fall fix.  And now I'm so ready to be back home again.  Sure it's not "our" house, and sure we may not be here to rake leaves in the yard next fall, and sure my kids will never remember all the times we danced in the kitchen, ran circles in the den and rolled down the back hill... but for now it's home.  It's where two of the adorable little boys live, it's where my handsome, hard-working Coastie has spent a very lonely, but fruitful week, and it's where we practice being a little family of four.  Life is good.

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