Well, I know my last post was in March, so I'm skipping a few months by doing this, but it's catch-up time, ya'll. Seriously.
(And if this doesn't tell you where my time has been spent instead of here on the blog then I don't know what will: Every time I hit the Return button on my keyboard, I'm afraid I'm going to prematurely post. Facebook has brainwashed me!)
Nate and I decided that it was high time we made another trip to California. We put our heads together and decided that the last time we actually spent time in California together was in 2006, for Christmas. I returned in 2008 for a wedding, and he was there recently for work, but it had been six years since we took a vacation there together - and there were still family members who had never met Hazel B. and Miss Piper Sue.
The majority of the pictures in this post are from Nate's phone. They're fun and cute, but they aren't as all-inclusive as I'd like to share with you. For example, we saw Suzi, Lonnie, Karina, Darrin, Jennifer, Abby, and Tucker in Exeter, but I don't have any pictures! This is Suzi's backyard haven, though. And it was indeed a haven. It was anywhere between 103 and 111 degrees outside when we were there.
This next is of Piper in her carseat. The girls did amazingly well on the drive. The only stopping we did was for food and potty breaks, which we generally combined with stops to fill up the gas tank. The only time they began to lose their cool was when we were still about an hour outside of Exeter and it was 9p.m. The sun was setting, it was getting really dark, and they'd been in the car since 5a.m. Poor things.
When we got to Suzi's, all they wanted was to go to bed. They were such troopers. They even let Nate and I take turns sleeping in the car! Hazel would chat my ear off while I was driving and the other two were sleeping; Piper would sing to herself and play with her ponies. Nate and I were shocked and amazed at how flexible they were the whole way down.
We spent three and a half days with my family in Exeter and then left on Monday to drive to Fresno to see Nate's family. Piper came down with a fever on the drive over. We kept an eye on her and made sure she stayed hydrated and cool, but when Hazel started coughing and my ears started aching we knew something was up.
We cut our time short by about a day and headed home: three sickies and one husband well enough to still drive us over the pass. I took Sudafed (because, praise God, they still sell it OTC in California!) and barely survived the altitude change as we drove through the mountains. It was miserable!
The girls weren't doing too well either; they were both on Tylenol to help with fevers and potential earaches (because if that was my sign of illness, they probably had it too). We were quite the family driving home. Nate did nearly all the driving and I tried to sleep. That seemed to help me ignore my painful ears for the most part.
Around 10p.m., still two and a half hours from home, the girls started alternating waking up and crying. Like, every five minutes one of them would wake up and cry from discomfort. It was so hard! We got home around 12:30a.m. we rolled into the driveway and rushed them into the house. We got them into bed as fast as possible and then unloaded the truck.
I hate unloading the truck.
We fell into bed around 2a.m., and the girls had us up again around 8a.m. Awesomeness. They actually slept in a little!
We had such a good time on the trip, even though we didn't get to stay as long as we might have wanted. I'm glad we left when we did, though. Nate got sick shortly after getting home. If we had all been sick on the drive, we would have taken two days to get home instead of doing it all in one shot.
Let me back up for a second, though.
There was one day while we were staying in Fresno that we decided to to hit up the General Grant. It had been ages since either Nate or I had been to the forest! And what fun!
Although I think our pictures make it look more fun than it was for the girls. I swear, by the time they hit their teenage years, I will have spun this trip to the woods as the greatest, most memorable adventure of their lives! Oh yes!
My dad asked that we take some pictures on the steps of the general store - and I'm so glad we did!
We bought ice cream inside and then sat on the steps to gobble it up before heading back down the mountain. The girls were so funny. They had two different deserts so they took it upon themselves to share their treats. My mommy heart exploded with pride.
They traded treats every couple of bites until it was all eaten up. The pictures say it all.
The last few pictures are out of order, though. The ones of our family and of us in the trees came before the general store. I'm just too lazy right now to move things around.
Heck, you're lucky you're even getting this from me! Count your blessings! Or don't. This post is getting pretty long. Shoot. I'll sign off now and be back sooner rather than later with another post about other great things. Heh.
Thanks for keeping up!