Friday, January 31, 2014

January 5 - January 11

Sunday, January 5: The end of our fun vacation finally arrived. We spent the morning packing up, and then began the long, long, drive home from Utah. It was such a fun week, thank you Coxes for having us! We left Salem at 10 in the morning, and stopped at Costco on the way out of town to pick up a bunch of yummy road trip snacks. I am not ashamed to admit that McKay and I ate our way through a whole bag of Chocolate Covered Acai berries. The kids did so well in the car the entire two days back home. We hardly had to stop at all. Older kids are definitely better at road trips! We had fun picking out red box movies to watch on each day, since we could just return them at any red box on the way home. We stopped for lunch at the famous Burger King (in Hinckley family lore, that is) for lunch, and treated ourselves to these enormous cinnamon rolls.We drove through to Albuquerque that night and stayed at Kurtis and Megan’s house. (Kurtis is McKay's old friend from junior high.) We put our sleepy kids to bed, and then stayed up way too late talking with Kurtis and Megan. They have a very interesting life. He’s an engineer working for Sandia developing and testing nuclear weapons. When asked about the non-nuclear testing agreement, he declined to comment except to say that the official position is that we don’t do any testing. Megan has her degree in special education, but she stays home with their three boys.

Monday, January 6: We woke up in the morning to yummy biscuits and gravy, thanks Megan! Tyler and Jamie played the morning away with the three boys and big fluffy black dog while Kurtis showed off his dirt bikes to McKay. The "boys" had a fun time riding around while the kids chased after them. We managed to be back on the road by 10am, and we drove, drove, drove. We stopped for lunch in Amarillo at Blue Sky, a famous burger place, and it felt wonderful to be back in the state. Why does New Mexico feel so gross? It's the same landscape, desert-y plains, but just crossing the state line out of New Mexico feels refreshing. Sorry! The red box movies du jour were Turbo and Epic. I actually climbed into the back seat to watch the movies with the kids while poor McKay had to drive across all of Texas. We pulled into Plano at about 9:30 and picked up Bronx from the Canos. He had had a great time all week running around with Hitch and Bandit, while staying out of his mama Koda’s way. (She gets growly when he gets too close.) Temperatures were in the 20s when we got home, and the house was freezing. You could see your breath anywhere inside the house. Unfortunately, our bedroom is the slowest room to get warm, and in fact doesn’t get very warm at all. I think I slept the whole night with the covers pulled over my head. We stayed very wrapped in blankets from head to toe. Even still, it was really nice to be back in our own home.

 This girl has got country in her soul.
 She could not stay in her seat when "If You're Going to Play in Texas" came pouring out of the speakers.
 She cracks me up :)

Tuesday January 7: Our first morning back presented us with a problem: frozen water pipes, directly behind our washer, which we didn't notice until halfway through washing the first load of clothes. Can you say flooded kitchen? McKay spent the morning dealing with that, while I started to take down all our Christmas decorations, which were still up. There was so much, it was a little ridiculous. McKay finished with the washer and came to help, and we all watched a Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War while we worked. Later, McKay went to Target for a new microwave because yet another one has died on us. We have the worst microwave luck!

Wednesday, January 8: While I took Tyler to school, Bronx helped himself to chewing up the camera strap. It was my fault, I had left it on the couch the night before while I had uploaded vacation pictures, but I was still plenty mad. Poor Bronx knew it was a naughty thing he had done, because as soon as Jamie and I walked in, he rolled over and peed all over the place. I can't help but laugh when he does that, even though I know I'm about to discover something awful that he's done. Tyler got a purple at school (YAY!), and McKay’s last Christmas present finally arrived, the DVD set of A&E's Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, which I’ve wanted since before we were married. I love having it on in the background while I'm home :)

Thursday, January 9: Donut Day! After McKay got home, I finally had enough time to shop for all my textbooks and supplies. I dropped about $1200 at the bookstore. Kill me now. I wanted to yell over my shoulder as I left “ENJOY MY MONEY!!”

Friday, January 10: We literally had a countdown to this day, because today was the day to buy Elton John tickets! If you recall, we tried to see Sir Reginald once before, but that did not pan out. The stars have aligned (Elton put out a new album), and we are going!
I took the kids to the library after school, and I found this sign in the bathroom. I haven't seen anything else that so aptly describes the part of town we live in :)

Funny thing was as I was investigating details about Elton's concert, another concert popped up on my radar. Who's Bad returned to Dallas, and it was that night at the House of Blues! We jumped on that right away, called some friends, and had a blast! Tyler and Jamie spent the night at their friends' house so we wouldn't have to worry about picking them up so late.

It was amazing!

Saturday, January 11: While the kids were still at their friends' house, I spent the morning getting CPR certified (another nursing school hoop to jump through).

Because the kids were so good the whole morning and because I was ready to have a fun day, we trekked out to Grapevine for a Legoland kind of day. Jamie had a grand time with the karoake part of Princess Palace, belting out various Daniel Tiger songs into the microphone regardless of which song was actually playing. (She sang "when you have to go potty, stop, and go right away" as the song "ABC" by Jackson Five played.) The interesting part is that the music doesn't carry beyond Princess Palace, but the feed from the microphone certainly does, and so the entirety of Legoland is treated to Jamie's singing: “CLOSE YO EYYYYYES AND FINKA SOM-FING HAPPEEEEE...”

Funny Things:

Jamie playing with her zipper and smiling: "it sounds like a song!"

Tyler called the hotel a "little bit house, because you stay there for a little bit."

Jamie: Talking about not going to nursery anymore, since she's a Sunbeam: "Yeah, I'm too tall for nursery", like it's a ride at Legoland.

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