Wednesday, June 10, 2009

to Wisconsin and back. . .

Two weeks goes by pretty fast when it's spent with people you love. It was wonderful to spend that time with our families and, as always, it went too fast.

It's been almost five years since we moved out east (Aug. '04) and I've been on the roller coaster of homesickness since then. Sometimes I am completely fine. But then come the other times. The harder times. This is one of those times. I'm feeling sad about all that we're missing out on by not being close to our family and I'm feeling guilty about all that they're missing out on by not seeing our kids grow up in person.

During Andy's three years in seminary, I can't think of a prayer that I prayed more than the prayer to move back home when Andy was finished. Clearly, God had other plans for us. I do believe that this is where we're supposed to be, but it's really hard sometimes. My feelings are probably amplified by the fact that I have a new niece that I won't get to see much, we have a little baby who they won't get to again until he's one, and our next trip home isn't until after Christmas. Sigh.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think it also makes the times that we do have together that much sweeter. Like these moments of meeting baby Ava for the first time.And other fun family times:

Grady snuggling up with Auntie LoriWhile the guys were out at the New Glarus Brewery tour, we ladies stayed back and gave each other pedicures. My toes were in desperate need. Auntie Lori took on the job of making Bella's feet pretty. Grandma Debbie and her Kilps grandkids. Burp cloth is strategically placed. If it's not spit-up, it's drool. You always end up with a wet shoulder one way or another after holding this kid.Friday was zoo day. It had been a while since my last visit to the Milwaukee Zoo.

Bella's been on an alligator kick lately (we play make-believe and she always likes to be an alligator while Graydon and I get to be koala bears). I loved getting these wax molds when I was a kid and am glad to pass the tradition on to Bella. The fish were a big hit. Grandpa Mike with the Kilps grandkids. . . . and with Grady Boy. I forgot to get photos of my Dad with Graydon during my last visit, and wasn't about to make the same mistake twice. We celebrated my Dad's 60th birthday. Our family is growing fast. We're all here, except Lori. With our size, it's hard to get everyone together at the same time. This was pretty close. Grandpa with his grandkids (plus Kristen & Jeff).Grady Boy loves Auntie Steph. . . and Uncle Jeff!Sydney just woke up and is a very happy girl. After the week in Kenosha was up, we drove out to Verona. Bella had so much fun playing with her cousins. This was the first of many popcorn snacks throughout the week. We took a little trip to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum and rode the train. Here are some photos from that afternoon.

Graydon also loves Auntie Laura. . .

and Uncle Tim!More fun with the cousins. Bella is already excited for their visit out here in August!We got to see one of my best girls, Jenny, who I haven't seen in a while. Both of us moved away from Kenosha and weren't home at the same times. Recently, she and her family moved about a half hour away from Andy's parents; which meant that we could get together!!! It was so much fun to spend time with them.We started our trek back to New Jersey on Sunday afternoon and finished up on Monday. Both kids did really well on both trips. Both needed a little TLC at different stages, but that is to be expected. Bella kept herself entertained with the dvd player. I believe she is watching 'Hairspray' in this picture and had the "Nicest Kids in Town" song on repeat. We listened to that song at least 15 times.Graydon liked to look out the window.One quick funny: Before our trip, we kept telling Bella that we were going to Wisconsin. When we got there, we went to Grandma & Grandpa Benetti's house for a while and then stayed the night with Auntie Mary. Bella kept saying that she wanted to go to Wisconsin. We were confused and told her several times we told her that we were in Wisconsin. This continued for a while until she said that she left her kitty cat in Wisconsin. It was then that we realized that, in her 3-year-old mind, 'Wisconsin' was really Grandma & Grandpa's house.


Anonymous said...

im so excited that you finally got to see Q!! I know it's been along time for you guys.

Great pics. Looks like you guys had fun in Verona as well.

I bet your glad to be back!!

auntie mary

Mom Debbie said...

sounds like you had an eventful two weeks. Before you know it, it will be the holidays.