It is hard to describe where my husband and I grew up. They are both rather small towns. I graduated with 76 in my high school class and my husband only 57. You "grew" up with everyone in your class. I still talk to some friends that I met in kindergarten. You knew everyone....their brothers, sisters, cousins...my dad and grandparents probably even knew their parents and grandparents from years/decades before. It was neat. There are a lot of people from both of our classes that moved back to the areas after graduating and are raising their children there now. I grew up in a very rural area but my parents moved to a small town close to there shortly after I graduated college. Not much changes there over time....one restaurant will move to another side of town...one will close...one will reopen.
My husband's town is even smaller than where my parents live. It is so bad over the weekend, my sister-in-law wanted to call time and temp to see what the temperature was outside. She asked my father-in-law if the number was the same (from when she lived there 18 years ago), I said "of course, it is...this is L*****". My father-in-law laughed so hard he almost snorted. I replied, "What?". He said, "Yup...not much changes here." Time sort of stands still there. Not much changes from trip to trip. The biggest news a couple of years back was they were ripping out sidewalks and widening them. My husband and I laughed at this because we haven't lived in those areas for almost 20 years now and we are definitely living in larger areas and faster moving areas now. However...there is a certain comfort going back. The first obviously is that our families live there. It is nice to see all of our nieces and nephews together. My children have so much fun and are so sad to leave them. They look forward to our visits "back home" as much as they do Santa coming to their house. They tell everyone they see for days, sometimes weeks that they are getting to see their families. It makes me sad sometimes that they don't get to see them more often but they definitely make up for it when they are there. They squeeze every minute they can with their relatives....hence why I only had 9 hours of sleep in two days! We are lucky in the fact that both families live 30 minutes from one another so we can feasibly visit with both families in a weekend. Not a lot of time with each family but we make the most of it.
Friday we met my new niece and the kids' new cousin (and what a cutie she is). We have been working with Hailey and being "gentle", "baby", "kissing baby's forehead". She didn't do too bad. Hailey showed off her new army crawl, clapping, and "so big". She gave everyone big, fat, slobbery kisses!
|Cousin sleepovers at Mamaw's are the best!|
Saturday, we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant (we have lived in our city for over 5 years and have yet to find one that we love) and then the kids roller skated. My oldest was quite apprehensive at first, but I'm very proud of him. He was "skating" by the end by himself with a little support from the outer wall. After that, we headed to my husband's parent's house. They were all anxious to see the kids...no one really wants to see my husband and I...I think they would be okay if we just dropped of the 3 little ones :-) We had dinner from my favorite Mexican restaurant. I visited with my in-laws (mother, father, sister, and brother-in-laws) while the boys did their thing with the cousins. I love when they get together...it is like they are never apart. There are the occasional squabbles but when you have that many children together...there generally is. Hailey showed off there too.
|Hailey was obsessed with her girl cousins at both Mamaw's|
|Taking a break|
|Overcoming his fears|
|Oh how I LOVE this smile!|
|Getting a little braver|
|Another cousin sleepover!|
Sunday morning, we had brunch and then attended my niece's basketball scrimmage. That is what I probably miss the most. I would love to see them participate in their activities. Unfortunately, with 3 children with their own activities, I miss most of their stuff. Thank goodness for video cameras and now FaceTime on our iPad. Sunday quickly came to an end and it was time to drive back home. All 3 were wiped. 2 out of the 3 slept part of the way. Little Miss Hailey actually did not cry while she was awake...we have made progress!
I wish I could have taken pictures of our drive home. It is neat to see some of the "sights" along the way. I love the names of some of the Mom and Pop restaurants and stores. We pass a casket company and a distillery. We saw a lot of cornfields under water this trip with the flooding we had last week. Lots of hills, trees, livestock and this trip police along the way. I almost think you have to be from the Midwest to appreciate it sometimes. I think people living in larger cities just "don't get it". I'm not sure my children will understand how life was growing up. We didn't have the opportunities they have. We didn't "do" all the stuff they get to do. Even shopping was an ordeal because the distance you had to drive. It was an all day affair.
|The sun setting and making the shadows longer|
|My "patient" travelers (yes, I was at a stop light).|
I found this on Facebook this evening. It is a group called "You Know You're from **** County When..." Some of these might give you a glimpse into how/where I grew up....they are kind of funny (but oh so true).
- When more than half the kids are out of school because of deer season.
- You give directions by "landmarks"...turn right at the red barn...go straight past the big yellow house where such and such lives
- A church's big fundraiser every year is a "shooting" match
- Everyone waves at everyone
- Your grandma sat outside when the weather was nice and could tell you who drove up and down the road for the last 8 hours and somehow either knew where they were coming from or where they were going
- You have some of the same teachers your parents had in school.
- You went "tick-tacking" at least once in your life
- Most summer jobs were "putting up hay"
- You don't worry about hitting other cars on the way home, you worry about hitting a deer
- You know how to play euchre and probably learned shortly after you learned to walk
- Parties by a lake or a pond is a common occurrence
- Most towns did not have traffic signals...you were lucky if they had a stop sign
- You have wrestled a hog, or if you haven't then you have watched and wanted to deep in your heart...
- You know EVERYONE you went to school with and probably still remember them 20 years later
|No matter where we are traveling from...this is always a sight we love to see!!!|
January is closing in the next few hours and on to February we go. My precious, healthy little girl will be turning one in 26 days...it just doesn't seem possible. Her first birthday means more than I ever thought a day could. It is so much more than a birthday. I'll write more about that this week. We are gearing up for follow up appointments over the next few weeks. We start tomorrow with audiology again. Crossing my fingers for decent news or something other than "inconclusive".
I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! We are having very mild weather here still and it was great to get the kids outside and to travel without worrying about snow or ice!
|My tired little traveler|
|Still tired the next day|