First we headed to Utah and saw Noah's birthparents. Katie is currently in the play The Little Mermaid, and we knew we wanted to see that! She was the most beautiful "mersister" up on that stage, and Noah enjoyed the show. His favorite part was Prince Eric's ship. And flirting with the mermaids after the show.
We also got to go to the park and dinner with Drew, whom we love, and we stayed the night at Katie's Grandma's (so Noah's biological great grandma), and he got to spend some special one-on-one time with her, doing puzzles and building a ship out of tinker toys.
From there we drove to the SLC airport and flew to Denver. I hadn't been planning to go to Colorado, but my older sister has been struggling with severe depression this past year, and when she told me she hasn't been able to make dinners, keep her house picked up, or get out of bed in the morning, I decided we would make the trip to keep her company for a week.
I love my sister. She is such a huge support to me, even when she herself is struggling. Despite the depression she's been feeling, she was still so much fun to be with for a few days. We watched tons of Modern Family while eating chocolate chip cookies and Cadbury mini-eggs, of course; we put together and hosted a 4th birthday party for my niece Jade; we made several dinners and freezer meals to help keep the family fed for the next little while; we refereed our kids fighting (they are best frenemies) and sent them to their rooms for quiet time when we'd had enough; and we went shopping and out for dessert one night. Honestly, I think the trip was just as therapeutic for me as it was for Sarah, and the kids certainly loved being together!
Oh and in typical Colorado fashion, it was 70 degrees the first two days I was in town and we spent all day playing at the park--and then we got 19 inches of snow in 12 hours. Ha! Colorado weather is completely nuts. The kids had fun making a snowman with Bapa!
I also got to see my grandparents, whom I completely and totally adore. My grandpa has been getting so frail in recent years, and he was in the hospital for almost a week this month with the flu! I have been so fearful that I wouldn't get to see him again in this life, so it was such a blessing to spend time with him. He drove me and the kids to the airport, and when we said our goodbyes, he hugged me close and said, "You have been the light of my life." It meant the world to me to get that hug and to hear those words that will stay with me for a lifetime. I hope I have many more years with my grandpa, but I also don't want him to suffer so we are all putting it in God's hands. My grandparents are as good as they come, and it is a treasure to see them with my children.
We flew back to Utah, and then drove straight to Pocatello for Easter weekend with Ryan's family. Phew! What a whirlwind! But it was worth it. So fun to be with the Nielson family. (And Ryan met up with us there so I was no longer parenting solo!) We dyed eggs, drove remote control boats in the reservoir, played with cousins, had an egg hunt, snuggled with our favorite Uncle Tanner who was home from college, and of course went to church and had an amazing Easter feast made by Grandma.
Little Sally and her cousins made quite a splash in their Easter dresses. I couldn't get over Sally's Easter hat, and I think she and Lucy look like little ladies headed to Grandma's for tea.
Another highlight of the weekend was getting to meet my newest niece, Gracie. She was born to Cole and Sara two months ago, and she is a bundle of sweetness. I almost ate her for Easter dinner, but I refrained. Instead, I let her sleep on me for an hour. Heaven! My Sally is obsessed with babies and she was delighted by Gracie, and Noah was so cute with how he "baby talked" to her and wanted to hold her all by himself.
All in all, I am so glad that I took the plunge and made this long trip with my kiddos! Is there anything in this world as fun and comforting as family?? As completely chaotic as it can sometimes be, the relationships are priceless. I love these people with all of my heart!