Friday, December 14, 2012

Road trip to Indiana (back in October - oops!)

Back in October my extended family was all gathering in Indiana at my aunt and uncle's house, and the kids and I decided to hop in the van and go (we left on a Friday at noon, while Rob was working, and returned home the next day). My sister Kelsey made the trip with us, which helped a ton every time someone needed a snack or a laugh. She also kept me entertained as we drove. We met my parents in Indiana and stayed down the hall from them in the same hotel, so that made staying overnight easier as well.

My grandpa's health is declining, and his only brother was visiting from Colorado that weekend. So we all took the opportunity to gather together and celebrate him, family, each other. My aunt put together a slideshow video of photographs, a beautiful tribute to my grandpa, and we enjoyed the 24 hours we had with everyone. 

Getting ready to hit the road...

Pit stop at our favorite Lafayette pizza place... Arni's. 

My parents were on the road a few hours behind us, and when I texted the above picture to them, I received the one below a few hours later. {My mom's cute, isn't she!?}

Arriving at Aunt Judy's and Uncle Kenny's... their refrigerator is always covered in pictures of loved ones and it's a fun place to gather. Maddie spent a lot of time just looking and pointing at faces.

My sweet Aunt Judy - it dawned on me during this trip that my Aunt Judy is the greatest example of what it looks like to have the gift of hospitality. Ever the generous, thoughtful, gracious hostess. Never a selfish thought of herself at any moment that another person is inside her home. This picture sums up how she makes you feel when you're with her, and especially when you're in her home. My kids cried when we left, and have asked repeatedly since then when we can go back to "Aunt Judy's house in Indiana". She knows how to love.

Robbie finds a fellow Lego-enthusiast in Josh, who I believe would be a distant cousin of mine.

We stayed overnight in a hotel nearby... which went about as well as I thought it would go. Everyone slept through the night once they fell asleep (which took a while; lots of tears from the babe in a pack and play in the living room by herself, and lots of threats from mommy to two kids who kept prairie-dogging in their beds and giggling at one another until nearly midnight). 

Hotels are novel and these two had a blast. And everyone was healthy and happy, so I counted my blessings, got a coffee, and started a new day!

Oh for the love, will someone get my kids some personality?

My grandpa Bob is just the sweetest. He loves being surrounded by his family, and especially all of his great grandkids. He never gets bothered (outwardly, at least) by the noise and commotion they make. And the whole time he kept telling me how handsome and beautiful my kids are. 

Right back atcha, pops.

{rest time on mommy's lap in lieu of a nap, which she clearly needed. Either crabby or channeling her inner Lady Gaga. Or both?}

{this was right after all 3 kids got melty at the very same time, and shortly before we left to drive home}

Grandpa Bob and Aunt Kels

My aunt had made a huge lunch for everyone so we ate together before leaving. My cousin Maria (& husband Brad) showed up around that time so we got to visit with them for a bit. Her twins Alex and Sophia are so stinking cute! And it's not just a little weird to see her and my kids around the same table that she and I used to eat together around with our own siblings. Lots of memories here!

Aunt Judy with 2 of her 5 grandkids

Clockwise: Grandpa Bob, his wife Edie, Bob's brother Les in the red shirt, his wife Nancy, and my mom.


Uncle Kenny with my kids. He is a great grandpa (& a wonderful great uncle to my kids!).

Armbruster/Livingston picture before climbing back in the van...


Ready to go?

Photo bombed by my daughter doing weird things in the back seat with her blanket.

Kelsey and I enjoyed the midwest landscape on our way back home. 

Such a wonderful trip even though it was short. We are blessed by the families God has placed us in. This weekend was a good reminder of that fact!

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