We had big plans to get up at 4 and be on the road by 5. I checked my clock when I fed Cece around 3, and when I rolled over to check my clock again, I was thinking, "it shouldn't be light at 4 a.m." to find out it was 6:10. We never heard Greg's alarm.
We managed to get on the road by 7:30 and the girls did great on the drive. It was Cece's first road trip, so I was interested to see how she would do. She had a little fussiness off and on, but overall she did amazing!
We stopped in Idaho Falls for "breakfast" but Ellie decided she would rather have steak.
We made it to Helena before 4 and decided to surprise Uncle Kyle at work. He and Jonette have recently purchased a new business, and we wanted to check it out. This was his first time meeting Cecilia, and he was excited to beat everyone else (except Ky, of course).
I am so grateful Ellie is a good big sister. She loves to keep Cece entertained.
We always enjoy staying in Kiera's room when we come to visit, and Ellie had already decided how to arrange things. "Mom, Lynnie and I will sleep on the floor again, next to the wall. Where should we put Cece's pack-n-jack? I don't know if there's enough room by us. Maybe we could put it in Kiera's closet!"
When we arrived, though, we were
aghast at kicking Greg's parents out of their spot thrilled to be put in the apartment. Mom and Dad were very nice and navigated the stairs to Kylene's room, so that we could have more space and a fridge to store milk. We quickly got everyone dressed (the girls had all traveled in their pajamas) and headed to Kiera's graduation party. She had a combined party with four friends at the Fairgrounds.
Jonette and the other moms created beautiful decorations and a tasty meal. Each Senior created a display with pictures and some of their accomplishments.
It warmed my heart to see that Kiera proudly displayed her Piano Festival trophy alongside her cheerleading photos and scholastic awards.
So many fun people to hang out with! Visitors for Kiera included, Grandma, Grandpa, and Dan; Tammy and Clayton; Kylene and Tobyn; and us.
Kaysen and his friend acting all 'blue steel'
The only downside to the evening was that I had forgotten to pack jackets so the girls were a little cold. It was perfect for me, which meant everyone else was freezing. I had plenty of Cece's blankets, so we wrapped up in those, but it's not the same. And it was pretty windy, so even though we tried to keep Cece's head covered, she swallowed a bunch of air and had a rough night with an upset stomach.
Kiera with her best friend Caitlin
Lynnie loves Tobyn and can't get enough of him! She calls him "my Tovin."
Ellie and Ky are twins, and Ellie likes to tell everyone that. They really are super similar--extremely smart, sonic hearing, picky eaters (preferring meat to anything else), and perfect oldest sisters.
One of the best parts of being at the fairgrounds was the fantastic playground. I had so many childhood memories, as much of the equipment here was standard on the playgrounds of my youth. It was fun to watch Ellie and Lynnie explore and play. I wish there were more of these classic pieces on the playgrounds we frequent now!
I had so much fun playing with the girls that I took way too many pictures. Some with my phone and some with my real camera.
This cool piece was good for climbing and sliding.
Dad and Grandpa had fun helping Lynnie on the elephant slide.
That's impressive, Kays, playing soccer while holding a 36 pound 4 year old!
And here are the pictures from the real camera. The sky was gorgeous!
This half-circle ladder was my favorite at the playground as a child. Seriously. We would just scamper to the top and chat for hours. Or we would have contests to see who could go up one side and down the other without changing position--so you were headfirst at the end. And contests to see who could do a spider-man crawl the fastest on the bottom. So many good memories!
Ellie climbed right up, and then was glad Kaysen was close by for a rescue.
There is a ladder on the bottom of the rocket, but the hatch had been welded shut. Kaysen and his friends just climbed up the outside until they could squeeze inside. You know, no big deal.
Ellie always makes friends, and today was no exception. These cute sisters were 4 and 5.
Cute Ellie was repeating what we have been talking about for months. How she is registered at Fox Hollow but we are trying to get in to the charter school. She is currently 72nd on the waiting list.
These girls helped Ellie be brave, as she wanted to try and do everything they were doing.
Caitlin's younger sister Brooklyn was very kind to Lynnie and played with her for most of the evening. I think she pushed Lynnie on the swing for a solid hour.
Go, Daniel, go!
After some clean-up, we headed back to Kyle and Jonette's house to get ready for bed. After showering and getting into pajamas, we chatted with everyone for a few minutes. Lynnie is a big fan of Macy now.
We finally got everyone to sleep around midnight. I love Cece's sleepy eyes!
So much fun to be with some our favorite people in the world! I was talking with Kiera over the weekend, and I realized that a lot of people in my current world do not know that Greg and I have a "first family." We have lived in our current house for over 8 years, and Kyle and Jonette only lived on this street with us for about a year and a half before they moved to Montana. A lot of the people who knew them have moved away as well.
Living by Kyle and Jonette and their children for 8 years is such an integral part of my history and who I am as a person. They were with us through the thick of the infertility struggles and it healed a lot of pain to be included in their family and to be able to "borrow" their children. It happened with all of the kids multiple times--I would have one of them with me while doing errands or an activity, and people would talk to us and think I was the mom. The kids always thought that was funny. I remember one time Kylene saying, "Aunt Heather, that lady thinks you're my mom. That's funny. But we can let her think that if it makes her happy."
Over time we have made less trips back and forth and have spent less time together, but the bond is still there. We slip into old, comfortable habits and it is just good to spend time with each other.