Wow… it was quite a whirlwind of people for us.
We drove down on Thursday after Little A’s mom picked him up and got down to my sister’s house a little after bedtime. We walked into the house and there was my baby nephew sitting in his bouncy seat to greet us. I love the smiles that little guy gave me. Then the rest of the family except my toddler nephew came and attacked us with hugs and talking and laughing. The little girls all got so very excited. It was hard to get them all to settle down and go to bed that night.
In the morning, we talked about going to the zoo. I couldn’t really walk around the zoo much, but she had some free tickets for the train which would have worked nicely… if the weather had cooperated. It decided to rain… and not just little drops, big pouring drops. We went with our alternate plan… St Louis Mills Mall. I LOVE THAT PLACE! The play area is like an indoor playground. All of the kids can play on it. They played Spy and danced on a little stage on one side of the play area and all kinds of things. It was so great. Then the mall itself is built so that you don’t have all these hallways to walk down. There is only one hallway that goes around in a big circle… well, I guess there’s two hallways since there’s one that goes down the middle so that you don’t have to walk the whole way around to get to a store that’s on the opposite side of the mall if you don’t want to. Amie and James wanted me to walk around the mall with them after a bit of playing. They wanted to see what was there.
That was a long walk. We walked a quarter way and stopped to rest and let me catch my breath, then another quarter…. and so on until we got back to the play area. I think I needed exercise like that, but it wore me out. We were there until around 3 or so.
The rest of Friday afternoon/evening was spent at Jill’s house. The rain had stopped, so the kids were outside playing. I mostly rested. Rob and Jeremy grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for us to eat. Mmmm… The adults settled down with a movie after the kids went to bed. We watched “The Blind Side”… a very good movie. It was my first time seeing it and I enjoyed it. I slept pretty well that night.
On Saturday, most of the day was spent letting the kids run around outside. I helped Jill clean up some of the house while there were no kids inside to distract or walk through the piles of dirt/cereal/crumbs we were sweeping up. Nine kids (well, eight… we won’t count the five month old baby) make quite a lot of mess.
Saturday late afternoon, we met with Jeremy’s brother Andrew Read at our favorite Mexican restaurant. He introduced us to his fiance, Betsy. It was really nice meeting her and getting to know her a little. After we left and were on the way home, the kids discussed what they thought of her thoroughly and by the time we got back to Jill’s house, they had decided they really like Uncle Andrew’s choice and can’t wait to be able to call her Aunt Betsy.
After getting the kids into bed, I took off to have a girls’ night out with my best friend, Michelle! Woohoo! Brownies, M&Ms, Dr. Pepper and Christian Bale in “Newsies”… oh yeah… good times. Lots of talking, lots of laughing and giggling, a bit of crying and serious talking, and hugs. It was what a good girls’ night out should be.
I didn’t get much sleep that night because we had to get up early for church on Sunday morning. We were going to see some friends from college. Aaron is pastoring a church in O’Fallon. I got a text that morning that Melody was sick, so we’d miss seeing her, but we’d see Aaron and the girls. It was so good to see him and hear him preaching again. Afterwards, the kids all went out to the church playground while we sat and talked a bit.
We drove around O’Fallon a little just to see how much it’s changed since we lived around there and stopped at Bandanna’s BBQ for lunch. That is Jeremy’s favorite BBQ place, so it was good to stop and have a yummy lunch before our drive home.
All in all, it was a really good trip.
I have a lot of friends down around St Louis that I haven’t seen in such a long time. I really hope that in trips to come, I will be able to meet up with them.