Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TRIP RECAP: PART TWO


Growing up military, home has never been about any one location. Instead, it's the comfort I feel when I'm surrounded by my people. Time may pass, but when we're reunited, it feels as though nothing has changed. I don't think there's a feeling much greater than that! This visit was a bit different because it was our first time reuniting since our family grew last October. I couldn't help but wonder how it might differ from trips of the past. I'm typically that girl who mourns change of any kind, but adding Max to the mix gave so much life to our brood and made room for more love. Having a baby will shift your perspective in every way imaginable. For almost thirty years, I've known no other love than this. Now, as a mom, I appreciate these tight familial bonds and the comfort of going "home" in a whole new way. I so badly wish our family could come together more often, but I feel blessed to know that Max is loved and adored in a really BIG way by the people I'm so proud to call my own. I think we really hit the jackpot with this quirky crew!

Alright, enough of the mushy-gushy details and on with the silly memories I don't want to forget....
  • That moment you get off the plane and you're thrilled to hug your parents, then you realize they just want you to get the baby out of the carrier and stat. Being second fiddle to 18 pounds of cuteness isn't so bad, I suppose.
  • Speaking of carriers, we opted to travel sans stroller. We didn't think it would be all that user-friendly while getting around DC. Let's face it, my father was going to hold Max the entire time anyway, and he did. Watching Flyboy get my dad strapped into the carrier is an image I'll never forget. Precious is an understatement. After dad tested it out on our walk along the Potomac, we knew we were set for future outings. Max and Gampy were total troopers!
  • While mom and I went shop hopping in Georgetown, the guys opted to hang outside. We learned later on that dad and Flyboy kind of liked the attention they got from onlookers. My dad says toting Max around is a chick magnet.
  • Whenever we visit, my mom ensures that we all eat like royalty. The fridge and pantry are stocked with every goody imaginable. We're talking fancy granola, my favorite Noosa yogurt, an assortment of hummus, M&Ms, etc. I don't think I went a night without some sort of cocktail or sweet treat (some nights even BOTH). Trust me when I say my snug fitting pants will agree. Oops! Oh, and I finally got to try Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Ice Cream, and it was just as amazing as I'd hoped. While it's delicious on its own, I can't help but think it would complement apple crisp quite nicely.
  • While FaceTiming with family in Iowa, we began to play around with my dad's hideously awesome reading glasses (mom says they're hideous, dad says they're awesome). Upon setting them on Max's face, he instantaneously passed out. The timing was too perfect. We all erupted in laughter because it was equal parts adorable and ridiculous. Note: We later tried the whole glasses trick again to see if this was the secret to napping, but it was definitely a fluke. Aw, shucks!
  • For many people, Sabbath is synonymous with hymns and worship. One could argue that our first Sunday at my parents' house was spiritual in its own way. Ha! You see, my dad purchased a Party Pack for his karaoke machine and I encouraged him to get it out so we could hear the assortment of songs that came along with the new set. Imagine my delight when Katy Perry's "Roar" blared throughout the house while my dad belted the lyrics and my mom danced along.
  • If you like your dinner with a heaping side of sarcasm, you'll want to head to Dick's Last Resort. Somehow Flyboy and my mom left the joint unscathed while the rest of us donned silly hats with scribbled insults. When (hangry) in Baltimore?!
  • My dad is a man who digs routine. For as long as I can remember, there have been certain daily duties that he tends to religiously (write in his journal, make mom's hot tea, load the dishwasher, etc.). After we arrived, I could see that Max was cramping Gampy's style and I don't think my dad necessarily hated it. That being said, some of the chores weren't getting done, and I had no choice but to step in (the Danny Tanner in me didn't hate that either). I knew hell froze over when I was allowed to load and unload the dishwasher. Then when my mom asked my dad if he wrote in his daily journal since we arrived, he said "No, I'm barely even taking my beta blockers!!" We all died laughing and it became a running joke throughout the trip. I can assure you it was hilarious if you were there!
  • One night while the ladies colored Easter eggs, the guys opted to imbibe and indulge in a little karaoke. After we were done with our colorful crafting, we brought Max into the living room so he could join in on the Party Pack fun. Just as we placed our carrot cake into the oven, my dad announced that Max had another blowout. Clearly he was going to need a fresh diaper and a new outfit. For some reason or another, I asked my dad if he had any preferences regarding Max's singing ensemble. My dad blurted out "A tank top!" and I giggled. As mom and I changed his diaper, I got the idea to cut off the sleeves from one of Max's white onesies. Paired with grey sweatpants, this kid looked like he was straight out of the movie Raising Arizona. For the record, I opted to leave the makeshift tank top with my parents. I don't think Max will be sporting a shimmel shirt around Swell Rio any time soon.  

I could ramble for ages about the fun we had and the memories we made.
I'll hold these moments close to my heart until we're reunited next.


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