Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flew Past January, Sliding Through February, and Onto March...

Before I give my 4 big excuses for not having posted in ages, I have to thank those friends who actually check my blog often enough to notice that it is outdated. Seriously, I didn't realize anyone cared....shows ya how much I still have to learn about the blogosphere (yes, I had to look up how to spell that word.)

So here are the BIG 4 reasons why I've been too busy to blog...or too tired....or ....

BIG REASON #1 - Our Trip to Utah

We had been planning for a couple of months to take a trip up to Utah in early January. I had meticulously prepared every detail, Pricelining hotels, rental cars, and using airline miles for airline tickets etc. What do they say about the best laid plans? Well, two days before our flight was to leave, both Maija and Rebekah got fevers. We immediately got them to the doctor's office, so we could make sure they got healthy ASAP. Nice try!!! Rebekah had a double ear infection, and Maija had strep. Both girls went on antibiotics, and the doc suggested we get Rebekah rechecked the night before our flight.

Thursday evening we took Rebekah to the pediatrician, and she said her ears hadn't gotten any better and that she strongly recommended we not take her on an airplane!!! Sigh! She said that both girls were fine to travel, just not on an airplane. We called the airline, the car rental places, the hotels, and luckily, we got SOME of our money refunded. But the real question was whether to try to drive up to Utah or let it go. We finally opted to drive and faced another interesting challenge, snow, LOTS of it! After a grueling drive, we made it to Utah, and proceeded to visit as many people as possible. You can see pics here.

BIG REASON #2 - The Girls' Birthdays

Maija and Rebekah's birthdays are 6 days apart, so I decided to do one party for both girls and have it be a mostly family affair. With 12 cousins on their daddy's side of the family, seven of them under the age of 5, we figured that would be enough chaos and fun for all of us! Although it was Rebekah's first birthday, I knew that Maija would care a lot more about it, so I opted to go with a SuperWhy theme....her absolute FAVORITE cartoon in the whole world. The problem is that the cartoon is new enough that there are ZERO SuperWhy products out there: no dolls, no party items, no posters, nothing. Here's where I prove my dedication as a mother - I made SuperWhy balloons, plates, cups, and a tablecloth all by myself the night before the party....OK, not ALL by myself, Kent did help a lot. But, as he put it, I would never have done this for the girls, if you weren't doing it. That's why I'm the mommy. The party was great! You can see pics

BIG REASON #3 - Spain Trip

That's right! Kent and I went to Spain. It was an amazing trip. Not only were we on our own without the girls, but we had such a great time seeing beautiful Spain. I played tour guide, having lived in Madrid as a little girl and again in my early 20s as a missionary. We saw some of the most amazing castles, cities, cathedrals, and I had a lot of fun using my Spanish again. We rented a car right at the airport in Madrid on Friday morning (we arrived at 9am) and then drove straight to my old house in the town of Pozuelo, outside of Madrid. I had visited the house during my mission, and again right after my mission, but that was 14 years ago. Not much had changed in 14 years, but it felt like home being back in that neighborhood.

I've realized that my home is really a combinations of many places and houses, since I moved around so much growing up. To be able to go back and see the places where I lived, gives me a sense of being at home. I don't know if that's what people feel, who grew up in one house, when they visit home...maybe I'll never completely know that feeling, but to me home is more like a puzzle that is made up of many pieces. When it's all put together, I feel at home.

After our stop in Pozuelo, we drove down to the old city of Toledo. We spent the night there and had a great time seeing the city's cathedral and also being there during Spanish "carnaval". We had churros con chocolate (SO yummy) and strolled around like honeymooners, holding hands and reveling in our independence. The next day we drove to the east coast to the timeshare we had reserved, stopping at some amazing sites along the way.

Unfortunately, the timeshare was the biggest downer of our trip. It didn't have any heating, which made it VERY cold, since it is Winter there. There was also virtually no hot water to shower, so we suffered through one night and freezing cold showers, and then decided that even though it would be a lot more expensive, we had to get out of there. We took off within the first few hours, and drove up to Barcelona where we spent 2 days. I won't describe all of Barcelona because you can see the pics here.

After Barcelona, we drove back to central Spain to the city of Segovia. Again, see the pics to get an idea of what we saw in Segovia: the Roman aqueduct, the Alcazar castle, our amazing hotel, and the city itself. Our last night we spent in Madrid, where we enjoyed a Flamenco show. The next morning (1 week after arriving in Spain) we got on a plane and flew back to normal life. It was SO great to see the girls again; I had been missing them a lot. I think the saddest part of coming home was calculating exactly how much money we had spent there, but how often do you get to go to Spain? *grin* It was worth every dollar (or euro!)

BIG REASON #4 - Kent's Birthday

Because Kent is a Valentine baby, we always separate celebrating Valentine's Day from celebrating his birthday. This year Kent requested a karaoke birthday party, so we sang away the evening (see pics here --> ). We also bored everyone with our Spain slideshow, but we sure had fun!!!!

NOW YOU'RE UPDATED! There is, of course, more to tell, but that'll have to wait until another day...