Monday, May 26, 2008

Gardens, Bike Rides, and Laughs...

This weekend has been quite an adventure. Thursday night my mom and stepdad were due in mid-evening from their two week, two day honeymoon to Switzerland. Their plane was delayed, delayed, and delayed some more before they finally arrived shortly before midnight. Their plane from JFK wasn't cleared for take-off and had to be switched with another plane (thankfully they hadn't boarded yet). Long story short, they finally got here and I finally got to see my mom again!! There's just something about her being in another country across the ocean that made me miss her immensely. I don't know how people do it who are missionaries to other countries and such. The hardest day was Mother's Day and not even being able to talk to her. It was soooo great to see her, we hugged and hugged!! We finally got back to the house about 12:30 and chatted for a short bit before heading to bed.

Friday morning we slept in a bit while poor Tim went to work. :( It was nice to have a relaxing morning just catching up with them and hearing about their trip. About 11:30 we headed out to the Chicago Botanic Garden. It unfortunately takes quite some time to get up there. Once we arrived, it was a wonderful, relaxing time. It did get a bit chilly and started to look like it might storm so we hurried a little bit in some spots, but it did get better after a while. We saw lots of pretty flowers and lovely gardens. It also makes me sneeze quite a bit, but it's worth it. Here are some fun pictures from the day:

I called my hubby when we were leaving and he gave us directions to take a less stressful, non-interstate route. That was MUCH better! Especially since we left about 3:30... right into rush hour traffic. We picked up some groceries on the way home and got back about 5:30 pm. Then I showed them all of the pictures from their wedding week, rehearsal, and wedding. It was fun reminiscing with them. They've been married about five weeks now... it's hard to believe! That night we watched the season finale of NCIS which we had recorded for them while they were away. They were ready for bed about 9 pm... after all the day before they'd been up for about 24 hours while traveling and were dealing with some jetlag. So they went to bed.

Saturday we slept in just a tad (about 8 am), then mom made me some French toast... I just love her French toast so that was very exciting! :) Then we got ready and headed out for our bike ride. This was the first time we ever rented bikes (since they'd taken the train up to get here before leaving for their honeymoon, obviously they didn't have their bikes with them). It was a bit of an adventure, but it was a lot of fun. We did 11 miles in about 2 1/2 hours, and I'm glad we did it. We got back here about 1 pm and had lunch, and watched the two episodes of Without a Trace they missed while they were gone. Then they helped me weed the garden, which was a huge load off my back! Gardening is incredibly painful for me now, and it went so fast having three helpers. Then we relaxed in the backyard in the hammock and lawn chairs until it got too chilly to stay outside. Then we played a fun game called Couplz. It's a Christian couples game were you win based on how well you know your spouse. Tim and I won against my cousin and her hubby years ago when we were first married. This time mom and Jerry beat us! It must be that you just get more comfortable after being married for years and think you know stuff about each other, but really you don't... you knew more when you were first married. Anyway, then we grilled dinner, and relaxed to a movie, and went to bed at a decent time. It was another full, relaxing, and wonderful day. But my body was screaming at me in pain!

Sunday we went to church, learned from God's Word, showed Jerry around the new church building (he hadn't seen it yet although mom had), and then went to lunch at one of mine and mom's favorites Baker's Square. We had a bad run of luck there and some bad service, but it was good company. After we got home we relaxed for about an hour and then my aunt from Chicago (mom's sister) came out for several hours to hear all about their honeymoon. After she left, we played some more Couplz, had dinner, and watched another movie. It was sad to realize our time was coming to an end, but I was feeling exhausted and I know they were tired from the trip and a bit ready to see it end and get back home. It was a great time, although I was in a lot of pain I also just loved seeing them, hearing about the trip, seeing mom so happy, learning more about Jerry, and laughing at their "newlywed-ness". :)

This morning we got up early and took them to the Amtrak train station a little ways from here, and put them on a train back home. It was much easier saying goodbye this time instead of when we dropped them off at the train station and sent them on their way to Switzerland. But, it was still sad to see them go this morning. It was an enjoyable time, and I loved hearing all the stories about another country and everything they got to see and do. I thanked Jerry this morning for taking her there and for keeping her safe.

After we left the train station, Tim wanted to stop and get breakfast (which is really unusual for him) so we stopped and had something to eat. We enjoyed spending time together this morning. After breakfast we stopped at a nearby cemetery to pay our respects, remember our service men and women, and visit the gravesite of a dear friend who passed away earlier this year... but we couldn't find his gravesite (it must not be marked yet). It was pretty remarkable that we even went there... Tim hates cemeteries so I'm really thankful he went today. We also put our American flag at half-staff like you're supposed to today until noon. When we got back home, we watched the news with the President at Arlington and the Tomb of the Unknown. It was special to take some time to remember those who have died for our freedom. I hope you were able to take some time today to remember as well.

I slept terribly last night due to some major storms that passed through here, plus I was so hot and uncomfortable. As the day went on I got more and more tired. After we got home and watched the news, I made some phone calls. I had a great conversation with my best friend Tracie. She's coming here for my birthday weekend, and I just can't wait! :) Then I talked to my dad and he's coming to visit next weekend. Then the weekend after that mom comes back up here and we're going to our church's camp for our women's spring retreat. I'm so excited!! There's a lot coming up this month, but I'm glad so I don't have time to slow down and get depressed about turning 30 at the end of this month! Anyway, after that we found out the BBQ we thought we might go to at Tim's brother's was cancelled because more storms were expected to roll through. So, we had some lunch and got some housework done. Then about 2 or so I fell asleep for 2 hours on the couch while watching an NCIS marathon on TV. Tim mowed the lawn and has been really helpful with the laundry today. We just finished watching one of my favorite movies, and shortly it'll be time for dinner and the series finale of one of our favorite shows, Wildfire (ABC Family).

That's the latest around here. Thanks for listening to the recap of my fun 4-day weekend. Love to all!

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