Highs and Lows

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's finally December!  And we've entered the last month before the twins are 1 whole year OLD!  I can't even believe it as I type it.  We are gearing up for their birthday party, which I am throwing at our house.  Pray for us.  Nah, it'll be great!  I just can't believe it's here.
Thanksgiving Day!
Since we traveled for Thanksgiving with two almost 11 month old babies who are very active and wanting to walk 90% of their awake time, I wanted to give some highs and lows of our trip!  There were mostly highs but traveling with babies, there are bound to be some lows.


1. Time spent with cousins.  My family all lives out of state and so seeing all of them is hard more than once a year.  For me, one of the best parts of the trip was having Emmy and Bennett spend time with their cousins who are close in age, especially Lily, who is about 3 months older than them.  Seeing them play together, interact and really meet was so great.  I can't wait to see these boogers grow up together.  They're going to be best friends I just know it.

Little Em with her Grandpa, my Dad. 
Piper, who was my flower girl, loved hanging out with us.  We even went on a walk and played don't step on the crack, which was hard with a stroller.  As you can imagine.
Piper and Mae, my cousin's children and some of the older babes at our family gatherings.
2. FOOD.  Our Thanksgiving isn't complete without 3 full days of gourmet food.  Wednesday night is always the infamous Italian beef night.  My family is from Chicago, so my Aunt brings real Italian beef and we divulge in some of the best sandwiches I've ever had.  Thursday is, of course, the big meal.  My Aunt gets up at 6 AM to put the 28 lb turkey in the oven and that's one of 3!  Baked, smoked, and deep fried.  And a ham.  Green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, stuffing, roasted veggies, the list goes on and on.  We made food for 31 people this year.  It was incredible, to say the very least.  Friday is one of my favorite meals.  Beef tenderloin with sauteed mushrooms and roasted potatoes.

These travel chairs were a GODSEND.  My mother-in-law, Becky, bought them to have at her house.  They fold up completely and so throwing them in our car was easy and essential, since they can't sit up in regular chairs yet and are too small for only boosters.  We used them for every meal.  Behind them, you can see all the hommeade pies my Aunts made.  So.  Much.  food.
3. Time away.  While traveling can be exhausting, being at home and having the same schedule day in and out can be rather, boring at times.  It was fun to get out on the road, travel to a new state and do new things.  Most of our time was spent at my Aunt's house, we still were able to stand out by the fire, watch movies with my cousins and just be in the moment there.  The trip there was just PERFECT.  I know that's hard to believe but I was prepared for poop explosions, tantrums, and non-stop sobbing (from the babies and us).  So when none of those things happened, I was ecstatic.  We left home just before their first nap, so they slept for the first couple hours.  Our first stop was right outside of STL at Chik-fil-A.  

Let me just take a sidebar for a moment:  Chik-fil-A has to be one of the best places to stop if you have children, young and old.  We stopped there going and coming from Evansville and that will be our pitstop from now on.  They are always clean with the friendliest staff and have all the necessities you need for a stop.  The one we stopped at last had diapers and wipes in the men and women's restroom for changes!  I was in heaven.  And also, their food is bomb.  Everything on the menu rocks.  Highly, highly recommend, even if you don't have kids, just go.  You will not be disappointed.  Unless you don't like chicken.  Then I can't help ya there.

After that we booked it to Alton, IL which was about 45 minutes from Chik-fil-A.  We visited a friend of Alex's that he used to teach with.  It was a great stop, amazing conversation and plenty of time for the babies to get out and run around.  We left there just in time for their afternoon nap.  Few hours later, we were there.  It couldn't have been planned out better.


1.  Change in environment.  When your babies are used to your house, furniture, toys, etc, it's hard to change their environment quickly.  For example, since they have started walking, they have used our furniture to hang onto and have become accustomed to it.  Throughout the trip, Bennett kept missing edges and falling into walls and chairs because he wasn't used to the house and is still a touch unsteady on his feet.

They fell asleep like this... as close as they could get in their two separate pack-and-plays.
2.  Parent's letting loose.  As all parents know, you never get a true "vacation" when you bring the kids.  Especially when they are little.  Just because you choose to stay up late and have drinks with your fam, doesn't mean those little babes aren't going to awaken you at the crack of dawn, ESPECIALLY when you share a room and they can see you out of the top of their pack and plays.  We had a few rough mornings, but nothing that coffee and good food can't cure.
My sister and I.  She, as always, is such a big help when we travel with her.  Best Auntie out there.
3.  The trip home.  The trip home has ALWAYS been a low for me.  Leaving my family and one of my favorite holidays is just always hard.  Knowing I won't see them all for another year is sad but exciting because of how much we all change and grow.  Also, by then, the babies were tired, exhausted and homesick so they started to get a little antsy... and I don't blame them.  

All of my cousins, minus a few... and the greatest people you'll ever meet.  I'm so lucky to have them as family.

Bennett, my little cheese ball.  He now smiles with his eyes closed when you use a flash.


We sincerely hope everyone had a blessed and happy holiday.  I know this time of year can be stressful and I wish that wasn't the case.  It doesn't have to be if we take each day at a time and with a deep breathe.  Think of one thing to accomplish each day, do it and feel better.  That's my sage advice for the day.  

Much love, 

Lauren, E&B


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