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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

{Grand}Mama K Goes to Illinois!

Y'all, I FINALLY got to IL! Wooty woot woot! I'm dying, yes DYING, to get my hands on that sweet baby, and tell my son and daughter in love how incredibly proud I am of them, and how wonderful they are as parents, and how they obviously brought the cutest, smartest, more wonderful baby that ever lived into the world. Oh yes, I'm that Grandma...the one that believes her grandchildren are the best thing that has happened in the history of ever. I'm right, of course, but it doesn't stop me from being obnoxious to others. HA!!

Truth be told, I am longing to hold Baby Caden as if my life depends on it, but I'm equally desiring to hug my son and daughter in law, spend time with my bestie on her birthday for the first time in a decade, visit with my mama and her friends, and to see our extended family that lives in the area. It's just a huge cloud of YES right now.

^^^This was from before I left for IL. The rest is from when I returned.

I won't bore you with a detailed itinerary of every single thing I did, but let's cover the basics and get to the pictures, no?
I flew into Chicago on March 12th, in time for a snow storm to hit (and we're already considering turning on the AC in Cruces) and got picked up by Lizzie, who was kind enough to pick me up at 11pm on the night of her birthday. We slipped and slid our way to my mom's house while chatting as if I'd never left IL and then spent several hours laughing and talking with my mom...until 4 am. Oops!
On the 13th, I got to go meet my precious grandson for the first time and it just took my breath away. He's such a gift. I think I held him for 5 hours straight, I could NOT put him down. Lauren and I swapped new mama stories, and caught up on life in general, while we stared at him and marveled at how we came to be so blessed. Lizzie and I went out later that evening to just hang out, and we picked up a gift for Alex and Christina's baby shower that I missed on Sunday.
Tuesday found me over at 'Shua and Lauren's again, and this time I spent the day with 'Shua since he'd been sent home from work before he ever even got there due to snow. So Lauren handed over the baby and went to bed. (Being a new mama is hard work) 'Shua and I got Caden settled for his morning nap and then we hit the game tables, with 'Shua teaching me a few new games like Tsuro and Ticket to Ride, which I think DT will like quite a bit.
Tuesday evening Kelly took me out to have dinner with the extended MeYeR family, which is probably the most fun I've ever had with them. We had so much fun that we closed down one restaurant and went to another to keep the fun going.
Wednesday I got to babysit Caden while Lauren had her 6 week check up, then 'Shua and Lauren joined us at Mom's house with Arda for dinner and board games. Arda hadn't met Caden yet, so it was a fun evening for him to meet 2 of his great-grandmothers.
Wednesday night I stayed with 'Shua and Lauren so that they could get a full night of sleep and I stayed up with Caden who doesn't have his nights and days figured out yet. (I'm too old for this, there's a reason YOUNG people have babies, LOL)
Thursday I spend some time with Kelly, her kids and her scrapbooks before heading back to my mom's for a long nap while she did my laundry. I am blessed. Thursday evening found me out to dinner with my good friend Laura Hepker who has been a dear friend for more years that either of us want to admit. We laughed and talked and laughed and talked the evening away, and could probably still be talking as I don't think we've EVER run out of things to talk about, but all good things must come to and end and she headed home and I took myself to bed. (all this traveling and talking and laughing is hard work, ya know)
Friday was a quiet morning with Lauren and Caden and then some prep work for an Illinois Game Night. I had an enjoyable dinner with 'Shua and Lauren and her parents Russ and Ramona at Red Robin (YUM) and then we headed to Game Night, where Mike and Kelly's family joined us as did Lizzie. What a good time we had! So much laughing! And passing of the baby around and around.
Mikey and Opal Jo spent the night and we spent the next morning cleaning Mom's house for the open house that afternoon and Kelly's house just to be nice :)
The open house was a massive success! EVERYONE came over and the good times rolled. Laura came back from the city, Ed brought his cutie-patootie Milo over to meet us, Mom's neighbors came to say hi, Lee and Marsha came over, Rachel came to see me even though she was having a very hard mental health day, it was such a blessing!
Sunday I attended Crossroads Community Church and enjoyed sitting under the preaching of my favorite pastor ever. Such a blessing to enjoy time with the church family that was so special to us during our years in Illinois. They just 'happened' to be having a potluck that day, so fellowship time was built right into the afternoon for us. Lizzie and I stole away for one more meal together and then we headed to my mom's for me to pack, hug ALL the people one more time and then head home. Lizzie drove me to the airport and I flew home.
Somewhere in there, I spent a few hours at Lizzie's with her husband and dear children, whom are ALL too grown up these days, and we got all caught up. How I've missed them!
In El Paso, David, Patrick and Nathan were waiting to meet me since I had a late flight and then it got delayed. I was so pleased to see them, what a welcoming sight they were. I laugh and tease all the time about how they are a bunch of pests, but my goodness do I love these boys! Dan was walking out the door for work when I arrived home, so it wasn't quite the reunion I had imagined but I was home safe and sound and that counts.
Overall, one of the best trips I've ever taken.

OK OK OK, we all know you're here for the photos: Here's the highlight reel.

 Caden, I miss you already.  'Shua and Lauren, I wasn't wrong, you're doing a great job and he's the best baby ever born. Family and Friends, please come and visit more often, I miss you all like crazy!

PS. Somewhere in all of that fun, this happened.
Thug Life St. Patty's Day Style.

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