Saturday, September 1

Our Trip to Virginia

Since we didn't really have a family vacation this summer, I was very antsy and needing to get out of the house for a few days before we got into the daily grind of school and sports again.  Ryan thought it would be a great idea for us to skip town for a few days and visit his brother and sister-in-law in Virginia, without the kiddos.  We packed up, left the kids at home with Grandma and Grandpa, and left early on Wednesday August 22 for the airport.  We got there by lunch and reunited with my brother-in-law, whom I hadn't seen since last Christmas!  Soon we met up with the rest of the family, and Ryan and I met our new nephew, who was born in March, and I just have to say he the absolute cutest little baby I have seen ever!  All smiles, chubby sweet soft cheeks, and the sweetest little giggly guy!   Ryan and Josh had their fantasty football draft that night (downstairs!) and Ramona and I chatted and enjoyed some girl time upstairs!

The next morning was my 30th birthday!  I slept in until 9 am (what a treat!) and Ryan and I got started with our day.  They had to work that morning so Ryan and I had a late breakfast at the greatest grocery store of all time- move over HEB, Wegmans is my new love!  We drove to a Catholic bookstore in a nearby town because I have been trying to get to one for months, and it was my birthday so I called the shots. ;-)  I found a print of Mary and Baby Jesus that I had been wanting for our schoolroom, a few books for the kids, and a couple of other little items.  I really enjoyed that little trip, as silly as it sounds! 

Next we drove to the Potomac River to check it out.  We were going to a state park but on our way found a little free park a bit upstream, so we took our time and hiked around, sat on the rocks and talked about life, and pretended we were civil war soldiers.  It's hard not to look through the unsettled woods and not imagine something like that going on, it's almost eerie, but beautiful and so different than what we're used to!

After that we met Josh and Ramona for lunch at a little pub-type place while the kids were in school.  Ramona snuck off to the bar and soon the bartender came over with a little birthday present for me- a top-shelf,  hand-muddled, one-of-a-kind black raspberry margarita.  It was YUMMY- what a treat!

Ramona and I left the boys and went shopping.  We spend a lot of time at Loft and I think that, between the two of us, we tried everything on the store!  We had a fun time!  I bought two new dresses and two new sweaters, though I had much more that I wanted!   (Grandma and Grandpa- thank you for the new dress!)  While we were there, my kiddos called to tell me happy birthday!  I was sad to not have them be a part of my 30th birthday, but I also knew that this was a unique chance for Ryan and I to get away, so we talked on the phone for a bit before we said goodbye.

We met up with the guys and the kids and had dinner and drinks at a very special place, where Josh works.  Of course I had a giant chocolate brownie thing- and even some of Ramona's dessert too!

That night I opened my cards from family members that we'd brought along with us and stayed up and talked.  I know we were all pretty tired but it's hard to go to bed early when you're with family members you see only twice a year!  So of course we stayed up too late!

On Friday I woke up early to play with my nephew, who apparently was upset over something very tragic for a 3-year-old.  ;-)  We played cars and read books, he is so sweet and tender-hearted!
Friday was spent hanging out with everyone, and Ramona and I snuck out for pedicures during naptime.  I chose blue for my toes- I had to do something semi-rebellious for my birthday.  ;-) 

We barbecued dinner that night and stayed up late again. :-)
mimosas and painted toes
 Saturday morning we got up, had a semi-lazy morning as we packed up, and then went out for breakfast before saying tearful goodbyes and heading to the airport.  We're hoping it's just a few more months until we see this part of the family at Christmas time, but it's so hard being apart and saying goodbye. :-(  Ryan and I had a relaxing time, I realized my blood pressure hadn't risen once in a good three days and I was really able to let loose, relax, and laugh.  I told Ryan on the plane trip home that I felt the need to make some sort of resolution as I entered my 30's, I guess just because that's the sort of person I am.  I couldn't really come up with anything good, but I'm taking into consideration the advice friends have passed along to me.  Several have said that the 20's are about doing things- graduating, marrying, having babies, buying homes, etc.  (At least, those are the things my friends and I did in our 20's!)  But they said the 30's are more of an introspective time, figuring out who you really are, defining your place in life, and raising children.  I know that raising children can be a challenge in ways I hadn't even considered, but it's challenging in ways that forces me to be an adult.  My body sometimes feels a little older (Ramona and I joked that my metabolism would just switch off automatically the minute I turned 30 years old!) but I'm guessing that's just part of the deal!

Thank you to everyone who wished me happy birthday, either by calls, texts, or facebook messages!  It was a great week- first the party, then the trip!  I'm looking forward to seeing what this next year holds. :-)


Anonymous said...

Great pictures...great vacation! A wonderful way to spend your birthday...hanging out with the nephews! Bet Beth loved the blue toenails!!

grandma said...

Whoops..."anonymous" is me, of course. You'd think I'd know how to operate this thing by now! :)

Kyla, Michael & Joseph said...

So glad you had a nice birthday! Your trip to Virginia sounds like a blast!

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