Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas tunes are playing on the stereo, laundry is spinning noisily in the washer, last night's dishes are waiting to be washed, and my breakfast consisted of my friend Melanie's fudge and my hubby's gingerbread. I figure it's Christmas, so I can eat whatever I want, right?!

Rich has to work today; a Christmas buffet is being served at the hotel and then Hospitality employees will gather for dinner together at 7 PM. The skies are a little overcast but no snow is falling at the moment. A bevy of ducks (I know that's not the right term for a group of ducks but I like the sound of it anyway) and an amusing little sea otter are swimming outside our window. Ajax and Kali have been in and out, in and out, unable to decide if they'd rather be roaming free in the chill or cozy and warm in the house.

Susan called early this morning--they are in Durango, CO with Corey's family and it sounds like they are having a blast with all of the activities there. I talked with my mom in New Jersey and caught up on the latest news. Sarah and Bonnie and families are in Abilene with their dad and I hope to talk with them later. Yesterday I had the brilliant idea that I would make Christmas cookies since Rich would be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and I thought I would be productive. At the Eagle store, I gathered up all my ingredients and set out searching for cookie cutters. You guessed it--they didn't have any. I quickly lost my enthusiasm for making cookies and still have not decided if I am going to bake anything today after all. Rich did make the aforementioned gingerbread with a cider butter sauce and fresh whipped cream, which we devoured after dinner last night. Maybe that's sufficient on the baking front.

Oh, I wanted to mention that I checked out blog2print and just received a hardcover book of my first 6 months of blogging. I tried to include all posts but there were too many--you can only do a certain number of pages. Anyway, it turned out really well--the photos are decent and it's a great way to document and look back on events in our lives. In case Blogger ever goes out of business or the blog gets messed up or whatever...we'll have a hard copy. I just uploaded another 6 months' worth and hope to be up to date with one more edition after that.

We wish everyone a happy Christmas, the love and warmth of family and friends, peace, joy and goodwill in the upcoming year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plane change in Cold Bay? Since when?

Here are a few last photos from our trip. We exchanged Christmas gifts with Sarah, Miles and Elle before we left Dallas. Elle did not really want to pose for photos and said "bye, bye, camera!" to Rich while he was shooting.

Sarah and Miles
Rich opening gifts
We brought Elle's play kitchen out for her and she did not stop "cooking" till she had to go to bed. It was so much fun to see her enjoying herself so completely.

After saying our goodbyes in Dallas, we spent one last night and part of a day in Amarillo with Bonnie, David and Emery. My niece, Bryana, her guy Seth and their adorable daughter Lilly drove over from Clovis to visit. Lilly was so cute and reminded me a lot of Bryana when she was little. It was good to see them and catch up after several years.

Cute cousins!
Bonnie and Emery, who has filled out a little and is not quite the newborn any more, though still pretty tiny!

Okay, so when I left you last, we were still stranded in Anchorage. We got up yesterday morning and went to the airport to check in for our 9:50 AM flight. We were told we'd be stopping in Cold Bay, but what we didn't find out till later was that we were going to Sand Point first, dropping off passengers, then on to Cold Bay, where we had a scheduled two hour layover, then we would be taking a different plane on to Unalaska. Huhhhh?

We ran into Haleigh at the Anchorage airport, on her way home from college, and enjoyed chatting with her while awaiting our ride. We stopped in Sand Point as scheduled, let some folks off, and continued to Cold Bay. When we got there, we realized that our bags were coming off the aircraft and we had to re-check them for the next flight, which would be on a different plane, as I said. We were kinda laughing about changing planes in Cold, that's a first. Our two hour layover ended up being more like three, made more bearable by catching up on Haleigh's news about NYC and college life. Somewhat concerning was the arrival of another plane with passengers who were talking about failing to land in Unalaska on three different tries and having to join us in Cold Bay. We started thinking we might be going back to Anchorage again but eventually two plane-loads took off for DUT.

The flight was uneventful till we got close to Unalaska, when it seemed very foggy as we came in low across the water. Thanks to our fab pilot, we landed just fine, relieved to be back home. Oh yeah, my suitcase got bumped in Cold Bay, to arrive the next morning on the freighter. Luckily, we had an extra toothbrush at home since I absentmindedly packed everything in my luggage. We walked across the runway with snow falling around us.

We hadn't eaten much of substance all day (not realizing till too late that it was going to be much more than the usual three hour plane trip) so we had dinner at Amelia's and stopped at the store to pick up a few things. I was thrilled to dig through all of our mail, especially to read the Christmas cards from many of our family and friends. Thanks, y'all! I love hearing from everyone. We will not get around to sending cards out till New Year's again, probably, so bear with us.

Today we were both back to work. Lots to do and lots going on. Rich will be working Christmas and I may do a little bit of catch-up at my job as well, since we are here all by ourselves and have no family gatherings to attend. I don't think there's any point in decorating the house at this late date, though I did hang up all the cards we've received and played Christmas tunes while I was at work.

Here's hoping everyone has a lovely Christmas and a peaceful, happy 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Still in Anchorage

I guess I left my photo card reader at Sarah's--can't seem to find it and was going to upload the rest of the vacation photos while we are killing time in Anchorage. Yesterday we arrived at our gate in Seattle after the plane had boarded just about everyone but us. Not sure how we managed to be that late (or if they were just boarding very early) but it was kinda nice not to have to sit and wait. The flight was not full so we got to spread out and have a window and an aisle seat with the middle seat vacant between us. Oh, that is such a luxury! I was very grateful. As we were deplaning, we realized that my coworker Daniel was right across the aisle from us but our line of sight had been blocked by his seat mate so we never saw him during the flight. It's so funny that we almost always know someone on the SEA-ANC flight. Alaska is a big state but a small world, that is for certain.

In Anchorage, we had several hours between flights and Rich happened to have a free pass to the Alaska Air Board Room so we enjoyed having snacks and drinks, reading, watching TV and browsing the internet while sitting in comfy chairs in a semi quiet room. Finally we made our way to PenAir, chatted with several people we knew, and loaded up for our flight home. We stopped in King Salmon to refuel, which the flight attendant said would only take a few minutes. After at least 30 minutes on the ground with the door wide open (freeeezing!!) and the pilot making a couple of trips back and forth to the terminal, we started getting concerned that we were not going to Unalaska after all. It was getting dusky and we cannot land after dark so we knew we would be cutting it close even if everything else was good to go. Our worst fears were realized when the Captain announced that we were going back to Anchorage. They'd been waiting for a weather update and then it was too late to fly in.

Returning to Anchorage, we were told by the PenAir attendant that there are no open seats till January 31! Don't you love it?! They'd already added one extra flight for today but said it was filled with another flight of people who'd sat at Cold Bay all day yesterday (thank goodness we did not have to do that, at least!) We were basically told to go to a hotel and start calling Alaska Air this morning.

We had dinner at the hotel and a quiet evening, went to sleep early after being up at an ungodly hour in Seattle. This morning I called AK Air and was told there was nothing available. We went to the airport and got put on standby along with several of our friends and neighbors. We were denied the 12 PM flight, denied the 12:30 PM flight, denied the 2 PM flight, and told we could start over again tomorrow. I was happy that several of the families with kids were able to get on the plane and head home, though.

After we checked back into the hotel, we received a phone call from the PenAir agent at the gate, saying that she had been able to confirm us on the 9:55 AM flight tomorrow. After a late lunch, we've just been lying around the room, watched a movie called "Wonderful World" with Matthew Broderick (had never heard of it but it was a good story) and don't seem to be too interested in getting out and doing anything in the big city. It's snowy and cold and I think we are a little burned out from all the travel.

Hopefully we will be home tomorrow!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Back to Amarillo and on to Seattle

Just a quick update from the Doubletree in Seattle. I guess hotels are not doing too great right now because we got this really nice room for $45 on priceline. I will say one more time that I LOVE priceline. Well, except for their clause about no refunds if you have to cancel your room. We have probably come out ahead over-all, though, so I won't complain too much.

I have more photos but will have to post them later. We greatly enjoyed our time in Dallas with Sarah, Miles and Elle and exchanged Christmas gifts before we left. We gave Elle a play kitchen and all I can say is that it was a rousing success! Sarah, Miles, Bonnie, David and babies gave me a very sweet necklace with all the grandkids' names engraved on it. What a perfect gift! I love it.

Friday morning we loaded up the rental car and drove the long road back to Amarillo to spend one more night before flying out today. Rich, David, and his cousin Michael went to see the movie "Avatar" on opening night and were all extremely impressed. Bonnie and I just hung out with Emery and chatted while the boys were at the show. Emery has already grown and changed since we last saw her--she's a little more filled out and doesn't look so much like a newborn baby any more. She's almost a month old--how did that happen?

Today my niece Bryana, Seth, and their adorable daughter Lilly drove over from Clovis, NM to visit us and to see Emery. I had not seen them in a very long time and had never met Lilly, even though she will be three years old in a few months. She is a doll and reminded me so much of Bryana when she was little. It was so much fun to catch up with them, even though we had to cut our visit short and rush off to the airport.

We had a pleasant flight out of Amarillo to Denver. Sat around the Denver airport for awhile--had delays because some of the crew were on the East coast and couldn't get in due to weather. Apparently a bunch of different crew members were flown in from elsewhere. We circled Seattle a bit and had a semi-rough landing in the rain. Then it took for-freakin-ever for the hotel shuttle to pick us up. I swear, every other shuttle came by twice before ours arrived. But here we are. The good news is that the Doubletree gives you those nice, warm chocolate chip cookies at check in, and our room is fabulously nice. The bad news is that we have to get up at 5 AM.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fun in Dallas

Elle has grown so much just since we last saw her in June! She is talking up a storm and is very interested in everything. One day, Rich was prepping for dinner and she wanted to "cook." Here she is standing on a little stool and helping her mom make basil oil.

Next, she and I stirred up a bowl of applesauce. Cooking is so much fun!

When Sarah was little, we took a photo of her wearing nothing but some plastic yellow sunglasses and her dad's big shoes. It has been quite the conversation piece throughout her life. :) We tried to get Elle to put on these sunglasses but she was having nothing of it.

Elle is like her daddy and likes to build things. She was especially excited when the blocks got "big, tall."

Playing outside is the best!

Let's run, Mommy!

I can kick a soccer ball all over the yard!

Yay! Daddy's home!
As always, our time here has flown by. Elle went to her "school," Tuesday Mother's Day Out, so we could run errands and do some shopping. We were gone till it was time to pick her up--so busy out there with all the traffic and people everywhere. Another day, we met up with Elle's friend Miles (not to be confused with her daddy Miles--how funny is that?!) and his mama so we could go to a Christmas train exhibit at the mall. It was really neat and the kids had a great time. Rich took Sarah and I to a nice lunch at the famous chef Stephan Pyles' downtown restaurant the day Elle was at school, and we all met up with Miles' parents and grandmother for dinner last night. It was nice to see them and catch up.

Our friends Kirk and Dana came over with their cute 19 month old son, Daniel. Kirk, Dana and I all used to work together at the Rehab Center in Abilene/San Angelo before I moved to Alaska. They are great fun! Elle and Daniel are close to the same age and were very interested in each other the last time we got together so we were anxious to see how they would do this time. They were really cute and played together a little bit before dinner. It was the same day Elle had been to school, where she only gets a short nap, so Sarah says she is typically pretty tired on Tuesdays. Sure enough, during dinner, she started getting a little grumpy and asking to go to bed. Off she went and Daniel had to be satisfied with the adults for the rest of the evening. He was the sweetest boy and just LOVED Sarah. We all wanted to keep him!

Elle has kept us laughing the whole time we've been here. She sings along with Christmas songs and tunes on the radio, she recites the names of everyone in the family, she repeats everything we say and picks up new words every day. Her latest today is "happy girl." She is definitely a happy girl.

We are exchanging Christmas gifts tonight and will leave tomorrow to return to Amarillo to get ready to fly home on Saturday. It is hard to believe that our big, long month's vacation is drawing to a close.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catch up -- Abilene

Cute little Ally spending the night with us at the hotel. She is adorable and such a sweet girl.

We were too busy having fun to post anything before leaving town! It's always hectic in Abilene since we not only have Susan, Corey and kids to hang out with, but I also have lots of friends there that I want to see and never manage to get to visit with everyone I'd like. We picked Aidan up from Kindergarten every day and met up with Susan for her lunch break most days. On Wednesday, Aidan got out of school at 12:30. He got into the car and told us he'd had a "tough day." I asked him what made it tough, to which he replied, "no recess and no nap." I know what you mean, buddy!

Since we were staying at a hotel, most of our activities seemed to revolve around eating out at various restaurants with people we wanted to see. One night we went to Abuelo's with Susan, Aidan, Ally and our friend Karen, her daughter Kaci and her son Kyle. Kyle used to live in Unalaska and worked for Rich but now lives with his wife Emily in Juneau. It was just one of those strange coincidences that we all came to Abilene at the same time. Rich and Kyle especially enjoyed catching up. I've known Kaci and Kyle since they were little kids and have enjoyed watching them turn into the lovely young people they are. Karen, Kaci and I also have social work in common and we were celebrating Karen's recent accomplishment of passing her social work licensure exam after graduating with her MSW last spring. Hurray, Karen!

Karen, Kyle and Kaci

As reported previously, the hotel folks told us that the pool was under repair but we could use a neighboring hotel's facilities. Aidan brought his bathing suit and we were surprised and happy to find out that suddenly our pool was open for business! He could not get enough of it and went swimming every day.

Saturday morning I met my good friends Karen, Kelly and Connie for breakfast while Grandpa Rich and Aidan watched cartoons and went back to the pool. This was the first time we gals had all been together since our sweet friend Rudene passed away a few months ago. It was really hard to be sitting there at a table with just the four of us instead of five. We miss her.

More swimming. :)

More spending the night.

Susan and I did some Christmas shopping--man, it was crazy. I have forgotten what it's like to fight the crowds during the holidays. The streets were packed, there were few parking spaces to be found and the stores were wall to wall people. I guess the economy is looking a little better, or at least that it what it seemed.
I spent most of one day in bed with some sort of tummy virus. NO FAIR to be sick on vacation. It really messes things up! I was afraid I was getting the flu but it finally passed without getting any worse.

More eating. We usually have a potluck with this group of friends, but Jim claimed his house was a mess and everyone was busy with work so we decided to go out for a change. Here are Sherri, Karen, Diana and Jim--where are Suzasippi and Randoman to round out the gang?

Ally was bright eyed and entertaining throughout the night while Aidan crashed on Karen's lap and slept through most of the fun. All that swimming wore him out.

Corey works out of town but made it in for the weekend and we were happy we got to hang out with him a little bit, too.
We haven't made it to a movie theater ONCE on this trip. We did watch "Inglorious Basterds" on pay per view at the hotel and thought it was pretty interesting. Definitely a Quentin Tarantino flick.

My friend Mary Lou came to see us at the hotel on Saturday and it was great to catch up with her. Unfortunately we were at the pool the whole time and I didn't have the camera, so no photos. And one more breakfast before we headed to Dallas.

Rich has not managed to get into many photos but here we are with Susan, Corey and Aidan. As always, our visits are not long enough and I hate the fact that I don't get to have the day to day contact with the kids and grandkids that I would if I lived in the same town. It would be nice if we all one day ended up living in the same place, but what are the odds of that? In the meantime, we have to be content with regular visits and making the most of our time together.
It was fabulous to see both family and friends--I love y'all and miss you!
After Sunday brunch, Rich and I made the drive to Dallas, where we are enjoying our time with Sarah, Miles and our other little cutie, Elle. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cute Kids!

We've had a fun day. Susan is working at a day care center and has a two hour break from noon to 2 PM so we met her for lunch and did a little Christmas shopping. We then drove out to Clyde to pick Aidan up from school at 3:30. He had the sweetest little smile on his face when he saw us and just chattered away as we drove back to Abilene. He explained that one of his friends "has a problem with scissors" and had cut a big swatch out of the front of his hair so Susan and Corey had to shave his head. I've never seen him without hair and he's also in the process of losing baby teeth, not to mention getting much taller. We reminisced about his trip to Alaska last summer and he told us about his upcoming trip to Colorado for Christmas with Corey's family. We had a little time to kill till his mom got off work so we went to the Grace Children's Museum and then had a snack at McKay's Bakery before coming back to the hotel. Aidan is going to spend the night with us on Friday and Saturday and was very interested in whether the hotel had a pool or not. We found out that it does, but it is out of order. Oh no! The good news is that a neighboring hotel has agreed to let the guests from our hotel use theirs, so he is excited about bringing his swimsuit with him. We didn't hear from Susan for the longest time and were also waiting to hear from our friend Karen--I couldn't imagine why neither of them had called us back like they were supposed to! Finally, I started looking for my phone to call THEM and could not find it anywhere. Aidan and I searched the car once and came back to the room empty handed. After searching the room some more, I had about decided that I must have left it somewhere today. Aidan and I went back to the car with Rich's phone and called my phone. Sure enough, it started ringing and Aidan found it under one of the seats. Of course I had ELEVEN missed calls.

We finally touched base with everyone and Susan and Ally met us at our room. Ally has changed a lot since I last saw her, too! She seemed to remember me and came right to me. Her hair has really grown, unlike her brother's. haha She's such a cutie.

We all went to dinner and then the kids headed home to bed. Aidan has early release tomorrow for some reason so we are picking him up at 12:30. It was so much fun to see them and their mama! Their daddy is working out of town but we should see him this weekend before we leave for Dallas.
We weren't able to get together with any friends tonight but I have been on the phone with several of them and trying to work out times to meet in the next few days. I always feel like it's a whirlwind with lots of people to see and not enough time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On to Abilene

What a sweet girl! We spent yesterday taking care of odds and ends. Rich, Bonnie, Emery and I went to Jason's Deli for lunch and baby did great, sleeping the whole time. From there, another Target trip to buy another suitcase, some bubble wrap for sending photo frames back home, and some Christmas gifts.

Rich and I tried to get haircuts before we left Unalaska but our hairdresser was gone. We then decided we would get cuts in Chicago but got called away to Amarillo before we could get that done. We were both looking very shaggy. Bonnie tried to get me an appointment with her hairdresser and she had no openings till after we left. While we were at Target, we saw a ProCuts nearby and decided we would just "do it" and get haircuts last night. While at the house, I thought I would look on the internet and see if there was something closer to Bonnie's, finding a Supercuts nearby. I gave them a call and noticed that the woman answering the phone called it something other than "Supercuts," but I promptly forgot what she said. I asked if we needed appointments and she said no, we could come on in. We noted the address, got directions from Bonnie, and got on our way since some of the kids' friends were bringing dinner for all of us and we needed to get back soon.

The address led us to a shopping center, where we did not see anything called "Supercuts" but we did see a place called the Haircut Lounge. Haircut Lounge? That did not sound right but the address was correct. We walked in, asking "Did this used to be a Supercuts?" Two hairdressers were sitting around looking bored but replied in the negative and seemed puzzled by the question. I continued, "Did you just get a call from someone asking about two haircuts?" No. "Is there a Supercuts nearby?" No. "But we would be glad to cut your hair." I felt weird about staying since I had given the "Supercuts" (or whatever it was!) people our names and said we'd be right there. But we couldn't seem to figure out what had gone wrong and they were offering to do our hair, so we accepted. It was the grand opening for the Haircut Lounge, so we got haircuts for 10 bucks each and two entries into a drawing for Dallas Cowboys' tickets. (Big fans that we are, we will be gifting the tickets if we win!) The Haircut Lounge serves alcohol (though we declined), has TVs and internet available for its customers. You'd think it would be packed but we were the only customers. Guess the word has not gotten out yet. I asked how they could possibly serve alcohol in a hair salon and was told it was okay because they were giving it away and not selling it. We sat side by side and enjoyed chatting with our hairdressers about Alaska while they trimmed us up. As we were leaving the shopping center, we drove around back to get to a traffic light and there sat "Cost Cutters." Oh, yeah, that's what the woman had said when she answered the phone--Cost Cutters. It was right behind the Haircut Lounge. Do you think they really thought that there was not another salon in the same shopping center? I felt bad since I had told those folks we were coming right over, but not bad enough to walk in and admit our mistake.

We took a few family photos but Emery was either sleeping or crying so we did not get any outstanding ones, though we think she is precious no matter what. We watched "My Sister's Keeper" which was a tear-jerker! And we had to watch "Hoarders," which is our latest weird obsession.
This morning we got up early and took Emery in for her two week checkup. Her doctor said she is doing great and everything looks good. From there, we drove back over to the hospital for her PKU blood work. We woke up to snow in Amarillo and by then it was really coming down. Here's a wonderful idea: the hospital has valet parking! Yes! We stopped in the covered driveway and a nice young man took the car while we walked into the heated entry to the hospital. Sweet! Blood work is no fun for a two week old and Emery was no exception. She cried and cried while they pricked her little heel and took out what seemed to be an exorbitant amount of blood. The tech was really nice and said she had just returned from maternity leave herself so was very sympathetic. Mommy and Gigi made it through the ordeal and Emery eventually just conked out and went back to sleep while we waited for the car to come around. I am just thrilled with this valet parking idea. Genius!
Then back home for some lunch and back out to get our rental car. In the meantime, the snow melted and the wind kicked up to 50-60 mph. I know that is nothing to you Unalaskans, especially lately, but it was still pretty wild. We had to say our goodbyes to Bonnie and Emery (David was at work teaching) which was sad and hard to do, but we were also excited to be on our way to see the rest of the family. I was worried we were going to have icy roads on the way to Abilene but we had big winds, blowing dust, and loads of tumbling tumbleweeds on our way instead. One big tumbleweed slammed into the car and Rich was sure it did some damage, but we couldn't find any, thankfully. The winds finally died down around Lubbock and the rest of the trip was calm.
We got in a little too late to see Susan and the grandkids out in Clyde tonight since they all have to get up early, so we are just taking it easy in our hotel and are anxious to visit with them tomorrow. We pricelined a hotel and got the Courtyard by Marriott right by the mall. The cute young lady who checked us in said, "Oh, you are from Alaska?" Small world--her dad's in the military and she grew up in Anchorage.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Never Ending Weekend

I can't keep track of the day or the date. I think this is Sunday night and another weekend is drawing to a close but, honestly, vacation just feels like one continuous weekend. Poor David has to get up and go to work in the morning but the rest of us get to just keep on taking it easy. Emery is going to be two weeks old tomorrow--in that respect, the time has flown by! Bonnie ordered this cute little knitted hat for her to wear in some photos David is taking--this is not one of them but we had to try it on and see what it looked like. Cute!

We helped decorate the house for Christmas the other night. Rich made his famous fish tacos for dinner and he'd also made a lemon meringue pie earlier in the day. He had some egg whites left over from something else and didn't want them to go to waste. We were all quite happy about that. Bonnie and I also baked some chocolate chip cookies since we did not have any cookie cutters to make traditional Christmas cookies (hmmmm, Christmas gift for the kids??!) With Christmas music playing on the ipod (and a little "name that artist" contest going on between David and me), we got the house all into the holiday spirit. Later, we watched "Four Christmases," which had some laugh-out-loud funny parts.

These photos are out of order but I thought this one of Bonnie and Emery by the tree was very pretty. Good job, Rich.

David and Bonnie working on the tree.

David is wearing a tacky Christmas sweater. Apparently, he and his friends try to outdo each other with crazy Christmas wear each year. Legend has it that he won the contest with this one. It was pretty horrifying.

Other than a few trips to the grocery store, I have hardly left the house. We were going to go to Target today and never made it. Here's my day: Sleep in, hold Emery, shower, hold Emery, chat, hold Emery, help sponge-bathe Emery, keep Bonnie company while she nurses Emery, straighten up the house a little, hold Emery, do some laundry, hold Emery, chat, hold Emery, check emails, blogs, facebook, hold Emery, eat, hold Emery, watch movies, hold Emery, go to bed. What a life!
We heard that there were some huge storms back home in Unalaska, with winds reportedly up to 170 mph, lots of property damage all over town, but thankfully no one was hurt as far as we know. I talked with Britta, our house/pet sitter and she said the cats are fine, the house made it through the storm with no trouble, and she was happy to be there because the bunkhouse where she usually lives apparently lost part of its roof! You can see more details on the kucb website at Hi to all our friends back in Alaska and we hope everyone's doing okay. Sounds like it was pretty scary, though there's a part of me that wishes I'd been there to experience it! I remember one year when we had 120 mph winds and I got knocked down on my back in the ice and snow--I could not get up because the wind was so strong. Luckily, Rich and Kyle arrived soon after and were able to pull me up and drag me along the fence till I could walk down the sidewalk to the house! It was pretty darned funny once it was over with.
Rich and Dave made another fabulous meal tonight, the lemon meringue pie is gone, the choc chip cookies are almost gone, and another weekend has come to an end. Emery has her two week check up on Tuesday and then we are going to head for Abilene. It has been so nice to be here and we have enjoyed every minute of it. It's kinda bittersweet--I hate to leave the kids but I am also looking forward to seeing my other two girls, their hubbies and my other grandkids, as well as some friends in Abilene and Dallas. Sometimes I really do wish for the "old days" when families stayed in one town and everyone lived nearby. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Having fun in Amarillo

Here's little Miss Emery last night. She's keeping her eyes open and looking around more at 9 days old. Really a sweetie, starting to smile at us, and has definitely stolen everyone's hearts. She doesn't like having her diaper changed or her clothes taken off and has not been thrilled with her sponge baths. Otherwise, she's just a happy girl.

I'm not sure where the days are going; we are mostly sticking close to home, doing lots of baby holding, chatting and hanging out. Rich has been Top Chef, making several fab meals for the rest of us. I think he kinda likes being busy in the kitchen while we are taking care of baby duties, though he did put the semi-complicated baby swing together tonight. David went back to work on Monday; Bonnie, Emery and I went up to school for a little while so Bonnie could meet with her sub and take care of a few things that didn't get finished since Emery's arrival was a surprise. David's kids decorated his classroom with pink streamers, confetti and pacifiers, along with a sign that said "Happy Birthday....Literally." Cute.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving with David's family; we've had several visitors including our friends Mona and Alex, and have done a little bit of shopping at cool down-south stores like Target, Hobby Lobby, Michael's and United Supermarket. :) We've also watched a bunch of movies and TV shows that we haven't seen or don't get in Unalaska.
What fun to have this time with Bonnie, David and Emery! We will probably be heading out next Tuesday or Wednesday to see the rest of the kids and grandkids and some of our friends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Emery Jane Williams

Babies make their own schedules and little Miss Emery Jane Williams was no exception. We'd arrived in Chicago late Saturday afternoon only to receive a phone call early Monday morning that Bonnie was heading to the hospital. We kicked into high gear to change our plane tickets and get on our way to Amarillo via DFW. There was only one seat left on the closest connecting flight to Amarillo so poor Rich was left behind in Dallas to wait it out for a couple more hours. Even with all of our rushing, I did not arrive in time to help Bonnie with her labor or to witness the birth of our newest granddaughter. I was sad about that but mostly grateful that everything went well and we have a healthy baby girl added to our family. Sarah and Elle did get to town in time and Sarah was able to be there when Emery was born. She weighed 6 lbs, 7 oz and was 19 inches long (for some reason, we were initially told that she was 6 lbs, 12 oz and that was revised today...not sure whose mistake that was!) Emery has a little bit of very dark hair and long fingers and toes like her daddy. She is perfect and precious. We are thrilled!

Bonnie did a great job!

Grandpa Rich with Emery

Gigi with her new girl

Elle has grown up so much just since we saw her at the Jersey shore in June! She is talking up a storm and has such a cute sense of humor. She was also very interested in her new cousin. We've decided she'll be a great big sister when the time comes!
Not proud or anything!

Emery, one day old

Sarah and Elle were only here for a day but we were happy to have some time with them. We will see them later in Dallas. Our vacation plans have been turned topsy turvy so we are starting in Amarillo and then visiting the other kids in Dallas and Abilene toward the end of our trip.

Sarah and Elle with Emery

Mommy and baby

Emery Jane

Happy daddy David with his little girl

The new family of three
Congratulations to David and Bonnie. We love you and our new granddaughter very much! It will be fun to be here for a couple of weeks and get to have some Gigi time while helping Bonnie out. Then off to see the other precious grandkids Aidan, Ally and Elle as well as their fabulous parents. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful family.
I'll catch up the other pieces of our trip soon but wanted to share this post first!