Friday, July 22, 2011

Iowa-South Carolina: 1000 miles worth it

You're going to have to pardon my lack of we have been traveling around the country as if we were The Jonas Brothers on our Summer 2011 Tour. 

We finished off our Iowa Adventure with a bang.  And I do mean we saw, yet another fireworks display.  If there is one thing I can say about Iowa, it is...they LOVE their fireworks.  I think we saw them, like 6 times during the 2 weeks we were there.  We made an impromptu decision to go ahead and head up to Lake Okoboji with Chad's mom's side of the family.  This is a tradition that stems back to, like, 1974 or something.  They go every year.  We focused a lot on eating.  And then there was the swimming.  Their were a few highlights of the weekend...

a.j. at lake okoboji

aiden at lake okoboji

colt at the nutty bar in arnold's park having a frosty mug root beer float (a family tradition)

we found the boy's sport.  this kid LOVES jet skiing.

he grinned from ear to ear and laughed hysterically the entire time.  that is...until i let him drive and he threw us both off.  that's o.k.  we both got right back on the horse.

aiden was a little worried.  but she did it!!  twice!!

colt rode with me first and then with his uncle davey.  he needed to find out who the better driver was.  he never did say.  he was cautious...but had fun.

aiden trying a nutty bar at the nutty bar.  she took one bite and then she wanted a hot fudge sunday instead.  i don't blame her.  peanuts and chocolate and ice cream just don't go together in my opinion.  and in aiden's...

annslee enjoying a hot fudge sunday herself

chase being thrown.  i am so proud of this kid's brave streak he's got going these days.  lots of laughter.

colt flipping

and we came upon this neat thing. came upon us.  the wedding party arrived on a boat and walked up the sidewalk right by our rooms.  aiden was pretty cute as she watched the pretty bride.


So, we headed home early from the Lake so that I could watch the Women's World Cup Final game.  US was playing Japan and I just knew that I was going to see the US women soccer team win the whole thing.  I have developed somewhat of an obsession with Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, and Abby Wamback...all players for the team.  They didn't win and I was heartbroken.  But...I have decided that I am going to whip myself back into soccer shape and play in an indoor Fall league.  I miss it so.  Did I just hear you laughing at me?  It's o.k.  Maybe you didn't know that Goal Keepers don't even peak until they are around 38.  That gives me 2 years to prepare myself for competitive play.  I think it's a realistic goal for me.  Don't you?

We loaded up the car and left for South Carolina the next night at 5:30.  After we had been on the road for about 10 minutes, 3 out of the 4 kids were crying and saying that they wanted to go home.  Knowing that we had 17 hours to go...I had Chad pull over to talk about our options.  At that point, I really thought that we should just turn around and head home.  I was positive that we couldn't make it another week and another 2000 miles away from home.  So we talked and Chad thought.  Then he said, " I think we should do it."  So...we did.  Around 9:30...the kids started drifting off one by one.  And wouldn't you know it???  Those 4 kids slept solidly until around 8:00 the next morning.  When they woke up, I was driving us through the mountains in North Carolina.  We stopped  at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast just on the other side of Ashville and trucked it on in to South Carolina around 10.  We are staying at a good friend's apartment because she and her husband and their son are in Italy for the Summer.  Yay for them...Boo that I don't even get to see them.  But...having our own little place to stay has been somewhat of a luxury. 

The highlights of S.C. thus far...

She found her brother's hat.  I just love a girl that can wear a guy's cap.

My group of College Friends from Clemson.  From left to right...
Amanda came in from Columbia with her 3 (Abe, Samira, and Samantha); Heather came in from Atlanta with her 3 (Elli, Ava, and Charlie); Me with my 4 (Colton, Chase, Aiden, and Annslee); Ashey is here in Greenville with her 3 (Grayson, Selah, and Isabella); and Gail from Greenville with her 2 (Daniel and Anna)

Some of my bestest friends in the whole wide world. I love these people.

and this is us with our youngest babes.  can you believe they are all girls?  they had to be in the picture...due to the fact that many of them would not let us put them down without screaming this blood-curdling, high pitched scream thing that would just about bust your ear drums.  look at annslee who refused to let go of her drink.  good grief.

when i tell a.j. to smile...she does.  and then i do too.

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