Matt, Lauren and myself embarked on a nine-hour journey to Houston which began late last Thursday night. Matt and I both took off work Friday and Lauren was beginning Spring Break a day early for us to get out of town.
The original plan had been to fly, but since the cheapest flight out of Wichita Intercontinental to Houston Hobby was over the $400 mark, we decided what better way to REALLY bring Matt into the family than to let him enjoy that nine-hour (which usually took the Hills family 12 hours to do) trek to Houston.
So off we went on Thursday night, stopping in Denton, TX around 1:45 a.m. to catch a few zzz’s before getting back up and on the road by 8 a.m. to finish the last leg of the trip.
We arrived to a cold and rainy Houston around 12:30 (I’m close to saying this about 62 times, but I have NEVER been to Houston when it hasn’t been hot and humid so this weather was completely out of the norm) and on cue, uncle Steve (aka PopPop to his grandchildren) had the garage door rolling up to greet us. We gave Matt the tour and waited for aunt Sherron (aka Maka to her grandchildren) to get back from her errands and Seth, Michelle, Annie and Luke to arrive.
They all rolled in about an hour later… after we had been bad Catholics and had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch on No Meat Friday. It took both Annie and Luke a little while (and by that I mean about 5 minutes) to warm up to us, but after that, they were our best friends!
I always find myself in complete awe of these children. I watch them and think, “Good Lord … did Seth really help produce these beautiful human beings?!”
But in all seriousness, they are just the coolest kids! I’m sure that if an outsider came into my aunt and uncle’s house that weekend and hung out with us for about 20 minutes, they would think that we all need to really think about getting some lives! But the only thing I had on my agenda all weekend was to hang with the kids (and the elder cousins and the the grandparents slash aunt and uncle).
We drove Matt around the neighborhood, showing him the fam’s old home, Seth and Meg’s high school (which is basically the size of Sedan), and other important historical places like the country club my uncle belongs to, etc. Annie came along for the ride… This was suppose to make her fall asleep, but instead, we ended up playing dress up with her naked cabbage patch doll that I respectfully named Tom.
We got our dose of Guiseppe’s and Matt was introduced to my aunt and uncle’s Friday night hangout spot (or as Seth called it, their version of the “Peach Pit”). The food was delish and the children were, as always, quite entertaining!
We ended our evening with “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and Allyson going to bed because she could barely keep her eyes open. 🙂
Meg, Nate and Stella arrived the next afternoon. This was the first time I had seen Meg since the announcement of baby No. 2… Somehow I came away with NO pictures of her and her pregnant self! She must have planned that! She is adorable though, as usual, and from what I got, she likes to blame unnamed baby boy for alot of movement and kicks to the stomach. She reminded me of the boy who cried wolf! Whenever she would say, “OOH, ooh… feel him!” and Lauren and I would race over to touch her belly, nothing would happen. Maybe she just likes people touching her belly for an indefinite amount of time … I dunno! (Love you, Meg!)
Either way, we were able to hang out with Ms. Stella, who kept all of us entertained with her army crawl (the girl already has the most incredible upper body strength of any 9-month old I’ve ever seen!) and her ‘sexy pose’.
We found out that Stella LOVES animals (Seth & Michelle brought their tiny dog with them and Stella and Sevey met)… and if you take them away from her, she will cry. But not a gut-wrenching, my-life-is-over kind of cry. I’d call it more of a whimper. It’s still terribly sad to hear, but it doesn’t make you want to cover your ears and head to another room!!!
We unfortunately were back on the road by Noon on Sunday. Though it’s not a quick jaunt back home, the drive was way worth it in my opinion. My cousins are very important people in my life, which makes their own children (and spouses!) just as important. Seeing them only twice a year stinks only because they grow and change every day.
BUT I will take what I can get! A few days with them is better than none at all!
PS. Don’t worry … the weather returned to a beautiful 75 once we left.