Wednesday, December 31, 2008

{My Week in Ohio}

I have one last post to wrap up from 2008, and
that's about my recent trip to visit family in Ohio.

I had an uneventful flight, which was lovely -- basically
slept the whole way. Even better, my ticket was free.
That was thanks to all the flying David does for work.

I was so happy to see Aaron when he picked me up. (It was
nice to have him all to myself for a few hours when I first
arrived.) I was also happy to see snow and feel the cold air!
I grew up in Michigan but haven't seen winter in many years.
It was fun to bundle up and even to shovel the driveway. :)

The novelty started to wear off though just a day or two
later when the temperature dropped to 3 degrees and the
wind chill was chilly. Damn, it got cold.

Aaron kept us warm though, by making a fire almost
every night. Awesome...

It was so great to see the kids. They make for a busy and
bustling household. They've all grown so much, both
physically and mentally.

Aidan is so smart. He said his friends at school use him
as a dictionary when they don't know the meaning of a
word. He really is a sponge. I've never known an eight
year old with such an interest in animals and how things
work. He and his dad picked up a new book that he loved.
He spent a lot of time sharing it with others and expressing
his appreciation for its greatness. He's usually the first one
up in the morning. Each day, he made a number of astute

Lauren is a sweet girl. She's up for anything, anytime -- an
insatiable appetite for play. That's not to say she's hyper;
quite the contrary, in fact. She can play and have fun, but
then tone it down and focus on reading, yoga, a movie, etc.
I often saw her wheels in motion, her eyes ever telling. She
learned to text while I was there (to her parents chagrin).

Catherine. I just want to spend the day giving this girl hugs
and kisses. She's getting to be so grown up and independent.
She's confident, smart, absolutely hilarious, and quite
athletic. She doesn't seem to hold herself back much at all.
This means, as her dad says, she tends to "experience more".

Little Miss Meghan is sugar and spice in extreme quantities. She
was the most likely to cuddle up and share affection. She was the
one who would hang out with me while I was getting ready,
watching everything and asking questions. She'd whisper in my
ear and giggle. But she also glared at me more than once when
she was getting in trouble with her parents. And I mean stared
me down. On my last night there, we were all in the family room,
when I noticed her sitting in front of the fire, quietly looking into
it. When I bent down next to her to ask if she was doing okay,
she said, "All I want for Christmas is my boyfriend." She's FIVE.

It was inspiring and energising to be around their
creative energy. I arrived to notes and gifts from
the girls, loaded with love. I got to see where they
go to school and hear about their friends. They showed
me webkinz, Poptropica and We even
went to a parallel universe once. Lauren made this reindeer
in class. So cute!

The kids reminded me how much fun it was to play games.
Here are Lauren and Meghan during a round of Operation.
We also played Twister and Sorry. Good times.

We sang along with American Idol. I think the kids were
horrified with my singing abilities. (For the record,
Knockin' On Heavens Door is NOT an easy song to sing.)
I was really impressed with them though. They were good!
We also played Wii tennis and bowling. I was much better
at bowling. I kept trying to play Wii tennis like regular
tennis. I finally had to sit in a chair to keep myself
from running up to the ball and taking a huge swing.
Aaron had to encourage the kids to be patient with me
since it was my first time. None of them wanted to be
my partner!!! I wouldn't have wanted to be my partner
either. They were troopers. :)

My brother and Pam, on the other hand, have become
quite good at real life tennis. They've been practicing
and playing on a league for the past year or two. We
went on Thursday as Pam was finishing up and just in
time to watch Aaron's first match. It was fun to see him
play, meet some of his tennis friends, and see where
he goes each week for it.

He took me down there two other days -- once with
Aidan and Catherine. He stood on one side of the court
and hit balls to them (at the line) and to me (behind
them). It was fun! Another time, it was just the two
of us, and he gave me a lesson. I loved it!
He said I have a natural swing, which was awesome to
hear. I'm by no means good, but he gave me some great
pointers I'm hoping to practice so I can get better.
Good goal for the coming year...

I am so lucky to have this amazing woman as my
sister-in-law. I just wish we were able to hang out
more often. She and Aaron make an amazing couple,
and she's such a good mom. I still don't know how
they balance their busy careers and busy life with
everything else, but they do it.

What else?
Aaron and Pam sponsored an afternoon at the spa for me
where I had what may have been the best massage ever.
Definitely top two. It was wonderful. I felt like the luckiest
girl in Toledo that day!

We watched some good movies together at home, and
went to the theatre to see The Tale of Despereaux.

We went to two holiday parties
did a little shopping
played spoons
went for manicures at the Beauty Bar
did 30 amazing minutes of yoga
went to dinner at The Beirut (awesome Mediterranean place)
and hung out.
It was a great visit.
I'm going to aim for a summer trip there when we can go
to the pool, play tennis and do bike rides. Already
looking forward to it.

Until then, guys! I love you, and thanks for everything!


Lis said...

what GREAT fun! It totally sounds fun to shovel the drive way! I agree!!!! You have such cute little nephews and nieces! Glad you had a great time! It makes me miss MD a little... tear.

carlene federer said...

wow, what a great visit and what cuties neices & nephew you have!
Happy New Year & Good Luck in all you do in 2009 Sam!

Anonymous said...

i love this post! looks like you had a great time with your family. your nieces and nephew are so cute - i bet they loved having you there.

TruJen Phtography said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time with your family! Much needed I'm sure. The pictures are great! You really know how to capture each of their moods. I could see in their faces what you were explaining.
Also, I'm so glad I could see you! Let me know when you're coming up again. That drive is so easy!
Love you!!

Kristi @ Mi Vida Ocupada said...

Your neices and nephew are so cute! I love the photos you took of them. Glad you had a nice time with all of them!