Monday, May 12, 2008

Our Annual May Colorado Trip

Avarie and Nana
Avarie, Tate, Hudson and Hailey - Avarie tore off Flat Stanley's head
Tate on the carousel
Avarie and Mommy at the Hooding Ceremony
(Sorry this is so long - but we did A LOT while we were there!)

When we moved to Virginia, we knew we would make trips back to Colorado to visit. But a trip in May has now become an annual event. And we couldn't be happier about it!
The big event to travel for this year was Kelly's graduation from Regis with her doctorate in physical therapy. (Kelly is Davin's girlfriend of a few years now.) We knew her graduation would take place in May and decided to make a nice long trip out of it.
We made the long drive to Ridgway as soon as we landed and got all the necessities. Derek was convinced that it would be best to just go for it all in one day - up at 5 in Virginia, two plane rides, rent a car, stop and pick up baby items at the Mattila's, and a 6 hour drive to Ridgway. I wasn't so sure, but we made it. Although we got in late, we were up and ready to go to church with my dad and Kay the next morning. We had been anxious to go with them and meet their Pastor Jo Ann, who is a high school colleague of my mom's. (Yes, that is a crazy small world, I know.) Avarie slept in the car, but Tate really enjoyed the singing and getting to color a picture that looked just like the goregeous stained glass in the church. The next day we went to visit the Lipton's farm. Kay had sent us pictures of the brand new baby calves, and it was so neat to see them up close. Tate had a blast feeding the horses, throwing rocks in the irrigaton ditch, and riding the tractor with Carol. What more could a little boy ask for? But wait, on the way home, we stopped to pick up eggs. . . right out of the hen house. Tate was able to get the eggs right out from under a hen and they were still warm. We did feel a little bad that he wasn't able to eat any of them, but he understood. The kids had fun playing blocks, and watching Papa drive his train around the train room. Both kids were mesmerized by their cat, Claire. Avarie even learned to say "cat" and "meow," which is amazing because so far everything with fur and ears has been a DOG. It's always so relaxing and beautiful there! Thanks Papa and Nana!
We decided that we would make a two day trip back to Denver and stop in Grand Junction to see the Himes family. The twins were only a few weeks old when we met them last year. This year they are walking and talking and watching the four kids together was a blast. We had a great dinner at the Ale House and enjoyed an afternoon and evening of catching up. Hudson didn't feel well in the morning, and I hear Hailey didn't do too well after that, so we left them to rest and headed back to Denver.
Back in Denver, we did our usual hurry scurry of visits. We got to see Ally, Ella and Deegan and take a ride on the carousel with them. We visited the Delisa family and met their new baby sister Isabella (absolutely darling). Watching Joseph, Andrew and Tate was hilarious! I got to visit with Kay Christie and Candy while I got my hair cut. The kids and I went to Sierra to visit for a few hours. It was great to see all my old teammates and fellow teachers - I miss them all so much!!! My former students streamed in to visit and made me realize how much time has gone by since I taught first grade there - my first group of first graders are now 6th graders. It was great to see everyone there and they made me feel like I had never left. I got to catch up with the ladies in the old neighborhood - lots of laughs and good stories! I always feel like I can't fit in all the visits I want to and there are always people I wish I could have seen or spent more time with. So, if I missed you on this visit, I'm sorry and know that I wish I could stay longer every time I'm there!
Kelly's hooding ceremony was on Friday afternoon. Derek had already planned his annual fishing trip to Elk Trout, but the kids and I went with Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Amy, Uncle Davin, and Kelly's family. The kids did great during the ceremony - thanks to some Star Wars figures I keep stashed in my "Mary Poppins Bag." (Kelly always teases me that Mary Poppins must have upgraded to Kate Spade. Hee Hee!) It was a great ceremony and what an accomplishment for Kelly! Derek thought he would be back to join us for dinner at the DAC, but the blizzard in the mountains closed I-70 and he didn't make it back. (I guess we have forgotten what spring in the Rockies can be like.) Gene cooked a fantastic lunch for all of us and Kelly's family on Saturday. Tate loves to be at Grandma and Grandpa's - especially because every time he comes Grandpa has improved his sandbox for him. It started as a pile of sand in the rocks, and now it's a full box with all the toys. What a special treat!
Both kids (and adults) were great travelers all around. Avarie wowed all of us by sleeping through the night in the Pack n Play. We had a great visit!!!
I put most of the pictures on Shutterfly - with the password mattila. We had Christian Bright's Flat Stanley with us, so you will see him in a few pictures too. Enjoy!


Jeff, Angela and the twins said...

You must be settled back in at home, yeah! I know you love your visits to CO but I can't imagine fitting in all you do, you (& the kids) are awesome! Thanks for spending time with us, I treasured it sooo much! Talk to you soon!

Mike, Ally, Ella & Deegan said...

I've been waiting for an updaye and what an update it was! Thanks for making all of the effort to get back here to the people in CO who love you so much! I know it's crazy, but it means the world to us.

Dave & Steph said...

Sounds like you guys had a great trip - our next Colorado adventure is in July. Hopefully we'll see you guys when we're in North Carolina for a few weeks!