So I've fired up the slide projector and I'm ready to share with you, dear Internet, the highlights of my summer vacation. (Feel free to get yourself a snack before we start. Don't worry. I'll wait.)
Just to review, we left off in June with a clean house and a recent (and royal) med school graduate.
Both were major accomplishments never before seen in the history of our family, so we did a bit of celebrating. I won't say who partied hardest, but I do have photographic evidence that some family members went a little crazy with the celebratory activities.
After cleaning up the party zone, Sam and I were off to North Carolina to see Aunt Peanut. Sam is crazy about Aunt Peanut, and by the end of our visit was pretty good friends with Razor too. We had a really great time. North Carolina even made it to our list of Places We Might Like to Live Someday.
But there wasn't time to think about that yet, because by the time we got home, moving day was right around the corner. After several weeks of sorting, tossing and packing, all of our worldly possessions fit into a teeny tiny 26-foot diesel truck. Sam would have been thrilled to drive the rig all the way to Ohio, but the Coach wanted a turn too. Once en route, Sam was satisfied just keeping his eye on it from his car seat in the back of the blue car. Each time he saw it he reminded me "Daddy drive yellow truck. Big truck." He especially liked it when we pulled into the truckers' area at gas stations and rest stops. There he saw first-hand all the wonderful things that can be pulled by trucks: boats, houses, two or three trailers, and sometimes even more trucks. Amazing!
Coach and I weren't quite as excited about life on the open road, so we were glad when we finally pulled in to the driveway at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We got a few hours' sleep, and then dragged Javich and Daisy to Akron to help us get unpacked and settled in. We were so lucky to have them. We definitely could not have made it without them. We were exhausted from several days of packing, loading and cleaning, and staying up too late to get it all done. Plus, I didn't know it at the time, but I'd packed a little something extra before hitting the road.
Yes, it's true. It's unbelievable, I know, but I went TEN DAYS before confirming--via Dollar Tree pregnancy test--that indeed I was pregnant. You see, when I first began to suspect that I was expecting, I did not have a pregnancy test (or three) on hand as I usually do because I'd declared that no new purchases (however economical) could be brought in to the house. We barely fit into the 26 footer as it was! (And we couldn't move up to the next size without sending someone to truckdriving school. Sam was willing, of course, but we just didn't have the time.) Also, I hoped that if I didn't have definitive proof of pregnancy, I could avoid/ignore/deny those little inconveniences that go along with it.
That plan didn't exactly work, but the whole strategy was worth it to see the curious look on Daisy's face when she noticed our shopping list posted on the fridge a few days after our arrival:
- preg test
Our secret didn't last long, as it turned out. In early July, Mom hosted a party to celebrate Javich's and Daisy's mission calls and my parents' fortieth wedding anniversary. I volunteered to help with preparations the day before the party, but I found myself disappointingly ineffectual. I claimed all the easy, sit-down jobs, and still had to rest on the couch after such strenuous tasks as slicing strawberries. And so I explained my uselessness. Everyone was very understanding, and were soon offering me backrubs and beverages while I relaxed on the couch.
Despite my uselessness, the party was a huge success. We enjoyed mounds of food, lots of friends, and perfect weather. Plus I convinced one of the guests of honor to row me and Sam around the pond. (How could I row myself in my delicate condition?)
On July 4, Grandma and Grandpa Frogmorton made Sam's day by coming down to Akron to celebrate his second birthday. We had a breakfast dinner of hibachi style pancakes (best combinations: white chocolate blueberry coconut with coconut syrup, and butterscotch chocolate chip with maple syrup), followed by slices of birthday cake with festive sprinkles. Sam had no idea what the celebration was all about, but he sure enjoyed himself, especially playing with his presents. (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!)
The Coach had fun playing with toys too. After dinner, he challenged Grandpa to a rousing street race on his new X-Box 360. Though Grandpa isn't really a video game kind of guy, he sure seemed to enjoy busting through police roadblocks. The Coach has really gotten into it too, and has spent the months since the X-Box's arrival (possibly the most exciting event of the summer) mastering every one of his games. He recently beat out every racer on the blacklist to become Rockville's Most Wanted. We're all so proud. (We just hope he remembers not to ram police cars in real life.)
One reason Coach had so much time to devote to his life of crime was that Sam and I were gone for most of July to attend our biennial Frogmorton Family Reunion. Coach couldn't take vacation time so soon after starting his residency, so Sam and I drove across the country with Grandma, Grandpa and Daisy. I have to admit I was wary about about the trip; in the weeks before our departure I was constantly pukey and exhausted, and Sam was, well, a two-year-old: not always eager to cooperate for long hours of confinement. But we both did okay. Sam happily pointed out trucks and busses, and ordered "chicken and fries" at every drivethrough along the way. Before we knew it we were in Utah.
Once there, we spent a few days visiting with friends and family, and enjoyed a fantastic reunion with the Daddy-A/SPH-1 family. We swam and ate and played and remembered all the reasons why it's so fun to have double cousins (and their corresponding spouses and kids) around.
The next day, after dropping Daisy off at the MTC, we headed up to Reid Ranch to party it up with Frogmortons from near and far. Ree and Shana and Harvey were much more prompt with their accounts of the festivities, so I don't have much else to add except that IT WAS AWESOME!
On our way home from Utah, we took a detour through the pacific northwest. First we stopped in Union, Oregon to visit my great grandfather's grave. While there we met one of my dad's cousins, who welcomed us into his lovely home (a certified historic monument!) and shared stories of our grandparents, along with a delicious dinner.
Next we headed on to Tacoma, Washington. The drive would have been worth it just to see that beautiful stretch of country. It's absolutely breathtaking. But we had the added bonus of spending time with my mom's sister, Betty, and Betty's son, Kim. What a wonderful visit we had! It had been years since I'd seen either of them, but they were so generous and hospitable it was like we'd lived next-door forever.
Tacoma has some of the most amazing homes and gardens I've ever seen, and I really wished the Coach was there to enjoy it with me. It's definitely on the list of Places We Might Like to Live Someday.
I was a little disappointed when all our visiting was done and it was time to head home, but Sam and I missed the Coach, and we were ready to sleep in our own beds.
Not that it was all sunshine and marshmallows once we got back to Akron. The day after my return, I had an appointment with my dentist to complete a root canal procedure he'd started before my vacation and perform a bonus (!) apicoectomy. During the procedure, I had a little bit of a panic attack, which I blamed on my delicate condition. But it also could have been from the EXTREME PAIN. It's hard to say. Anyway, I discovered that bursting into tears in the dentist's chair is a good way to make sure you get special treatment from then on. The end of the story is that my face got all swollen and puffy and I was miserable for a few days. But it's all better now. Except that sometimes my lip falls asleep.
By the time I'd recovered from that, it was time to head back out to Utah for Carolioness's wedding. Sam was excited about that trip, in part because we traveled by airplane, but also because he was excited to see Mr. and Mrs. Lion. Every day since the arrival of their wedding invitation, he'd take their photo off the fridge to carry it around while chanting their names. So when the time finally came to board the airplane with Grandma and Grandpa and Michael (the Coach came on a later flight) he was thrilled.
Although it was a quick trip, we had a wonderful time celebrating with Mr. and Mrs. Lion. It truly was a beautiful day. And the party wasn't bad either. We're so happy to have Semaj (and Nogal) in our family!
We were lucky to spend a day in Logan with Coach's family before heading back home. All of Sam's cousins were in town for Grandma Z.'s famous Grandma's Camp, and he sure had a great time running wild with them. Meanwhile, the Coach and I had a great time visiting with their parents. We hate living so far away from all the action!
And that about wraps up our summer travels, although September has been an exciting month in its own right. On September 1 we finally sold our house in Iowa City (thanks for your prayers on our behalf, everyone!). And although my condition is still delicate, I've now graduated to the second trimester of pregnancy. So I don't complain quite as much as I used to. (About nausea, anyway. I've found other stuff to complain about, of course, but I'll save that for another entry.)