Apparently it takes a brave parent to road trip alone with small children. That's what I hear anyway, and I believe it. It's a moving vehicle full of unpredictability, and Jillian and her girls conquered it recently. They drove a long way for a short visit, but we loved our time with them.
They arrived before dinner with two girls who were VERY glad to be out of the car, and one mother who was happier to be out of the car than anyone else could have been. She's a trooper.
Graceanna quickly recalled her friendship with "Mista Ca-sun" and goaded him into reading our collection of children's books.
Wren helped me get dinner ready while her momma was taking a relaxing shower. Note the shirt.
Graceanna had cucumbers for the first time and called them pickles. The rest of us had a new recipe that tasted fine but was terribly ugly. Jillian is a queen of both tasty and beautiful food, so my incredibly humble presentation disappointed me.
We had an early evening since everyone was tired and I had to work early. When I got home the next day, things were a little chaotic, but they started to slow down when both girls went down for naps.
I'm glad I got a picture of Wren sleeping because it only lasted 15 minutes. Gracie didn't sleep at all.
Napless but brave (or stupid, we would soon find out), Jillian and I decided to proceed with the plan of getting ready and leaving the house, figuring that if things went south, we could come home again no problem.
We went to the used bookstore first. Everyone loved it, except maybe the staff who I'm sure had to re-reshelve the books I probably grossly misplaced when reading to Gracie.
We hit the very thrilling Wal-Mart next because we were obviously all about shopping and exploring local on this trip. Had to take a selfie on the car ride out of the parking lot.
Our third stop was going to be a park, but since we were sweating from just the walk from the car to the store, we decided to opt for the air conditioning of a Chic-fil-a play place. That didn't happen either because Graceanna read herself to sleep.
Jillian and I drove around since both girls had fallen asleep and we wanted to keep them sleeping for as long as possible. We headed home when Wren lost her mind in hunger. Graceanna continued to sleep until 6.
We knew it would be a late night, so dinner and everything else was late. I made a much better-presented Chicken Cordon Bleu which everyone except Graceanna enjoyed.
We'd planned to put the girls to bed and then let Carson stay with them while we went out and talked, but the late naps changed things. Carson grabbed Pizooki for us and our night instead included a movie, a toddler pedicure, reading books, jumping on our mini trampoline, takeout dessert on the couch, and bottle feeding a baby. We didn't get the hours of conversation I'd hoped for, but the alternative was pretty good too.
Graceanna got fig cookies and a tiny handful of chocolate chips, but she enjoyed it with more gusto than we had for our (much tastier, sorry G) desserts.
The next morning was going to start pretty early but plans changed, so we got a late start. We hit the splash pad at Cascades Park and Gracie loved it. She was a bit apprehensive at first, but by the end she was soaking went and having a blast.
We met her twin!
And another selfie for the books.
I sat in the car with the girls while Jillian gathered the rest of their things, and we FaceTimed with Emily and baby Tirzah. We wish they could have been here!
One last hug from baby Wren, and they were back on the road. Love my "nieces" and my "sister" and I'm thankful that it's now a shorter trip, but I wish these weekends together happened much more often!