And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Great Outdoors

When we first moved to Maryland I was certain that going outside would never be an option; much too hot and humid!  So anything outdoors was not an option...camping, going to the beach, etc...all out!  Not only was there intense humidity, but there were also mosquito's by the thousands with the potential harm of West Nile Virus.  There are also crazy big bugs that are nonthreatening, but scary none the less. 

Well it seems as though the humidity has broken and the mosquito's are at bay for the fall because the weather has actually been quite nice here lately.  Because of this we had to jump on the opportunity to go camping with some friends in our ward when we were invited! 

We went to a campsite called "Little Bennet Campground" that is about 30 minutes away from home.  It is a very peaceful place that reminds me a lot of the great northwest.  Very green and lots of trees!  The campsites were big and well maintained and had bathrooms with lights and flushable toilets of course (not sure I would camp any other way).  

The camping trip was such a success.  We had great company to visit with, Dominik had lots of friends to have fun and get into trouble with, and we had some great campfire food to partake of!  The night wasn't even too bad; with our air mattress having a leak we were totally expecting a relatively rough night! 

In the morning everyone woke up, ate breakfast, and then packed up their things.  We all parted ways to do our own family thing, and were sad to say goodbye, but excited to enjoy the beautiful day that we were blessed with.  TJ and I heard about some free boats you could rent with a military ID at a nearby lake so we decided to go check it out. 

We were definitely glad that we did to because it was awesome!  My big strong husband rowed us around the lake all day and it was a blast.  Dominik liked looking for fishies and turtles, and I had fun just basking in the sunlight!  The afternoon was completed by lunch near the docks and then back home.  We had such a great weekend and feel so blessed to have been able to share it with some great friends!

Visiting our Home away from Home

Since TJ has been working such late hours at the hospital, and we found incredibly cheap plane tickets...Dominik and I decided to pack our bags and head to Grandma and Grandpas house.  We decided to stay for two weeks since acclimating to the time change can take a few days to recover from.  Our first flight consisted of a four hour flight to Las Vegas, an hour layover, then a two hour flight into Portland.  Dominik slept on the plane all the way to Vegas and then woke up for the layover, ate dinner, and fell asleep on the plane all the way to Portland; I totally have the BEST kid ever!!  I was able to read a book, take a quick nap, and even enjoy some delicious salted peanuts and diet coke for a snack. 

We arrived in Portland at 3am east coast time (12am pacific standard time) and thank goodness grandma and grandpa were waiting for us just outside the security check point because there was no way I could have carried my carry on and a 30 pound toddler any farther! 

As soon as we got to their house Dominik and I hit the sack.  We were exhausted (despite Dominiks 5 hour nap on the plane) and promptly fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.  The next few days were spent acclimating to the time change and just relaxing and visiting with family and friends.

The first weekend we were in Portland was Labor Day weekend and everyone had the day off of work.  We spent the day playing around the house and outside (no humidity, mid 70's, and no mosquito' better believe we spent time outside!!!!), went shopping, ate a ton of food, and celebrated Chase's 23rd birthday.  The activities spilled over into Saturday which was another beautiful day outside.  On Sunday my mom, Dominik, and I went to Mt. Scott ward to see the blessing of Asher Charles D Adair.  He is so stinking cute!!!  We attended a BBQ after church and had a blast seeing all of our best friends (both Dominik and my own).  What a great day it was!!!

Dominik fell face first into the garage door and had a HUGE goose egg on his head :( Poor kid!
Since everyone still had Monday off we decided to make it a family affair and go up to Mt. Hood and eat at Calamity Jane's and go bowling.  The kids love bowling and so do the adults, so it was fun for the whole family.  Dominik and Brooklyn will take any excuse they can get to play together!  They are so cute!  Dominik is the mischievous one who tends to lead Brooklyn into trouble by saying "follow me," "come on," and then when they get caught he says "run."  Luckily it's never anything too bad, but sorry to Brandi and Tyson in advance if Brooklyn picked up any bad habits!


Tuesday was Tyson's birthday and we celebrated by eating a ton of sushi!  Happy 28th big bro!  The only thing that could have made the day better would be having uncle Curtis there to celebrate too!

Wednesday was Brandi's "baby shower" since I will not be able to celebrate after the baby comes :( We went and had pedicures, and then ate at Claim Jumpers.  It was a great way to celebrate Brandi and baby Kylie!!!  We sure can't wait to meet her!!!


The rest of the vacation was spent doing the same stuff we did in the week prior.  Since we only moved two months prior this vacation was not about sight seeing, it was about spending time with family and friends; which is exactly what we did.  We certainly wish we could have seen more people, but we are coming back for Christmas and will definitely do it then!!! 

The cherry on top of the trip was doing the warrior dash with one of my besties Ashley Finlinson (no relation).  It was a 5k run that had 12 obstacles throughout the race.  Some of the obstacles included jumping over fire, scaling a 15 foot wall, wading through a 4 foot deep mud pit, crawling under barbed wire, and so forth.  The race was hard, but Ashley and I were triumphant warriors completely covered in mud (Ashley fared a bit worse in the mud department than I).  It was an absolute blast and I can not wait to do it next year!!! Who's in?!?!?!?!?

The trip back home was bitter sweet.  We were incredibly sad to leave family, but were really excited to see TJ/Daddy.  The flight home started off great, but then in an unexpected turn of events, there was lightning storms in Vegas which caused our plane stop in Sacramento to turn into a three hour layover :(  It also ran right into Dominik's nap time and while the flight attendants wanted me to get off the plane I begged them to let me stay in an attempt to avoid having to carry a tired and cranky toddler all over the airport.  Luckily the obliged and Dominik fell asleep 2 hours into the layover.  He also slept during the takeoff to Vegas, the whole flight, and the landing into Vegas.  I can not say enough how I have the BEST kid ever!!!  When we got off the plane I noticed that they dropped us off at C-20 and then I overheard someone say the flight to Baltimore was departing out of B-21.  I wanted to cry!!!  Dominik was too tired to walk and we only had 30 minutes to get there.  I must have gotten a burst of adrenaline because I ran the whole way there, and had time to pick up some much needed dinner. 

The flight home was great; Dominik slept the whole way there again.  It was awesome seeing TJ, and great to be back home.  While we miss family terribly, Maryland seems like home now.  We are really enjoying it here and look forward to all the opportunities we have yet to experience.