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We are home!  And the trip on Sunday was excellent, by the way.  We weren’t too sure at first how things would turn out; between the forecast and the fact that when we stepped out of the van in Lubbock to a TREMENDOUS wind…so strong that it actually scared the boys…we figured we might be stuck in West Texas all day.  However, the wind died down, and minus bumpy plane rides, all went well.

I was incredibly impressed with the kids, to and from NM.  I expected wily, crazy boys in the air, but they were delighted with the whole flying thing, and never once gave us trouble.  In due part to a Travel Aqua Doodle, an Etch-a-Sketch, and a portable DVD player, but so much of the time they were content to stare out the window to see the world below.  And a good portion of the time they charmed the socks off the other passengers.  Completely different from what I envisioned!

The only hitch?  (There always has to be a hitch).  Mom and dad had a missing bag in Lubbock, AND in New Hampshire.  We haven’t yet received the latest bag but have high hopes to get it today.  The Murrays and the Schumperts never fail to have missing luggage once arrived at our final destination, but so far it has always been returned.  Hopefully that return trend will continue. 🙂

On driving into Maine from New Hampshire, Erick actually admitted that after spending a week in NM, he was ready to spend time at the ocean.  (YAY!)  Not that he doesn’t usually enjoy the ocean, but growing up around something you tend to lose appreciation for it.  Meanwhile, I could spend the remainder of my life on the coast and be happy as a clam.  I’m holding him to it!  As soon as we have a free weekend, I’m ready for a day trip!  Now it’s just deciding between Belfast, Camden, Portland, Bath, etc and etc.  Too many choices. 🙂

Part of the reason for the need to see Big Water?  Saturday evening in Clovis we experienced a nasty sandstorm. Dirt was sky high, blocking out half the blue.  Birdies were clinging to the telephone wires-I actually watched one slide right down the wire, and no help for it.  They would duck into our backyard for cover.  I’m so glad that for the most part, dirt in Maine stays moist and rooted to the ground under trees and grass.

Even though we are thrilled to be home, it was hard to leave. It’s difficult to live so far from family.  The week was filled with wonderful little moments, and I’m going to list them just to have them firm in my memory:

  • Hours of play in the backyard for the boys.  Throwing rocks, digging in the very dirt that I grew up digging in.  So strange to see your own children playing in the same spot that you did!
  • Seeing Aunt Susan and Uncle David.  It’s been wayyyy to long and they are so wonderful. Same goes for Uncle Glenn, who is probably one of the most unselfish and generous people I have ever met.
  • Having time to sit and chat with both of my grandma’s. The telephone is great, but not as good as face to face!
  • Watching the boys interact with their Great-grandpa. They were instantly at ease with all of the family that they either hadn’t seen in 2 years or (in Jack’s case, never met!)
  • First time flying a kite for Ry and Jack.  THANK YOU Aunt Susan for such a a wonderful idea!
  • First visit to the zoo!  We have a small zoo in Clovis, but I was incredibly surprised that it had expanded and was in great shape.  They even had a giraffe!  Our absolute favorites, though, were the funny spider monkeys and the twin-baby lemurs that never stopped wrestling and rollicking and having a generally wonderful time playing.  My grandpa deemed them Ryan and Jack. 🙂
  • Having Ryan exclaim “It’s Taco Box time!” whenever we pulled in for a bite.  Good ol’ Taco Box is always our first stop when we come into town.  Cool that my son now loves it, too.
  • Spending more time with Joy than I have in, literally, 10 years.  Sitting at the Java Hut until 10pm, having wonderful conversation over hot chocolate and cookies.  Meeting her amazing husband Jason, and drooling over her precious 3 week old, Jackson.  The boys were also fascinated with the baby.  Especially Jack!

Well, I could go on and on.  Here are just a few pictures of the good ol’ southwest…then Happy Tuesday to You!  I have a plethora of laundry to do!

Picnic at Hillcrest

Picnic at Hillcrest

Traditional meal at Pizza Hut in Portales

We bought both boys Cowboy hats.  Now we just need good pictures. 🙂

Don’t let me fly away, Uncle David!

I’m doing it by myself!

Fun at the playground