For those of you who can count, and know that Part 1 should come before Part 2, please know that I do realize it appears that I can't count, but I can...I just want to write about Part 2 first, because it was the most recent and SOOOO FUN!!!
Look who I saw this weekend:
We left on Wednesday just after noon and just got back about 2 hours ago! With 6 hours of flying time and at least an hour layover in Atlanta both ways, that amounted to about 76 hours of wonderful Iowa-time!
Why did we make this trip? 1 word: HOMECOMING!
Now, normally we wouldn't have gone home for such a short time just for a parade and football game, but this Homecoming was a particularly special one...10 years ago when Chris played his senior year of high school football, he won an award called the Benz Award, which is considered to be "one of the oldest, if not the oldest high school football award in Iowa," and is kind of a big deal in Oskaloosa. It is given by the members of the team to the person who they feel is the best leader/most valuable player. It's been given every year since 1933, and this year the Athletic Booster club decided to invite all living winners of the award to come back and be recognized.
Originally we weren't going to go, because we live a long way away, it's expensive to go home, it wasn't really convenient for me to miss 2.5 days of work, etc etc, but Chris' parents got on the "You should come home" bandwagon and made our plane tickets an early Christmas present...so we decided to go. The best part of this arrangement (for me) was that my parents had no idea we were coming, and were TOTALLY surprised when we showed up! In fact, I was able to surprise all of my siblings but one, and I had to tell my older sister because otherwise she wasn't going to come home.
SO, we had a great weekend!
We got in VERY late on Wednesday night, then got up early on Thursday and spent the day in Des Moines...I was able to present some information to some 6th graders in my old school district and videotape a museum curator for my 6th graders back here, as well as hit up Target, and then we went back to Osky so we could say "Hi" to my parents (Surprise!) and Chris could ride in the Homecoming Parade:
I also took a minute to snap pics with my mommy (right) and mommy-in-law (left)!
That night my dad spoke at the coronation of the Homecoming king and queen (the queen, by the way, was my brother Daniel's sister-in-law!) so I got to spend some extra time with my mom, Uncle Charlie, and Grandma Foster.
On Friday we got up early (again) and Chris went back to Elementary School (his dad is a 4th grade teacher so he spent the day with him) and I spent the day with my nephews!!!
Ezra arrived first, and I have to say he is even cuter than he was over the summer (if that's possible!!) He had a variety of outfits over the 2 days I saw him, including a styling hoodie (the fall weather in Iowa was AWESOME!), a cute Chinese outfit my little sister brought him back from (you guessed it) China, and a couple cute t-shirts I brought him from Honduras...
Look who is (almost) walking!!
Turtle Face!!He's so cute!! Even when he cries he's adorable!
An hour or so later my new nephew, Jackson, came rolling in and I got to meet him for the very first time!!! He was adorable too, and had very, very pretty blue eyes (when we got to see them--he's only 2 months old, so he slept a lot!) He also had a lot of outfits! I think both boys changed more times than I did this weekend!!
The many (ADORABLE) faces of Jackson!!
(I'm not sure he was as excited to meet me as I was to meet him...at least he smiled at Chris!)
Friday night was the Homecoming game, which Osky won! They recognized the Benz Award winners at halftime...
They had a great turnout--I think over 30 of the winners came back for either the parade or the game, although Chris definitely came the farthest :) They had a big statue of the award on the float for the Benz winners, and brought it to the stadium for the game...great photo op!
(The numbers on the footballs say what year they won the award)
That night we had pizza at home (after the game tradition) and all stayed up until 1:30 AM just talking! It was the first time we'd been all together since June, and we think the first time we'd all sat at a football game together EVER! (Or at least since 1991, we're not totally sure!)
On Saturday we gathered for family pictures...it's always funny to see how we change from picture to picture...of course this time we had one more family member (Jackson) and another on the way...yep, I'm going to be an aunt AGAIN next spring!!! I love this being an aunt thing! :)
"I love Iowa in the springtime, I love Iowa in the fall..."
It was a WONDERFUL (but fast!) trip home!
Incidentally, we also did a bit of Hondo-traveling the weekend before, during that same weekend of the five motifs...more on that (part 1) soon!