Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We're in DC! We're in DC! We're in DC! (OK so it's really Falls Church, but you know...)

7/17/12
Kristen says...

Hi! I apologize for going so long without blogging...it just seems that whenever I'm in Iowa I have WAY too many things to do...so I guess I'll have to catch you up on what I haven't told you...

June 24: Chris left Honduras. That was a l-o-n-g day because he left first thing in the morning and I couldn't go anywhere the rest of the day because a) the car was gone  and b) Pip would have FREAKED OUT! All week long as packout happened and packing was completed Pip kept getting more and more worried...I guess he remembered all the other times he'd been left behind and was concerned that he would be left behind again. I told him and told him he was coming with us, but as more and more things were packed away it became more and more obvious that he would not be left behind without making his displeasure known...so I spent my last day in Honduras tatting on the couch...not a bad way to end the adventure, but a little boring.

Pip on his last day in Honduras
June 25: I left Honduras. The school driver came to pick me up at 8 am and was SO NICE to carry my 2 heavy bags, Pip's kennel, and a whole bunch of stuff I didn't know what to do with so I gave it to the school...we got to the airport around 9 (it took a LONG time to get all that stuff down to the car) and then waited and waited and waited until all Pip's paperwork was processed, processed again, and he was finally loaded. I don't think that was anyone's fault, or even took longer because it was a Honduran process, it just took a while. Finally I had all my baggage turned in, went through the security process (didn't get stopped! Yes!!!) and made it to my flight in time.

The best part of the day was that mi amiga Maricarmen was flying out at the same time so we got one last picture together in the airport!

We were both shipping our pets that day...in case you can't tell, we were both nervous wrecks!
My flight went well, I made it to Atlanta with no major problems, I had to walk about a half mile from where the plane landed to the baggage terminal, and I found my luggage quickly...but not Pip.

The funny thing is, where they told me he'd be and where he actually was were over a mile away from each other...and I had no way to know that because I didn't have a cell phone to call Chris (who was waiting just outside the customs door for me, poor guy). The time I spent stewing/looking for my puppy wasn't entirely wasted, however; I had a very nice conversation with a very nice guy who just happened to turn out to be Malcom-Jamal Warner, who was also looking for some luggage... :)

Finally a really nice guy from Delta airlines let me borrow his cell phone so I could call my mother-in-law so she could call Chris so he could call me (I didn't know his US number) and we could coordinate.

Anyway, long story short, I met up with Chris, we found Pip, and also found out that we couldn't pick him up until 8:00 the next morning (customs closed an hour before my plane even landed)...DARN!!!

So we got an unexpected night in Atlanta, and picked Pip up promptly at 8:00 AM on

June 26: and then we were off on road-trip #1 from Atlanta to Memphis to see our new niece!!! :)

SHE IS SO CUTE!!!!

We brought her this cute dress from Honduras...and another that is slightly different for next summer!
We had a great time in Memphis seeing my brother and sister-in-law. We ate Memphis barbeque (YUM!), went shopping (Pip needed a new leash and collar), and saw my brother's optometry school too. Good times!

June 27: We left Memphis the next morning (too short!) and drove all the way to Osky! Up the entire eastern side of Missouri! It was...kind of nice. The traffic wasn't crazy, we weren't worried about our car breaking down every five minutes...the only problem was the heat! We arrived in the US just in time to "enjoy" that crazy heat wave with 100+° weather every day...

June 28: We had to take the rental car back to Des Moines so we did. And we shopped and stuff, nothing exciting. But that night we went down to Winterset to see my older sister, brother-in-law, and Ezra!
I can't believe how big he is!! He can say lots of words and even jump!
He's also hysterical when he wants you to be "Phebe" (my parents' horse) and does his "cheese" face)
June 29: This was Chris' last day at Principal Financial (sniff) so he left first thing in the morning and I had all day to play with Ezra...and I got a surprise when my younger sister and my nephew Jackson came down to see us too!
Look at those blue eyes!
He's so big too!! Jackson is ALMOST walking!
We dressed the boys up in their "foreign" outfits...the white was something Chris and I brought back from Honduras, the blue was brought back from China by my sister. SO CUTE!!!!
That night I joined Chris and some work friends for a good-bye (sniff) and then we headed back to Winterset.

June 30: We left in the morning to head to Indianola, home to Chris' alma mater Simpson College, and then back to Osky for a few hours, and then were off to Newton with my parents-in-law for Chris' brother and sister-in-law's annual backyard party. IT WAS HOT!!!

July 1:Well, our Olympic dreams have been dashed due to our current adventure (Chris will be in an un-missable class the day we're supposed to be watching fencing...darn it all!) so we did the next-best thing...we went to the Olympic trials in Omaha!

Why yes, that is Bob Costas!
Why yes, that is Bob Costas checking his watch...haha! :)
Why yes, that is Michael Phelps!
Phelps is in the middle lane...don't worry, he wins!
Notice that he's done when the lane judge is still waiting for the guy next door to finish :)
These are the HUGE jets of flame they set off every time a race ended...I'm glad we weren't sitting near them!
Phelps getting his medal, a bouquet, and a teddy bear...weird. Also, it's hard to see but the fountain (green) behind him was COOL! It had words in it!
Dara Torres!!
The fun thing is, about a month before my youngest brother had graduated in this same space...and now there is an Olympic-sized pool in that space! I guess they raised the floor by 18 feet or something...it was pretty spectacular!
Proof! We were at the Olympics (trials)!!!!
Fist-bump, Phelps! Good luck in London!
Oh Christopher...
What a cool ad!
July 2: Des Moines again, more shopping. We bought a bed! (not the same one Michael is diving into, though.)
What a weird husband I have!
July 3: I had a meeting, Chris enjoyed not working. :)

July 4: Chris and I took my parents, my siblings and our nephews to an I-Cubs game to watch baseball and fireworks. We were also treated to something REALLY cool before the game:
Congratulations to the 26 new US citizens who took their oaths before the game! SO COOL!
Isn't Des Moines beautiful?!
The baseball game wasn't very interesting...and it was SO HOT, so the little boys went to the fountain!

Ezra loved it...
Jackson...did not...
The fireworks were great, though! :)
July 5-6: Nothing exciting happened that I can remember. I think we were in Osky and had a nice time with family :)

July 6-7: Chris' parents took us, his brother and sister-in-law, and Chris' grandma to Lake Rathbun, a place I did not know existed until that weekend. We spent most of Saturday in a boat on the lake:
Chris the captain!
Kristen the captain-ette (don't worry, I didn't read and drive at the same time) ;)

 We had a very nice time on the lake and had a really cool cabin. On Sunday Chris and his dad were going to go golfing...but after teeing off at the first hole, a poorly-hit ball decided to run into my husbands' head...

OUCH!!!
Poor Chris had some interesting head gear for the rest of the day!
 As you can imagine, that put a bit of of a dent (no pun intended) in his plans. He was NOT HAPPY!

July 9: Pre-packout #2 day. It was a day full of organization. Good times.

July 10: Packout #2! This one, believe it or not, was WORSE! The Honduran packout was pretty smooth, took about the right amount of time, etc...but I think the best part of that one was that the movers came prepared...the movers from this day came expecting about 600 pounds of "stuff"...which is about what this pile below came out to be:
Can you find Pip? I think he wanted to be packed so he would be sure of going...
The packers made quick work of the first bit of "stuff"

Chris and Pip were even "bored" watching them
 The problem was...we still had ALL THIS TO PACK!



SOO, they got creative...which took a little bit of time...plus they arrived a few hours late...

 By the time they got to this stage
 They'd been in the house working for over 9 hours!!
I did think this was a pretty neat way to keep the carpet clean, though...
Oh, and their parking brake was broken...so they put a dolley underneath it...how Honduran of them!
 So, it was a long day, but all our stuff is (presumably) on the way here or to storage...we'll see!

July 11-12: My sister and Ezra came back to Osky and we hung out on the 11th, and then on the 12th Chris and I went back to Des Moines for more shopping and to pick up our second rental car.

July 13-14: Cross-country roadtrip #2! At last count we've been in 15 different states in the past two weeks! WHOA! We stayed overnight in a Kabin at a KOA outside of Toledo, Ohio...good times!

Pip picked his bed first! :)
July 15-today: We're in DC! We're in DC! We're in DC! (OK so it's really Falls Church, but you know...) What a wonderful place this is! I knew I missed walking, but it has been such a JOY to get out and WALK, even though it's crazy-hot and Pip is slow and has to tinkle on everything and I'm probably not burning any calories when I'm out there...it is so nice to be able to do it! For instance, today, because we don't have a car here, I walked just over a mile to go to Target to buy a few things and PetSmart to get Pip some food, and then had to carry it over a mile back...I'm sweaty and stinky and tired, but I am SO HAPPY!!

We've had a lot of time with our friends from Honduras who are here for their training, and also had a few delicious meals in the process. A particularly fun moment happened on Sunday evening when Chris' phone reminded us of this:
 Good times. Chris started his new job yesterday, and from what I hear I'd say it's so-far, so-good...for sure he looked good!

So that's what's going on. Hopefully you're still with me...this was a long one!

I promise most of the posts will be shorter and more timely in the future! :)
KF

Friday, July 13, 2012

Update: Iowa is Great, We'll be in DC in Two Days!!

7/13/12
Kristen says...

Hi! Sorry we've been out of touch the past few weeks...we're SO BUSY here! :)

We leave Iowa tomorrow to start the drive to DC...I will update you on all the latest news sometime early next week!

Thanks for hanging with us!
KF