Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nephews! Nieces! Iowa! The Fair! Grandpa! Birthday! Wow! :)

Kristen says...


Sorry. It's been awhile. I've been a little busy. But the good part is that now I can tell you about it. :)

Let's see, where to begin...

Well, we went to Iowa, that much you know from my very short last blog post. You also know (if you were paying attention) that I passed through Seoul's Incheon airport on my way (btw: if you ever get the chance to transit through Incheon, DO IT!! They have Rest and Relaxation areas with free massage, sleeping areas, and showers. Really. It's amazing), and that I went swimming and saw my awesome nephews and amazing Iowa scenery.

Here's some of the other things you missed:
-Probably most importantly, Chris and I gained a nephew just before this trip!! Bennett Joseph is his name and he is AWESOME! We even got to meet him when he was just 2 weeks old! :)
This is how my parents announce their grandkids. Cute, huh? :)
 -If you haven't realized this yet, I have a large and awesome family, and since I will be (once again) overseas for my birthday this year, my sisters decided to throw me a surprise 30th birthday party attended by 3 of my four siblings, my mom, 2 of my nephews, my aunt, uncle and many cousins, as well as my Grandpa, pictured with me below:
Also there was cake, made by the same lady who made my wedding cake. Sooooooooo good!! :)
(Chris and Dad weren't able to come to the party, one because he wasn't in the country and one because he was coaching at football practice. But never fear, both got cake!)

My sisters, sister-in-law and mom also got me (you can count them) 30 birthday presents! :)

Best. Birthday. Ever...especially since it hasn't happened yet! :)

Other family funtimes?

 It's football season! :) We got to watch Dad's practice and play around with the football helmets at home! :)

We also rode on fun things like ponies and turf cruisers!

-I won a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair! :) I found out about it right before the big surprise here I was, thinking life couldn't get much better than a blue ribbon, and then half of my family converges on Grandpa's house to sing happy birthday to me. Pretty amazing.

Other highlights of the fair?

 Chris was there! First time since 2009!! :)

  The Butter Cow and Butter Abraham Lincoln!

More fun rides!


Lucky me, I got to spend the entire first day of the Fair with my grandpa! :)
Brother Timothy and Sister-in-Law Katie just before their first wedding anniversary!! Congrats, kids! :)
Mom and Dad and Ezra and Jackson on the Merry-Go-Round!

Big sister Norah and new nephew Bennett!! Their parents drove all night (literally) from Memphis to spend a day at the Fair (and let us see our niece and nephew!) It was awesome! :)

Our tongues were colored from sno-kones! :)
 Big Things!
Chris is a big deal, just ask him. :)

And yes, he at the whole thing by himself!
Part of next years' gigantor sandwich?? :)
Drake Day!
Watching a baby cow take its first steps!

 Relaxing at the camper when you're tired after a long day at the Fair!
 -There was other fun to be was vacation after all!
Chris and I at an Iowa Cubs game! Go Cubs!
Eating creme-filed bismarks and cherry doughnut holes from Jaarsma Bakery...nom nom nom
Admiring Oskaloosa's architectural gems like these in the historic courthouse and
The Central United Methodist Church, with our newly re-lighted cross.
Also I "caught" Chris looking at our wedding pictures. My heart melted a bit.
All-in-all, a great trip home. Lots of great family and Fair time as well as rest, relaxation, and SHOPPING! Also, I didn't get sick until the last few days of the trip, which is always nice...I was on antibiotics for all three flights home (longest was just under 14 hours...ugh!) so at least I knew I wasn't going to catch anything new on the way! :)

Now we're back and looking forward to some new adventures waiting for us here in Vladivostok...more to come soon! :)


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