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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Journey to Washington

Jim's father passed away in June a week before Father's Day. He lived in Brush Prairie Washington, so Cam and I decided that we would rent a car and drive up to support my mom and Jim. I didn't know "Pops" very well because I was 16 when I first met him. What I did know of him was a loving and compassionate man. I felt that it was my duty to go. So we went. We rented a Dodge Nitro and packed it to the gills with the kid's toys and baby gear. It took us two days to get there. We stayed at Aunt Phyllis' house. She had a grassy field right outside her house. Aiden had never played in tall grass before and he and his older cousin Libby went out and explored on our first day there. It was amazing watching him discover and explore this new found mystery. The played "follow the leader" and Hide and Seek for nearly an hour out there in the field. They didn't know that we were taking photos of them so we caught some pretty candid and fun shots. Libby was the Leader most of the time, but every once in a while Aiden would take the reins and get really brave. He was giggling and running almost the entire time. I was amazed by how such a little thing could be so great. I guess I took getting to run in fields for granted as a kid because they were everywhere and our parents made sure that we experienced everything at least once. I'm blessed that he got to take part in this discovery. When the field activities were done, there was a little friendly game of football to be had out on the front lawn at Phyllis' house. The kids had a ton of fun and ran off tons of energy playing this game. Again they had no idea that we were snapping shots. Libby and Aiden were the littlest kids out there and would sometimes get frustrated with the older ones because they weren't throwing the ball to them. So when they finally did get ahold of they ball they would throw it out in the field so that the older kids would have to go chasing after it. It was really funny to watch. They were very sneaky about it. We would see them hiding over by a tree one minute and the next the older ones would be racing out to the field. I loved watching Aiden problem solve. This day at Phyllis' was one of the best days I have had watching Aiden learn and grow, it's days like this one that make being a mommy completely worth it.
That same night we took Aiden and Libby over to Aunt Elsie's Farm. She owns cows and has a lot of barns with hay in them. Aiden and Libby both got to see the cows and feed them. They also got to play in the hay. This was all a new discovery for Aiden even again. He knew was cows looked like and had seen them in passing, but never had been out in their fields before. He was kind of scared at first but then really liked them. He also loved playing in the hay. unfortunately the pictures of the hay didn't come out very well because it was dark in the barn. But we did get some shots of the cows and the kids. On the way over to Elsie's farm Aiden decided that it would be best if he and Libby held hands because it would be safer while walking if they did so. I thought it was the cutest thing ever. Christian even got to go see the Cows with use. We bundled him up tight in his blanket and took him along. He was pretty cute all bundled up. He cooed for a little while and then got too cold so we had to take him home. Jim stayed with the kids and let them play for a long time. I am blessed to have a second family with such diversity. If you would have asked me when I was little if I wanted someone to own a farm so that I could go play on it my answer would have been no. Today however I am proud to say that my child has had the oppurtunity to delve into a world that I didn't get to encounter until I was older. It's a blessing, it really is.
Later that week we took a drive up to Marysville, Washington to visit Cam's best friend Troy. He's a Sheriff up there and drove his car home the evening that we got there. Aiden called him the Police Man for almost an hour before we could convince him that his name was Troy. Troy asked Aiden if he would like to check out the vehicle and Aiden of course said yes. He was timid at first but then Daddy got inside and of course, Aiden had to get in too! He got to press buttons and look at everything inside. Troy even gave him a Junior Sheriff Badge. Aiden still asks Daddy if he can wear his badge when Cam puts his badge on to go to work. After Aiden's inspection of the vehicle we headed to a little park down the street from Troy's house. Aiden and Troy played football together along with playing on the jungle gym. We spent close to an hour just throwing the ball around and chasing "uncle" Troy. It was very cool to see Aiden connect so quickly with one of Cam's closest friends. It made Cam very happy. Christian even went to the park with us and had a great time. He liked "uncle" Troy too. He liked Robin (troy's wife) even more. She fell in love with him and held him almost the entire time we were at their house that evening. She has two boys of her own that are older. She and Troy had been talking about having a baby of their own, and seeing and playing with Christian made her realize that she really needed to give Troy a child even if she didn't want to be pregnant again.
Christian was very tolerant of this whole trip. He was kept up late most nights and woken up early every morning. He wasn't very fussy though and had a very good demeanor most of the time. The next day after we played at the park and saw the sheriff vehicle, Cam and I decided to take Aiden to the Seattle Zoo. We asked Troy and his family to come along. We had a great day. Aiden's favorite part was the snake tank. We ended up buying him a stuffed snake. He really liked the fish and otters in the Grizzly Bear tank too. Mommy enjoyed watching the otters swim as much as Aiden did. Cam caught a great shot of us both standingin awe of the otters. Aiden was such a good boy the whole trip. He got to a lot of fun things but he also had to ride in the car way more than I would have liked him to. He didn't complain but maybe twice the whole trip and that was mostly because he was tired.
On the way home we stopped at Turner Fire Department where cam worked during college. Aiden got to check out the fire engines and ambulances. Daddy got to catch up with an old friend and see what improvements had been made. It was kind of cool for mommy too because she got to see what Daddy's life was like before she and Aiden came into it.

and that was the end of our trip. From Turner Fire Department it was heading straight home. We stopped in Eureka to have lunch with some friends and then off we went. One of the best trips I've ever been on. I must admit Family Vacations are a blast!

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