Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Is this Heaven?" "No, it's Iowa."

That is a line from one of the greatest movies of all time - Field of Dreams.

If you haven't ever seen this movie, please do so before I freak out. And if it's been a while, do yourself a favor and watch it again. It's BRILLIANT. I remember talking to someone about this movie once, and they said, "Could you ever really love someone who didn't cry at this film, even just a little?" And to that I replied, "No, I don't think so."

Carrying on... the whole point of the reference of this film is it's about a farmer in Iowa, and...

We decided to take a trip back to Iowa before the end of the year to see Solon's family and meet up with some folks that we weren't able to see on Quincy's first visit back in April.

I was a little nervous about how Quincy would be on the flight, now that he is on such a good schedule, and so active he can hardly sit still. So in preparation for our 6:30am flight, I made some of these:

My friend MaryAnn gave me this tip since she has traveled back to Ohio several times with her babies. She suggested I put together some goodie bags to present to whomever was helpful during our travel days. I filled little cellophane bags with a pack of gum, a nail file, a pen, and some leftover Halloween candy. I included a note thanking them for making our trip a little easier. MaryAnn said this little gesture helped her so much when she traveled. Flight attendants can be very helpful if you show a little love when traveling with children. I handed one to the gate attendant while asking him if there was an extra seat available for Quincy's car seat (so he didn't have to sit on my lap the whole time), and he hooked us up and was so appreciative of the treats. While we were boarding the plane for our 6:30am flight, I noticed that one of the flight attendants was having a really rough morning. To top it off, the family next to us had a very loud, and very unhappy 4-year-old. I handed one of the bags to her and said that our entire row was appreciative of her, and she said we made her day! She and her partner made sure we had enough juice, snacks and blankets to last us the whole trip! It was great. The bags also worked on the return flight. These days, travelers are so disgruntled, and they always take it out on the flight attendants. I tell you, if show them some appreciation, it makes all the difference. I suggest you try it on your next trip with little ones. =)

Happy Travelers

We tried to see as many people as possible while we were there, so it was a no-brainer to go to Mona's house where we knew we could find a bunch of our cousins

Hanging with Alynsia and our great-grandma Gaga

Solon's Uncle Tom came down from Tiffin with his daughter Tatyana, and we had some lunch at the Starlite while we watched the Hawkeyes game

After the Iowa game, we were able to spend some time with one of Solon's best friend's Ryan (who drove in from Chicago), and his mom Colleen

We crashed Cael's 1st Birthday Party - so the guys could see their buddy "Louie"

Then Aman joined us all for dinner (yes, this was all in the same night!)

Quincy wearing his very 1st Iowa Hawkeyes jersey that Ryan gave him

Look at that stance - not holding on to anything!

VIDEO: Quincy showing off his skills in his new Iowa Hawkeyes jersey

The ending is really cute, because it was late and QB was getting delirious

After church with Uncle Dicky

Sunday we visited Solon's Grandma Nellie and Grandpa Leroy

And then off to Sunday dinner with the family at Aunt Sandy's & Uncle Dicky's

Quality time with Papa Allen before the airport

Our trip back to Solon's hometown was a good one. We were able to spend some quality time sharing stories and sharing meals with some people who are very close to our hearts. The weather was beautiful (in the 60's the whole time), the skies were clear, and I was able to experience a Mid-West fall, where most of the leaves had fallen to the ground, and a handful of trees were covered in rich red and yellow hues. It was beautiful. We got home safely, and met some really nice people along the way.

It's such a beautiful thing to see my baby sleep. If only I knew what he was dreaming about.

Rocking out to Elmo and the gang (check out those slippers)

Enjoying an Arizona afternoon with Holly and her mom Jill

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving at the end of this month, and Mom (Lisa) and Tony's visit. This time next month we will also be celebrating Quincy's 1st birthday! I remember this time last year I was convinced that he would arrive before Turkey Day - boy was I wrong!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Goodbye sweet October

Man, that sucks. I can't believe October is over already. The one month I wish had more than 31 days. Boo.

Here's a recap of the fun we had towards the second half of the month.

Quincy and I met up with Jaime and Maia for a long overdue playdate. We enjoyed delicious salads from Market Bistro at the Moon Valley Park by our house. I was so excited to use my $5 off coupon that Market Bistro handed out at our neighborhood Blockwatch event - but like I really need an excuse to go in there. =)

Quincy and Maia had a blast on the swings and jungle gym, and Jaime and I just enjoyed it all.

On Wednesday, Mama Mimi and I took Quincy to the Talmachoff Farms Pumpkin Patch. It was 4 years almost to the day that we got Forrest from that same place. It was a little brisk that day, but we had a wonderful time. I can't wait until next year, when QB is actually able to run around and play!

The goat thought I had food for him

They all liked Quincy!

This one was really funny and cute - had the goatee and a bouffant!

Quincy picking out a BIG pumpkin!

They had strategically placed photo ops everywhere

Quincy sharing some corn kernels with Mama Mimi

They had these sunflowers that were just blooming in the middle of everything - and they looked so beautiful on this awesome day

He had a blast!

On Halloween morning, we participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual walk with several other Alpha Gamma Delta alumnae. It was a beautiful day for this 5k (3.1 miles) walk around Tempe Town Lake, and the nearby community. There were about 20,000 people there!

While we were walking from the parking lot to meet up with the rest of the group, we saw Sione Fa from Season 7 of The Biggest Loser running past the lake. I said out loud, "Hey you're Sione!" And he said, "Yeah, I am." And I said, "You were our favorite!!!" And he said, "Thanks!" So glad to see that he is still doin' it! He looked great!!!

Now, onto the best part of all: HALLOWEEN!!!

My little Dirt Devil

This has always been my favorite holiday. I love the costumes, the candy, the Jack O'Lanterns-o'plenty. I love it all - everything but the scary movies... not a big fan. Our neighborhood isn't the greatest for trick-or-treating. It's a little spread out, and not everyone participates. Last year, we had maybe 6 groups ring our bell. So this year, we decided to go to my parent's neighborhood, because majority of their whole street really gets into it.

We knew the boys were still too little to cover the entire street, but we covered some good ground since there were several neighbors that we definitely wanted to pay a visit to. Quincy and Kellan had so much fun! Quincy was captivated by all the costumes, lights and decorations, and Kellan represented for both of them by saying "Trick-or-Treat," "Thank You," and "Happy Halloween." Kellan especially liked all the scarecrows that were sitting on everyone's porches. At one house he told the lady, "Hey, your scarecrow tried to take my bag!" It was priceless.

Kellan the Dragon

There is one family that takes up like half the neighborhood - brothers, sisters, cousin, etc all came together to put together a Haunted House. I went through it ALONE, and was genuinely freaked out!!! Granted, it doesn't take much, but those kids did a fabulous job. My heart was still palpitating 4 houses down. I was able to introduce Quincy to many of the neighbors who has seen me grow up, so that was a really special experience. I had so much fun! It will only get better as Quincy and Kellan get older.

I decided last minute on a "Rag Doll" costume. It was really all I could put together after a few years without really dressing up. Next year, it's time to get serious. I think Solon might even dress up - he wants to be a Lion. So we will try to come up with something fun.

Tomorrow is Dia de los Muertos in the Mexican culture.

Day of the Dead is a time when Mexican families remember their deceased family members and friends, and celebrate the continuity of life. The day is spent sharing stories of their loved ones, and remembering how those individuals enriched their lives and their families. It is beautiful and fascinating tradition in the Mexican culture, and I encourage everyone to take some time tomorrow to reflect on their loved ones who are no longer with us, and carry their memories on to another day.