I'd be lying if I said travelling with two children under the age of four wasn't stressful...It was, at times. But we've done two long-haul trips in two months and honestly, it wasn't as bad as my imagination had scared me into thinking. Either that or (like birth) I've already forgotten the pain?
Anyway, our day this week was spent in the Land of the Free, more specifically Pennsylvania (and yes, I did have to google how to spell that). Once again, the girls were surrounded by family who adore them and once again we were reminded just how lucky we - and they - are. I'm conscious I'm a broken record here but, damn, this 'day a week' thing is really showing me just how many people they have in their lives that are important to them and I just can't get over that.
We woke to snow flurries and deer crossing our driveway, we ate big all-American breakfasts and had lots of fun on the snow tubes. Unfortunately, the day didn't quite end the way we'd hoped - Eden got sick and so we had to abandon everyone else for the last supper in favour of a cosy movie night, which I couldn't document because my hands were occupied with towels and sick buckets. But you'll have to trust me - there was a fire, there was the new Winnie-the-Pooh movie and there may have been a glass of wine, so life wasn't all that bad.
Morning bed head.
And morning scenes.
Taking it in turns to do the entertain-the-baby-walkarounds.
Having a tribe = very useful when eating out with kids.
Learning from the best how to plait. Also, older cousins are idols for little ones and that was very clear from this holiday.
Grateful for people taking the camera off me so I can get involved (even on bad hair days). Photo cred: Auntie Telle.
Snow-tubing is SUPER fun. FYI - the lady bombing it down on the far right is the legendary Auntie Stelle. If you zoom in you will see that this, it turns out, is her happy place.
Pretty much always happiest when eating. Just like her mama.
Excellent social skills to be learnt from sharing one lot of chips, don't you know.
I mean, I know I'm slightly biased, but they are CUTE.
Aeroplanes with Grandpa.
Uncle Mike loving. Which was what the weekend was all about.
And by the way, aren't surprises just THE. BEST. I don't care whether I'm being surprised or the one doing the surprising - I love love love it all. This little trip was a surprise for my brother-in-law's 30th birthday and it was the best to see the shock on his face as he saw us all there. Makes the whole thing - even 8 hours on a plane with babies - worth it.
On a final, totally unrelated note: I can recommend American hire cars for making middle-aged people feel cool again. Whack on a little Drake/50 Cent/'Life is Highway' from the movie Cars (seriously, perfect American road-trip song when you have a three-year-old) and anyone, even two overly-tired, early thirty year-olds can feel pimpin' when driving a Dodge Durango or a Jeep Wrangler.
*Yes, yes, too many hours of Disney songs were listened to on this trip and it IS reflected in my writing, and what of it? Just let it go already. (...)