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San Antonio Bound

My Uncle Tim and Aunt Dee are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this weekend. My dad’s side of the family is all very spread a part and so we rarely see each other, but a bunch of us are heading down to Texas this weekend to celebrate! I can’t wait to see my extended family, especially my little cousins (actually, 1st cousins-once removed) who I haven’t seen in 8 years. They are now teenagers!

Happy Anniversary, Tim and Dee!

13 Years Ago

Two Years Ago

Nana and Papa Swainhart’s House: Week 2

New Halloween pajamas • It takes 6 remotes to turn on the BluRay • Eva playing at DSW

Vietnamese food • Our puppy Eva • Eva checking out her hot bod

Christmas at Macy’s • Eva’s Halloween costume • Skyline

All smiles • Family at Skyline

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Nana and Papa Swainhart’s House: Week 1

I had the pleasure of visiting my parents again for a couple of weeks. My dad had two video jobs that he wanted my help with and it didn’t hurt that it was also my mom’s birthday during the time. Here are a couple snapshots from the first week.

Lots of wagon rides • Melting my heart • Got to drive the Mini

Eva ate a whole slice of lemon and cried when it was gone • Cincinnati • Crazy hair

Visited my dad’s friend who owns two planes • City BBQ is my fav • Eva sitting backwards in her chair

Riding on the John Deere • Happy Birthday, Mom! • Crazy Nana

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Flying with an Infant

When Eva was four months old, I flew with her to Kentucky. Little did I know that that experience was going to be the easiest time I’d have flying with a baby. It even started off with a blowout before we got onto the plane. Washing her dirty pants in the airport bathroom sink was a breeze compared to trying to entertain a squirmy, always-on-the-go, ten month old.

I didn’t give Eva a second nap the day we flew to Kentucky because I hoped it would help her sleep on the plane. She’d get drowsy, but then pop back up and ready to play some more. I’d get frustrated because I knew she was sleepy so I’d try to force her to lay down in my arms, but that would just lead to her throwing a fit and me hiding the tears from the people next to me.

There were a couple good things though about the flight that really did help. I paid the extra $40 to be in a row with extra leg room. It was brilliant because she sat in front of me a lot of the time and played. Also, there was no one in the middle seat so we had extra room and I could use the middle seat tray to hold my drink. At the end of the flight though, I was worn out, had a headache and was considering never coming back to Utah because I never wanted to fly again.

But obviously that wasn’t an option. The day of my flight back to Salt Lake, I decided to have Eva sleep as much as possible before the flight and to not even try to have her take a nap on the plane. I filled my carryon with lots of toys and distractions for Eva, snacks, and we played for the entire 3.5 hours. There were no tears and so I wasn’t an emotional wreck at the end of the flight.

We are flying to Texas this week. Wish us luck and pray that I have enough energy to keep this baby of mine entertained on the flight!

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A Costume Birthday Party

While we were in DC, we celebrated my niece Amelia’s 2nd birthday. It was kind of impromptu, but it was so fun to celebrate together.

Claire loves dressing up so she decided it would be a dress-up party. She was a witch, Amelia was a ballerina, I was a princess, my mom wore a hat, and Mary Beth wore a tutu around her neck. I kept putting a witch hat on Eva, but she wasn’t much of a fan.

Happy Belated Birthday, Little Amelia!

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My Ol’ Kentucky Home

I’ve been in a blogging funk lately for a lot of reasons, I think. Mostly, I’ve got a lot on my plate now that I’m a (temporary) single mom. When I finally get a free moment, blogging is no longer at the top of my list.

But I have so much to write about. As you know, after my New York trip, I headed to Kentucky for about a month and a half. It was one of the best visits I’ve ever had. Words really can’t express how much I needed that trip.

First of all, it really helped the summer go by fast without T.J. but I still had such a great and enjoyable time. My mom and I spent a lot of time together. We went downtown Cincinnati, worked out at the gym together, took walks with Eva, swam at the pool, watched lots of episodes of the Mentalist together, shopped, and went to the World Choir Games. She is so great with Eva and I loved that she got to spend so much time with her new granddaughter.

I also got to spend a lot of quality time with my dad. There’s something about a daddy/daughter relationship that just is so tender. It’s like he still looks at me like I’m his little girl who used to climb upon his knee. And I’m perfectly okay with that. Anyway, I had the opportunity to help him a handful of times on video shoots. As stressful as they usually were, it was still amazing to be there with him and see how passionate he is about videography. Not many kids get to work side by side with their dad. I was lucky enough to experience that and bond with him in that new way! After our video shoots we would typically get some City BBQ and discuss our business ideas.

The whole trip was just filled with little memories that really made the trip quite a time to remember. From sitting next to my mom at church to talking on the back patio at lunch, making tons of bean salad and avocado salad, watching Mr. Bean together, and watching baby Eva grow everyday… I just loved being at home with my family again! I love them with all my heart and can’t wait to visit next!

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Sightseeing in DC

I have had little to no motivation to write on my blog lately. But I’m making myself do it now. Here. Tonight. Bear with me.

So, if you recall, we left off on Friday night when we picked up T.J. On Saturday, we woke up and had a big family breakfast then we all headed to downtown DC which is about 20 min away from my sister’s home.

We first visited the Smithsonian Art Museum. T.J. could have spent the day there, I’m so glad we went because he loved it so much. But the kiddos got a little restless as you can expect, so after lunch everyone (including Eva) went back to the house and T.J. and I got to explore on our own.

Except for the intense heat (I heard it was 105 degrees and don’t forget the humidity), the day was amazing. We saw just about every memorial and also visited the Natural History Museum. It was so fun to be with T.J. I really couldn’t have cared less where we were because I just loved being with him. Cheesy I know, but after being a part for so long, I tried to soak up every minute.

We took the train to Old Town Alexandria, always my favorite part when I visit DC. After dinner (where T.J. ate a whole rack of ribs because he was so hungry), we shopped a bit and then walked along the piers.

To end the night, we met my mom and my sister at a park on the river and listened to an orchestra for a 4th of July concert and fireworks. I could not imagine a more magical evening to wrap the whole day up. I was exhausted by the end of the day, but it was fantastic to have a date with my hubby once again!

The next morning, T.J. and I went downtown one last time to see the FDR and MLK memorials. Afterwards, we went to church with the fam. It was a quieter and low-key day, but so relaxing and peaceful with the whole family.

In the evening, I dropped T.J. off at the bus stop and we said our goodbyes once again. It was hard, but I’m kind of used to it by now and it was great to know the next time I see him, there won’t be any goodbyes shortly after.

A perfect surprise and a perfect weekend.

 

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The Surprise

On July 6, T.J.’s bus was scheduled to arrive at midnight in Washington, DC. Little did he know that the day before, my mom, Eva, and I drove nine hours from Cincinnati to DC.

The whole day I was so restless, I couldn’t stop looking at the clock. By 9 pm, I was going stir crazy, so my sister and I caught a movie before heading to the bus stop. After the movie, we kept discussing how we should surprise T.J.

This is what we decided upon a minute before it happened.

Mary Beth parked the car at the end of the block where he was waiting. She got out and greeted him while I sat in the car. As they headed back, I jumped out of the car and stood on the sidewalk waiting for him to notice me.

T.J. eventually looked up and saw me at the end of the block. He was so in shock and so confused that he barely said anything. I had played that moment out in my mind for about two weeks and didn’t think it would go this way, plus we stopped and kissed right next to homeless people so I felt really awkward with them laying on the ground watching me.

But all that aside, it was perfect. How often do you get to travel across the country to surprise your spouse? Maybe once in your life, if you’re lucky! It was wonderful to see him, beard and all.

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Mid-July!

My flight back to Utah was originally supposed to depart on June 29th but we have moved it back to July 14th for a couple of reasons. Most of all, while I have been here, I have helped my Dad with his video shoots. Usually he has to hire someone to help him or he does the job as a one-man show. But it’s a lot of work so I’m glad I can help.

After my Dad asked if I could stay to continue helping him, the reasons of postponing my departure kept coming. As much as I miss my friends and family back in Utah, I rarely get to visit my parents (especially for this long of a period), I won’t be back until Christmas, my parents can continue getting to know Eva, the extra help from my parents with Eva is amazing, we’re saving money here, and it feels like a vacation which makes the time away from T.J. go a lot faster.

So, it looks like I’ll be in my ol’ Kentucky home a little bit longer!

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Butterfly Show