Well, if you have missed me this past week and wondered why I hadn't posted...you probably guessed right. We were on a little trip! We decided (somewhat last minute) that we would go ahead and take a trip to Chicago to visit DH's parents. It had been about 4 years since we last went. Mostly, we'd grown accustomed to the grandparents coming down to see us and letting us bypass the drama of traveling with little ones.
The week went really well and I even got the opportunity to attend the Illinois Catholic Homeschool Conference in Joliet. It was a big plus for me and I had a great time. I was able to hear Father Pablo Straub (the Crucifix Priest) who did an awesome job of saying Mass. The only downside was that the conference was too short. I was ready to come back again for another full day of inspiring workshops!
The trip wasn't all about me, of course, and we got to do some fun stuff with the kids. Besides meeting with family (my kids ADORE their cousins!!!), we were able to take the kids to the Jelly Belly factory, introduce them to an official Chicago-style hot dog, visit Navy Pier, and experience all the fun that comes with living in a big city (trains, trolleys, taxi cabs).
We obviously couldn't leave Chicago without visiting the American Girl Store. It was a fantastic day as Isabella and I took off to Chicago via train for a special mother/daughter day. We then grabbed a cab and spent the afternoon shopping at American Girl. We had lunch there and dined with Samantha (an American Girl doll). Although Isabella is set on getting Kit (another doll), I set my limits on shopping only for her Bitty Baby doll. Clothing one doll is pricey enough (doll socks alone were $14!); I knew that if we got another doll, there would be outfits and accessories to buy...none of which would fit in our luggage. Needless to say, Bitty Baby is one spoiled doll.
The boys weren't too left out. While us girls were in the Windy City shopping, the boys got to spend some quality time with their dad. They spent the afternoon fishing and playing outdoors. Marco caught his first fish...followed by another. It was nice that we were all able to have our special time.
Now that our trip is over, it feels SO GOOD to be back home! We were blessed that the airplane trip went smoothly both ways, but travelling with little ones is still not easy. Looking on the bright side, as always, I'm glad that we are able to make such wonderful memories with our children and hope that we continue to travel regardless of the comforts that we may leave at home.