now back to our irregularly scheduled blogging . . .

so, really i left off with us leaving for our big road trip.
we've just now really settled back into our non-routine routine (though the icebox could use a good restocking!).
i'll start with a few highlights from our trip and a few pictures. you can bypass all of this if you just want to see the pictures by going here (that's really just a sampling - i couldn't bring myself to upload all of them to flickr).

we left on a saturday, of course later than we wanted to, but that was and always is expected. please keep this in mind if we are ever traveling your way. things started to go downhill not even 2 hours from home. bad traffic in chattanooga. bad bad traffic. as in it took over 2 hours to go 4 miles. yes. that bad. and bea was not a happy camper. once through that fine city all was good. the trick was to keep moving. and move we did. straight to saint louis.
road trip: day 1
saint louis was one of our favorite stops on the way to the rockies. our friend's tim and tara, whom we have only seen one other time (on another road trip) since our wedding 7 years ago, live there. we got there very, very late and stayed up even later once we got talking. the next morning we had a delicious breakfast, some frolicking/wrestling out on the lawn, and then headed over to the missouri botanical garden . we barely touched the surface there, mainly spending our time in the children's area, which was really fun and henry had a blast. it was the perfect pit stop sandwiched between two long days of driving. we can't wait to get back to saint louis!
road trip: day two
more road trip
the next morning we headed out towards the mountains. we stopped in kansas city (mo), for lunch and a visit with a friends family. they adopted our wild beast of a dog willie when they bought their 40 acres and we are forever grateful. he has found the perfect home and is fat and happy!
we all experienced kansas for the first time (and wind farms) and i have to say i thought it would be a dull drive. instead, i thought it was beautiful and peaceful. it was hillier than i anticipated and the greens were so vibrant against that blue sky. really beautiful.
we made it into colorado at night. we had no peek at the mountains until we were weaving through them just north of denver. holy moly. it was surreal. especially to be driving through them at night. crazy. we got to our friend's the murhpy's (scott, suzie (+1), and caleb) in the middle of the night. they had work the next day and we had just driven 14+ hours. we chatted for a little bit, and even though we hadn't seen them since our wedding, we were all tired. so, we hit the hay. then this is the view we woke up to
the view
that's right. at the murphy residence you don't look up at the mountains, you look out at the mountains. i forget their elevation, but i believe it was over 9000 ft.
we also got to visit with postman and chuck (high school friends of matt's). we stayed at postman's (and his wife christine) house and chuck flew from minnesota to hang with us for the weekend too! these guys had henry climbing the walls (and matt too)!
while all the fun stuff was going on, there was work to be done. thursday through sunday much of our time was spent at the show. it was beyond our expectations! such a large show and an array of talent. it was fun, but exhausting, especially for matt. by sunday he was ready to shut it down as were all the 250+ sculptors that were there. that show was broken down in record speed i bet. sadly, matt did not sell anything. at least we can say that the only thing that would have made this trip better was if there had been a profit made. instead, we made great contacts and matt got his name out there and met some great artists that we hope to see at future shows. we still hope to make it an annual or at least biannual trip. how can we not, when it offers us the chance to reconnect with so many friends and family?
final day
we even got to see another friend we haven't seen since our wedding. weiner and his girlfriend, natalie. they're a pair i tell you. i cannot even explain it. there's no one like weiner and it just makes since that his girl hoops with fire. she's a professional hooper. and she gave us a show. and hoop to bring home. i had no idea how hard it is to hoop. they like to say "hooping makes you happy". i think if you did it enough it would give you great abs.
hoop skirt
good times : )
we got to experience a lot in colorado though our main goal was to visit and reconnect. there must be something about that place, we know a few who have made their home there. so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to visit them! but after a week+ it was time to start the trek back home.
but first, a few more stops along the way . . .
we left the rockies and headed towards iowa. stopped in for a brief rest at my family's house there then headed to central illinois. bea got to meet grandma bea (matt's grandma).
bea and bea(they look alike don't they?)
henry had an early birthday party with the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins there.
he went tubing and loved it.
he said go faster!
he went fishing with grandma. slept outside in a tent with uncle george and aunt jess.
and had a good relaxing time with family before really heading home.
back at the dock

this was such an experience it has taken us (okay, me) weeks to recover. but in a good way. we all experienced so many firsts on this almost cross country trek. first views, first foods, first introductions, etc. andi can truly say that my kids are travelers. it amazes me how well they do. i knew it about henry, but bea! she had to ride backwards the whole way! she had her moments definitely (chattanooga was rough), but i've learned that if you are willing to take your time and stop often enough it goes so much smoother than being in a rush and being tense. kudos to my little troopers! i'm hoping that by traveling distances with them while they are young will have pay offs when they're a bit older : )
and they did great at the show too. some people thought matt was crazy for "dragging" us with him, but i wouldn't have had it any other way. it really was a family affair. we went to set up with him, spent a lot of time at the show over the weekend and we were there for the breakdown. we kept matt company, manned the booth, and drove him a little crazy too.

we really did take the circus on the road.
and it was worth every moment of it.


***and congratulations to the murphy family on the arrival of isaac dylan!!***


are you there blog? it's me jessica

enlisting his help
hello blog. i miss you. i didn't intend to abandon you, but it has been rather nice having some space.
life since the trip has felt a little off. getting back into that daily routine has been difficult. it's also birthday season around here. there has been much planning and prepping and making. paired with, you know, general laziness. i hope to see you again really soon. i have lots to share.