So remember how Abby auditioned for an orchestra in conjunction with the Suzuki Association of the America's Biennual conference? Remember how I gently encouraged her to audition so I could have an excuse to go? Excitement was in the air when she found out she was accepted! We planned and scrimped and saved, and got some very goo deals, so Abby and I and Tom and the baby all packed up and headed to Minneapolis over Memorial day weekend. Why Tom and the baby, you ask? Well, the truth of it is, there's no one who loves me enough to take an 18 month old, still breastfeeding, tyrant of a toddler for a whole weekend. And that includes my husband.
Minneapolis? Fun. Fabulous. Abby loved every minute of it. She proclaimed it "The best weekend of her entire life."
Because of course, when you're in Minneapolis, where do you have to go first?
The Mall of America. The American Girl store to be specific. Where she promptly blew a year's worth of allowance money, and then did the same for her sister. She was, quite literally, jumping up and down with excitement.
Ian was unimpressed. Or maybe he was underwhelmed due to our 6 am flight. Hard to tell. (Do you know how early you have to leave Grandma's house for a 6am flight?)
We rode rides.
Ian too. (He had fun, despite his facial expressions!)
And we ate really yummy pizza at a place called "Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge." Don't judge. It was recommended by "Diner's, Drive ins and Dives." How can you go wrong? And just so you know, my children were, quite seriously, the most psycho ones there. Don't take two very overtired, over-stimulated children out to eat if you can help it. They'll both end up in tears. Yes, even the 10 year old.
Tom and Ian had many wonderful adventures.
Abby made some fast friends, (violin friends are the best!
And loved hanging out with two girls that she already knows from Rocky Mountain Strings.
As for me, I loved the sessions, the instructors, the who conference. It was fantastic to spend a weekend surrounded with teachers all of whom were passionate and wise about the Suzuki world. I reconnected with many teacher friends from Utah who were also attending the conference and we left motivated, renewed and with notebooks full of ideas to improve our teaching and change the world. I really do love my job.
We topped the weekend off with one of those epic restaurant trips. Ian was all done with eating out by this point, and wasn't above screaming his opinion to the whole place. Once he had expressed himself sufficiently, he proceeded to dump everything he could find on the floor. (Do they really need to put that many sugar packets on the table? Really?) The meal got even more awesome when a server accidentally dumped a full glass of root beer all over Abby and then threw a temper tantrum in front of everyone. (The server, not Abby.) The manager and another waitress then came over, apologizing profusely, letting us know that the server who dumped the root beer was going to be fired, all the while ignoring Ian who was still screaming his guts out. I wanted to curl up in a corner and melt into the floor. Sometimes being the parent is oh-so-glamorous.
And we won't talk about the flight home. It's better that way.
But the real news? We're finally (FINALLY!) moving! Yee-haw!
I can't tell you how long this has been in coming, or how excited we are to have a house larger than a treehouse. (I also can't tell you how NOT excited I am about all the box-packing that's been going on.) It's a huge house, fenced yard, giant kitchen, cute design, great floor plan, all the good stuff. And it's only about ten minutes away from here, which is even better. Two weeks to pack up everything and move is stressful, and after Ian unpacked the same box 3 times, all the while running away and laughing gleefully I was ready to tackle him and tape him up in the box, but it will be worth it. We can't wait. Even Max begs every day: "Can we go see the new house?"
The whole process of selling this house and renting another was a crazy one. There were a lot of prayers, temple trips, tears, late night discussions, and worries that went into the whole process. It certainly was a huge trial of our faith. It's easy, now that we have a lease in hand, to discount the whole process. But suffice it to say, God is watching over me and my little family. This I know for sure.
So if you don't hear from me for a while, come rescue me, ok? I'll probably be taped up in a box labeled "kitchen miscellaneous."