Monday, July 16, 2012

Kansas weekend

The weekend was fast, but it was a good one.

We were loaded up and on the road by 6:30 Friday morning, with a quick stop for a donut or two at Casey's, of course. The girls were cooperative and Bailey was even excited about a trip in the car.

I did the driving (all 7 1/2 hours of it) while viewing this in the passenger seat:
Jared was mighty comfy camped out with two pillows and a blanket.

Thankfully he was tired enough to not object to my choice of music or its volume.

We made the trip is good time - very good time actually. Except for a 40-mile stretch of "road construction" in Nebraska (which literally consisted of traffic cones and blocked lanes with no actual construction), the traffic was good. I tend to drive pretty, shall we say, "aggressively."
If you are a slow driver in the left lane, we are definitely not friends.

After a lengthy lunch break, we made it to Jared's dad's house in Herndon by 3:30.  We had just enough time to unload, clean up, and make it to the wedding rehearsal. Everyone basically turned in early in preparation for the wedding the following evening. Which, in hindsight, was definitely a good idea.

Saturday was a pretty casual day to start off with. We hung out at Alan and Ann's and let the girls enjoy not being trapped in the car. Esther (Jared's step-grandma) got to meet Avery for the first time and Bailey got in some Papa Alan time.

Later we took Bailey around and introduced her to some horses.
She was okay with looking at the horse and maybe even petting it for about two seconds, but she wanted nothing to do with sitting on it. The first time Jared put her on she screamed and cried hysterically.
It wasn't until we were ready to leave that she suddenly said, "I want on horse!"
{She always needs to do things on her own time table.}

The "ride" lasted all of half a minute, but it was enough to snap one quick picture and for her to tell us over and over that she rode the horse.  We also had to go see some cows so that she could bring them up for the next day as well.

Later that night was Greg and Lina's wedding in Atwood. 

Greg Mumm and Jared are 2nd cousins. They have spent many hours drinking beer together in Herndon, at Oktoberfests, or anywhere else cold beer is available. We have many fond college memories that involve Mr. Greg Mumm, many of which should not be detailed in any form on this blog. Greg was the best man in our wedding and I know Jared was honored to be a part of Greg's.

Sadly, since we have lived so far away, we only met his new bride for the first time this past weekend. Lina is a cool girl and I can see why Greg snatched her up. {And she voiced approval of my M-Bolt concert attendance, so she is definitely top-notch in my book.}

The wedding reception was a good time, even while managing two little kids. Thankfully other kids were there so ours weren't the only ones making noise and running around during the reception. I was also very thankful for help from Jared's dad, especially when it came time to doling out the food and keeping them entertained at the table. Bailey was more than ready for the dancing to start. She was practicing her moves as soon as the dinner music began.  Then someone gave her a popsicle that was completely thawed out. So basically juice in flimsy plastic.  She loved it. And to the lady who gave it to her: umm thanks, but you really shouldn't have. Like really - you shouldn't have.

She was a sticky, orange-flavored mess.

Meanwhile this one insisted on only being held by me.
A room full of eager and willing relatives, and I got stuck holding this little stinker the entire time.

Family picture at the wedding

So as you can imagine, we had an even better time when Papa Alan took the girls home and watched them for the rest of the night.
{Alan: you were super-grandpa and we definitely owe you one.}

So even though I was sober and completely aware of how ridiculous I looked, I danced and had fun. That's the thing about Kansas. Every time we go back there and hang out with friends, we always have a good time. No matter what we are doing.

I was reflecting on that thought as I was driving yesterday.

It's so great to catch up with good friends you haven't seen in a while. You remember all the fun you always had together and how much you still have in common. But it is bittersweet in a way. At the wedding we were talking to Jared's cousin Abe and his wife Alex, who have two girls about the same age as ours. Alex said, "Why don't we ever have a play date or just hang out together?" And I replied, "It's probably because of that whole 6-hour distance thing." Oh yeah...

It sucks. We have friends spread out across Colorado and Kansas and Nebraska and Iowa that we just don't get to see much. I suppose that is what happens when you go to college out of state and meet friends from other places. When you graduate, you all go your separate ways and live your own lives. But I miss them. I miss all the fun times we had and the fun times we could be having. Sometimes I wish I could call up my friend Tara to come have a Long Island Iced Tea with me on some random Tuesday afternoon or that Jared could swing by Greg's house to talk about whatever it is guys talk about.

So while I occasionally wish we were all just one big happy group of friends like those featured on a weeknight sitcom, I am grateful for the good friends that we can see once a year (or even less) and still pick up right where we left off. We might not see each other all that often, but I still cherish these friendships. And I am thankful for reasons to get together. Like a wedding.

Congrats again to Greg & Lina Mumm!

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