Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On the road again

We went to see Joe and Krissy for one more night and had a fun time going out to an adults only dinner. We traveled the next day to Pocatello ID and were lucky enough that Carl's cousin we having her baby blessed and we were able to see most of his Aunt Carolin's kids and Carl could spend time catching up with his cousins. It was especially nice for me to meet Allie, I had spoken to her on the phone and communicated through blogs. We then drove that evening to Alice's and were able to meet her husband Sherman. I was thrilled to see Alice smile so much and the kids truly love him. I hope to get to know him better as he becomes part of our family. It was wonderful to see Alice and James' kids, our kids were so sad when we left that night. We got to see them for a couple of hours the next day before we hit the road again. I was disappointed not to see Alice for longer, I love hanging out with her.

We then hit the road and I had been going back and forth about whether to go to Arco to James' grave. Many of you know I am still in denial, I pretend he is just out of the country stationed somewhere, not really gone at all. I kid myself that it hurts less that way. I kept telling myself that it didn't matter if I went by his grave, he isn't really there and he wont care. Carl was so supportive and said whatever I wanted to do was fine. Finally I knew that I needed to go, mostly for myself, this is my chance (who knows when I will be this close to Arco again?) and it is a step to acceptance. We went to the store and picked out flowers, which was strange, how to you pick out flowers for a man. Frankly James would rather have a half gallon of ice cream over flowers any day but I did not think they would appreciate melted ice cream all over his headstone. We drove and as we went I could feel that detestable knot tightening and growing, it feels as if it climbs in my chest and up my throat. I found it quickly when we got there and I bawled. It has been five years almost and I could not control the flow of tears. The kids helped me put the flowers there and then Carl took them to the car and gave me time alone. I don't know if it will ever get easier, I really miss him. I am grateful for the gospel, I know he is busy and is truly on a new mission but I miss him.

We left from there and drove to my parents house, it was a beautiful drive and no one threw up which for us makes a very successful road trip. We saw beautiful deer all along the way, I am still shocked we did not hit any as the sun set but Carl was careful and he has a talent of spotting wildlife.

When we arrived we were so happy to know we were at the spot we would stay for a whole six weeks (at least the kids and I. I was especially happy to see my parents, it has been two years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Family, family, and more family

We arrived in SLC and were met by April's brother Joe and two of his kids. He was so nice to bring a picnic lunch and we went to Temple Square ate and enjoyed our visit there. I was really excited to see all the changes since I was a missionary there. There are so many that I can't begin to list them, all for the good though. We stayed at his house that night and had fun playing games with the family and enjoying Diana's brownies.

The next morning we were up and off to the eagerly anticipated Agren Reunion. It was so great to see everyone when we arrived and were busy catching up after being apart for so long. We were given a tour and best of all visited with the Agren Clan. Later that night everyone went swimming and then we dumped the kids in bed. lil Carl was so excited to be with all his boy cousins, he has so many famales arround him that he took every opportunity to hang out with the boys.

We had family pictures, I don't know why but this is always a cause of great stress for me. I am much happier being behind the camera. We had a great time going to the Oympic Park and I was in heaven with all the excitement there. Eric (my bro in law) and I went down the bobsled run and it was really fun. I think my favorate thing were the ziplines. I was really impressed at lil Carl's bravery, he went on everything he was heavy enough to do. Ha-Na and Madison also went on the one ride they could do twice and wanted to go more, I love that my kids like thrills.

Other events included Thanksgiving point, 4th of July pancake breakfast, and Hiking. The girls had a great party with everything including a merry go round and the boys went jet skiing.

We of course went diving in Utah, how could it be an Agren holiday without diving? Carl loved that his sisters and his Dad joined him and I loved working with Jess.

Helga was so great to provide most of the meals for us and I was so amazed at her ability to put together meals for that many people and it looked so effortless. I am always impressed when the Agrens get together and everyone gets along and has so much fun, what a family.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back to DC

We were sad to leave our great friends in Charleston but off we must go to our next stop. Carl had meetings in DC so we decided to tag along and have some fun while he was holed up in meetings.

We had learned from the trip down and bought a dvd/tv player for the kids in the car, thus having less bathroom stops from a bored Madison.

During the week the kids and I saw the Museum of natural history, one of the favorate things there was the butterfly room. They were facinated by all the different species and they kept landing on Ha-Na (I am sure she gave them some encouragment).

We had a lot of fun at the National zoo. It was quite the endevor to do that zoo alone with three kids. If you have been you know that the zoo is spread out so walking from one exhibit to another is a ways. Add to that the hills and I got quite the workout. madison had one of her famous falls in which she scraped her knee and blood was dribbling down her leg and she was shrieking not to be touched (she does not want comforting when hurt, she wants to be left alone in her dramatic performance). I stood by as she shrieked and ran arround in circles as other zoo patrons watched on horrified by the terrible mother (thats me) stood by while her poor child was hurt. Of course any who tried to give the comfort that I was so callously withholding was met with angry shrieks of "don't look at me, go away." When we came out of the bird area I saw a large animal moving in the bushes with no gate. As I looked closer I saw that it was a deer, the kids were so excited. It was maybe ten feet from us munching on the bushes. Apparently they feel very safe there and the zoo allows them to come and go from there, later we saw a little fawn.

We met with Carl at night after his meetings and went to eat. It was a lot of fun. We all went together to see the National Documents, and the Museum of air and space (although it closed soon after we were there). On Saturday we went to the Baltimore Aquarium. It was fun although we were not overly impressed, they seemed to have more lizards, frogs and snakes than fish. The kids really loved the dolphin show though, especially Ha-Na.

Next stop: SLC Utah