Monday, September 22, 2008

Wisconsin trip in numbers

16 hours driving each way
4 kids
0 DVD players/DVDs viewed in the car
1 wedding
1 viewing
1 funeral
0 "accidents" from recently potty-trained child
5 states crossed
1 day mostly spent sick in bed
1 polka band
1 chicken dance
1 mullet
1 person who thought Anna and Kaitlyn were twins (?????)
4 happy meals for dinner last night
1 paranoid mother stressed out that her kids were not eating healthy enough on said trip
3 kids fishing for the first time
1 son playing some strange polka instrument
2 hotel employees who told us our kids weren't allowed in the spa
1 box of beef sticks for sale in the Wisconsin hotel lobby (!!!????)
4 Heldts that were greatly missed
6 very grateful people returning home last night after having driven straight through

Even though we haven't lived in Colorado terribly long yet, it's funny how being away in another place makes you feel glad to be where you are. Wisconsin was BEAUTIFUL (the foliage, that had begun to turn for fall, was just amazing), and so was much of Iowa, Minnesota and some of Nebraska, but I'm so happy to have this little corner of the world we've carved out for ourselves, in a city and closeby to stuff.

I'm also always amazed when I visit another state by how DIFFERENT people and regions are within our country...I saw so many old men in overalls on our way out there, and cowboy boots, lots of people smoking, the craziest mullet I've seen in my life while in Wisconsin (I tried discretely taking a picture of it...only to discover our camera isn't working...Kevin told me it was God punishing me. I told HIM that anyone with a mullet that wild is WANTING to be photographed.) Then there are the midwest accents, the different style of eating (BEEF STICKS for sale in the lobby! Yet another thing I wanted to photograph, but alas, the camera.)

SO glad we went. I got to meet so many Heldt relatives and see some of Kevin's family I haven't seen in years. It was the kids' first funeral and viewing, too. They did well and I think it was good for them. They weren't afraid at all--it was Anna who, after being at the funeral home for only about five minutes, declared she wanted to go "see" great-grandma-Heldt. (Which we all did, and which the kids didn't bat an eye about.) It was also Yosef, Biniam, and Kaitlyn's first wedding. My first midwest-style wedding with tons of beer, live polka music (no DJ, or "Funky Cold Medina"...these guys were hardcore) and insane polka dancing up in the Wisconsin northwoods. I've never seen anything like it! It was pretty wild. (I'll have to get ahold of the picture that proves I danced a polka with my polka-loving father-in-law. He can really cut a rug! As for me, well, I'm a California native. But it was fun! And quite the workout.)

Now we're back home, tired but glad we made the trip. Good memories were made and good times were had. Guess now it's back to trying to knock this mono, and working on the house. Our friends are getting home from Ethiopia with their two new little ones tomorrow night...I cannot WAIT to meet them!!! Our new fridge is arriving tomorrow and we should be getting our new dishwasher in the next few days. A busy week ahead for sure!


Lindsey said...

Polka, eh? You'll have to teach me the next we see each other... that would be an awesome treat for me to show to my Panamanian neighbors! Go Wisconsin!

Jacquelyn said...

I know what you mean about not eating healthy on trips. Every weekend we go somewhere I feel like I spend all week trying to "make up" with vegetable soup, lots of carrot sticks, oatmeal for breakfast ... it hasn't seemed to affect their health but Zak now hates french fries. Glad you had a good time!

Rob Robertson said...

Man!!! 16 hours and five states!! I am impressed our Ella (who was 5 weeks at the time) took us 14 hours to get from SLO to Sac we, took two days. You guys are troopers and your kids ROCK!!! Wait... Anna and Kaitlyn aren't twins?!?!.... ;)

Mike and Rachel said...

I cannot believe you got home last night. You guys are rock stars. We are bummed to have missed it, but it would have been much worse for Mike to be in the car while shaking out of control trying to pass a kidney stone. Not to mention he had to pee every ten minutes. Ainsley isn't better yet either.

I was concerned about nutrition with the trip too. I had bought some fruit, string cheese, and various granola bars for the car, but I was worried about what we would really eat. Ainsley won't eat fast food (except frosties)and Aubrey only eats chicken nuggets. Anyway, I had hoped we would find stores on the drive where I could buy yogurt and other easy eats, but we ended up not needing to worry about that!

Anyway, glad you are home and glad it feels like home too!

Brianna Heldt said...

oh rachel i know, when i heard mike had kidney stones i was very glad that he was home...that would have been awful!

if i hadn't been sick i could have maybe whipped up some healthy snacks, but i just didn't have it in me. i did bring cheese, pretzels, grapes, bananas, and pb&j. but i also brought jerky, kettlecorn, cookies, and candy. :) (i have the sour patch kids to thank for keeping katie happy during the funeral!) also, it is SUCH a long drive, and that has to be so hard on the kids, and they never have candy, so i figured we could splurge to help boost morale. :)

hope you guys are on the mend!!

Mike and Rachel said...

Yeah, I had frosted pop tarts and Oreos too! But the healthy stuff was to put my mind at ease. I had no idea how we were going to get through the funeral. Every time a song ends at church Aubrey is ready to take off and Ainsley can't sit still to save her life. I just figured we would pray hard, candy never occurred to me. Again, you are rock star!

Brianna Heldt said...

heehee, i prayed hard too--especially since we were seated up front. our older kids are used to sitting with us in church for part of the service (music, liturgy and communion) so i wasn't worried about them (they were a little extra wiggly i think sitting by grandma and grandpa, which was exciting). kaitlyn actually sat still in my lap for awhile, then browsed thru the hymnal, then wanted to go exploring so i busted out the candy. i felt horrible plying my 18 month old with candy...but it worked. :) at one point kevin told biniam he couldn't sit by grandpa anymore b/c he was being too antsy, so biniam started crying. but i figure, if you can't cry at a funeral, where CAN you cry??? :)

Mike and Rachel said...

That's a good point about crying at a funeral!

shell said...

we need polka video!! :) glad you survived. i am amazed how well kids do in the car-ours made a 6 hour trip w/no problem. I realize sometime we don't even give them the chance just be try and sit-we try and entertain them from the first minute!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Blech. All that driving. I am impressed. I would have RSVP'd a big, fat, no on that one. Andy's always wanted to do a cross country trip, and my response has always been a flat "Let me know where you end up and when and I'll fly out and meet you there." Even before we had kids.

Tamara said...

Oh come now, polka can't be THAT much different than square-dancing...Especially if Ron was ever your partner, I recall hitting quite a few hay bales when I was flung around by him.

P.S. Check out Costco before you go on your next trip. When we went to Seattle, I filled my coolers with bulk pre-cut apple slices, mini veggie trays in bulk, and some other random fruit/vegatable bulk items. We also got little mini boxed cereal (my kids will eat it dry) and sandwich stuff so we only had to eat dinner out. Denny's kids eat free night is great! Oh and I even found fruit snacks that were 100% fruit juice. I NEVER let the kids have those so they were quite thrilled and I tried to consol myself that at least it had juice in it and wasn't 100% sugar.

Brianna Heldt said...

HA, tamara that totally made me laugh!!!!! not sure if i was ever ron's time i was this guy buck's partner (yes, buck). WELL, dusty was so bitter because she had a huge crush on this guy (who was way, way older than us.) HAHAHA!

GREAT idea about costco, i'm gonna do that next time!

joy said...

you are brave oh so brave!, but polka does sound fun. maybe i've been living in ag too long and haven't been to a real city in forever.

Tamara said...

I remember BUCK... But seriously, who names their kid Buck?? What is his middle name, Antler? Maybe Roadkill? I am going to ask Dusty about him the next time I talk to her.

Tamara said...

But wait, I am questioning the name Buck when my cousin's names are Dusty, Misty and their other sister is Windy. What the HICK!!!

Brianna Heldt said...

HAHAHA!!! I know, I have NO clue why his name was Buck. I just remember NOT wanting to be his partner, and he was a horrible dancer too!

Jeannett Gibson said...

I won't even ask. But I will ask that you refrain from ever discussing anything related to square dancing and/or buck. It hurts my brain.

Brianna Heldt said...

hahaha, jeannett you make me laugh. i grew up in a country church that, inevitably, would have the occasional square dance. i gotta admit, it's actually kinda fun. and downright HILARIOUS.

grace college group has one every year too you know...i hereby nominate you and andy to attend!!!


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