Two Reunions and a Soccer Game
I can hardly believe it’s already been two months since I took Sam back to Illinois by myself for a long weekend trip. Our trips back to my hometown to visit family are usually focused around holidays and family with little time left to catch up with old friends. This spring, we decided the baby and I would plan a visit where we could take time for those neglected pleasures.
The main reason for the trip, however, was to watch one of my niece’s senior year soccer games. When first my oldest nephew and then oldest niece graduated from high school, Jeff and I were there in the gymnasium to celebrate the accomplishment with them. This year, with my next niece graduating, was more complicated with a squirmy baby to consider. We decided it was best to skip her graduation ceremony and come for a soccer game instead.
Since we live so far away, we’ve only gotten to see two other games during her high school career. This year Jesse was captain of the team and she won a full scholarship to play for the local community college team next year. I would be proud of her skills and hard work regardless, but it’s extra fun to see her excelling at a sport that I also love and played for years.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
We left at nap time on a Thursday and made the 5-hour-ish trip without incident. I was a little nervous about my first car trip with just me and the baby, but all was well. We even managed to only stop once for a Sam break! I have to add that, while sad to miss seeing Jeff, my parents were thrilled to have us staying with them. Staying with my parents = more grandbaby time. We usually stay with my brother because Jeff is allergic to my parents’ cat.
Friday was a full day. Too full as we found out by the end of it. We headed out first thing in the morning to visit with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Katie, who has recently moved back to the area after spending three years in Texas. We have always been able to pick up again like no time has passed, no matter how long the interval has actually been. Her continuing friendship is one of my greatest gifts.
It was lovely to chat, meet baby Hannah (who is just 4 weeks older than my Sam), get to know big 3-year-old Abigail a little bit, and see their new house and property. We did our best to photograph the kids together; you can judge for yourself how that turned out.
After a delicious lunch with the H ladies, I drove around a bit to give Sam a short nap before seeing another old friend, Ellen. Ellen and I were school friends throughout junior high and high school, and she is one of the few friends I’ve kept in close contact with since that time. It had been about three years since we’d seen each other last. Sadly, we didn’t think to get any pictures and I had to rush off at the end to get to Jesse’s soccer game.
I again drove around for a very short time so Sam could get a nap. He was used to two naps for a total of three hours of daytime sleep and had only gotten two half hour naps. Originally we thought the game was at 6:45, but we found out that morning that it was really at 5:00. That was unfortunately very poor timing for us. We were late to the game because I just had to let the poor baby sleep a little, and we arrived shortly before half-time and right after Jesse scored a very pretty goal. Thankfully the local TV station was there so I got to see her goal on the news later that night.
Jess is #24 above.
Oh, and her school colors are not pink. This game was part of a fundraiser for breast cancer research, hence the special shirts and pink ball.
Sam was cranky the whole time, poor kid, but grandma took him on a walk around the field in a borrowed stroller and he seemed to sort of enjoy that. (“Enjoy” might be a bit strong.) His aunt wanted to hold him, but he would only cling to me and wasn’t giving out any of his usual smiles. Too late, I discovered that he was mostly hungry and would have been much perkier if I’d fed him at the half. Ah, well, live and learn.
There is way too much plaid going on in that photo. ^
Saturday was much more relaxing, thank goodness. The baby ended up taking a 5-hour nap (!) to make up for the day before, and I accidentally took a 4-hour nap myself. Yeah, think we were tired much? After dinner we headed out to introduce Sam to my grandma for the first time. We also stopped at my aunt and uncle’s house as they live very near my grandma. It’d been several years since I’d seen any of them so it was really good to have a visit, albeit a short one.
Sunday brought church and more quick visits with old friends (one of whom–Kate–got Sam to belly laugh when he was being sparse with the smiles for strangers) before packing up for home, sweet Ohio.
Playing with Papa before church
Helping Papa wind the clock
We also made good time on the return trip. I’m extremely thankful that Sam has proven to be an easy traveller thus far.