Our Blog

October 2017

Connor and I got home from Greece on October 1st and we were both so anxious to see our kids and give them big hugs and kisses.

They of course wanted to see what goodies we brought them.

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After presents, we showed all our pictures and while Kinsley was watching all the fun we had, she leans over and says to me, “Mom, did you even miss us when you were in Greece?”  We had been telling them how much we missed them but when she saw all the pcitures she realized we weren’t jsut being sad missing them all day long.  It was swet and cute and sad at the same time.  I told her “Of course we missed you but dad and I did have lots of fun too!”

SInce this weekend was General Conference weekend, everyone else was watching while we were on an airplace.  I loved this list that Nana and Papa made with the kids about what they were learning about during the conference.

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The next day Nana and Papa left (thanks again for staying with the kids!!) but for FHE we decided to have a picnic at the school which was what the kds wanted to do.  

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Oh I missed these kids!

The next day was Kinsley’s first full day of Kindergarten.  I can’t believe I’m actually at this stage to have all my kids in school all day long.  It’s sad!  But these kids melt my heart!

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Connor and I went on our first lunch date since all the kids were in school for lunch and we decied on Greek food since we were already missing it.

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Kinsley practiving to be a big cousin.

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If you read last year’s October blog you may remember we tried to go to our nomal pumpkin patch but it was raining and CLOSED.  Connor had decided that was his last year going with us but I was determined to still go again this year and the kids all wanted to.  Holly went with us!

First stop is always to look at the pony in the parking lot and the other stops towards the entrance.

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Oh and some treats of course!  Corbin was the only one wh got pumpkin ice cream.

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Corbin acting scared!

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Cason acting scared with his grape flavored snow cone.  (He has all the sudden loved anything grape flavored!)

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This made me laugh going through the pictures.  Cason pretending to be dead.

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Kinsley had to pretend too, but she just looks asleep!

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These are some awesome kids!! (I’m not biased at all!!)

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This pumpkin filled well!  Sigh! I have pictures of each of them as a baby sitting inside this well.  It’s crazy how it doesn’t seem that long at all but it was 10 years ago, a whole decade, when I brought my first baby here.

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This is probably the last picture of the kids with their aunt before baby comes!

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Sometimes these kids just CAN’T look at the camera at the same time!

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Cason and Kinsley rode the ponies.  Corbin is now too big to ride them.

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Just before it cloeed I and bought the pumpkins while Holly took the kids to the Haunted House.  

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I was glad to take the kids for our annula pumpkin patch!!

The next day, Kinsley had a soccer game.  It’s so fun getting to see her loving a new sport!

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Cason happened to pick a backpack for this year that a ton of other kids chose too.  In his class alone there are two other kids with the same one.  I came to pick him up one day and there the 3 of those backpacks were right next to each other.  Pretty cute!

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I knew I loved Greek food before I even went there but being there for 10 days and eating it every day and never even getting sick of it, made me love it even more.  I really wanted to try and make some of the recipes we ate a lot while we were there.  So 2 weeks after we got home, I made chicken soulvlaki, tzatziki, puta, Greek salad, and potatoes.  I impressed myself with how it turned out. 

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Took the kids to the park on their day off and they were playing a statue game.  I love when they all get along.

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I got back the kids school pictures.  Oh, I love these kiddos!

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Some new Halloween pj’s!

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The kids school had thier annual Walkathon and they did great!  This year was a little different because it was cold.  Its usually balzing hot!  It was sort of a nice change but I could not warm up for the whole rest of the night.

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We took the kids to Great America to check out some Halloween decorations!  (And maybe some Christmas ones too!)

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I’ve also been wanting to take the old time pictuers so we did that too.  The boys were sp excoted to hold a real gun.  The guy doing it put a bottle of Jack Daniels on the table in front of us and we asked if we could do something else instead.  So we went with the gambling theme.  I noticed when we got home that there was a liquor bottle behind ius in the pictures anyway.  

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I got to go to the hospital to spend a little time with Holly while she was getting induced.  No one knew quite how long it would eventually take but the end result was getting to hold my sweet little nephew just an hour after he was born!  Welcome to the world sweet, lttle Nate!

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I got to go on a field trip with Corbin’s class to a California mission.  It ended up being a very hot day but it was still fun!

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The kids finally got to meet Nate!

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Picture taking before we had 2 Halloween parties to go to.

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Our annual FHE pumpkin carving activity!

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Halloween Day!  The kids at their school parade.  It was nice that we just had one school this year!

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Halloween safety talk.

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My favorite football people!

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What a great month!

Greece

Connor and I were lucky enough to be able to take a trip without the kids to Greece this month.  Connor’s parents came out to watch the kids.  We were going to celebrate our 10 year anniversary which was technically the year before, but better late than never.

At the airport:

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There are no direct flights to Athens from SFO so we stopped over in Paris on the way.  Our layover was 2 hours which I thought would give us plenty of time and also go grab some chocolate croissants that we loved when we were there 5 years ago.  We got off the place and had to go through customs and security which made no sense to me since we weren’t even leaving te airport.  But the customs line was SOOOO long and I knew there was no way we were going to make it through to catch our flight.  (I would have taken a picture but they don’t like that sort of thing and I didn’t want to get arrested. Ha! But no really, I couldn’t be sure that wouldn’t happen.) So I told one of the agents working what was going on and she let us skip half of the non-moving line. However after about 15 minutes of still not moving, I told another agent and she let us through to the European line and we were able to get though with just enough time to grab a croissant and make it to the gate.  

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We would have had more time, but the people at cafe we got the croissant from did not have change and made us wait until they got some from other customers.  I was a bit stressed but glad we made it.

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We landed and I expected there to be another long customs line but no, we walked out of the airport with no checking whatsover.  Very strange.  We took a taxi to our hotel, dropped out stuff off and headed out to walk around the city.  Our hotel was just a few minute walk to the Acropolis so we wanted to check it out and buy our tickets for the next day.

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Then we found a cafe to have our first Greek meal.  I already knew that the Greek do not put lettuce or crumbled feta in their Greek salads but a big block of feta.  After eating it that way almost every day, we both think it is the best way!

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We also got gyros but the way we have had them at home has been with lamb, which I love.  We found out that the Greek traditional gyro is not made with lamb but with pork belly.  Neither of us really loved it but at least we can ay we have eaten traditional gyros.

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We then went back to the hotel and decided to try out the hot tub.  It was so cool to overlook the Acropolis.  Even better when it got dark.

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Sincer our bodes were not adjusted to the time really, we got up early that next morning so we could go walk aound the sites.  That ended up being a good thing because we avoided crowds and too much of the heat.

Also, we had bought our tickets for the sites the previous night so we wouldn’t have to wait in any lines the next day and what do we find out?  All the sites we bught tickets for were free for that weekend. Ha!  The guy we were buying them from didn’t even tell us.  Oh well!

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I thought it was awesome and beautiful and just crazy that a lot of these structures have been there for over 6,000 years.  It was also sad to see a lot of the statues had been taken (stolen?) from Athens in the 1800’s and put into the British Museum.  I had download several movies that were about Greece before we left and one was about exactly this and how there were some lawyers trying to sue to get them back. It seems to me that whatever the circumstances were for the British to get them, that anyone involved in art or history would like to see them back to their original place.  But I guess I only know the Greek side to things.

Before our next site we found a yogurt place that we had to try,  Connor got some cherries in his and I went more traditional with honey and nuts.  It was delicious!  Connor and I agreed that the Greek yogurt in Greece is much more mild than it is at home.

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We then headed over to Zeus’ temple.  

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We could not get over how hard it must have been to build something like this back then.  Just crazy and so cool!

Our next stop was a place we hadn’t planned but found out it was close enough to walk so we decided to do it.  We went to the coleseum where the first modern day Olypics was held in the 1800’s.  It was pretty cool to see.  The very first marathon also ended there and back then they ran it nude.  Interesting!

We found some Spartan armour.

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We found these statues ummm….interesting! Are they not finished?  We never found out!

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This was the tunnel that we assumed the athletes would come in but now it leads to the Olympic Museum.

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Connor as a Spartan!

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A cart selling nuts and other snacks!

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Yummy tzitzki!

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After lunch ew went to the Acroplois Museum.

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They don’t let you take that many pictures but we did get to see just how many of the statues (or as they call them marbles) that were missing.  Super sad.

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We then went back to the hotel to take a rest before dinner.  

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The next morning we had a few hours before our flight to Milos so we went hiking up to another ancient site.  It’s not as cool as the Acropolis but it did have a beautfiul view.

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While walking around we came across what seemed like a flea market.  

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Then another stop to see some sites.

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We always have to try the new snacks.  Oregeno flavored Ruffles.

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Then we headed to the aiport.  We stopped for lunch at McDonalds.  That has also been a tradition for us when we travel to try the McDonalds and whatever item they have just in the country.  Here was the Greek Mac.  Basically, a burger in a pita.

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We got to Milos in the tiniest commercial airport I have ever been to.  So we just got off the plane down the stairs and walked to the airport to wait for our bags.  But we walked right by them unloading our bags.  I thought it would be better if we could grab our bags from the cart but no, they wanted to bring them to the baggage carousel.  A very small baggage carousel. 

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We got to our villa and WOW.  So beautiful!

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We were at the corner of the island so we had a view of the sunrise AND sunset each day!

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The hotel owner brought us these googies to welcome us.

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We went and got some food to go so we could watch the sunset from our balcony.

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Connor left for a little bit to go pick up an ATV for us to get around the island.  Bur first, breakfast!

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We were going to another part of the island the next day for a boat ride.

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Then we got out to swim.  WOW!  So freezing but we started to get used to it and then it was beautiful and so cool.  And the water was so clear.  It was hard to tell how deep it was because it was so clear.  We were able to swim through caves!

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Heading back!

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Ready for dinner!

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Someone took a picture of us watching the sunset and then emailed it to us!

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The dinner we had this night was so incredible!  My most favorite!

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My handsome husband!

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The next day we drove around to some other famous sites.  Papafragas.  More swimming and caves!

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Then we were off to the next spot, Sarakiniko.

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Sarakiniko was what I would find when I would research Milos.  The cliffs are pure white and amaxingly beautiful.

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We even happened upon a professionl modeling shoot going on.

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More food!

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Another sunset!

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And of course, more food.  This was also a traditionl Greek food.  It was like a boat shaped calzone.

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The next day we took a ferry to our next isalnd, Santorini.  We ended up seiting next to a couple from New Jersey and talked with them for the whole 2 hours so I didn’t get any pictures of the ride.  But when we got off I realized our driver was going to be taking us up these switchback roads up the cliff.  It made me a littler nervous since there were a ton of cars and buses and people all trying to make their way up it,  

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Our room.  Sorry it looks like a mirror selfie but I wanted to get what it looked like.  It felt like the Flinstone house.

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So everyone just kept talking about the sunsets in Santorini and we hadn’t really herad about this and were wondering why.  Connor and I have seen many sunsets over an ocean that are beautiful but everonye was acting like this was a must see.  The sidewalks get FILLED with people.  

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People even stand on roofs just to see the sunset.  Since this was our first night we hadn’t made rexervations anywhere but luckily we were able to find a place to serve us.  And once some people didn’t show up for their reservation they moved us to a better view!

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Even though we were skeptical at first, the sunset was really beautiful.  We were glad we were able to see it that night becuase the next two nights the weather was not cooperative.

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When the sun finally slipped away from view, people clapped.  Ant it just made me feel like people were clapping for Heavenly Father and Jesus who created this beautiful planet and the sunsets.  Also, Greece has a gazillion cats everywhere.  The never look sto skinny or dirty but they just roam around wherever they want.

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Breakfast in the morning!

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We rented another ATV and rode to another beach on the island.  It wa beautiful but so hard to walk on since it was a rocky beach.  Even in the water there were these big flat slipper rocks.

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Lunch!

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A sign we found!

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Chris and Aisling had told us about this place to get the dead skin off you feet by this little fish, so we decided to try it out!

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It actually did feel good!

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We got dressed up for a nice dinner!

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Not much of a sunset this night!

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It was still a beauitful night.  The nevt morning we got up early so we could do a walk from Fira to Oia.   We took the bus to Fira and walked to Oia which was where were staying.  While we were waiting for the bus we could watch the sunrise

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Because the bus ride was so early, we were taking it with the school kids and si we had to stand the whole time.

So we heard the walk (some parts are actually hiking) takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours but that it was beautiful.  

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We must have been tired after tis because I don’t have any pictures until our boat ride in the evening.  But actually we did have to be ready by 1:30pm so that might have been why.  We got a ride and picked up additional couples along the way to a dock for our susnet crusie.  

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We were able to do some swimming but it was not a warm day and with the water not being warm then it wasn’t as fun as previous times.  But we got to meet new people which was fun!

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We also got to swim in a hot springs that was heated by the lava from a volcano.  That was interesting! But no pictures!

So this boar ride was actually pretty scary.  The waves were pretty big and so it was super rocky.  Not only was I worried about getting sick even though I already took the meds but I was worried about falling off. But it turned out ok.  The captain set us up for a view but quickly took us back to land because he realized we woulnd’t be ssing much.  I was grateful for that bcause I was ready to be back on land and with how many boats there were out there, we might have been waiting awhile.

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Our group!  We were all Americans except for once couple from London.

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When we got back to our room we hopped into the hot tub to warm up!  SInce it was our last night, they brought us a plate of snack which was just perfect!

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The next morning we went to the airport to fly back to Athens.  A taxi driver took us to our hotel for our last night.  He told us this hotel was really nice that even Lady Gaga stayed there.

They upgraded us to a city view which was actually pretty cool.  We could watch the changing of the guards from our balcony.

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We then walked around Plaka which was the old streets now the shopping area.  

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We then went to the hotel and ordered room service and watched some of the morning session of General Conference.

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Our beautiful view!

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We went to bed early because we had to be at the airport by 6:30am.  I have no more pictures but a couple stories about the rest of the trip home.  

We were checking out and there was a couple ahead of us.  They kept looking familiar but I couln’t place them.  I thought maybe we had seem them somewhere along our trip.  Then when they walked by, I realized it was one of the Duggar boys with his new wife.  They were on their honeymoon.  

We got to the aiport and everything seemed to be going smoothly until we landed in London for our connection.  Our layover was only an hour and I knew from our Paris experience that this was going to be extremely tight.  We tried talking to the flight attendants who said we should talk to the gate agent when we get off.  (We were kind of hoping for a faster way off the plane).  So we are running to find a gate agent.  There are none.  So we run to security and ask if we can go ahead of some people.  But there were a few trying to make the same flight.  I got through security fine but Connor got stopped because we forgot that we had purchased some small bottles of honey and olive oil as souvenirs.  And even though Connor was telling them we were needing to make a connecion they wouldn’t help him.  Connor told me to go get in line for customs and I heard our last call for the flight.  There was an agent there at this point but he was just telling me to hurry and go go get him.  I ran down to security and the secuirty guy was not cring and I was sort of freaking out.  Anyways, after a few tears, Connor said to just get on the plane without him, but finally, we was let through and we were on our way to the gate.  However the plane had already started away from the jet way, so they had to put us on a bus to take us to the plane.  Luckily, there was another couple with us, but WE MADE IT!  That was definitely the closest I have ever come to missing a flight (but not the most stressful).  Even though secuirty was annoying, I have to say the rest of the employees there were pretty nice and helpful to get us on the flight!  Then it was a pretty uneventul 11 hours home.  Although we were both anxious to see the kids.

When we landed in SFO I knew it would take some time to go though customs but this was another mess. (Can you tell I don’t like customs/security very much!!).  We had to wait in line for some touch screens where they take your picture and scan your passport and then get in another line for the customs agents to check all that same stuff.  We were told to get in a line that had no one checking anyone.  So were all just standing there, not moving.  Connor and I decided to go to the other line but then the other one started moving and ours slowed down. Ugh! We finally get to the agent and I got a text from Connor’s dad about picking us up, so I responded and the agent looked at me and said “Umm, can’t you see it says NO CELL PHONES.”  I responded “Oh I thougt it was no cameras.” He then pointed to the smallest little sign posted at a place you may only see if you are leaving his station.  Then there was 2 other lines to get out of the airport.  BUT even with all those things the trip was so worth it and getting to see our cute kids again was so wonderful.  

I will always remember the boys being super excited to jump out of the car to give hugs and KInsley stuck in her seat anxious to come out too!!

We had such a great time and it was nice to reconnect and just foucs on each other for awhile!

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