We took another trip to visit my grandparents in Iowa. Yes, we went to Iowa in December, but decided to make another trip up there to visit after a not-so-good diagnosis for my grandpa. So this time, perspective was a little different. Even though time estimates from doctor's are not always accurate, it gives you a different perspective when someone estimates just three months to live. My grandpa has been sick for a long time. The dreaded cancer. He's beat it a few times and it keeps coming back. But my grandpa is just such a fighter and has been fighting for a long time. And he has lived so many wonderful years. So we are going to spend as much time as we can with him and my grandma. Soak in every minute. Talk to each other and just be there.
So we rented a minivan and made the 6 hour drive to Storm Lake, IA. Left on a Friday afternoon, hoping that Charlie would go to sleep towards the end of the trip. Kinda sorta, really not how we planned, but that is how having a sweet little 7.5 month old goes, right? We rocked some Peter Pan on the iPad, which he enjoyed for like 2 minutes...but looked cute doing it.
We got to the hotel late at night and Charlie went right to sleep. Then we were up early in the morning and shared breakfast with this little man. His first time trying toast was successful. He loves "real" people food.
Something fun we did do on a not-so-fun trip? We had some fun by going to the hotel water park with Charlie. He was wearing his trunks for the first time!! How cute were they!? He wasn't too keen on the water just because it was a little chilly, but he REALLY liked looking at all the fun activity and kids that were there! It was crazy...spring break weekend!
After we dried off - we FINALLY were able to head over to my grandparent's new apartment. As you would guess, Charlie was just the main event. And he loved every minute of it. Soaked up time with his great grandpa (and great aunts and uncles)...
and some time with his great grandma. He is pretty strong though, so it was hard for them to hold him!
After we visited for awhile and we got some good hugs and kisses in, it was time for grandpa to take a nap and my aunts took my grandma shopping, so we headed back to the hotel. Charlie fell asleep in the car on the way, so I decided to drop everyone off (we had to move rooms) and I drove the minivan around Storm Lake.
My grandpa really looked great. He really did. His decision to stop chemo was a good one because you can tell he just feels more like himself and a little better even with his cancer. Chemo was just really hard on his body. He is just such a great man and we have had so many wonderful memories with him. When I was driving around with Charlie, I followed my driving instincts and ended up driving by their old house in the country. The farmhouse that they sold a few years ago to move into an assisted living facility. We had so many weekends in their farmhouse...so many memories and holidays and playing with our cousins (they had the best fake food and we were really good at playing restaurant). I know my grandpa was a hard-working farmer and sacrificed so much for his family. And I know my grandma worked so hard to raise my dad and his two brothers and fill their house with love. They raised their family together and then their sons started their own families. My grandpa is really one of the most sensitive and loving men I know. His emotions are so raw and he's not afraid to share them. He always told us he loved us. He always gave us lots of hugs and kisses. And he still does. I feel so lucky to have gotten to be a recipient of that love for all 27 years of my life. I am thankful that I have ALL four of my grandparents still around and were a part of my life. So we soaked up those moments with them. And it was wonderful. I love seeing them love on Charlie also. It's the sweetest.
That night we hung out at the hotel and got pizza and watched KU and K-State play in the big 12 tournament game. It was some good family time.
Sunday morning - it was St. Patrick's day - so this little Irish boy, celebrated the holiday to his best ability with a cute outfit and some more loving...
And then we headed back over for breakfast and some more family loving. And of course, pictures.
|I love this one...|
|All of us!|
We had to take a pit stop at Applebee's so we all had time to get out of the car and Charlie out of his car seat. After some more crying, we were all thrilled to be home again. And that night - all was back to "normal", meaning that Charlie took his toy basket and dumped it out...
In other news...take a look at this kid's front teeth. As of today? He has 2 more on each sides. Wowza. 6 total.