It has been quite a week for this clan! We've been traveling for Christmas, and it has been a wonderful trip. I'll add some pictures when we get back home.
As I said a couple weeks ago, Mike and I decided we would go home [midwest-home] for a week over Christmas. We weren't sure we'd be able to because of flights being so expensive over the holidays, but we were able to find reasonable flights. We were excited to see everyone again, and everyone was excited to meet Ella.
We packed our bags and loaded everything in the car, and began our trip. We flew out of Pittsburgh because flights were cheaper, so we had a 2 1/2 hour drive to get there. On the way, we hit downtown rush-hour traffic and missed our flight. Ella had slept the entire drive, so of course she was hungry by the time we made it to the airport... and crying as we were rushing through the airport. We quickly got re-booked onto another flight - thanks to a super-helpful Delta ticketing agent. The new flight even got in an hour earlier and we were able to sit together. Best flight that was ever missed! Once we re-booked, we had enough time to get Ella changed and fed, then we headed to security - where we were selected for TSA Pre-check. Let me tell you.. that was a blessing. We didn't have to take off jackets or shoes, or take out liquids. It made our rushed security check with Ella SO much easier. [thank you, pittsburgh tsa]
After getting through security, finding our gate, and getting a couple glares from a guy in a pinstriped suit, we were on our way. Ella was a little fussy while we were waiting to take off, but she did great on the flights. She ate, slept, and played. She only made a few peeps, and we didn't even make any enemies! The flights attendants were amazing. They gave Ella wings since it was her first flight, and they were extra accommodating. [kudos, delta]
We safely made it to Kansas City, where we stayed with Mike's parents for a few days. Ella met Mike's two brothers, we spent some time with my good friend Sasha and her family [including my godson jakob who is getting so big!], we tailgated and went to the Chiefs football game [ella's second tailgate - she was amazing!], and we spent some quality time with Mike's family.
Next we headed to Omaha to meet some friends for lunch. It was a quick stop, but Ella was able to meet some of our good friends. Then we were off to Corning for a few days. My dad, Deb, and my grandparents hadn't met Ella yet, so they were very excited to see her. We spent some time with everyone, ate entirely too much food, saw a few friends.. and Santa even found us there!
After what seemed like a very quick week, it was time to catch a flight back to Pennsylvania. Ella was a little fussy on our first flight then slept the entire second flight [that seems to be her trend], but did a great job flying. We are currently in Pittsburgh where we'll finish our trip with a couple Penn State hockey games before we head home.
We have had such a wonderful week, and of course Ella is getting bigger and stronger. It will be time to retire some 3-month clothes when we get home in a couple days. They're getting a little snug! Ella is holding her head up better than she was a week ago, and she's using her hands even more. She seemed to be purposely reaching for some toys we were playing with.. and of course her hands are in her mouth all the time [but she still hates a pacifier]. Her legs are getting stronger too - she gets so excited to "stand" with help. And it seems that she's just a couple weeks away from rolling over! As always, it's fun to watch her grow and change.
If we were lucky enough to see you in the past week, thank you for spending time with us! We miss you already, and we can't wait to see you again. We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas [or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or whatever you might have celebrated]. Love & hugs from us all!
A little photo montage of our trip [in no particular order...]
On the plane, ready to start our trip!
Ella & I in the airport -- she's sporting her wings!
Mike & Ella at the North Pole when we went to see Santa
Mike, Ella & me at the Chiefs game
Joe Papa used his baby magic to get cranky Ella to sleep
Randy & Shirley (Rachael's parents) meeting Ella after Christmas Eve church
Ella meeting Grandpa Dave for the first time
and Grandma Debbie
and Uncle Mike
and Great-Grandpa Don
and Great-Grandma Colleen (Marie)
Four generations of Awesome
Also meeting Uncle Dave for the first time
and Uncle Joe
Mike & me tailgating at the Chiefs game
Ella was a tailgating champ! And probably the warmest person there
The three of us at the Chiefs game
with Grandma Marie & Grandpa Dennis at the Chiefs game
Ella and me with Sasha and Jakob.
When Ella was crying, Jakob gave her a blanket to make her feel better. He's going to be such a good big brother!