Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Visit to KY and Emily's 5th Birthday

This year we took a vacation to visit our family in KY Aug. 2nd-12th. We decided that it would be nice to go at that time since it would overlap with Emily's birthday, my cousin's wedding, and Jennifer's birthday. Jen, Ed, and Elizabeth were finishing up their KY vacation during our first three days in Louisville so it was really nice to go home and see everyone (except for Laura and Will who live abroad.)

The summers in Alameda have been very pleasant, but it hasn't felt much like summertime for most of the past few weeks. The highs each day are mostly in the 70's. Occasionally we have a "heat wave" in the 80's. It's wonderful weather for a pregnant lady. :) Not so wonderful for swimming although the pools are heated making it more comfortable until you get out of the water. Anyway, I was starting to pine for a real summer with sweat! ha! My southern summer wish list included a good thunder storm, warm summertime nights when you don't need a jacket, swimming in a pool that's as warm as bath water, eating homemade ice cream, catching lightning bugs and lots of family time.

In order to make two cross country plane trips in one year somewhat affordable for our family, we did this trip on the "cheap." Caleb turns two in September and although he truly could use his own airplane seat/ticket, we decided to take advantage of the last time we can fly him home as a lap baby and buy just three tickets (instead of four or gulp FIVE!!!) The good thing was that for this Southwest flight, our whole family took up one row of three and didn't  bother anyone else. On our next trip, we will have to divide up and sit with strangers. :( We saved nearly $1000 by buying our tickets at less than convenient flight times. We took a 4pm flight out of Oakland and arrived in Louisville at around 1am local time, but it still felt like 10 pm to us. The kids only slept about an hour on that flight. On our way home, we took a 7 am flight out of Louisville. We were back in Oakland at 10:50 am! Crazy! That flight was rough because we had to get up around 4:30 am to get to the airport by 5:30 am, but the first flight was super easy since everyone was still tired and groggy. Even though we arrived before lunchtime in CA, everyone felt pretty crappy and tired for the rest of the day. Still, it was worth the sacrifice of sleep on one day. I have to give a BIG thanks to Jeremy's parents for the airport pick-up and drop-off at such inconvenient times. Also big thanks to both families for shuttling us between Louisville and Bowling Green so we didn't have to rent a car. My parents hosted Emily's birthday party at their house this year. What a blessing! I made the arrangements for her cake and outfit, but Mom and Dad did the food, decorations, and set up the pony ride. Jeremy and I were extremely thankful for their help.

Here's a few highlights from our trip!

The Reiss Family Circa Aug. 2014! We are about to add some members! 

The grands

Working for their supper

Wagon ride for the littles

No summer trip to Louisville is complete without a trip to LAKESIDE! 

Goofing around with Poppy

August Birthday girls exchange gifts

Emily loves her Aunt Jen! 

Cousins dancing at Nathan and Sarah's wedding 

Emily and Daddy posing at the wedding. She was so adorable.
The rest of us were sweaty messes before the couple even said "I do!" 

Nathan and Sarah Lee!

Emily had a My Little Pony themed party. I found this cake idea on Pinterest and modified it a little.
Thanks to Jennifer Shuffett for making it! It looked great and tasted better!

Lucky girl

Another Pinterest idea that was super easy!

Tearing into the birthday presents!

Our baby girl is FIVE!

Mom and Dad with the birthday girl

Dinkney and Poppy with the birthday girl

Emily really wanted a pogo stick. She had seen them on her cartoon shows.  This one is designed for 5-8 year olds and the extra green piece can be removed as their balance gets better. (We returned it because we didn't have room to pack it!) Not sure if I will replace it now or find something else for her since it is still pretty challenging even for my athletic girl. 

Getting loved on by Dinkney

Playing with the big kid toys

Family Birthday Pic

Homemade ice cream? Yes, please!!!

The Birthday Highlight: Mr. Gary brought his quarter pony to our house! 

Gary talks to the kids about his pony, Weaver

I was worried that Emily would balk at riding the pony, but she was all about it! She rode him four times, even trotted a little! Cooper rode him next, then Mom and Caleb, then cousin Sam. I can't believe I don't have a good pic of Mom riding this horse with Caleb! (It's on my phone.) 

Why oh why did I take out her cowgirl boots that she packed for the trip? That would have been even cuter! Emily was a natural. So surprising considering she still gets spooked by carousel horses! ha! 

This trip went by way too fast. We were thankful to be able to attend our hometown churches in Louisville and Oakland, KY. We enjoyed a date night with friends and a play date and gelato treat with the Jackson kiddos. We managed to see a lot of family and friends during our short trip, especially because of the wedding and a brief family reunion after church one Sunday. We did a fun trip to Huber's orchard with Jeremy's parents, Ed, Jen, and Elizabeth, but didn't take photos since we were still pretty jet lagged! We visited my brother and sister-in-law's new beautiful home and enjoyed some casual summertime suppers, backyard playtime, and driving Cooper's electric car! Emily LOVED that! It's hard to imagine that next time we go to KY, we will be a family of FIVE!

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