Do you remember sweet, baby girl Emma? Can you believe she’s already six months old?! In fact, it was a few weeks ago, and her mama asked me to take pictures again.
The day before taking their pictures, I agreed to help another friend deliver a bed she had sold on Craigslist. It was in a tiny town about twenty miles north of the base, and she had just scant directions with no listed address.
“When you see an old farmhouse on the left, take a right. Travel that road until you see a school, then go past one block and turn east. It’s a cream house with a hedge.”
I should add here that, once you leave the base and head even more northern than we already are, everything is an “old farmhouse.” Also, if you don’t turn on the correct road, it’s fairly impossible to find the aforementioned school, either. To say that Jennifer and I were lost for a while would be an understatement!
However, we were chatting and laughing it up while we took in the scenery. We even happened upon a farmer’s field of reindeer. Reindeer! I hadn’t seen actual reindeer since we lived in Alaska!
We’ve actually been back for about a week now, having arrived around 9pm on Tuesday night, the 10th. However, my parents stayed for an extra few days, and they didn’t leave until Saturday after lunch. Then, I set to work reclaiming and organizing my home, as well as putting away all new trip goodies and such.
I got my first speeding ticket a few hours from home. We’d been in my parents’ new SUV the entire trip, and it was the first time I was driving it. Not only that, but it was in middle-of-nowhere North Dakota, and there hadn’t been a posted speed limit in a long, long time (my mom and I had been looking for one). It was a two-lane road (which I hate, as it scares me to pass), and I had been stuck behind a semi-truck for miles. I would peek to the left, then scoot back to my lane when I could see a car on the horizon. Finally – finally! – I dared to pass, and I floored it as I did. (It terrifies me to pass big trucks, but even moreso when I’m on a two-lane road. In fact, I’m pretty sure this was my very first time doing so EVER.) And, BAM! A cop sitting just at the end of the horizon clocked me going 83mph. Of course, though the speed limit most places in North Dakota is 70 or 75, in this zone it was only 65mph. As the officer approached the car, I couldn’t even figure out how to roll down the window! (Remember, it wasn’t my vehicle.) He was a nice guy though, and he dropped the speed to 80/65, so my fine was only $45 instead of something outrageous.
He also cautioned me that, when passing, I should never have to exceed the speed limit to safely do so. Riiiiiiight.
I received a request for impromptu family portraits for a friend here on the last day of our vacation (as we were driving home, in fact), so I squeezed that in while my parents were here. I met them at a park in town and took some lovely portraits. It was a fun evening, and I hope to get back there soon with my boys. I know they would love the place!
(To see the rest of the photos from the Mott/Vance Family set, click HERE.)
The boys start school next week on Thursday, the 26th, and two days ago we headed into town to pick up all the school supplies, new shoes, etc. Their backpacks are set and ready-to-go, and now we just wait for the teacher lists to go up and orientation night (to drop off all the supplies). A.J.’s middle school supply list had some unexpected things on it: Silly Putty, camo pants, and a black T-Shirt, to name a few. I’m curious to see how these things are used during the year.
The morning after we arrived home, I took my parents to the commissary for a quick shop of just the three nights’ worth of meals while they were here. As always, they found several goodies and deals in our commissary that they stocked up on. After they left, I was set to meal-plan and create a list for the next 18 days… and I just didn’t have the *oooomph*, ya know? I was dragging and procrastinating, and I jokingly wrote on Facebook that I was too exhausted to think about dinner. The next thing I knew, my neighbor across the street showed up with a hot, fresh meatloaf for our entire family! I threw together corn, side salads, and fresh strawberries, and we were set! It was very awesome and very sweet of her to do that for our family.
The boys have played nonstop with their friends since arriving back home. A.J.’s closest friend is a boy entering high school this year, and the two of them cruise the neighborhood on foot, walking and talking for hours. Jack and his best bud are scooter fanatics, and they are inseparable. Currently, in fact, I can hear Jack and his friend Riley singing the Indiana Jones theme song while they build with LEGOs in my basement. Thank you, John Williams, for an endearing classic. *wink*