Monday, November 27, 2017

On the Road Again

We drove 11 hours today from Iowa City to Denver. Crystal and I each took a turn driving, so Ed only had to do 7 hours behind the wheel! He decided the back seat was nearly as roomy as advertised by me!

I was amazed that even sharing my space with the guitarron, I still had plenty of room to stretch out when it was my turn to relax in the back!

We enjoyed dinner at Crystal's house. It was fun enjoying the tree she had decorated before we left!

Verlene came over after spending the afternoon at a craft fair. She had made the cutest desktop and matchbook calendars! It is so fun hearing about the many artistic projects she is involved in! We also compared Weight Watchers notes! She's lost over 50 pounds in 7 months and is doing great!

Can't wait till tomorrow when we get to spend another entire day in the car!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hugo Blessing Day

Today was Hugo's blessing day in Sacrament meeting. He was completely relaxed for it, and slept through the entire thing!

We were grateful to be a part of Hugo's blessing day! We were grateful that he is doing well and thriving despite arriving in the world 10 weeks early! He is now 3 1/2 weeks old and almost 6 weeks old dating from his due date. He is 13 pounds, and looking great! We have a lot to be thankful for!

He is also even tempered and a relatively easy baby (so far)! We hope he continues with this trend!

After dinner we were invited to eat with Midge and Bruce and their family. They are parents of my good friend Reagan, and have been very kind to Amanda and Nolan since they moved to Iowa!

Reagan's sisters Whitney and Danika, are now Crystal's best friends! She is trying to make Reagan jealous because she thought Reagan and I were entirely too close when we lived in Maryland together!

Tim sat at the kids' table. We weren't sure if he was the next youngest at dinner, or if he was just the favorite uncle of Danika's girls!

After dinner we had a little accordion time! Amanda and Midge are very good, but they let me play along for a while! I am realizing now how much I don't know about playing the accordion!

We had a little more quality time with Hugo. Ed is convinced he got a few smiles out of him! We hope to get a few more next month when he comes out to visit us at Christmas!

Bonus Cat Post

Crystal and Ed tried to wrangle Amanda's cats into one picture, but Flurry was having none of it!

Flurry is so soft, but really has only learned to tolerate us, but not fully embrace us!

Drizzle, on the other hand puts up with a lot of abuse, and willingly allows us to hold and pet him. It is too bad he is lacking in hair and is so thin you can feel his bones!

Here is a bonus picture of Nolan and Hugo, too. I hate to have Hugo think we came out just to see the cats!

Fun in Iowa City

Nothing says fun better than "free horse-drawn trolley rides!" Iowa city has a host of fun activities for the holidays!

We were lucky to get downtown early enough Saturday to score tickets for the trolley ride. It was very festive, with matching black Percherons all decked out in jingle bell harnesses pulling the trolley.

We were also lucky that the weather was beautiful, and not too cold to take the baby out!

We visited a lot of small shops downtown that were sponsoring an elf hunt!

Hugo was happy and warm in his car seat/stroller the entire time.

It was fun finding the hidden elf in each store, but it was also interesting to find some really unique stores in downtown Iowa City!

We were not too proud to stop at the
children's library and pick up our toy surprises for completing the challenge!

We stopped at Molly's cupcakes (on USA Today's list of 10 best cupcake stores) and bought a selection of gourmet cupcakes for dessert later.

In the evening we went for a dip in the pool at the Residence Inn. Actually, only Amanda, Crystal and Ed were brave enough for the cool pool!

The rest of us were happy with a soak in the hot tub!

Hugo didn't go in the water, but did enjoy lounging in his diaper by the side of the pool! He looks like a true Finnish Hauta in his steam room!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Loco for Coco

We went to see the new Pixar movie, Coco, yesterday. It was perfect for our family,  because we love all things Mexican. We love the Day of the Dead and alebrijes and Spanish language and legends. The papel picado pictures were fantastic!

We had a little bonding time with Hugo afterwards. He stayed home with his dad during the movie!

Crystal bonded more with Drizzle, a sorry excuse for a cat. He looks much like the Xolo dog in the movie, Coco, as he is almost hairless on his back!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

We went out for Thanksgiving dinner this year at the Iowa River Power Plant Restaurant.

We had a nice view of the river from our table. It was very relaxing not having to cook!

They had a great traditional meal and we, sadly, ate enough to make ourselves very uncomfortable afterwards!

We barely saved enough room for dessert, which was also varied and delicious!

We tried to walk it off after dinner, but didn't get far. Ed and Crystal are in front of the restaurant here!

Hugo was a perfect angel and slept through the entire meal!

I got to hold the baby this morning, which was fun. I tried very hard not to share my cold with him!

We practiced some Christmas music for Whistling Prairie in the morning. Nolan faced the kitchen so as not to wake up the baby with his trumpet!

We're working on both a Mariachi number, as well as Celtic one!

Ed, Crystal and I also had time in the morning to go on a walk at Squire Point! It reminded us so much of our walk by Liberty Reservoir in Maryland!

One difference was the workout stations, which were found along the path. Ed did some good push-ups!

Crystal was almost tall enough to jump up and touch this bar!

I was able to vault this rod, but not in the suggested side-straddle fashion!

We had a happy Thanksgiving and were especially grateful to spend it with Crystal, Amanda, Nolan and Hugo!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


We made it to Iowa City around 4 p.m. today, just in time to spend time with Hugo before bedtime! Ed is all practiced up on babies and knew just what to do!

We also got to see Amanda and Nolan! We picked up a chicken pot pie at Costco for dinner, not realizing that it took 90 minutes to heat it up! It was worth waiting for!

Crystal also got to play with baby Hugo. He seems very interested in watching what is going on around him!

I didn't hold the baby today! I spent the day in the back of the truck nursing the tail end of a cold I've had for 22 days now!

My sorrow was Crystal's good luck, as she got to ride in the front seat with Ed all the way from Denver!

A giant thank you to Ed, who drove the entire way from Utah! We're hoping that a good night's sleep tonight at the Residence Inn will help us all be healthy and perky for Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Ed and Judy

Ed and I spent our 36th anniversary on the road today! We stopped by Vail, Colorado, for this beautiful winter picture (and to go to the bathroom)!

Our new truck has a range of 700 miles on one tank of gas! It turns out I don't have that range! It was also nice to stop and stretch after 6 hours in the car!

We stopped in Denver briefly and saw my sister, Verlene. Well, we saw what was left of her, anyway. She's lost a lot of weight and even her skinny jeans are too big for her!

We picked up Crystal after work this afternoon and kept driving east! She treated us to Dairy Queen in Ogallala, Nebraska to celebrate our anniversary. It's a step down from the Broker Restaurant in Denver, where we used to go, but it was nice nonetheless!

We're excited about going to Iowa tomorrow to see baby Hugo (and parents, Amanda and Nolan)!