“Won’t you scratch my itch sweet Annie Rich, and welcome me back to town; Come out on your porch or I’ll step into your parlor and tell you how it all went down” ~Gram Parsons lyrics in Grievous Angel

2009-OBX8

We drove back to St. Louis via West Virginia and Kentucky, stopping for the night in Louisville.  We went 16 hours in the car one day and 4 the next. We have been home a couple of days and are glad.  I already wrote about the main events of our trip.  The real highlights are side notes though:

Max and the Orange Bike: We rented Max a bike which brought him true joy; the greatest part about it was how he stopped.  He was doing fantastic to get his legs to reach the pedals.  He’s only 2.  To stop going forward he would head towards a bike rack at full speed, bump right over the rack and slam straight into a spot.  This was his only method of stopping.  Pretty awesome.  He’s 2.

A Little Man in my Life: I was hoping to have close moments with Mackey and they were there.  He loved playing with a beach paddle and ball – I’d toss it to him and say “pop” and he’d pop it up. I also took him to the water and held his hand while the waves lapped us a little bit, every day.  And he didn’t mention how much he loves to hold Dan’s hand.

Daddy’s Girl: Grace and Dan bonded over playing in the waves, boogie boarding, intertubing.  They are so lucky to have one another.  She’s lucky to learn adventure from him.  He’s lucky to have a girl in his life to love unconditionally.

Sweet Adeline: Addie made us laugh with her funny faces, her easy demeanor and her little voice.  She’s a girl with a plan and a happy, silly approach.  She chilled in the kayak and even dosed a little, with her super-star-baby sunglasses on.

Nolan and the Lizard: I got to play on the floor with Nolan and it was fantastic.  He is pure sweetness.  Looking at and talking with him is witnessing innocent joyfulness. We played with his toy lizard; he wanted more kisses and tickles; and he giggled.

Winner Takes it All: There was one moment when Dan and I were beating Alli and Rob at euchre (the card game).  It was only one moment but if we practice a whole lot, there might be two moments next time.

Cuz: All four of the kids together was chaotic and sweet.  We couldn’t get a good picture of them for the life of us.  The setting was beautiful, the kids are precious and we got 300 shots of people going in different directions, crying, blinking, falling, asking for more smarties, causing an avalanche on a sand dune and choking one another.  I hope they all get etched into each other’s hearts they way they are in ours.

Baking Tips: I had a chance to try two new recipes from my special cookbook: carrot cake and cinnamon rolls.  Don’t chop carrots in a blender, it doesn’t work unless you like beat up whole baby carrots in your cake.  Do eat cinnamon rolls if I ever make them for you.

We had crabby moments and irritations (we didn’t turn into pure angels, any of us) but the irritations passed quickly.  We were sure blessed by the travel fairies.  We’re thankful for each other and for the changes in our kids’ faces and their confidence from having experienced another adventure.  My sincerest hope in life is that the twenty thousand roads my kids go down, and soon enough those won’t be planned by us, eventually lead back home.

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