Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chicago

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Leslie and Aaron Jr. overlooking Chicago from the ferris wheel on Navy Pier.


This is Aaron's sister, April and her daughter Susie. We went to visit them in Chicago last week and had a marvelous time.


Aaron Jr. and Susie.


It was Halloween that day, so there were people dressed up on Navy Pier and walking around entertaining people. This monkey was exciting for the kids. Susie walked right up and gave him a high five. Aaron Jr. couldn't be persuaded to go near him. He was very skeptical. But he enthusiastically waved as we were saying goodbye to the monkey... from afar.


Also on Navy Pier, we took the kids to the Chicago Children's Museum. The kids loved it. I have a photo from each station that we made it to.


And more...


Once we got to this activity, we were done. Not because we were tired, but because the kids loved this building area. Especially Aaron Jr. He went right to work putting nuts and bolts together to hold pieces of wood in place. He was just so into it. I am sure he remembers the times he would go out and 'help' his Daddy with his tools while he fixed something. Aaron Jr. was definitely IN HIS ELEMENT.


I put a lot of these. I just love Aaron Jr.'s face in these. He is concentrating so hard on what he is doing.


I finally put the camera down and stepped in to help out with the building process.


This is how Susie does a 'thumbs up'. SO cute.
And April... what a trooper.


Aaron Jr. and Leslie.
Susie and April.
After the museum, we took the kids on a carousel ride.


Getting clean. Aaron Jr. and Susie. Aaron Jr. is 7 1/2 months older than Susie. He is so big compared to her. Wow.


One of the days we were there, April took us to the Botanical Gardens. They were so beautiful. It was autumn and they still had such brilliant colors of flowers around and such neat things to see. I loved this place.


Susie.


Susie and Aaron Jr. overlook the waterfall and pond.


April and Susie.


Leslie and Aaron Jr.


Susie and Aaron Jr. They had fun together.


Aaron Jr. on an awesome bench.


Aaron Jr. showing off an apple that he stabbed with a stick. He was very proud and carried it around until we had to leave.


Susie showing off a ladybug she found. By the way, they are EVERYWHERE in Chicago. I couldn't believe how many ladybugs live there.
This is one of my favorite photos from this trip. She is so precious.


One of the few times we saw Dave. He was studying and taking finals the whole time we were there, so we didn't see him a lot. But here he took time to read the kids a book.


This was the last day we were there. We drove out to Lake Michigan and found this park near the water. The kids played at the park for a while before we went down to the beach.


Aaron Jr. and Susie.


Aaron Jr. I can't seem to get enough photos of him on a swing. Ever since his first time on a swing, he has always loved it. I get great photos of him laughing because he is laughing on it so much of the time.






April and Susie strolling through the leaves.


Aaron Jr. and Leslie


At the beach of Lake Michigan. The whole time we were there, I just couldn't believe this is a lake. You can't see anything across the way... I swear it has to be an ocean. It is GIGANTIC.


Aaron Jr.

Aaron Jr. and Leslie (me). BIG hugs.
Aaron Jr. and Susie at the beach.

Susie and April.
April, thanks for taking us to some great places even though you were uncomfortable most of the time. We had a blast. And thanks for being willing to grab my camera and snap some photos without me even having to ask. They are treasures. We can't wait to meet your new little addition.

Aaron Jr. and Leslie.
Ending with Aaron Jr. This little boy is so precious to me.
I have to tell another story that I am sure most mothers can relate to:
On our way home from Chicago, I was juggling a two year old, and three carry on bags. It was quite a sight. When we flew in to Salt Lake, we got to the baggage carousel and waited patiently for our luggage. We got our two bags, then we waited and waited and waited for Aaron Jr.'s car seat to come. It never did.
So, we headed over to the baggage claim counter to see where our car seat was and there were several other passengers who hadn't received their luggage either. The counter was right by the carousel and Aaron Jr. was at the carousel. I had just looked back to make sure he was still right there. Well, a couple seconds later, as I was standing there waiting to be helped, an old man says 'Who's kid is that? He is going to get hurt?'
Needless to say, I knew it had to be my kid before I even turned around. Aaron Jr. is somewhat curious and mischeivious. So, I turned around to see Aaron Jr. climbing up the carousel. He reached the top by the time I got there and was running around on the carpeted area at the top. I got there and prayed in my heart that I would not have to climb up the carousel to go and get him. I begged him to come down, but every time I ran to a different spot, he would run to the opposite side. I knew it was inevitable. So, I started climbing up and that is when he took his opportunity to run onto the upper conveyer belt and DOWN into where the bags come out of. Thank goodness it was not running at that time. When I got to the top, I looked down into the hole he was in and he tried to run right through the little hangy things where the bags come out of. Something stopped him. That is when I took my opportunity, with a red face and feeling completely flustered, to threaten him in a low and firm tone to get out of there or he was facing some serious time out.
Well, he ran back up the conveyer belt and I grabbed his hand. We hiked back down the carousel with a lot of eyes watching us. I then quickly walked back over to the counter to wait for service.
Anyhow, we made it home and all is well.
We had a great time in Chicago with April and Dave and Susie. It felt strange, as always, going away without Aaron with us. I missed Aaron so much while we were there.
These last couple of trips to Oregon and Chicago have been amazing. Visiting family is always a treat and it has helped us to escape our new reality a little bit. It has been nice seeing family and enjoying their company. Thank you all for making us feel so welcome.
Loving you and missing you, Aaron...
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13 comments:

LL said...

fun to see April and her cute little girl. When is the new baby due? boy or girl? very exciting!
Cute pictures (as always) such beautiful photo-ops. Glad you're able to go enjoy time with family!
and the story of the baggage claim, I was feeling your pain. Kids they keep us ACTIVE :)

The Michiganders said...

Isn't Chicago beautiful? We took our first trip there jsut a couple weeks before you. The weather was beautiful--but I was too chicken to got on that Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.

Your photos are amazing. You need to get yourself a little business going....;)

Oh and the airport story--
Oh. My. Gosh.

Keep hanging on--you are an inspiration. I think of you often when I am not appreciating my blessings like I should be.

-Michelle

Michelle said...

Your pictures made me so jealous for a trip to Chicago. The pictures are amazing. The airport story made my heart pound just reading it.

Even though you say your trips have been a reality escape, I think that they have been more about new memory making. Take advantage of all the new memories that you can get.

dani said...

oh, no!!! about the airport incident:o
but, the rest of your trip looked and sounded amazing, leslie. i'm so happy you and aaron jr. enjoyed yourselves. your photos are great:)
love,
dani

Mindy said...

Wonderful pictures! It sounds like a great trip... up until the airport incidence. ;) I was in Walmart the other day with Cooper, and heard a big crash... I couldn't see Coop and KNEW that it was him... sure enough... anyway, you're not the only one, believe me!!

Joann said...

All I can say is....BRILLIANT!!! Your pictures never cease to amaze me! And the story of Aaron Jr. and the luggage carousel ... priceless!

Anonymous said...

Four things I want to say:

1. Aaron is his father's son - that's for sure. Look at him with that woodwork!

2. The photo of Aaron rolling in the leaves is so so beautiful.

3. He is a monkey!! How embarrassing!

4. Your smile is enchanting. Always.

Love to you

Jane

Seesalou said...

some great shots there, leslie. the apple one, ladybug one, the leaves/trees shot...it looks like you made the most of your time there. glad you could go!

Tabitha said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip. I love all the pictures ~ such wonderful memories.
Hope you are both well.
Sending love and hugs XXXXX

Kristi said...

Yours and Aaron's haircuts look great. I think short hair really suits you. Anyway, onto Chicago. I love the picture of the leaves and the trees at the park. Susie is so cute. I love that red hair. Bless April's pregnant heart. I can relate.
The story of Aaron at the airport - When those things happen to me, and you know they do, I have a hard time looking at onlookers in the face.
Great post. It looks like you had a fun trip.
We love and miss you guys.

Jenny said...

I still think of you all the time and pray that the hole in your heart is healing. I am so glad that you are able to go and visit other family members, I think that is very good for you to do. The picture of you and Aaron Jr. at the funeral breaks my heart everytime I look at your blog. You are still in our prayers, and Families are Forever!!!
Jenny

Tawnie said...

oh man leslie. I can't believe it. I wish so bad you had taken pictures of that!!!!!!! Little turkey.
Greats pics. Has April had her baby?

Funky Farmers said...

Les- It looks like you and Aaron Jr. are having a lot of fun! I am so happy for you. Chicago seems beautiful and amazing.