On Thursday night, we packed up the van for another weekend trip to Bend. Curt was attending a continuing education conference and so the kids and I tagged along. Dad and Marcy were both working Friday and Saturday as well, so I knew going into the weekend that I would be flying solo with the added benefit of seeing family at random times.
It was in the 50's in Newberg and I almost wore my flip flops in the car for the drive over. After all it IS April and when does it snow in April in Oregon? Answer: on Thursday night. We watched the temperature drop from 53 degrees to 28 degrees and drove straight into another blizzard on the pass. The visibility this time was even worse than 3 weeks ago. The plows weren't out yet, so there was no rock on the road to provide any definition to the sea of swirling white. I found myself gripping an imaginary steering wheel in the passenger side, staring intently into the whipping white world outside and praying that Curt could continue to follow the quickly disappearing tracks in front of him up and over the pass. The kids were oblivious to the danger we were in and sang the High School Musical 3 soundtrack over and over at the top of their lungs.
Friday morning, my super studly and very smart husband went to the conference and he taught one of the sessions. An educator educating educators (that's a fun sentence) and he rocked his presentation. I am so proud of him.
While he was impressing his colleagues with his knowledge of scoliosis, I was trying to get my rear in gear to get out of the house before 9 a.m. when Marcy had her first conference call. Crabby, sleep deprived kids mixed with crabby, non-caffeinated, and allergy-induced, sneezing mom made for a challenging morning. To add to the excitement, my brand-new left contact appeared to have done battle with some microcosms in my contact case over night and had a big chunk missing from it. We somehow stumbled out the door at 8:59 am. and then sat in the van trying to devise a fun plan for the day.
Alli, who sheds her coat everywhere she goes, has been without a winter coat for at least three weeks. Since the high temperature in Bend on Friday was 36 degrees, finding her a coat was our first order of business. Columbia Outlet wasn't open at 9 a.m., so we went to Starbucks and Fred Meyer, ate donuts and bananas and Mommacita drank hot, strong coffee and begged for it take effect quickly. The five of us went back to Columbia Outlet and emerged an hour later. Each kid got a rain coat, Grant got hiking shoes and I got a sweater to wear, since I hadn't packed any long-sleeves for our weekend adventure. Now that our kids have rain coats, we are official Oregonians.
We found a park to play at and I sat on the bench, squinting into the bright sunlight (remember my contact ripped so no sunglasses for Jodi), and shivering while I watched my kids run around for an hour without a hint of acting or looking cold. When I was a frozen ice cube, we loaded into the van and ran a few errands, then stopped at Subway for lunch. As I was thawing out, I tried to orchestrate a dance between my eye doctor and the optical department at Costco, BEGGING someone to have mercy and give me a new contact.
We hit the hotel at 1:30 p.m. and all five of us crashed for happy nappy. Even Grant, who naps about once every six months, slept. Wow what a difference when we emerged an hour and a half later. Mommacita was patient and loving. Little children were obedient and sweet. And life was good again. We picked up Curt and headed to Costco where I finally got my contact and some pizzas for supper. Shared a meal with my Dad and Marcy then headed back to the hotel for the oh-so-fun swimming in the steamy, indoor but outdoor accessible, hotel pool. When the kids had their fill of fun, we made a mad dash for the van through the freezing night and eventually curled up in our warm beds.
Saturday was a little warmer and equally sunny. The kids and I played all morning at a different park on the river. We hiked along the river front, made new friends, watched the ducks and finally left at lunch time. We found an Italian deli with amazing baked mac and cheese and fresh sandwiches and eventually headed back to Grandpa Don and Grandma Marcy's around nap time.
Saturday night, Curt and I dined at a wonderful restaurant in downtown Bend with some colleagues of his from work, and the kids enjoyed some alone time with, as Paige would say, "Wampa Don and Wama Marcy."
This morning, Curt finished his conference and Wampa Don put Grant, Katie and Alli to work in the back yard. Hauling and stacking wood, giving them rides on the quad, and having entirely too much fun. Paige followed Wama Marcy around all morning, chattering her ear off and asking a bazillion questions. We headed out around lunch time, picked up Curt and started the trek back over the pass.
Today was glorious - it hit 75 degrees in Newberg, and was the first warm day of spring. The snow-capped mountains were blindingly white against the brilliant blue skies. Birds were singing. The river was rushing with melted mountain snow and the first warm breeze of spring blew through the van. We couldn't help but laugh at the stark contrast from Thursday night. We went from one extreme to the other, but I'll take the warm spring day over a blizzard any day! Somehow it makes digging out from under the sea of laundry and endless chores awaiting me on our arrival home more bearable.