Thanksgiving and the Road Home

Whoa, where to begin?!!  So much to recap on since I last posted on I guess I'll just resume where I left off with the play-by-play of our Floridan adventure.

Wednesday night we had a real treat: we got to go to my aunt and uncle's country club for dinner!  It was absolutely delish and the kiddies were both very well behaved.  I'm so glad we got a whole family picture too after din din, and that Ro Ro got her picture with Phyllis (my aunt Sally's mom) as well.  Phyllis just loves the kiddos and I think had a blast watching them run around and play!

Before we went to dinner thought I wanted to take advantage of us not in tshirts and (attempt) to snap a few family pics (sorry Scoots) for Christmas cards.  Well, we were running a bit late to meet the gal I was donating my 100oz of pumped milk to, so we kinda rushed through pics.

They turned out okay (I like the ones of Ro Ro and I), but wasn't smitten with any on in particular.  The setting and light was great, but the smiles and looking at the camera from everyone wasn' I tabled these pics for the time being to see if we'd maybe be able to get another family pic before we left that I could use for Christmas cards...if not, these would have to do.

Thursday morning, Thanksgiving, we decided to head to the beach for some morning sun and swim.  We had yet to be to the beach on the Gulf side, and when we arrived I was completely taken aback by how sugary the sand was and how peaceful the tiny waves were.  I did like the waves on the Atlantic side, but boy, this beach topped it.  Now I remember why I love Naples so much!  THE BEACHES!

I obviously brought my big camera to snap some pics...and LOVE how they turned out.  I will admit I didn't even edit out anyone in the background cause there really wasn't that many people out on the beach where we went (thanks Mickey and Linda for letting us use your private beach!!).  Patrick had a jolly ol' time throwing the sand and running back and forth from the water a zillion times.  Rosie kept her RB face in tact and gave us some nice scowls indicating her displeasure of the beach and probably her wanting to be at the pool.

Because I love my 3 faithful blog readers oh-so-much, you get to see our family Christmas card pic!  I didn't post the above pics on FB or Instagram...but am on my blog cause I love them so and LOVE how they turned out!  I mean, in a perfect world Rosie would have been smiling too, but you can't win them all.  At least she was looking at the camera!  So I'm excited we managed to get a good beach snap for our Christmas card this year (which I already ordered, thank you Black Friday Shutterfly sale!).

And a few beach selfies were snapped before we packed up around 1pm to head back to Jack and Steph's to start cooking our Thanksgiving feast.

Well, wouldn't you know it?!  After a bit of swimming EVERYONE (except mama bear here) passed out -- Patrick even ASKED (what?!!!) to take a nap!  Rosie only slept for a little bit so her and I got to hang out a bit while we cooked and the boys continued their siesta before dinner.

Shockingly I have ZERO pics from actual Thanksgiving dinner!  Oops!  I guess we were just too engrossed in the oh-so-delicious meal to snap.  OH!  Which reminds me: if you check out the #moonpepvacay hashtag on instagram you can see oodles more pics that we all took this past week.  Just a little FYI for you.

After we finished eating and stuffing ourselves stupid we called it a night rather early because we were getting up at 3am (OMG) to start driving home the next day.  Our 'plan' was to try and make it back to STL in one day, but knowing that it may take us two if the kids weren't having the 18+ hour drive.

I woke sister bear up here at 3:15am to feed her and then laid her back down for a bit and snapped this pic, cause, her hair = on point.  LOVE it.  Patrick was super hard to wake up shortly afterwards--dude was TIRED.  Haha.  Fortunately we got all the kiddos and our stuff (car packed to the gills!) in the car and rolled out of Jack and Steph's by 4:09am EST.

Fortunately both kiddos were ROCKSTARS and fell back asleep till after 8am.  WOOT!  But once they awoke from their slumbers is where things were going to potentially get worrisome for me.  How was I going to feed Rosie?  How would I pump?!  Not gonna lie, these were my biggest concerns and I thought for sure it'd take us 30 hours to get home.

I shocked myself and was totally wrong -- pumping in the car was a breeze (thank you car adapter and pump wipes!) and Rosie took a bottle that I'd just pumped like a champ as Mike or I (depending on who was in the passenger seat) turned our arm around to feed it to her.

Both kids were happy and sooooo good for 90% of the ride.  Yes, there were some screaming episodes.  Yes, there was a meltdown or two, but overall, they were absolute gems.  And we were making amazing time (no traffic AT ALL--unheard of!) -- with minimal stops (only twice for food), it looked like we were going to be home by 8:30 or 9pm CST.  WOW.

I made the mistake just into southern Illinois to comment to Mike how great the kids were being and how great of time we were making and how good the kids were being...and then, not kidding, 5 minutes later, BLOW OUT.

Luckily Mike was driving, but the back passenger tire literally exploded.  Fortunately, even in the middle of nowhere and in the pouring rain we were able to make it off the highway an into a gas station that had a roof where Mike could change the tire and put the spare on.

However, with the spare we were only able to go 55mph (as everyone else zoomed by us at 75+ mph), so instead of arriving home by 8:30pm, we didn't get in until 10pm.  Not gonna lie, it was a wittle stressful with the whole tire situation AND not knowing if the spare would make it the 150 miles (in the rain!!) we still had to go.  Fortunately the Big Guy upstairs was looking out for us and all of a sudden we were seeing this:

Ahhhh, home sweet home.  WE MADE IT.

Since I have a wittle bit of OCD when we got home and got the kids bathed and in bed, I unpacked and put away everything and then at 11:15pm instead of going to bed Mike and I had a pizza and caught up on our favorite TV Show, Guys Grocery Games that we missed watching last week.

It was nice to come home to a clean house (our lovely cleaning lady came during the day Friday) and clean everything -- I spent the night before we left a good many hours doing 10+ loads of laundry washing EVERYTHING so the bedding, towels, etc... would be nice and clean when we got home.  Well worth it to do those things peeps.

Today the kiddos woke up at 8:30am (!!!) and Patrick enjoyed some 'ucky charms' with breastmilk (oops.  We were out of 2%!) and helped me trim the tree while Mike went to the grocery store.  Rosie also FINALLY started on solid foods...but that's a story for another post.

Whew!  What a fantastically awesome trip we had -- and even a fairly smooth (minus the tire incident) trip home!  It was such a fun week with family that I am so appreciative and lucky that we were able to do this this time of the year.  It really kicked off this Christmas season with a bang!  That's about all I have today friends.  I hope you've enjoyed reliving our journeys as much as we did taking them! :)

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