I'm sorry that my first post (We're Back) about the trip included mostly complaints about the flight delays and rental car issues. Overall, we had a really wonderful trip and enjoyed introducing our sons to everyone. Forewarning: This is going to be pretty detailed, as I want to document the boys' first trip to visit their family in Arizona.
We flew in to Phoenix, stopped by a friend's house to pick up two borrowed pack-n-plays and then drove on to Tucson. It was pretty much a full day of traveling so we were all pretty tired when we got to Tucson. We stayed with my husband's sister (Aunt D), from Saturday through Wednesday morning and we drove back to Phoenix on Wednesday.
On Sunday, we took the boys to the church that my husband attended when he lived in Tucson.
We stopped by the Bible study class that my mother-in-law attended, prior to her passing almost two years ago. My husband knows many of the people in his mother's class because he used to take her to church when he lived in Tucson. They really enjoyed getting to meet the boys and wanted to know how we and Aunt D were getting along.
We stopped by the class where my husband attended when he lived in Tucson. I had also visited this class with him a few times when we returned to Tucson for visits. They had already started the class and we were not sure whether or not to interrupt but we did and they were so happy to see us. They asked us to sit down and wanted to hear the highlights of our adoption story. The best thing of all is that they prayed over our little family, some of the sweetest, most needed prayers we could have asked for. It was so touching and it really meant a lot to both of us. I cried and it still makes me tear up to think of it again.
After that, we were able to catch up with the senior pastor between services. He was my husband's pastor for many years and he also married us in Tucson almost three years ago. He was happy to see us and meet our sons and it was very nice to catch up with him again.
Afterwards, my husband went with his sister (Aunt D) to her church because she was being baptized that Sunday. The boys desperately needed a nap, so I stayed at Aunt D's house with them but my husband took pictures of her special day.
That evening, we all went to Penny's (she is a travel agent and she planned our honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand for us:) for a little get together she had planned for us. She had invited several friends over to her place for pizza and visiting, so we could catch up with lots of people at the same time. She had some really cute gifts for the boys that they loved, of course:). It also kept them busy for a while, although the thing that kept them busy longer was eating popcorn, for the very first time. They loved it. We had a wonderful time visiting with everyone and telling them about our adoption experience and how much our lives have changed.
We had a short but nice visit with my husband's nephew and his almost one-year old daughter. It was our first time to meet her so we took lots of pictures and really enjoyed finally getting to see her.
We had lots of time to hang out with Aunt D and the boys loved her. She really knows how to entertain them and they took to her right away. We went out to run errands and they stayed with Aunt D. They did not cry when we left them nor when we returned. They had clearly had a wonderful time, getting to know their Aunt better. She took off work so she could spend more time with us. I am so happy they got to spend a lot of time getting to know her. It was a wonderful visit.
Aunt D is crazy about animals (in a very good way:). She currently has three birds, a very well-trained dog and a beautiful, adorable kitten (that I had a hard time saying goodbye to:). The boys had the best time with all of the animals. It was especially fun to see them with a kitten, since our cats are older. I am still looking forward to the first time they get to play with a puppy, as they have yet to see a little puppy.
I have lost track of when we did what in Tucson, after that first day but, one of the days we were there, we visited Connie. She has turned her house into an assisted living place and she runs it and takes care of 3 to 5 elderly people at a time normally. Connie is a very special person and it is clear she really cares about every patient who comes into her care. She took care of my mother-in-law, she came to our wedding and was also at my mother-in-law's funeral. She is like family and it was special to be able to introduce our sons to her. She also likes animals and she has a chicken and some dogs that the boys enjoyed seeing. They also got to see their first rainbow, when we were standing in Connie's backyard. They had seen one in one of their books and it was pretty well defined in the sky, so they knew what it was. Another first:).
We had many wonderful meals and enjoyed our relaxing stay at Aunt D's house. It was a wonderful first trip to Tucson with the boys.
We stayed with friends in Phoenix. These are the same friends who were visiting us around the time I was getting out of the hospital due to the pneumonia. It was nice to see them again and we had a nice stay with them too, although we were only there Wednesday and Thursday night and then headed home first thing Friday morning. They have two children. The boys really enjoy playing with their kids and their kids really enjoy playing with the boys so that worked out well.
We were also invited to dinner with some other friends of my husband. I had not met them yet but had heard a lot about them, so it was very nice to finally put faces with names. We really enjoyed that visit also and had a wonderful time visiting and eating delicious food.
I am sure there are things I am leaving out but maybe I will remember them later. I am going to post pictures separately, since my battery is running out and I was having to post them one at a time earlier today, due to some issue with blogger.