I was WAY lucky this past week and got to see my sister and her family! They came to town b/c her husband had a few days of meetings for his job at Park Meadows (not exactly in our part of town, but certainly closer than Pueblo) so we chilled and played with the kids and shopped and ate pizza... things I do on a regular basis anyway, but it's MUCH more fun with my sister. In fact, it's things I do on a regular basis while on the PHONE to this same sister, but it's way better in person. Kind of a no-brainer that way :) We get to see each other often enough that we don't bother taking pictures when we get together, so I have no photographic documentation that this actually happened. To you, I could be making this all up, but believe me... I'm not. We hung out.
But after their awesome 3-night stay an awesome idea took hold: why not send Patrick with my sister when she left? She wasn't headed home to Pueblo; instead she travelled on to Grand Junction to visit my parents, our other sister and her family, my brother and his family, and my grandma (more on that in a second). As long as she was 2 hours closer to GJ from Pueblo, she thought she'd take advantage of it. As long as she was going, why not take advantage and send Patrick, too? He loves his cousins, his aunts and uncles, and he loves my dad so much it's ridiculous. As soon as we asked if he'd like to go for a week he said "ok! But first I have to go potty" like "drop everything! I'm gotta hit the toilet and then we can be outta here! But don't leave without me!" It took a little longer than that to load everything up, of course, but he was dying to get on the road and glad when they finally left. Now he's long gone and lemme tell ya, it has been GREAT. Not great like I don't love him, not great like I don't miss him, but great because now having 2 kids seems so darn easy. So straightforward! So many fewer fights! So much less backtalk :) I can't imagive how large families feel - is it easier when you're missing a kid or two, or do you even notice anymore? Eli really enjoys being the BMOC now, and I have really been able to enjoy Eli for who he is, without trying to wrestle Patrick into a separate activity so we can get some "alone" time. So while I miss Patrick a bit, I have gotten to know Eli a whole lot better, which is SO FUN. Turns out, he's really a cutie, and not just a cute terrorist.
Anyway, being at my parents' home for only a few hours, my grandma passed away. Not unexpectedly, she was nearly 86 and has not been well for quite some time. She had wanted to die for much longer than that, even (she was a bit dramatic, let's say). Because of her death Joe and I will unexpectedly be travelling with the 2 remaining kids (easy! travel with 2!) and seeing LOADS of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and (of course) our very own Patrick. Quite the unexpected week! We're looking forward to getting out of town, visiting, and remembering one crazy lady we called Grandma Gus.