I've been home less than an hour and have unpacked for five people and dried the wet clothes I had to bring home. I had to wash everything before coming home because my new washing machine doesn't arrive until Tuesday. Thank you, Baby, for my new machine! BUT THIS IS NOT MY CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!! Let's be very clear on that.
We had a GREAT trip. Before going into any real details of the trip, I have to brag about my kids. They travel so well. They don't do television or take tons of toys and don't fuss in the car or on planes. (They do enough fussing everywhere else!) I am not a fan of kids watching DVDs nonstop in cars no matter how long the drive. So, despite having a few young kids, I refused to get a DVD player when we bought our current vehicle. Maybe I'm just jealous that I didn't have that option when I was growing up. We do let them listen to our Ipods while flying, but even then, it's not nonstop and there are rules to follow. I am just so proud of our boys and how behaved they are during times that can be pretty stressful.
The biggest news of the trip was that Lance and I were TWO HOURS early for each of our flights. Who can believe this? ANYONE? Before 9/11, I used to show up at the airport thirty minutes before a plane would leave. I missed a flight once doing that, but it was a last minute trip (as in I decided an hour before leaving) so I didn't really care about that and didn't learn a lesson about flight timeliness. Even now, I am always cutting it close, but I blame that on my fear of flying and dislike of airports.
Pittsburgh...What a great week we had with our family. Even though the kids don't see The Zierlein Grandparents but twice a year at most, they were so excited about seeing their grandparents. Baby Hulk can be a pistol with people, but even he was so happy about seeing Grandma and Grandpa.
Since we're in the middle of the season, Grandpa wasn't around much at all. You can't imagine the hours this man works as an NFL coach. He is out of the house by 5:30 in the morning and doesn't return until 10:00 pm. I don't know how he does it. Monday night he was able to stay up for about thirty minutes, but by Wednesday night he was so tired that he lasted eight minutes before heading off to bed. The boys were able to see him on Thanksgiving because he had an early day. He got home from the facility at 3:00 in the afternoon.
The boys were happy with their time with Grandma though. She made breakfast for them each morning and spent time playing Chess with Goose and just playing with the boys. She also took care of Sebastian so we could enjoy a few sights without him. We tried out the original Primanti Brothers, which I loved! We went to the Carnegie museums of Fine Art and Natural History. The boys loved the dinosaur exhibits; their dino exhibit puts Houston's exhibit to shame. That Andrew Carnegie sure had a lot of money...
We also went to the Andy Warhol museum, which totally rocked. Thankfully, only Goose went with us. I was so sure he would think the artwork was cool, but not so much. He told me he didn't like the museum because it only had art. We also took the incline up Mt. Washington for a great view of the city. I must admit sight seeing with one child was SOOOOOOOO freaking easy. We've talked about taking my mom on vacations with us to help with the kids, but I know her too well, she wants to go to the museums too. (I got it from somewhere!)
I can't explain how much we ate while in Pittsburgh. There's just something about mom's cooking...and thankfully, Lance's mom can cook really well! She baked banana bread, chocolate-hazelnut biscotti and coffee cake. She cooked some really good meals for us too. She doesn't get to cook very often, so I know she really liked doing that.
We spent Thanksgiving with some of their good friends. These people were so generous. Larry and Marcia vacationed with them last year, and now we know why. They sent us home with tons of food and a kick ass, expensive bottle of tequila!
Our trip ended with me freaking out about the Longhorns. We are so counting on a trip to California soon and those damn Aggies were giving the defense major problems. I was so frustrated and then Lance fell asleep during the game, which totally pissed me off. Can I admit that? Then, my brother didn't even call me during the game or text me. Yet, he did text Lance...WTF???? I am THANKFUL that my team won, but it made for a stressful evening.
We're home now and I am off to the gym tomorrow for two Les Mills classes! Yes, two. You have no idea how much food I ate this week.
We are relaxing the rest of the weekend, getting ready for Advent to start. A big surprise to most people, but I am not putting up decorations until next week. First, I need to do a major clean up before doing so and second and most important, I really want to focus on the anticipation that is Advent this year. For now, I am so grateful for my husband and his parents.
I am posting pictures in another post.