Sunday, July 10, 2011

North Dakota Trip

Last week we spent 5 days in North Dakota for my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. We flew because driving to ND from TX with a 7 week old baby did not sound fun :) Our trip to ND went pretty smoothly. Both Cole and Finley did awesome on the flights. Cole was entertained with the iPad and Finley slept through both flights. We had a long layover in Chicago (4 hours) but by the time we got lunch and let Cole play at the kid area it went by pretty fast. Luckily, My Aunt Lora and her kiddos were also at the airport and on the same flight into Bismarck so we got to spend some time with them.
Here is Bryce holding Finley before we boarded our flight. He is such a great kid!! He was so sweet with Cole and always wanted to hold those kids!!
We finally made it to Bismarck and had to get prepared for the massive amounts of family we were about to see. My dad is the oldest of 12 kids, I have 38 cousins and there are 3 great grand kids (Cole, Cameron and Finley) so that is a LOT of people!!! Unfortunately with there being so many people, we didn't get a chance to visit with a lot of the aunts/uncles and cousins.
Cole and Cameron were entertained by all the cousins and new "toys" at my grandparents house. Sweet Madison was such a big help with watching the kiddos!
Here is Finley just hanging out...:)
The second day we were there was the anniversary celebration. They had a full mass and ceremony that was beautiful! We are so lucky to have such great grandparents that have been together for so long and we have a great family to show for it!
This is the entire Volk Family. This is all my dad's brothers and sisters, their husbands and wives and all the cousins. There were a few that are missing but you get the idea.
The only thing that stunk was the ceremony was right in the middle of nap time so Cole was very tired during it and had a little meltdown in the middle of it. Luckily my mom had a rice crispy treat and then soon after he fell asleep on Nick's shoulder.

After the ceremony they had a great reception with great food and lots of dancing.
Here is Nick with his pretty daughter. She had a cute pink dress on for the wedding but had a bit of an explosion so we had to change her.
Cameron and Cole had so much fun dancing, they were hilarious and a big hit!
They had a bunch of those candy bracelets for the kiddos and as you can see, Cameron got into the candy :)
My mom got Cole this fedora hat (he loves wearing hats) and he wore it the entire reception. Well, he would take it on and off a million times and throw it across the dance floor and then run and get it. It was pretty funny.
Cameron kept wanting me to hold her during the reception and I just loved that!! I hate that I don't get to see that sweet girl more often so the fact that she was clinging to me was so fun! :)
Here's me with Cameron and Mimi with Finley
With having 2 kiddos now, we don't get to stay out as late anymore and party with the family. Staying up late with the Volk family is so fun, it's amazing how things can change with little ones. I wouldn't change it for the world though!

The next day was a park day with the whole family. We were only able to stay a couple hours because we had to get the kiddos home to nap. Cole was so worn out that he fell asleep within minutes of being in the car.
That evening we spent with my mom's family. It was so great that everyone got together because we hadn't seen some of them in years! My mom has a very large family as well, with lots of aunts/uncles and cousins. We sure packed a lot of people into one house but it was so great seeing and visiting with everyone.
After a long day, Cole and Cameron desperately needed a bath. Cameron was so amused with Cole and they were just giggling and being so silly.
Don't you love Cameron's hair!!! :)
The next mornings we attended a parade. It was surprisingly hot so Finley and I didn't stay long because it was way too sunny and hot for her. Mimi stayed with Cole and the rest of the family and it sounded like they had a blast.
Cole and Cameron enjoyed their giant suckers.
Notice his hat...he wanted to wear it all week!

After the parade, everyone came home and was pretty exhausted. Here is Grandma Volk snuggling with Finley, how sweet!
Cole also was so tired that he passed out on the couch...first time I've ever seen that happen.
We also got to spend some time in the small towns that my parents grew up in. My family has spent a lot of time in Flasher and Raleigh but Nick and Rachel have never visited so we were all anxious to show them where my parents grew up and especially the farm my dad grew up on. We had lunch at a little cafe in Flasher before we headed out to the farm.
Cameron and Cole playing after they ate
Here is the house my dad grew up in....this sure brings back great memories!
They lived on TONS of acreage and we got to spend some fun times there when we were little kids. It was a dairy farm so it was so fun watching them milk the cows.
This is the building where they would milk cows.
About an hour before we arrived a goat gave birth to 2 babies. It was the cutest thing!
We also stopped by The Prairie Learning Center. This used to be the school my dad and siblings went to but it closed down years ago and turned into a center for troubled teen boys that should be going to jail but given a second chance. We got to take a tour and it was so cool to see what a great program they put on there.
While most of us were taking a tour, Nick and a few others stayed in the gym with Cole and Cameron so they could play. I'm not really sure who was having more fun, Nick or the kiddos.

The following day we were supposed to fly back to TX at 6am. Our original flight was cancelled so we didn't end up leaving till that night. After spending 3 hours at the airport, about 6 delays and not knowing if we would make our connecting flight in Denver, we finally made it home at 2am. It was great to be back in our own beds but we sure had a great time seeing all our family. I hate that we only get to see everyone once a year or so but when we do see everyone, we have the best time!

We are now getting back into the groove but NOT enjoying this weather down here. It wouldn't be so bad but when you have a newborn you can't spend time outside because it's just way too hot for her. We are just having to plan indoor playdates :)
Before we know it, we will be in cool California for Emily and Blake's wedding and definitely enjoying the weather there!!

1 comment:

Stacey said...

What a great experience, Annie! I LOVE big families! And I didn't know some of this (a dairy farm? so cool) so very cool post! :)