A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Family Vacations

Did you hear that? It’s crickets chirping. Please excuse the lack of posts lately. In all the craziness of life, our internet went out for nearly a week.

As I had promised, there is a lot of updating to share. First with why I was playing single mom for two+ weeks. Jonathan was accepted into the Cornell University Executive MBA program. It is a sixteen months program, that kick starts with a two week stay in New York. Once classes start {next week}, Jonathan will be doing the program via classroom satellite. He will go again to New York at the start of the next session, and one final trip at the end {next fall}. It’s an awesome opportunity for Jonathan, for his career, and for our family’s future. I am so proud of him and his ambition to continually push himself further and his desire to make the best decisions for our family.

The kids and I missed Jonathan something fierce while he was gone. The first few days were not too bad, but after the first week, everyone was ready for him to come home. Half way through the second week, the kids and I packed up and went to Houston for four days. My dear sweet college friend, Rabeea, got married. She is Pakistani, so we had the opportunity to dive into a new culture while we were there.

Traditionally, Pakistani weddings {and most southeast Asian weddings} last for several days. The first night was the maayun. This night is women only, and consists of dancing, eating and applying henna {which typically is done during the Mehndi, but was changed to this night}. Everyone wears traditional Pakistani clothing. Rabeea and her sisters let me borrow their older outfits. Rabeea’s sister, Aisha, actually gave me the one I’m wearing in this picture to keep for future events.

{Shambhavi – another college friend, Marium – Rabeea’s cousin from the UK}

The next night was the Mehndi. This is the party night. Both the bride and groom’s families attend as a introduction, or bringing together, of the families. Mehndis don’t typically start until late at night and go until the early morning. There is lots of dancing performed for the bride and groom, as well as a blessing given to them by all in attendance.

{Rabeea, Me, Shambhavi}

The following night {Saturday} was a “free night” and when we hosted a bridal shower for Rabeea. This was a nice low key event and a nice reprieve from the hectic schedule. Because my kids had stayed up so late the night before {until well after midnight!} they were all exhausted and fell asleep around 6:30.

Sunday was the actual ceremony, or the Shaadi. For the shaadi, all the bridesmaids wore saris that were made for us individually in Pakistan.

{Dimple, Shambhavi and me}

Shortly after the reception, I loaded the kids in the van and drove back to Austin. We arrived just before my brother and his family, who came to town for a few days. Having the cousins here was a nice distraction for the girls, as they were asking for Jonathan none stop by that point.

Jonathan got home super late Monday night. Our family left Wednesday mid-morning, and I am nursing myself back to health after catching a cold on Sunday.

The last few weeks have been quite the adventure, but I am thoroughly looking forward to some much needed down time.

What have you all been up to lately? I’ve missed you all!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

We spent last week in Colorado. Our sweet friend, Amanda, got married to a really great guy, Matt.

{Amanda had tulips at her wedding in memory of our dear friend Brittney}

This was the first time either Jonathan, John Clark or I had ever been to Colorado. We had the chance to stay in Loveland with our friends Jason and Leah, and their three kids.

Our first stop in Colorado was just outside of Colorado Springs, at the Garden of the Gods.

Garden of the Gods is this beautiful, unique area that has large boulders scattered throughout. All a bit random, I couldn’t help but wonder what the Native Americans and subsequent settlers thought about the area. I got a very Stonehenge feel of the place.

After we visited the Garden, we drove further west toward Pike’s Peak. Pike’s Peak is one of the most accessible mountains in the country. Easy to drive up {unless your fear of heights kicks in}, you are able to scale the 14,115 foot mountain in about 45 minutes.

The area leading up to Pike’s is breath taking.

It’s certainly a view I wouldn’t mind seeing daily.

The peak itself? Well, that’s a whole other story.

Once we reached the top, Jonathan began having symptoms of altitude sickness. Lighted headed. Nausea. Shortness of breath. We stayed at the top long enough to take the girls to the bathroom, me to snap one photo and him to vomit. Awesome.

{Frankly, I was a little scared of being so high up – especially with the girls – that this was as close to the edge as I got}

We came back down the mountain, but sadly, Jonathan’s altitude sickness did not fully subside. He spent the next two days in misery {headaches, breathing issues, etc} while John Clark, the kids and I continued to traipse about the foothills.

John Clark, the kids and I, spent a day in Estes Park visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.

The drive up there alone, is worth the experience. It’s everything I imagined a mountain side journey to be.

This was by far one of my favorite places. I’ve wanted to go to RMNP since I was a little girl. Seeing pictures in history books, hearing stories from other travelers, I just knew I was going to love it. In fact, once we saw the entrance sign, I may or may not have started giggling like a little school girl. {Note my ridiculously smiley face}

The Rockies did not disappoint.

{This is a photo I imagine being played in a slide projector when the kids are adults and we talk about family vacations}

Sadly, the entire time we were at RMNP, Jonathan was back at Estes Park fighting off his altitude sickness. By this point, it came in slow waves, but was still pretty unbearable.

The next day, we decided that Jonathan should go to the ER. He went on his own, while I hung out with our friends at the house. Despite not being able to go back into the mountains, the kids had a blast playing, while Leah and I spent time chatting away like old times. It ended up being a much needed rest time for us all.

Jonathan came back from the hospital feel much better. They had given him an IV to help rehydrate {one of the most helpful cures for altitude sickness is water/hydration}, along with some pain medication for a severely sore throat. Once he was home, we hit the road to tour Boulder.

Boulder was hands down my favorite town. In fact, I facebooked this ::

Boulder was everything I love about Austin {a big city feel, but still compact} but with mountains. I mean, really, who doesn’t what an mountain view? The scenery was beautiful. The people were friendly. The food was amazing. Everything about it I just loved. Sadly, we didn’t spend nearly the amount of time there I would have liked.

We did find a really great park, where Julia and I explored while Hannah, Jonathan and John Clark played soccer.

This is one of my favorite photos from the entire trip. I went to snap Julia’s picture, right as she pointed to some prairie dogs. The photo came out perfectly. It was such a wonderful time, walking the path of the foothills with my {all too big} baby girl, spotting prairie dogs {a first for us both}, watching parasailers, and talking about how great God is to make such a beautiful place.

The next two days, I spent in the Denver area either preparing for Amanda’s wedding, or being at the church for the wedding.

It was such a blessing to share that moment with Matt and Amanda, and to be there as a support for Amanda. And as an added perk, I got to spend time with old friends who I hadn’t seen many years.

We left for home right after the wedding celebration. Jonathan actually caught a plane to New York {I’ll tell you more tomorrow}, while John Clark and I piled the kids in the car and set off for Austin. It was a long drive home, but we made it back safely.

While there were hiccups along the way, and we didn’t perhaps do as much as we had planned during our stay, I loved Colorado. Loved the scenery, loved being with old friends, and loved sharing this new experience with my sweet kids, husband and brother. It was most definitely a vacation that produced lasting memories.

What is your most memorable vacation?

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.