This past weekend my Auntie Terry, Uncle Kevin and cousin Kylee came to visit! They moved from Washington to Connecticut 8 years ago and I've only seen them a handful of times since then. The last time was at my wedding, three and a half years ago!! Which means, they'd never met Jilly. Sad times for sure. So we were all very excited about their visit! It was a bit of a bummer that my other two cousins couldn't come. Bailey is at school at USU in Logan, Utah and couldn't come. Gator (known as Devin to most people, but will always be Gator to me) is on his mission in Tempe, Arizona. He won't be home until February. It sucks, but they're in more important places.
They were here Thursday thru Tuesday. They stayed with my uncle's parents in Kent. Friday afternoon they came up to our house for dinner and the evening. (I made a killer meatloaf and baked potatoes, which everyone seemed to love, by the way. ;-)) Jilly was asleep when they first arrived. I woke up her at about 5pm, because it was getting too late for her to be napping. She was pretty shy when I first brought her out. She would only sit on my lap, burying her face in my chest. She wouldn't even let me turn her, still on my lap, at all. It took a sippy cup, about 30 minutes and ultimately some goldfish to get her to loosen up. (YAY for goldfish!) Then she turned into a performer!
All night she kept us entertained, showing off her talking, dancing, singing, running, kissing and playing skills. It was mighty impressive. She warmed up to them all. There were even a couple times she went running over to Uncle Kevin and climbed right up into his lap and cuddled with him, then made him kiss her animals. The Bells brought her a very sweet stuffed polar bear. We have yet to come up with a name. Steve wants to call him Barack, for irony's sake, but I staunchly refuse. He's even suggested Barry (or Beary, I'm not sure on the spelling), but I still say no. I told him I would rather call the bear Sarah or Whitey. ;-) So the bear remains unnamed. Anyway, we had a fabulous time just talking and hanging out. Katie came from school part way through the evening and hung out with us too. It was just super fun and relaxing and hilarious with Jilly performing for us all. They left around 9:30pm and took Katie home.
Saturday evening, we met up with them again. Andy had driven down from Western Washington University in Bellingham that morning. I met him and Katie at their house around 5pm and we drove down to Grandma & Grandpa Bell's house in Kent. (Yes I call them Grandma & Grandpa even though they're not my grandparents. They were involved in my life as much as my dad's mom and infinitely more than my maternal grandparents.) It was fun seeing them again and having them meet Jilly. I hadn't seen them since my wedding either. They actually attended our sealing, which was super neat. Uncle Kevin and Grandpa were at the Priesthood session of General Conference (Steve was too, but up in Lynnwood), so it was just us and the girls. We went out to dinner at Azteca, since Auntie Terry hadn't eaten there since they moved. It was yummy and again, Jilly entertained us. After dinner, we went back to the Bells and visited for the rest of the evening. Granpda and Uncle Kevin were back by that point. Grandpa Bell has back surgery a couple weeks ago and someone had brought him a balloon. Jilly fell in love with the balloon and played with it all night long. I think the funniest part was when we tied it to her leg and she ketp batting at it. Hysterical, I tell you. Grandpa was very sweet and gave it to Jilly to bring home. It is now in our living room, tied to Mortimer to keep it weighted down. All too soon, it was time for us to go home. We said our goodbyes, and Katie and I kept trying to bully Auntie Terry into coming up next August, when they bring Gator and Kylee out to BYU. I also tried to convince Auntie Terry to come see me on Monday. I even bribed her with a scenic flight. That caught her attention. We said we'd talk Sunday night and figure out if it would work.
Well, it did! The Bells once again drove up to our house Monday, arriving about Noon. Jilly and I loaded up in their car with them and we went down to Lake Union. We made remarkably good time, getting to Lake Union about 12:40pm. The flight wasn't until 1:30pm, but we just hung around the terminal. Kylee played with Jilly a lot and I started educating Auntie Terry and Uncle Kevin on the types of planes we have. (Uncle Kevin- I found out that the Turbine Beavers, Otters and Caravans, which all use the same one, have the PT6 engine, which is apparently a Pratt & Whitney. Way cool!) We climbed on board 25S with Captain Marty, strapped on our seatbelts and put on the headphones. It was everyone's first flight in a seaplane, except for me, including Jilly! She sat on my lap the whole time. I even put headphones on her (more for noise-dampening purposes than for hearing the narration) and she didn't mess with them AT ALL!! Shocking, eh? We all had a blast!! Uncle Kevin got to sit co-pilot with Marty and had fun up there. It was so much fun and they were all properly impressed with the smoothness of the take-off and landing. After the flight, we went to Steve's work, where they got to see a lot of the flowers. Then it was time for us to go home and them to leave. It was sad to say goodbye, but we'd had such a good time with them over the weekend.
I was so happy to get to spend some quality time with them. I'm not really in any contact with anyone else from my dad's family, so it was great to get to do all the "Remember when?"s. I love them a lot and don't get to see them nearly often enough! Connecticut is just too stinking far away. I keep trying to convince them to move back to Washington, but they haven't caved yet. (Just you wait...) Yay for family!