Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hustedt Family Vacation 2011

Here is a quick review with LOTS of pictures of our summer trip home to see family and also our family trip to Yellowstone National Park.

After our traumatic first night of our trip, it only got better. The next morning, after very little sleep, we drove to Tulsa, OK to see and stay with Steve's sister, Lydia, and her family. We had a great dinner and then the next morning, Lydia, her 5 kids, and our family went to a park with a Splash Pad. We all know how much Page enjoys Splash Pads, so she was in Heaven. Unfortunately, for some reason, I can't seem to find the pictures I took there. I guess that's what I get for letting Page play with my camera. I think she may have erased them. :(

From there, we drove to Albers, IL to see my parents and my family. All of my sisters were going to be in town at one time (a pretty rare occurrence) so we had many fun things planned. We got in later on Friday and just visited with my parents, brother, grandmother, and sister (who lives near my parents) and her family. It was fun. The following day, before my other sisters got into town, my sister, Vicki, and her kids joined us in going to St. Louis to the Fair St. Louis 4th of July Parade. We also had plans to meet my best friend, Vicki, there as well. Although it was VERY hot and humid, we had a lot of fun!

We then had plans for the rest of the weekend which consisted of parties at my cousin's house, fireworks, more parades, trips to my brother-in-law's fire station for a fire truck ride (the kids LOVED it) and so much more. We all had so much fun!!!

Before we left for Steve's mom's house, we all went out to Braeutigam Orchards (old friends of my Mom and Dad's) for a birthday party for my nieces Emma and Kaitlyn! The kids had the best time and we all enjoyed going back out to the orchard where we have SO many memories from our childhood with Pat and Tom and their kids, Sheila, Julie, and Kurt.

Steve and Page on the tractor ride

Logen's first peach! (Thanks, Jered)

Page enjoying a fresh picked peach

Ahh, the memories! My siblings: Jered, Becky, Me, Heather, and missing Vicki

The birthday girls, Emma and Kaitlyn

Page, Max, and Zach playing with the Tractor table at the Orchard

We then went on to Nancy's house (Steve's mom). We visited with her and Steve's sister, Fallon, and got excited about the next day. Steve's two brothers, Isaac and Tony, were both coming out to Nancy's with their families for a beef stroganoff dinner. (Beef Stroganoff is a big deal in their family). It was great getting to see everyone and letting the kids play. After dinner, us six adults went out for drinks while Nancy and Fallon watched the kids. It was a great time.

We then continued on to Isaac's house to spend some time with his family. We all went to the Springfield Children's Museum (even though Steve and I lived in Springfield for several years, we never made it there). It was a lot of fun.

Page and her godfather, Uncle Isaac

After leaving Isaac's, we ventured to Campaign to see the Curtiss'. We stayed at Caleb and Sarah's and Charity, Gussie, and Michael all came over for pizza and drinks. The next morning, we went to breakfast with all the Curtiss' (including Chuck and Di) minus Canaan. It was delicious!

We then drove onto Indiana to go to Karan's house for a little family get together. On our way, we drove through this little town, Romney, that we've passed through dozens of times. There is a little toy store along the road that we've always talked about visiting and we decided we didn't have a time constraint this time, so we'd stop. It was AWESOME!!! Sadly, they called most of their toys "antique" yet they were toys from when Steve and I grew up. Hahaha. Page got a stuffed Blue from Blue's Clue and also a Care Bear. Logen got some musical maracas. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or Steve and me. :)

Karan's house was great fun as always. The kids played on the inflatable water slide and the adults enjoyed each others' company and ended the night with some pretty cool fireworks!

The following day, we loaded up the van and headed to Indiana Beach (an amusements/water park about 30 minutes from Karan's house). We rented a condo with Karan's family and Tony's family and we all had an amazing time!

Steve, Logen, and Page in the wading "pool"

Some of the kids on the rides at Indiana Beach

After Indiana Beach, we spent the night at Tony and Danielle's. We took one last trip with Tony, Danielle, Tyler, and Maggie (they will be moving in October so Tony can attend nuke school in S.C.) to Columbian Park. Page and Tyler have loved going to this park for a couple years and have always had so much fun! We will miss them, but now we have a new place to visit!

After leaving Indiana, we visited Steve's friend from college, Tad, in Plainfield (Chicago area). We grilled out and several of Steve's other friends from college made it out and it was great to see everyone.

We then left for our family trip to Yellowstone National Park! We had a couple hiccups along the way, but all in all, it was well worth the extra trip! We had the best time and it was ABSOLUTELY beautiful!!!

Our family at the Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park!

This was the first bison we saw in the wild. It was on the side of the road and literally charging towards the road! Awesome and a little scary all at the same time!

Old Faithful! So amazing. Must be seen in person to get the full effect and amazement!

Our family at the AMAZING Old Faithful

An antelope at Yellowstone. Look at those antlers!

Our family picture in front of the giant bear at the Bear and Wolf Discovery Center

Here is picture of a bear from the Yellowstone Dog and Wolf Exploration Center. We went there on our way to Canaan's because I didn't see any wild bears the day before in Yellowstone. However, on our way to this place, I did see a wild bear on the side of road. Unfortunately, by the time my shock and happiness went away and I was able to grab my camera, the bear was out of camera sight. But Steve can clarify that I did indeed FINALLY see a wild bear!!!

Mud Volcano at Yellowstone

After leaving Yellowstone, it was time to head back towards Arizona. We did decide to stop in Utah to visit Canaan Curtiss. He just moved there right before Logen was born and we hadn't been there yet. It was another great night.

We then woke up and headed home!!! It was just a great trip, but it was also SO great to be home!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

We'll Miss You, Buddy!

RIP Nudget

Wow! Sorry I've been M.I.A. for so long. I thought having less kids in the daycare this summer would mean more time for blogging... WRONG! We have been SO busy! There's no way I can cover everything, but I'll give you a recent update as soon as I can! However, this post is dedicated to something else.

First things first... on Sunday, we returned from our two and a half week vacation to visit family and friends and also to take a little family vacation. (I promise to get a post up ASAP about this trip and more). We had a great time, even though the trip started with a VERY ROUGH night.

We left on a Wednesday after Steve worked a half day. We had a 6 hour drive to Albuquerque, NM. I packed up the van before Steve got home and once he got home, we loaded up the kids, the dog, ourselves, and started our very exciting adventure. We made it to Albuquerque around 8pm. We took the kids into the hotel and Steve went back out to get Nudget, our pug, and the luggage. Steve came back to the room empty handed and asked me to come outside. He told me Nudget had died. :( I at first thought he was joking and was a little upset... how could he joke about that? But then I realized Steve would never joke about something like that! I didn't know how to react. We were all just in the car together. How did we not know? Nudget was travelling in his crate, but he's done that before. How? Why? What are we going to tell Page? What are we going to do? We're hundreds of miles from home or family!!!

First, let me say... Steve was AMAZING! I, only the hand, was a wreck!!! I don't think I could hav handled it all, but Steve took care of everything.

A little back story... Nudget was MY pug. He was the first dog I ever really had that was mine. Sure, our family had dogs growing up, but we lived on a farm, so they weren't indoor dogs or just one of our dogs. Nudget was MY dog. Steve gave him to me for our first Christmas together, almost 10 years ago. He was EXACTLY what I wanted. I told Steve I wanted a fawn, male, pug. And that's exactly what Nudget was. Steve paid a pretty penny for him, too. Anyway, before we had kids, Nudget was my baby.

Back to my original story. So, before going back into the room with the kids, I told Steve to just take care of it... whatever that meant. Get rid of the crate and everything, the less Page saw (and me, too honestly), the better. Steve was awesome and took care of EVERYTHING. He and Nudget had a very love/hate relationship (Steve really did love Nudget, but also loved to hate him). Steve now says that Nudget chose his timing to screw Steve over one last time. Hahaha But Steve talked to the people at the hotel and they helped him with Nudget and all his stuff. They were really great and sweet, Steve said. That's all that matters. It wasn't ideal, but as Steve kept telling me, it was just his body, his spirit was in our memories.

When Steve returned, it was then time to talk to Page. She knew something was going on, because as much as I tried to not cry, I couldn't keep the tears in completely. I, at this time, was already seeking comfort from my best friend, Vicki, and sister-in-law, Danielle... knowing they were both still up. They helped me through the initial shock and calmed me down before Steve got back (he had enough to deal with) and we had to talk to Page.

Page was so mature about it (for a 3 year old). We told her that Nudget was very old and he got sick. We told her Daddy took Nudget to the doggy hospital and he had to stay there with them and they are taking good care of him. She is clearly too young to understand death and we can't use the "he went to live on farm" explanation since my parents live on a farm and we would be there in a couple days. She accepted and said she would really miss him but was happy he was being taken care of. She still talks about him and how she misses him daily, but she's such a trooper. Steve and I stayed up almost all night talking and reminiscing about our first "baby".

He was such a good boy and we loved him more than anyone could imagine.

Nudget, we will miss you so much and you can never be replaced. You will always hold a VERY special place in my heart. Thank you for being the most adorable, kind, loving, and playful dog. WE LOVE YOU!!!