Monday, February 22, 2010


Corey came home on Friday afternoon to find our bags packed.  The kitchen was full of highchairs and suitcases, and playpens, Oh my! and travel bags and toys, Oh Boy!  He'd finished work for the week and the idea that he had, that we were spending the weekend together at home, was quickly dashed. 

The girls and I were out at the moment, getting fuel, picking up the mail and such.  I had talked to him earlier in the day, telling him that when he arrived home his very first task was to have a nap.  No, I wasn't having one of those moments where I confuse him for one of my children.  He'd been up since 4am and I knew that he was exhausted.  I also knew, what he didn't, we were packing up the van and heading on a holiday!

This past 6 months have held a lot of challenges for us.  Life has been crazy, chaotic, not just the birthdays and the company, but also the work.  Especially the work situation.  And while I have a lot to say about said situation at a later date, this moments isn't really about that.  Corey's worked hard, always works hard to support and take care of us, and I had decided it was time for us to do the same for him.

So, Bethany and I sat down Friday morning, checked online, did some "research" (and by research I mean, compared one desitation to another, hoping like crazy the "other" destiation would be the less expensive one - it was!), talked about it and booked a hotel.  For not 1 but 2 nights - whoot!  We were excited.

She was excited at the prospect of going swimming and I, well I was bouncing off the walls at the idea of not having to make the beds for TWO WHOLE DAYS!

So, after Corey's nap and the discovery that all of the laundry I'd been doing all day didn't include his boxers, which he was out of.  And then a subsequent load of laundry and boxers spread over our luggage to dry.  We climbed into the van, said a prayer and were on the road.

Corey still had yet to discover where we were headed.  We drove and drove and drove.  Where did we stop?


That's right, we did what any true Okanagian (if that's what you'd call us) would, when presented with a chance to get away.  We went home!

It was late, but we giddily unpacked the kids and the 400lbs of gear they require and headed into a place we haven't been in four years - The Penticton Lakeside Resort.  It's the place where we had our reception, where we spent our first night as husband and wife and as Amanda decided to remind me, the place where we likely conceived Bethany, haha.

Attempting to document our hotel stay

The girls were more than excited to sleep in a new bedroom.  And while the beds weren't exactly comfortable (and when I say "weren't exactly" I mean they were so hard that when I woke up Saturday morning I found my hips were out, and out so bad that when I walked my knee clicked.  That hasn't happened in years and usually requires a great amount of physical activity), we were happy to be on vacation. 

Moments before Bethany burst into tears
Saturday was spent swimming in the pool, shopping (because that's B's very favorite thing to do) and hanging around Penticton.  We tried to go to a park but both girls decided to have a meltdown.  We also tried going for a lakeside walk but it was so freakin' cold that in 5 minutes the spit on Audrey's soother froze.  Brrrrr

Audrey making her "daddy face"
I also spent the day, waving a carrot under Corey's nose.  I kept telling him I had "reservations" for dinner at 5:15pm.  But I wouldn't at all tell him where.  He guessed a few times, and tried to sneak it out of Bethany (who knew the plan but conveniently forgot the names of things) but over all patiently waited for his surprise. 

And it wasn't until we turned the corner in Trout Creek, that he realized our reservations weren't in a hotel but in the home of some very dear friends.  Steve and Amanda have been friends of Corey's for a long time.  Steve is, without a doubt one of his best buddies and one of the people Corey misses the most from "back home".  They connect, they laugh and they are, "brother's from anatha Matha" (that's brother's from another mother).  Amanda's pretty sweet too.  She's full of life and joy and is someone everyone loves.  If you read her blog you know what I mean, and if you don't then I might just have to say "Loser!"  No, just kidding, but go read it. 

Avelyn picking Bethany clear off the ground
They have two beautiful little girls right around the same age as our girls and another baby brown on the way.  We had a great visit, the kids played, we ate some stella pizza (did I mention she's not only an awesome gal, but a great cook, oh the pizza...oh!  that PIZZA!!) and homemade ice cream cake for dessert.  I know right?  Corey was in heaven.

Reluctantly we left, packing our uber tired out kidlets into the van and headed back to our hotel.  And, crawled into for another interesting night's sleep.  Beth and I shared a bed and while she slept much better Saturday night thanks to Avelyn wearing her out completely she still squirmed everywhere.  I spent the majority of the night trying to keep her feet out of my face.  In fact, twice I woke up because one of my nostrals was completely covered by a big toe.  She, was blissfully asleep.

My big girlie and me!

Sunday came bright and early.  And, as we packed our suitcases we couldn't help but be excited.  It was time for church!  Up the hill we went and to a place that holds another bunch of wonderful memories - Summerland Baptist Church.

We saw old friends with new babies, we saw kids who used to be babies and somehow managed to grow up somewhere between when we left and when we came back.  And then we topped it all of with a wonderful lunch at Zia's, a restaurant that I ♥.

The best family photo we could get

As we drove home, our hearts a little sad to go, but so very happy to have been back, I looked at my husband and saw something I haven't seen in a very long time.  A relaxed, happy and content Corey.   A man who doesn't have perma frown, who isn't waiting for the phone to ring at any second, who has just had his heart filled with the place and friends he's been longing to see, and to have the time with his family, that's been far too long overdue.


Amanda Brown said...

You are Superwife, Ashley, to plan such a great holiday for your man and your kiddos. It was so great to see you all and I'm so glad the girls all got along so well. Oh, and it warms my heart that the lavender bathtub made it into the roster of photos. :)
Come back anytime!!

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

What a great surprise, you are awesome and so is he for working so hard!

Kimmies said...

My goodness, it sounds like you really did have the holiday well deserved. We are so happy for you all. We are so glad that you will be well relaxed and ready for a little visit in a week. I am so looking forward to seeing you all. I must say that my husband is alittle on the sad side right now, but he will find the time without me will go fast. We love you all so much, God bless.
Love John & Mom Kimmie

The Smith's said...

That seems like such an awesome weekend getaway! Very cool and kudos to you for taking the initiative on it. I look forward to doing that sort of stuff when it is a bit more financially feesable. I do think of taking off randomly to Edmonton but youth group takes up Friday night every week and so that is always a downer for me.

Anonymous said...

So very glad that you guys got away!!! A holiday is like a vitamin to the soul sometimes. Love you all. I love the pictures!!!
Love Grammy / Mom

Anonymous said...

That is awesome that you were able to take a special, some what relaxing trip back to your stomping grounds. It looks like you had a great time! I have been meaning to call you and time just keeps getting away from me. Glad to hear that your family is doing so well, and I still want to come visit you sometime soon! (spring break is coming up, perhaps we'll have to plan a visit!)