Saturday morning at the Crowder house. Children playing on the floor and they parents' laps. Everyone lounging about in pajamas.

TED: (Texting furiously)

KELLY: (Reaching for her phone to find the text): "Hey, want to go to Tucson this morning and come back before church on Sunday? We could stay at Trish's!"

KELLY: Really? You want to go to Tucson?

TED: Why not?

KELLY: (After thinking for a minute) OK, but you have to help me get the house clean so we don't come home to a dirty house.


And he did. He did the dishes, took out the garbage, and straightened the living room while I tidied the bathroom, our room, and got us packed. We were on the road by 10:30 or so and both (BOTH!) our children fell asleep shortly after we hit the road. We made it in about an hour and a half and I called my Godmother.

My Godparents live in Tucson but I haven't seen them since... around the time of my sister's wedding in 2007. So they have never even MET my girls.

Luckily, they were out and a about around where we were, and we met for lunch. It was so good to see them!

And just to make my mom jealous, I took the picture below.

It's been way too long since the girls have seen their grandparents.

... Plus we ate at 5 Guys, which I had heard was pretty good. And I agree, it was pretty good. It wasn't what I expected after a few people raving about it, but I enjoyed every bite I took in between trying to get to Meredith to eat and cleaning spilled pop off Gwenna's saturated lap. Mostly, we were there for the company. I'm pretty sure my Aunt Debbie would have stolen my children if I turned around. Meredith even let Debbie hold her, showing a rare moment of generosity.

The plan was to go to the zoo after that. However, the looming, stretching gray clouds were ominous at best. As we got in the car after lunch, it started to drizzle. We have no idea how long that lasted or what parts of Tucson got anything measurable becuase we went to the Tucson Mall play area. And even though it was SO weird (giant stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and doctor's bag slide) and overRUN with children, the kids got energy out.

Gwenna had a fun time being one of many, many children but tiny tot Meredith was much more hesitant. In fact for a good deal of time, she just monopolized this apple.

This was kind of a big deal. 1 little girl taking up the entirety of 1 of 9 play things in a play area with upwards of 40 kids. No one really tried to encroach though. She may be of a similar age of the youngest players there but she certainly doesn't look it. Finally, this played to her advantage.

All the while Gwenna scaled the ambulance stairs to slide down, attacked the giant teddy, and had fun in the food pyramid area. Here's proof.

Eventually Meredith had more fun. She DID get off the apple but she also had fun ON it.

After the play area we wandered into Sears for a potty/diaper change break and Ted let me buy the cutest knee-high boots. I say "let" becuase I wanted to get them but we hardly buy any non-essentials these days. Oh, side note - Sunday, when I wore them to church (the hour before I fell ill) he said I fit right in with the rest of the Gila Valley - which was a terrible things to say. But I like them. No matter how "trendy" they may be at the moment. At least they don't look like hooker boots, something I find far more often than I expect in a predominantly LDS community.

The girls weren't really cranky but they weren't always super happy either. They did have fun, but trips are always hard. We didn't head over to my cousin's house (her second home {her deceased mother's home which she has held onto} as she lives in CA) until after 5. So that's a lot of going, going, going but Meredith conked out eventually, while eating a cookie. Now THAT is tired!

You can also see, in the picture above, how terrible the skies were, even when there was no rain.

After the girls went to bed, Ted and I devoured microwave popcorn (that is never very good) like we would never see it again. Strange, but it hit the spot. Also, that night we had Papa Murphy's Pizza, which we love and miss SO much, not having one here. So yummy! We all devoured our pieces, Meredith did so from the center of my cousin's dining room table.

Sadly, that night, no one slept well. The hours of 12:30 - 3:00 were so terrible that I'm pretty sure that lack of sleep is what lead to me getting that little 12-hour bug Meredith had the day before we were in Tucson.

But the point of all this is the reminds myself:
1. February CAN be fun, with fun people and places, more than just a month of 1,000 family birthdays.
2. We can be spontaneous even with 2 kids and it doesn't have to be miserable. We've had some miserable spontaneous moments, but this was NOT miserable.

This was the last weekend without clinicals for while. Ted is jumping head first into back-to-back 15 hour clinical days pretty soon so this was a good, spontaneous last shot at family fun. And it was just what we needed! ... Sleep deprivation and all.

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