Friday, April 11, 2014

Back to MO

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St Louis/Kansas City, April 2013

J presented at a conference in Kansas City so we decided to make a week of it and visit our favorite city and people.  Katherine, Bobby, and the girls met up with us in St Louis where I tried to pack everything I was missing into a few days.  Of course, first on the list was City Museum.  It was fun to take the kids there now that they were old enough to really explore.

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Another return to the Magic House was a must.  When Abbey was Bennett's age, I took her here once or twice a week.  It's still the best children's museum I've come across, there is SO much to do.

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It was fun to see the things Bennett was interested in.  Sometimes it was a flashback (I have the exact picture above taken of Abbey five years ago) but it was more interesting to see the things he was drawn to that neither of the girls paid attention to (below!).  It's ingrained.

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We spent a ridiculously gorgeous spring day at the zoo.  The second the girls got out of the car, they were running in the fields, gathering flowers.  We met Emily and my cousin, Melissa, there.  It was one of those times where, of course, we were there for the kids.  But man…I just wanted to spend the day talking away with these ladies.  After we lost Bennett…twice…I had to buckle down and keep him within arm's length.

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The best friend a girl could ask for!  What a looker, eh?

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Can you believe we never went to Ted Drewes when we actually lived here?!?  Disgraceful.  I think I got confused with another ice cream place and was underwhelmed when we tried it, so when people would bring it up or recommend it, I would just dismiss it in my head.  Maybe it's all for the best.  I would go get that lemon graham cracker awesomeness every day if I could.

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We had some time to kill so stopped in at one of my favorite little parks.  They had improved it quite a bit, so there were actually people there.  I usually had the place to myself.  The girls spent the good part of a quiet evening building rock towers.  They could move to Puerto Vallerta and really make a career of this!  Quite the concentration.

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Then it was off to catch Baker Boy's baseball game.  He was three when we moved away, so it was fun to see this grown up boy so intensely invested in the game.  Heather won the girls over with the offer to pick anything they wanted from the snack stand.

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It was odd staying in a hotel this time--felt like I was visiting instead of coming home.  But I really love this city--so many fun memories and good people who helped me get through one of the tougher years in my life.  It's funny to me that it's so far from where I grew up but I know people who live here now from every phase of my life--family, elementary school, high school, college, violin days, medical school, blogging…  And they all don't really know each other.  Just more reasons to make return trips.

Justin did great at his conference in Kansas City.  He won something…or was ranked in the top 3…or 5.  Sheesh, I can't remember.  But he did great. 

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Everything we needed was within walking distance except the most important thing.  Barbecue.  Supposedly the best BBQ in the country.  Luckily these two fellas were there to enjoy with Justin because 1) I don't care for barbeque, 2) the restaurant is in a gas station, and 3) the line was out the door.  I told them to go ahead and get a cab, stopped at Panera on the way home, and put the kids in bed.  These boys were so happy and in so much pain from the gluttony when they got back.

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(Shawn and Mark helping with the kids since they were missing their own something fierce.)

We had to make the drive back in one day and Justin was si--ii--iick.  He reclined the seat as we left Kansas City, put in his ear plugs, and only made a groan every now and then until we got home.  Lucky for me (actually, luckily for HIM) the kids were amazing.  We stopped for gas and dinner, but otherwise pushed through 13 hours.  I could have kissed all their little faces (and probably did) when we pulled into the driveway that night.

Some more pics from the weekend in KC:

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