"Are we sure about this?"
"Maybe we're crazy."
"I'm feeling very nervous..."
"What do we think we're doing?"
These were the questions and remarks that Jason and I said to each other on the days leading up to our big adventure. At the end of the summer, we had purchased tickets to Phoenix in order to meet little baby Walquist. We were so excited to help Amy's brother Andrew & his wife Sarah celebrate the birth and baptism of their new little one in person. Now that the reality of our vacation was drawing near, however, we were questioning the wisdom of taking a set of 3 1/2 month old, somewhat fussy twins on their first big vacation. We had not yet even taken the boys outside of Billings... talk about starting big!
We were most nervous about how the boys would do on their first airline flight. One week before our departure, Amy just-so-happened to see a segment on CBS this morning that fit our situation perfectly! We knew that this was much more than coincidence-- it was God's hand at work to help calm our nerves! We happily stole the idea from the show and created our own candy bags to give out to neighboring passengers on the plane. The accompanying note in the bag introduced the twins and asked for the reader's patience as the boys experienced the speed & the air pressure changes of the plane for the first time.
The candy bags worked beautifully! Instead of having disgruntled passengers beside us, after receiving free candy, our new friends were very pleasant and interested in our boys' lives. In fact, we saw some of the same passengers on the return flight who approached us and asked us all about the baptism. We were happy that the note reminded others that we are real people, too, who are trying our hardest to keep our boys calm. And, of course, the free treats helped, too!
Overall, the boys only had a few fussy periods on the flight and thankfully ended up sleeping for the great majority of both the outgoing and the return flight. Mommy & Daddy certainly breathed a big sigh of relief upon arriving at the Phoenix-Mesa airport! Our first big hurdle was overcome!
The other reason we were so excited to land in Arizona was that we were able to meet our precious new niece (the first of the family!), Abigail Marie. What a precious little girl she is!
It was a joy to hold little Abby and to see how alert she was. We noticed right away how much lighter she was than our boys!
Jaden & Cody certainly enjoyed all the attention they got from the family, too. Everyone remarked on how much bigger they looked. The boys happily showed off their smiles and coos throughout the weekend as well. It felt sooo good to be back in the arms of Grammy and Papa!
Papa seemed to have quite a knack at putting our little guys to sleep. The boys took many a nap on Papa's lap. Doesn't little Cody look wiped out?
It was fun seeing Aunt Kim and Uncle Matt, too. These experienced parents knew just how to hold the boys to keep them smiling and content.
Jaden loves his uncle and godfather, Matt!
It was so fun playing with Aunt Kim, receiving smiles, tickles, and kisses!
The busy new father, Uncle Andrew, even took some time out to play with his nephews. Here, little Cody enjoys some story time with his godfather.
Uncle Andrew shared some good physical therapy techniques with Amy for how to encourage crawling and sitting up. He was certainly an active participant during tummy time! Cody loved looking right into Uncle Andrew's eyes.
Even the new mommy, Aunt Sarah, shared some lovin' with the twins. Here, she gets some great smiles out of little Cody.
Probably the boys' favorite people of the household, though, were their cousins. They were at a much better stage to interact with one another. Here, cousin Ryan and Jaden get a good long look at one another, and even coo some hellos.
Our boys and Ryan, who are only 3 weeks apart, are starting to catch up a bit more in size!
Ian was such a loving cousin throughout the weekend, too! He showered our boys with hugs, smiles, and kisses. He carefully held Cody first, and then Jaden. It was obvious that Ian is used to being a gentle older brother. Our boys loved their big cousin!
So what did the family do during our time together? Well, as we've mentioned before, we spend our days quite differently as a family now. The greatest majoritiy of our time was spent holding little ones...
...and playing with them. Showering and getting ready for the day was never a top priority! :)
The weekend weather in Phoenix was BEAUTIFUL, so we spent some time in Drew & Sarah's pool as well.
Jason, Andrew, and Matt developed a fun game of frisbee diving. The guys would describe how they were about to jump off the diving board, and then the other guys would try to toss them a frisbee to catch before they landed in the water. This, of course, provided hours of entertainment!
The on-looking infants patiently await their day of frisbee-diving participation!
Most importantly, the reason we all gathered together was to witness the baptism of little Abby. What a blessing it was to see her welcomed into the family of God! She didn't make a peep during the ceremony OR during the entire service (her first experience at church!).
Amy's dad, Pastor Walquist, officiated the baptismal service. That's four grandchild baptisms in one summer. Wow!
Amy's parents, Randy & Elaine, celebrate little Abby with Sarah's parents, Rhonda & Spencer.
Sarah and her mother Rhonda prepared an AMAZING brunch following the baptism. The food was exceptional and so fancy-looking, too! What a great way to celebrate!
So, despite our beforehand fears and worries, our first-ever vacation was a success! What a treat it was to all be together as a family! Grammy & Papa love the fact that their grandchildren-quota has gone from 1 to 5 in only a few months' time. From L to R, they are holding Cody, Jaden, Ian, Ryan, and Abby.
Kim, Amy, and Sarah remembered that several months earlier (in February), the 3 of them had stood in front of this same fireplace in Phoenix, showing off their pregnant bellies. Isn't it so much cuter seeing all these precious little faces outside the womb?
Thank you, Andrew, Sarah, and Abby, for welcoming us into your home for a wonderful weekend! We love you and your precious little girl!