Avery and I spent the day cleaning and cooking in preparation for their visit. Mom was originally scheduled to arrive at 7:00pm, but due to the heavy winds, her flight was delayed until 9:30. So I put Avery to bed at 7:00 as usual, and woke her up at 8:45 to head to the airport. Although a little less cheerful than normal, she didn't fuss at all during the trip. It was my first time driving to the Newark airport by myself, but we made it and picked up Mom without any trouble. After arriving back at home, we put Avery to bed and stayed up until after midnight talking and eating. Ryan was on call that night, so he didn't arrive home until the next morning.
Mom and Avery had so much fun playing together in the morning. While Ryan slept that afternoon, the girls went out for a little shopping. We were getting a little rain and snow mix, but nothing was accumulating. Dad's flight arrived on time at 8:30 on Thursday night, and Ryan and I drove downtown together to pick him up. We had a great time catching up with each other that evening before heading to bed.
Ryan was back at work on Friday, so we spent a fun day at home watching the snow and relaxing. Dad and Mom loved playing with Avery, feeding her, and making her laugh. I loved watching them together! I was especially glad to see that it hardly took her any time at all to warm up to them. She sure loves her grandparents! Avery's second bottom tooth also popped through on Friday. She was slightly clingy and took a 2-hour nap in the afternoon, but other than that, she seemed fine.
On Saturday morning, we packed up and headed down to Princeton for the day. Our friends, Eric and Clarissa Brown, are at a church in South Jersey, and Eric asked Dad to preach at his church on Sunday. We met the Brown's and the Wagner's (also friends from our church who are now on deputation) for lunch.
We still have a few little shops and restaurants that we want to take Mom and Dad to some day, but we did get to visit the Princeton Cemetery and saw where several famous people are buried, including Jonathan Edwards and Aaron Burr. Mom and Avery spent a little extra time together while we walked around the cemetery. Avery has started smiling with her mouth closed, especially when she sees a camera.
We joined the Brown's at their house for pizza that evening. Then Ryan, Avery, and I headed to our hotel while Mom and Dad spent some more time with the Brown's and other members from their church. We had an adjoining hotel room with Mom and Dad's, so we put Avery to bed in her pack'n play in our room, plugged in her baby monitor, and watched TV in Mom and Dad's room for the evening. She was so tired after her busy day, and slept until 8:00 the next morning. We had breakfast with Mom and Dad at the hotel and then drove to the Brown's church for the services.
It was wonderful to hear Dad preach again. We have really missed being at Cornerstone. Avery loved playing in the nursery and even took a 2-hour nap while we were there. After lunch and an afternoon service, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and snapped a few pictures.
Finally, it was time to say good bye to Mom and Dad. We were sorry to see them leave and definitely wish their visit could have been longer. But we are so glad for the time we had together, and especially that Avery was able to enjoy her grandparents for a couple days. She burst into tears as soon as we got home that evening, so I think she missed them already. And Ryan said he is really hoping for a residency in Greenville so that we can be close to them again soon. We can't imagine Avery growing up without her family close by.
But my sisters will be here in about 4 weeks, we'll (hopefully) be visiting my cousins at the end of May, and then heading down to Greenville in June for my youngest sister's wedding. And Mom and Dad are already making plans to come back up in July. So while we hope to live near them in the future, we are thankful for the many visits we can have in the meantime.