This past weekend, we took a four day trip to Utah to attend a Shuler cousin wedding. We were thrilled to have a reason to visit, and I'm glad that Jenni and Paul's wedding fell on the last weekend I was allowed to travel. If they had gotten married one weekend later, we wouldn't have gotten to go!
This was a big trip for us, because I'm into my third trimester and we haven't flown with Cullen in over three years. I can't say I love flying with kids or flying while pregnant, but it wasn't too bad. I think the primary thing I have to get past is that some people are just going to be unpleasant when they see you getting on the plane with a child. Other people are remarkably kind.
On our flight to Utah, the guy sitting in front of James got mad that we brought Cullen's carseat on the plane. It took a whole lot for me to not respond to his muttering. On the flight home, we wound up checking our bags for free, getting extra help through security, and getting a whole lot of one on one service from our stewardess. It was such a testament to travelling being made better by the people around you.
We got into Utah just before lunch on Thursday and made it to a late lunch with Paul and Michael. It was so nice to see them both and finally meet Paul, and it was a great opportunity for Cullen to catch a nap. I'm guessing it was the altitude, but it was one of his first naps in over a year.
After lunch, we headed up to Olympic Park. I can't even imagine what it's like during the winter, but they had an amazing setup for the spring/summer. We did a good bit of hiking, the boys got to ride a chair lift and the alpine slide, and we got to watch some participants in the ski jump. The summer practice for the ski jump was actually a carpeted ski run and a swimming pool that had jets to lift the skier to the top of the water. It was really neat to watch, and I'm glad we got the opportunity to see it.
Friday was a whole lot of work, but it was so completely worth it. We took Cullen fishing in the morning. He got to catch and/or help catch seven fish. It was a catch and release pond, but it was so much fun.
It was incredibly different for me to take on the role of parent while fishing. I finally understood the frustration in my dad's voice after he told me "tip up" for the fourteenth time. Someday, Cullen will understand the frustration in my voice when he goes fishing with his kids. Ultimately, fishing with a three year old is all about patience and laughter. He had so much fun, and I am so very proud.
After fishing was lunch and riding four wheelers. James took Cullen out for a fun ride around the ranch, and I enjoyed the shade. During the afternoon activities, James' cousin, Michael, took a tumble and broke his jaw in two places. By an act of God, he was completely fine (other than the broken jaw), and he was back home in time for the wedding festivities the next morning. After that one, I've decided that Michael may be the definition of a Shuler.
Friday night was the rehearsal dinner and lots of cousin time. I've never had a very big family, and I've never lived close enough to be very close to my cousins. I initially found James' family a bit intimidating. So many cousins, and they're all friends! What makes it even more special is how much I've been included as a cousin. I love these girls.
I particularly love Erica, because she told me I was "the most beautiful pregnant girl she had ever seen." As if I didn't already think the world of her.
Saturday was more outdoor time, more time at Olympic Park, one more ride down the Alpine Slide (this time with Charly), and the beautiful wedding. Jenni was a stunning bride, and it was a perfect day to be outside in Utah. We were pleasantly surprised by how long Cullen lasted through the reception, and we got to experience an amazing drive home through the ranch while animal watching for elk, moose, and deer.
Overall, our trip to Utah was amazing. We got to spend lots of time with nature, lots of time with family, and some of that time sleeping really really well. Fresh air will do that to you. We look forward to our next opportunity to go out there. Maybe next time I won't be pregnant...
We've struggled to get back into our routine this week. Cullen asked to go to bed at 6:45 on Sunday. We have plenty planned for this weekend, but our goal is to be home before bedtime each night. We've got to get our little man back on some sort of schedule.