Sunday, January 29, 2012

Surprise, surprise! Michigan monkeying around

Early in January I got the word that I would be headed to Detroit for work.
Some of you know I have a sister/b.i.l. and five lovely littles camped out in the frigged northern land of the thumb. Upon receiving this news I quickly shot my b.i.l. an email with what little details I knew and we concocted a plan to keep my visit a surprise.

Some think I'm not a good happy secret keeper, mostly because they are correct. I don't share others secrets (I'm a vault!) but I'm a pushover when it comes to sharing fun secrets about myself. (Ssshh! Don't tell anyone.) But oh how I love surprise, and especially if I am the source of the secret! The rest of the family was in on it, and they did a slam dunk keeping everything under wraps.

So last Thursday, after our final day of meetings, b.i.l. Scott made the trek into Detroit and patiently waited for me to be dropped off at our rendezvous spot for the almost two hour drive north. When he opened the garage door I knew it wouldn't be long before we saw a little face or two and sure enough Caroline was the first to peak out. I know she knew it was me, but by the look on her face I had five heads! She promptly closed the door and then reopened it and this time came into the garage. I was out of the car by that point and put my finger to my lips motioning her to not say anything. I gave her my phone with the video recorder on and this is what she caught as I walked into the house:

Sorry it's idea how to fix that.

Caroline did a great job but she's a few feet shorter than us so there was only so much she could capture, the audio is far more fun anyway. And especially fun if you actually know my sister Anne, she knows EVERYTHING! So keeping a secret from her always seems to be a challenge.

[Truth is, she was surprised twice...earlier in the week it was her birthday and sis Kelly & I helped b.i.l. Scott with a special cake. Anne said she would blog about it but I haven't seen it up yet.]

The video is short and doesn't catch me surprising the kids but they surprised me with their reaction...almost like they just expect me to walk in the door! Crazy kids.

Friday morning we (of course) went to the library. Katie is a reader and knew exactly what she wanted so while waiting for the others she kept herself entertained by having me take pictures of the two of us.
Katie & I are kindred spirits, we are after all, both Katherine's, but there is so much more to it. She reminds me so much of me when I was young. Her laugh and sense of humor is even similar to mine, I hope she turns out to be smarter than her favorite aunt though.

By the time Anne/mom was checking out the books from the librarian the other littles had joined us and we managed to make good use of that two minutes with more camera time:

My favorite photo of the weekend...
Friday after the library I sent Anne off for some alone time and to check things off her to-do list without 10 hands to keep track of. The kids and I stayed home and read books, watched movies and played. Alexandra, Katie & I even managed an intense & lengthy game of Monopoly where Katie held onto Broadway despite my every effort to buy it from her. In the end I won, but I was sweating it through the entire game. Those girls are smart!

Friday night rang promises of "Movie Night" and although in the end it was as different movie than originally planned, it ended up being far more fun watching Empire Strikes Back with Anne's kids than I ever thought possible. Anne is by far the biggest Star Wars, Han Solo, etc fan in our family. Sure, there are fanatics in the world that beat her out by a landslide, but her love is intense. So watching with her kids...priceless, they were hilarious, asking every possible movie related question, and they knew what they were talking about too!

My week had already been filled with 5 a.m. wake-up calls and midnight or later shut-eye which meant I was grossly lacking in my necessary beauty sleep to say the least. Like a zombie I only managed to make it through 45 minutes of the movie and I only half managed my way up to my room (well, Andrew's room) and crashed hard.

My lack of sleep also meant Saturday is a little fuzzy. I do remember waking to the smell of these amazing cinnamon rolls my sister made...

Yummy! After a halfhearted journey on the treadmill in the basement I quickly calculated the caloric content of my delicious breakfast and enjoyed every gram. Fabulous!

Saturday afternoon I managed to find a spot next to Katie on the couch where she was of course reading a book. I remember Jaq sitting on my lap and us reading a story and then someone put in a movie and I was out like a light. I don't recall exactly how long I slept but it was at least the length of the movie and the mumblings of dinner were chiming in from the kitchen so I know it was a good three hours at least. It was marvelous.

By Sunday I was ready to return to temperatures anywhere over 18 degrees, but sad to say good-bye to my littles, Anne & b.i.l. My flight was at noon so Scott and I dropped the crew at church and made our way to Flint, but not before I snapped a few more pictures of my favorite Eskimos:

Jaq & Alex
+ Androoo (his spelling)
Andrew & Jaq
Katherine Squared
Our videographer, Caroline
It was a great weekend...the perfect get-a-way piggyback to a work trip to one of the coldest places on the planet. I'm glad I was able to go and feel silly knowing now as I post these pictures that I didn't take even one picture with my sister! I did take a few really cute pictures of she and the littles so if she shares them with me I'll be sure to share them with you.

This year one of my resolutions is to be adventurous and "Do Something"...every month! Fun for me that this trip was my January "Do Something" and what a great "Do Something" it was.

Stay tuned for February's "Do Something"...


The Sixth Sister said...

How Fun!!!

Charisse Baxter said...

Obviously, you are the world's coolest, funnest, prettiest aunt - it's good that you got so many pictures as proof! Your nieces and nephew are darling, and I'm lovin' all the book-readin' going on. Nice job pulling off the surprises on a sibling - that's TOUGH!