Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Philadelphia with the Aydelottes

We were on the road again - surprise! We went to Philadelphia, where Judy grew up for Trey's cousin's/Judy's nephew's wedding. Seeing a new place for the first time is always better with Locals to show you around, Philly was no different. I had my own personal tour guide, Jenny my first day there. Judy and her cousin Patty took care of Brooklyn for the day while I had a true Philadelphia experience - Running the Rocky Stairs, eating Pretzels all day, Seeing all of downtown - and the next day Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall, we had WaterIce and of course Philadelphia Cheese-steaks! In fact, Judy's brother owns a shop that sells them, so Trey even got to make our own!

My own personal Tour Guide - a true Philly girl! I stood where Rocky Stood!

We stayed our first 2 nights at Judy's Cousin's home in the city - They were the ultimate hostesses!

Jenny came back at noon with 25 soft pretzels - I soon came to see that that is about 0.00000001% of the pretzels consumed in Philly every day - every street corner had about 1000 pretzels for sale!

The wedding was beautiful! It was in an incredible setting and John and Tonya were a beutiful and happy couple!

Judy and her 4 siblings - Jane, Jack, Joy & Jill! And all the cousins

I loved meeting everyone - they're a fun lot and Trey enjoyed reconnecting with his Philly family

The Dance at the wedding was a blast - Even Brooklyn enjoyed it!

Of Course, Brooklyn was the hit of the show and loved on by everyone!

On our journey through Philadelphia we found China town -and in China town the most delicious, authentic Taiwanese restaurant with the most wonderful family. Trey knew the town and streets of their home near Taipei and they loved that we could speak Chinese! They even treated us to a few plates of food and invited us to visit them when we got back to Taiwan!

Brooklyn has already been to Constitution Hall and Liberty Bell! Oh the Places [She's] been!
This is the actual room that the Constitution was signed
A highlight of our Philadelphian experience was definitely Trey making his very own Cheese steak in his uncle's restaurant - He kept saying it must be in his blood - perhaps this is his calling - we are supposed to open up the "Chattanooga CheeseSteak Factory" and make millions! Wattayathink?

Thank you to all that made our trip so great - Judy for taking us to meet your family and The Family - for being so warm, welcoming and wonderful. God Bless until we meet again!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Columbus, Chicago and Valparaiso!

This past 10 days has been one of constant motion! I think of it as my Internship in Motherhood. Thank you to my two Experienced Young-Mother-Mentors Leah and Rochelle, I now see that having multiple children is possible for SUPER HUMANS! They are truly incredible Moms! I basically just stood in amazement as they taught, played, cooked, cleaned and still somehow made their brains work to have great conversations with me amidst it all!
These two women are two of my closest childhood friends and they just happen to be living within a car-ride of where we are moving! Miracles happen all the time!
THANK YOU Leah and Rochelle for your inspiring examples and friendships. I don't know what my life would be like with out you two!

We had so much fun going to the Market (See video), the Zoo, going on a bike ride to feed
the ducks, going to Leah's fitness class that kicked my butt and made me sore for my
whole stay, eating Cold Stone like the good ol' days and so much more! I even got to go to
Leah's first Ultrasound - They are expecting their THIRD (No wonder, if you have such gorgeous, adorable and brilliant kids, why not keep going!)

Avery was helarious! I LOVE HER!

Brinley was a great help with Brooklyn!

From Columbus, we flew to Chicago where I rented a car and drove to where Rochelle and her family of 5 are staying. Unfortunately my camera was running low on batteries, so from here out, I don't have many photos. We went to the Discovery museum, walked to the Grocery store - with all 4 kids, and I basically watched her in amazement that she was able to do anything with 3 kids! She does though and with complete confidence and wisdom!

No problem for Rochelle!
Her kids are also absolutely adorable:

From Rochelle's I picked up Trey. Brooklyn was thrilled to be back with her Daddy! She didn't stop smiling for about 3 days! Friday morning we went down to Valparaiso - our soon to be new home - though we wondered for about 48 hours if we would have a home there as we couldn't find anything! We ended up finding a great, spacious place - sorry no photos, but it has 3 bedrooms, so we expect visitors!
We met with the MBA program director and they are really excited to have Trey and are bending over backwards to help him work it all out so he can get his masters in Chinese, MBA and play football! Trey went to 2 football practices and everyone is really welcoming and excited to have Trey join the team!
We went to church Sunday and there is a fantastic ward there. The law school just accepted 35 LDS students - they love Mormons (; so the ward is large and the bishop is even Canadian! The first couple we talked to invited us over to their home for lunch (He taught at the MTC at the same time as us and even came to the Upton house for a cocktail party one time and knew Zanny!) Him and his wife even offered for us to stay at their place over the summer since they weren't going to be there while we found a place to live. It was just amazing how within 2 minutes of meeting we became instant friends. There was never a moment of awkwardness. The church is truly a remarkable organization! No matter where we ever go in the world, we have an immediate network of trustworthy friends. Anyway, we have a home, friends, a great community through Valparaiso and church and so it's final! We're off to Indiana!
Valparaiso is only an hour's train ride into Chicago, which sounds like a really awesome city, so we are excited, though sad to be leaving Chattanooga (the warm weather and wonderful people!) We aren't moving till June though, so still time to enjoy our Southern home and loved ones.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Duane, Paige and Brooklyn visit the Youngs!

Brooklyn and I are on the road again. We are back with the Youngs, having a blast -as you will see from the video below. Duane, our good friend and Leah and Cody's brother in law is a technological genius and is working in Chicago right now for a few month so he just happened to come out to Columbus at the same time we came to visit the Youngs! It was so fun to spend time with him and he made this awesome video of our times together!

More to come about our trip to Columbus.

Right after this we are going to Chicago to see Rochelle and her kids, then to find housing in Valparaiso! Crazy times.

Thursday, April 3, 2008