Saturday, June 30, 2012

One. More. Trip.

Sensing a theme? Yeah, we've been gone a lot this month.  But, alas, we're rounding out June at home and don't have much planned for the next few months... at least not much that includes sleeping somewhere other than our own beds.

We packed up the car one. more. time. this week and headed to Seattle for a couple days.  It's become a familiar path and I hadn't realized how much we had traveled up there until I was "recapping" our year in January and found lots of digital memories archived.  Thankfully, this was another great trip with wonderful news!

We set out early Tuesday morning and dropped Madi off at Josh and Krista's before heading to Matt's appointment.  Matt had his MRI done in Salem two weeks before for insurance purposes. (Long story short our insurance has changed and all of Matt's Seattle physicians are "out of network", therefore we're in the process of providing letters to the insurance from multiple doctors attempting to prove that his continued out of network treatment is essential, blah, blah, blah. I try not to think about it much and just do what I'm supposed to do - aka, provide the correct documentation...) Dr. Nussbaum was super happy with the MRI results and he said that "at worst" the tumor has stayed the same, but it looks like it has probably shrunk! So awesome! Matt's had scans done every 3 or 6 months for the last two years and Dr. Nussbaum felt it would be no problem to wait A WHOLE YEAR before having another one! We were both pretty stoked and for some reason that seems like SO long! He did recommend that Matt have another scan done of his hip soon to compare the scan done in January when they found another mass (which the tech thought was most likely an abnormal muscle growth since surgery). That scan can be done down here and only needs follow up if there seems to be growth, etc. All in all, our visit felt super encouraging.

The best part, however, was when we stopped by Dr. Porter's office (Matt's head surgeon).  We hadn't seen him for almost two years and we needed to pick up a letter from his office.  We asked if he was available for just a few minutes and his assistant was hesitant, but when we told her how long it had been since we'd seen him she tracked him down.  He was soooo happy to see Matt (almost cried), and meet Emmitt, and so proud of how hard Matt's been working.  He got to see Matt's leg (artificial foot orthopedic) and was quite impressed with his accomplishments.  He wanted us to make sure we stop by every time we come up. I was so glad we bothered his assistant about it.  We both have so much respect for these doctors and how hard they work and we know they have super demanding schedules so it's hard to intrude. It was a great reunion!

And finally, we headed out into the Seattle rain to enjoy some animals at the zoo.  Madelyn loved it and truth be told, rain certainly fights off the crowds!!! ;)

Matchy, matchy. I'm required to wear this coat whenever Madi wears hers. 

Watching monkeys do what they do... ;)

Madelyn really wanted to get a stick to feed the birds. 

... and then this is what she did...

We relaxed, ate ice cream, and went to the park in the SUNSHINE the next day! =) 
Thanks Josh and Krista for providing a nice and relaxing place to stay! (and finally baby proofed! ;)
We may not be back for another YEAR (unless you happen to "pop" out another baby between now and then ;)...

God is good and we are thankful!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grandpa & Grandma's

We started our vacation week out on Father's Day! After packing up the car before church, we stopped by home to top us all off and then headed over the mountain for a beautiful sunny drive through the Cascades! Seriously, I could drive that road (with my husband - and sleeping children ;) in the sunshine everyday when it's that nice out!!! We took our time, enjoyed the scenery and stopped at the park in Sisters for a little leg-stretcher. We didn't have anything on our plate except to head to Grandpa's house for a Father's Day BBQ and some play time in the "cwoset", and of course our final destination SUNRIVER!!!

Madelyn loves going to her Grandpa and Grandma's house (Grandma was gone to the valley when we stopped by).  It's exciting, and anything exciting is right up her alley! Grandma has gotten out all of Aunt Whitney's old dolls so the little cwoset under the stairs is full of babies to play with! It really could get much better in Madi's eyes...

Emmitt loved it too cause there was 14 new stairs to sneak up in about 2.5 seconds.  


It might be a long year ahead of us...

Regardless, it was a wonderful Father's Day spent with these two dads! We love you Grandpa and we love you Daddy!!!

On Thursday (when we were supposed to head home) we spent the morning in the village at Sunriver and Matt got the itch to stay because they were setting up for the Pacific Crest events on Friday - Sunday.  So, he made some phone calls and we decided to stay in Bend for two more nights so that we could watch our friend Shannon run the half-marathon on Saturday morning and hang out a little longer! 

Grandma was happy to hang out with her babies a bit and of course Madi was up for the adventure!

These pictures were taken at Riverbend Park (I think). Everyone played while I ran the river trail...and somehow managed to get lost?!? No worries, I made it back safely with 2% of my phone/clock/gps battery left. ;)

All sweaty!

We are ever so blessed! Thanks for letting us crash Grandpa and Grandma! =)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Konolsonrad Family Vacay Number...


We debated, counted them twice, and then concluded this was technically Konolsonrad Family Vacation number five. Although we did spend a weekend in Bend with Doug and Mary that could technically be considered a KFV making it six... or should it just be five and a half?!?!  Nontheless, like all discussions with the fam we considered all options, that's for sure.  So as not to confuse my readers, this is the fifth time we've taken a "family vacation" with the four Konolsonrads (Konrads + Olsons = Konolsonrads) and our respective offspring, (which my mother in law pointed out, has doubled every other year for the past three years, yikes!!!). 

Although we've made more elaborate vacations (San Diego, Las Vegas), and not a vacation goes by that we don't reminisce our every memory, we have settled down and chosen to relax on territory a little closer to home these days. 

Okay, so truth be told, it's just downright cheaper.  

**Ahem**... affordable. 

Either way, we still have a blast! 

This year's vacation was to SunRiver, which none of us had been to in the last decade, so it was fun to re-explore the beautiful territory, and of course experience everything through our children's eyes!  More than once I said to Matt, "Vacations are so much fun with kids!" And although there were certainly times that this wasn't the case, we wouldn't change a thing if we could! Listening to Madi say, "We goin on bacation!" was so sweet and watching her enthusiasm was even more contagious! This girl loves to have fun, that is for sure!!!

We packed as much stuff as we possibly could into our 5 person vehicles, added a roof rocket for more space, and strapped on the bikes! For those of you with kids, you know exactly what I'm talking about! For those of you without, there wasn't an inch of space left! Seriously. 

We relaxed in the hot tub, played at parks, went for walks, took bike rides, hung out in the village, picnic-ed, kayaked on the marina (thanks to Matt's Dad!), enjoyed SUNSHINE, and spent a long day at the pool (SHARC).  There were so many times I wanted to take pictures, but the reality is: the more kids present, the less likely a picture will be taken. There's just too much to do! Here's what I did get (and yes, it's totally a picture overload), and at the end I added on the Instagram pics, because sometimes that's just all ya have time for!

We let the kids ride this train all by themselves! They were so cute when we sent them off and waved goodbye!

A little unsure? They warmed up! =)

So grown up!

And there it is, folks! KFV #5 came to an end. It was bittersweet.  Home is always welcome after being away, but it sure was a fun week! Poor baby Jude wasn't feeling good all week, but thankfully no one else came down with anything. 

I love these friends! We have so many wonderful memories together and I know we will make so many more! I'm so thankful our kids get to grow up together and be friends. Madi and Kade get along so well and Emmitt loves to attack Jude already. =)

It's been so fun making memories over the last nine years!

Here's to many, many more Konolsonrads!!!

**Post-Edit Update**
I realized that last sentence sounds like I'm asking for many more Konolsonrads to be born.  I think I should have clarified:

"Here's to many, many more memories, Konolsonrads!"