Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Virginia is for Sisters

It is 4:00 in the morning and Colin and I are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the day.  He is standing next to my leg pulling at my pants and asking, "Eh?  EH?"  This is the second time we've gotten up this morning to contemplate that question.  While he thinks it over, I'm going to report on my crazy weekend adventure in Virginia.

Several months ago Allyn and her husband, Aron, were notified that Aron (a doctor and officer in the Navy) would be deployed for an eight month stretch.  At the time, Allyn was pregnant with baby number six.  Allyn is the toughest lady I know, but I cried every time I thought about her having to do everything by herself for so long.  It's too much!  I can't do a whole lot to help being so far away, so we worked out a weekend for me to come visit and maybe do a little cooking and freezing.  When I told Katy about it, she decided to put aside the same weekend and drive up from North Carolina to help us.  Sisters!  Between us we've got 14 children and a whole lot of stuff going on.  That means this was a feat of strength AND we know how to work.  We made 21 main dishes and about 135 rolls in one day!
Allyn peeling potatoes for Hamburger Soup.  Charlie Brown and Snoopy are dancing to Katy's iPod workout mix.
Katy's cooking hamburger and onions for spaghetti sauce.  Katy brought two of her girls to play with their cousins.  Anya, her youngest, sidled up to me while I was picking at a rotisserie chicken and whispered, "Mom, can I..."  She stopped because she realized I wasn't her Mom, and yet... was I?  The look on her face was hilarious.  Very Twilight Zone for her, I'm sure. :)
That's me rolling out one of the batches of rolls.  Lilja, Allyn's 10 year-old daughter, informed me that I look taller in pictures.  Emma, Allyn's 12 year-old daughter, told me I look like Paris on "The Gilmore Girls."  When I saw the few pictures of myself from my trip, I decided I need a new wardrobe and more sleep.  And a different hair-do.
This is Anya and Helena (Katy's girls) after their makeovers.  Emma and Lilja had a spa upstairs while we were cooking.
This is Chance!  He's a pretty tough boss.  He supervised the whole operation.
Katy brought her Bosch mixer and we washed it out a few hundred times over the course of the day.
See?  For some reason Katy had the energy to make cookies at 5:00pm.  Maybe it's the M & M supply in her top pocket?
This photo is not in focus, but Chance is wearing a skunk hat.
We finally got all the kids outside for a walk before dinner and it started to rain.
We thought maybe we could wait it out, but then it just rained harder.  You beat us, Virginia weather!
We took it down a notch for Day 2.  Here Lilja and Helena are toasting a beautiful breakfast of crepes and orange juice.
Emma getting the cream.  Yes, this is the photo I got of Emma.
Chance loves getting his morning kisses.  :)
Katy had to leave a little earlier than she thought, so we took a photo in the rain.  (Allyn and Katy look so fresh and pretty here.  This just shows how much I love them posting this photo of me.)
Allyn and I finally got a walk in.  We took Banks, Adam, Lilja, and Chance with us.  There is no end to the energy between these two boys. 
Lilja painted my fingernails purple with a top coat of glitter for the plane ride home.  (We're twinsies, Katy!)
Chance napped through the whole walk.  That baby is getting his naps any way he can.
The homestead.  I like knowing what my siblings homes look like.  This was the first time I'd seen Allyn and Aron's place.
Now it's after 7:00 in the morning.  I finally got Colin to go back to sleep, but it's time for me to start the day.  A mama's work is never done.  Brian survived my trip (with help from his parents) here with the kids.  My absence made Bridget and Emil's hearts grow fonder for me.  Colin doesn't appear to have noticed that I was gone.  Anyway, I think my brain is done functioning for today.  Not a good sign.


allyn said...

ohnicole! how is it that you manage to get pictures at just the right times even though you are busybusy? thank you so much again and again and again. i wish you and brian could come and stay longer. we won this amazing race.

i LOVE that picture of lilja holding chance. it is beautiful. emma was a weirdo sunday. she doesn't believe me.

Mom said...

I love seeing all this! You are all so amazing - wish I could have been there to help too! I could use some info on what you froze for a project I have going.
Thanks for all the pictures of my darlings!

kenzie said...

I'm so sad I missed it! My heart always sighs when I think of us not ever being all together.
Chance looks like a Noah clone. Way to be a 'sister to the rescue':)

Katy said...

You got the best pictures of everything! I didn't even take out my camera. Boo. It was a great weekend and I wish we could do stuff like that more often. Who needs us now? Who's the sister in most need of a weekend of meal-making? you, I think? Love you!

amylouwho said...

This post made me cry!!! I love that you guys rallied around for Dear Allyn. Another reason I'm sad I have no sisters. You guys want to come to my house this spring (or summer) while Nick is gone. You are some of the best people I have the pleasure of knowing. Thanks for being my friend! oxoxox

amylouwho said...

PS - I seriously want to be adopted into the Lee Sisterhood.

Angie said...

I can't believe how big those girls are! And who are all those other kids? Goodness.