Monday, June 23, 2008
Happy Anniversary BABY!
In early April my sister, her family, and my dad came to visit us. We had just finished restoring the kitchen back to its functioning self. I think I even had the sliding glass door curtain up.
We were so excited as this was a very long trip for her and her husband's brood of 3-year old twins and a 5 year old kindergartner. We were busy planning sleeping arrangements, yummy meals, and fun things to do. My daughter insisted that her girl cousin had to sleep in her room, my oldest would not sleep upstairs with his brother. He insisted on sleeping in his room even if it meant that the two boys cousins would sleep there, too.
A trip to the zoo, the discovery museum, visits to the schools where we work and attend, and a trip to Chicago were in the works. We were trying to decide what we should see in Chicago in a one day trip. American Girl was a must. So Navy Pier was a good idea. What about the Sears Tower or the John Hancock building? Both are costly so we needed to select one. I was also trying to arrange a day or two off of school to visit with my family and still trying to make sure I could take a day off in May to spend time with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who were coming to visit in May. I have to say I was thrilled to have so many new visitors to our home. It was the bright spot in this turbulent spring.
Doug and I were trying to pick a day to go to Chicago so that we could buy tickets for the train. Doug wanted to go on Tuesday. I wanted to go on Wednesday. My sister and crew were leaving Thursday. I wanted to go on Wednesday because my student teacher would be attending a seminar and would be gone in the morning. This would mean that my teaching assistant would only have to deal with him for a few hours without me instead of the full day. Doug wasn't happy with this, since he wanted to go on Tuesday.
We argued. Doug finally says that he wanted to take me out to a new restaurant in town, for dinner, to celebrate our 20th anniversary. He figured that our kids could hang out with my sister while we had a nice night out. (We almost never have nights out, just the two of us.) Of course I felt terrible and after pouting a bit I went upstairs to tell him we could go Tuesday. He said something like it was too late and he now wanted to go on Wednesday. So Wednesday it was.
Now on Tuesday, I took a half-day from school and went to the Children's Museum with my sister's crew. It was a lot of fun. The kids were able to roam wherever they wanted since there were four adults their to watch them. Even with four of us we lost track of a kid or two every now and then.
Now while I was off with my family, drama was playing out at school. When I got back to school to finish my work day, I was greeting by the substitute and my teaching assistant relaying the events that had transpired with my student teacher while I was gone. So being gone the next day while the student teacher was also gone was sounding like a good decision. My guilt from the argument was quickly disappearing.
Off we go to Chicago on Wednesday, Doug and my 20th anniversary, my family, my sister's family, and my dad (11 of us). The train ride was the slowest it had ever been. We had all kinds of delays and stops. Luckily all the kids were great. We arrived in Chicago and immediately sought out a place to eat lunch. I thought that was kind of slow, too. Our day was rapidly disappearing. Would my family have fun on there first trip to Chicago? Although just being in the city is neat with its tall building.
After lunch the guys and girls separated. The boys stayed at the Sports restaurant and played a few games then ventured to the Harley Davidson Store. The girls and one nephew headed down to the American Girl Store. We had plans to meet up in an hour by the American Girl Store. We finished a bit early at the American Girl Store so we went across the street to the Walgreens for souvenirs. After a bit of confusions and a call or two later we all met and began to walk to the John Hancock building for a panoramic view of the city.
We get ready to ride the elevator up to the top. My dad passed on this adventure as he doesn't like heights. My daughter got really scared and didn't want to go either. The ladies that were selling tickets helped calm her down and convince her to go up with us. Thanks!!! She loved it once we got to the top. Our ears did pop as we were going up and it feels a bit strange at first.
We took lots of pictures of the Chicago area. Marveled over Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. They have funny cheesy photo opportunities like laying on a steel rafter/garter with a scene under it that makes it look like you are laying high above the city. They also had a window washing scene set-up. We had a good laugh getting pictures of everyone.
About 30 minutes into to this time at the John Hancock building Doug calls me over by him. I'm thinking we are going to discuss what to do next. At one point in time we felt like it was too late to go to Navy Pier since we had to catch the train back home. Of course a couple of the kids follow us and Doug shoos them off then says they might as well hang around. I'm still positive we are going to discuss plans for the last bit of the day in Chicago. I think I am babbling about my thoughts on this when Doug takes his backpack off, kneels on the ground, while fishing in his backpack. He says you know what tall building mean. I said, "Umm no." He give me a look. You know the look. The come on you watch sappy movies and read romance novels. I said,"Like in An Affair to Remember", Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower?" He says yes and pulls out a small glossy dark green gift bag from a jeweler in our town. I can't believe he got that bag in his backpack before we left and had it there all day without my knowledge. He says he has had it for weeks/months. I open the bag and there is a small box. The kids are gathered around and I open the box and it has a wedding ring set in there. The ring has a huge diamond solitaire set in white gold and a white gold band with nine tiny diamonds. It is spectacular. I cried. Tears of joy and not all night long, just a bit. How wonderfully caring. I never expected anything much less something so extravagant. After 20 years Doug thought I needed an upgrade. I think the upgrade was about 15 times the purchase of my first wedding ring set and this one he picked out all by himself. It was the gift he planned to give me at the restaurant where he had made reservations for our anniversary. Aww!
I think I was floating on clouds the rest of the evening. I still look at the ring and am just amazed by its spectacular beauty and my wonderful husband. I guess I'm the one lacking the romantic ideas.