Last year, my cousin Kathleen got engaged to her best friend and boyfriend, Cam. We couldn’t be happier for them–their love story is one for books. Their wedding was to take place atop the mountain where he proposed
We received their save the date card, around the time we received word we were moving to Germany. We made the decision that we would still make the trip because it really meant a lot to me, and I knew it would to my Colorado family. So off we flew: Frankfurt to Chicago first!
(Evie sporting her new airplane harness–worth EVERY penny!)
My mother in law, Jo, was so incredibly awesome to offer to watch the kids the five days we’d be in Colorado. Uncles Mike and Joe pitched in, and Poppy even did some solo babysitting while we were away!
This ensured us a relaxing vacation for more than a day away…and it’s been a few years since that’s happened! We can’t thank them enough. The kids had a great time while we were away–they went shopping for Legos, they went to Disney on Ice at the United Center, and they took walks and went to Lambs Farm too! Busy babies!
Ok, enough about the kids. We were on VACATION! We flew into Denver late, and my aunt Judy and uncle Clark picked us up and headed back to their house for the night…bright and early the next morning, we were off for an EIGHT hour drive into the Rockies.
(we needed more coffee!!!!)
We stopped in Gunnison, where my cousin Tarryn went to Western Colorado State–and I could totally see why she chose that school!
We had the party car–my great aunt Barb and great uncle Frank rode back seat and were great conversationists!
Steve earned his saint halo by riding in the car with Clark and his mom, who is a character to say the least. I know Clark enjoyed the company!
Before we knew it, we entered into the little hidden gem of Telluride, Colorado. This was our “non mountain view” room’s view
We wasted no time getting down to the spa area of the resort and hung out with the other family members that had already arrived! Steve and I enjoyed a nice cocktail and happy hour burger, but even more, my cousin Mandi and her husband Toeknee joined us! If you have kept up with this blog, you’ll remember Mandi was present during most of my labor with Briana–keeping it jovial the whole time despite some of the things she witnessed!
It was great to reconnect with them!
and then sad to say good bye a few days later
The next two days were full of hanging out in Telluride
enjoying new and old faces, having some amazing food
but also having some good cries over missing Kathleen’s twin brother Jake, taken too soon in a car accident in 2009.
But as Kathleen said in her vows, through Jake’s passing, Cameron (his best friend) made it into her life, and she has to believe that he had quite the hand in that!
Kathleen and the best man, Jake
The wedding day was more than any one could ask for (especially for September mountain weather expectations!)!! It was sunny, 70, and perfect. Steve and I got to help out with set up and decorations, and doing a little running around with my aunt Debbie to get dresses back and forth for photos. Once seated, it was time to enjoy watching Kathleen’s dreams come true, and they surely did. We had an amazing time!
The next day we even got to enjoy the Blues and Brews Festival! We received a glass at the entrance and got to try many different beers from microbrews all over the state.
It was a great time to spend post wedding instead of rushing off to get back.
But come Sunday, it was back to Chicago to see our babies again! We headed down to Lombard to see my family, and also spend my 31st birthday with them! We had a great time getting all the nieces and nephews together, and also seeing my grandparents.
My grandma fell while we were in town, so we were able to spend some time with her while she recovered in the hospital (she’s out now).
We also got to meet the newest Tufano, baby Benjamin. Adorable, squishy, looks like my brother Dan, and going to be a sweetie, I can tell!
We even got to squeeze in time to see some faces that we love and miss to pieces!
The kids got to see auntie Jaime and her crew, but after this picture was taken, I got to spend an afternoon shopping with my first shopping partner in life! It was a great time of catching up and hanging out alone!
We were able to attend my old church while we were in town and surprised a lot of folks, but none more than Diane who doesn’t have Facebook! Ha! So we arranged a visit when we got back from Colorado, and she even baked me birthday cupcakes–still trying to feed me after having fed me dinner when I was single each week!
On one of our last nights, in Lombard, my parents gracefully babysat the kids, and I was able to hunt down my old pal from Middle School through all these years, Sam and her husband! We had a great dinner out and enjoyed some gelato and laughs too! They were one of our first house guests after we were married, in the area by a chance road trip, so we always seem to find each other again when in town!
And then like that, back to Germany we flew. Back to home. We did miss our new home and were happy to settle back in, and see our new friends again. Happy to have seen our family and friends so soon, and now we look forward to all their visits to Germany this coming year!