Sep 7

This weekend, we drove up to Northern Missouri for Christina and Jesse’s wedding reception. There are pictures at the bottom of the page.

There’s a little backstory here…

We’ve been friends with both of them for many years. Last year they sat down with us for an important discussion. Christina said that she and Jesse both treasured our friendship. Uh oh. I knew that she was buttering us up for something. They said many flattering things that my Midwestern sense of modesty will not allow me to repeat, but rest assured, we were very flattered. Then, they asked if one of us would be willing to become certified to officiate a wedding ceremony, and marry them.

I said yes immediately. Jesse and Christina are wonderfully matched. They make each other very happy and you can see it in their faces every time they are together.

In March of this year they came down to Texas and I married them in a small private ceremony, according to their wishes.

To celebrate their wedding, Christina’s Dad and Stepmom wanted to throw them a party. Plans were made, cakes were baked, and relatives descended on the small hamlet of Knob Noster, Missouri.

It was about a 1000 mile round trip. I was a little worried as to how Evie would handle such a long trip, but she traveled like a pro. For the most part, we tried to do the driving while she slept. We also made sure to allow time out for playgrounds, parks, and other places for Evie to stretch her wee tiny legs.

We left Texas Friday night, and made it up to Big Cabin, OK and then finished up the driving on Saturday afternoon during Evie’s nap.

Once we got there, we got to meet a number of Christina’s family that we’d heard about for years, including her Dad and siblings. We also got to spend some time with Jesse’s Mom and Stepdad who had flown in from Connecticut!

Evie had a great time at the farm, and has us rethinking our suburban lifestyle. She got to play with puppies, eat cherry tomatoes off the vine, and run around to her heart’s content.

On Sunday morning after a big brunch, we said our goodbyes, and got back into the car for the ride home. Evie napped in the car, and she woke up in Joplin, Missouri.

We’d done some research, and found a tiny amusement park on Route 66. It sort of looked like a traveling carnival that had stopped traveling and put down roots. Due to Evie’s diminutive stature, she was only allowed to ride on three rides, but she had a lot of fun on the train, carousel, and the birds.

After a few hours of activities and a steak dinner, she was tired out. We finished driving home, finally getting home late on Sunday night.

Sep 6

So, we just got back from a 1000 mile roadtrip–Evie’s longest car trip to date. A fee days before the trip, I realized that we would need an E.D.D. (an Evie Distraction Device). I planned to do most of the driving while she was sleeping, but kids have a nasty penchant for being unpredictable.

Recently, she’s taken an interest in Blue’s Clues. Nancy’s mom sent us a few VHS tapes of various kiddie shows, and Evie loved Blue’s Clues!

Yes. I could’ve gone out and bought a DVD player for the car, but I wasn’t confided that I would be able to find DVDs of a 15 year old show.

The day before we left, I came up with a plan. I had a tiny DVR laying around that I picked up a couple of years ago. So I converted the programs and loaded them on the device. I understand that some DVD players have a tough time with the car (bumpy roads causing skips) and I wanted to avoid that. Since the DVR has a hard drive, I figured it would be okay.

The next problem was how to attach it in such a way that wouldn’t damage the car. I wanted it to be very secure, too. I didn’t want Evie to get bonked by flying electronics!

With only a few hours to spare, I hit upon a solution. I took an old laptop sleeve and covered it with industrial strength Velcro. The sleeve was the perfect size to fit snugly on the headrest. Then I put velcro on the back of the DVR and added some additional speakers for good measure. It worked far better than I hoped, and we will definitely use this again in the future. It didn’t get a lot of use, but it was a lifesaver for everyone’s sanity.

As an additional note, I picked up this dual USB charger that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter at a truck stop. It’s wonderful. We can charge iPhones, eBook readers, DVRs and more while rollin down the road.