london—>new york city—>baltimore—>dallas—>salt lake city & provo

we returned to london last night after two and a half weeks in the usa visiting family. it was a wild wonderful whirlwind trip that included lots of spectacular highs along with a few not-so-fun lows. we were able to see nearly every family member on both sides (we sadly missed one of ian’s brothers and his family, and an eyre niece and nephew) and to enjoy some of our favourite places and american stuffs.

the first half of our trip was a lot of city hopping – we flew into new york city and then took a train to baltimore, then hopped on a plane to dallas, celebrated moses’s first birthday at grandma and grandpa’s house (another post coming all about that special day!), then flew to salt lake city and drove down to provo to visit ian’s grandparents and spend a night with his two sisters and their husbands. phew! after that we had one short day in slc seeing friends (moses and me) and working (ian) before heading up to bear lake (where we spent the second half of our trip).

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^^ we were only in nyc for about fourteen hours, all of which were spent in transit, in slumber, or in a jet laggy haze. but i insisted we spend just a tiny sliver of time soaking in the awesome electricity of the city on a street corner before getting on the amtrak train to baltimore. there’s just no place like new york city! ^^
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^^ after the train ride, it was so so fun for moses to be reunited with his cousins! ian’s brother just moved to baltimore about two weeks before we got there, so it was great to see their new house and hear about their new life! i failed to get any pictures of the adults (whoops!), but seriously little mo was super excited to be playing with cousins (even if he looks not super enthused in this picture ;) ) ^^
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after a pizza dinner and games (and jet lag hitting hard), the next morning we headed to a beach on the chesapeake bay with margaret and the kids. ^^ it was a beautiful day and everyone had a total blast swimming (and margaret and i enjoyed chatting on the shore). our time in baltimore was so short but really great. ^^
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our flight to dallas was delayed four hours so we had a realllly late arrival (2:30am!) but were excited to play with grandma and grandpa, uncle brig, aunt lucia, and cousin sophie in the morning! (ian’s youngest brother and his wife and baby were living with ian’s parents – they just moved to boston last week!)  ^^ in the afternoon, we went together to the dallas world aquarium as a little birthday party activity for moses (his birthday was the next day, sunday). the aquarium was so cool and also so crowded, and all the traveling had caught up with the sweet birthday boy – he had a runny nose and a cough and was just not feeling well :( poor baby was seriously trying to enjoy seeing things that normally would make him wild with glee, but just wasn’t himself. still, we all eight appreciated the wonders of the aquarium and loved being together. ^^
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^^ we had lots of chill hang out time at grandma and grandpa’s house, which was wonderful (especially the time spent playing with the new basketball game that had shown up in the living room since we were last there…). love seeing these two cousins (almost exactly six months apart) together. we couldn’t sit them toooo close together for photos though because moses just wanted to grab his cutie cousin’s eyes and nose and ears – she’s irresistible :) ^^
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^^ grandma put up lots of decorations around the house for little mo’s birthday. a whole post about our celebrations coming next. ^^
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after spending five hours waiting in line at the texas dmv (yuuuuck!) and saying goodbye to grandma and grandpa, we flew to salt lake and spent the night at my parents’ condo downtown. ^^ first thing in the morning, we drove down to provo to visit ian’s grandparents. they are all four so sweet and i love being in their homes. (having spent the majority of my life with only one living grandparent, i relish this stuff.) i know moses doesn’t look super happy in that picture with grandma allred, but he really did have a blast at his great grandparents’ houses (he was just woken up a little early from his nap!). i’m so grateful for the heritage that my children have because of these noble souls. ^^
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^^ we spent the evening with ian’s two sisters and their husbands (who all live in provo). we had dinner, played games, and stayed up late talking and laughing. love these guys! ^^
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^^ back in salt lake, i was able to be reunited with my dear dear friend sara (we hadn’t seen each other in two years and had never met each other’s babies!) and have a lunch picnic with three of my best friends from high school (and their seven children!). it’s always so wonderful to reconnect in person and i’m so grateful for good, good friends. ^^

we are so blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives!

27 comments:

  1. DMV during vacation? I wish you were kidding, that sounds miserable! But the rest of this juggernaut clearly made up for it. :)

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  2. Hi Charity! Beautiful family pictures. Are you pregnant again? You look pregnant in these pictures. And your dress is beautiful! ��

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    1. Ok, that's just not okay. I'm an outspoken follower of Eyrealm but come on; leave her alone pregnancy! If she isn't pregnant that's not a kind comment (why scrutinize) and if she is she's clearly not ready to talk about it yet so give her a break and respect her privacy.

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    2. hi! i am not pregnant. but am beginning to feel a little self councious about looking pregnant - haha! i genuinely don't think i look pregnant in these photos. baggier tops are in style (at least in my circles?!) but maybe i need to avoid them?!

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    3. Anonymous - shame on you. I thoroughly hope that you are never asked if you are pregnant. Charity - pregnant or not, you look lovely. Don't change a thing about what you wear.

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    4. In which of these pictures does Charity look pregnant?!

      Charity, I've checked the pictures thrice and I just can't see it. You do not look pregnant. Obviously a flat tummy.

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    5. I hope she is pregnant whenever and how often she wants to be pregnant.

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    6. It's never okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant! Let her volunteer that info if/when she chooses. Would you ask this question in person? Etiquette still applies online. These are real people with real feelings. :(

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  3. The first half of this trip seems to be in the grand Eyrealm tradition of We Manufacture Hard Things. That's an impossible schedule; of course Moses was sick and grumpy. I know you were crazy excited to get to Bear Lake but it seems like you could have slowed down the trip a little and still gotten there. If I were on Ian's side of the family I'd feel like an secondary with these "fly by" visits. One solution could have been for Ian to return to London after the reunion but for you and Moses to stay at Bear Lake for several more days. That way you would have gotten at least as much time a Bear Lake but the front half of the trip would have been more pleasant.

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    1. hi jenny! i think I understand why people sometimes get the manufacture-hard-thing vibe from my family, but we genuinely don't try to do that! i very much wish we could have slowed down our trip, and we have decided to take less stops in the future when we visit the usa. unfortunately because ian's family doesn't traditionally gather in one place like mine does, that means we will not be able to see close to or all our family members each year, which is really sad for us. we make a huge effort to make ian's family members not feel like "fly bys" (especially by celebrating big events like mo's blessing and first birthday with them) - but if we visited each of them for several days we would use up a loooot of vacation time and money. ian actually did return to work (from his firm's salt lake office) at the end of our trip and moses and i stayed three extra days at bear lake. we considered him going home to london early, but then would me flying alone with a one year old on a transatlantic flight be a manufactured hard thing?

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    2. My impression is that sometimes the Eyres suffer from fear of missing out (do people still use fomo?) and therefore cram as much as they can into their days.

      I do understand it especiallx on this case. When living abroad you want to see as much family as you can. And with two big families all over the US, it's a lot.

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    3. “FOMO” ist gebräuchlich – “thrice” aber gar nicht. Americans always say “three times”.

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  4. it seems important to you to always explain Moses and if he isn't totally happy in the picture. You don't need to do that since all babies get grumpy even in the most ideal situations.

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    1. hi! this blog is first and foremost a record keeping tool for me and my family. so i want to remember that moses was crazy happy playing with his cousins and at his great grandparents' house :)

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  5. Wow! Was about to comment that you look great. Mo and my little Blake are the same age. Glad you enjoyed your trip!! Been a long time follower. Don't let the lousy people get to you!!

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  6. Those flamingos are gorgeous! That photo has made my day!

    You look lovely. Blog however you fancy. I always make an effort to mention the positives when something looks bad - it helps my memory focus on the good stuff.

    We have lived far away from family and friends and often visiting a day here and there on our trips home was the only way to see loved ones. It wasn't ideal, but it made us and our family and friends happy so we did it.

    You're a kind soul, Charity. I should never have your patience for such direct nit-picking. At least you have a lot of good gossip for mums nights out I guess?!

    I hope you are settling back into your day-to-day easily :)

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  7. Oh, for the love of sweet little kittens, leave the woman alone. She's never been shy about hiding her exuberance or her occasionally breathless, cram-it-all-in approach to life. Don't like it? Don't read her blog!

    No, I couldn't live my life at the pace Charity seems to keep either. But when I read something here that I don't like, you know what works really well for me? MOVING ON AND SHUTTING UP ABOUT IT. Some of you folks should give it a try; it's remarkably freeing not feeling obligated to comment on another person's life and preferences.

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    1. Was this directed at me (considering we both used "cram")?
      My comment was in response to Jenny's observation, which I believe is wrong. I also could be wrong, sioI have written about my impression. It was most definitely not a judgement!

      Could I comment less often? Obviously. But I do like to talk, so comments it is! Most defintely not because I don't like what I read!

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  8. No, Kerstin, not at you in particular, despite the fact that we both said "cram," hahaha. I just get a little weary of people who know how someone else should live her life. But I come in peace, as I'm sure you do too. Cheers, A NonyMous ;-)

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  9. They left the country and have a baby. It's kind of on them to make sure to visit the grandparents and great grandparents, no matter how difficult. The baby is portable until preschool age. Kids get sick. It's a part of life. As long as she keeps him hydrated and goes to urgent care when necessary she is a good mom. The reunion is only four days. Why not spend the extra time seeing his family? I'm really curious why they needed to go to the DMV in Texas.

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    1. i had to get a new drivers license.

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  10. You went to one of our favorite-easy to get to-beaches! I so get the desire to slow down while traveling, but the lots of people to see issue. It is really hard in big families to see everyone the way you would love to see them, especially when you live far away. I have eight siblings and there is just no way to be more than "fly by" when you only have one vacation chance back home a year. Glad for their visits to us when possible so we can have longer, slower visits. And...there is not so much control when it comes to kids and sickness as people would like to believe. We go to great lengths to do everything possible when traveling to keep our kids well...good bedtimes, food...and it never fails that someone still gets something. Hopeful this gets a little better when they get older and don't touch everything! Sweet family, happy birthday to your sweet little boy!

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  11. Oh man! I can't believe people pick on you. Thank you for continuing to blog despite comments, my son threw up on my bed tonight and I'm laying down between loads of laundry and i appreciate a light read--like your blog!

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    1. oh man. sorry about the throw-up!

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  12. You are amazing Charity! Thanks for sharing your life and adventures with us that CHOOSE to read them. Your life is just that, yours. Of course people are all entitled to opinions, but it is always important to be kind and not judge. While not everyone would do things in life the same, we can appreciate differences and perspectives. But always always be kind and seek understanding. Again, thanks for sharing! As a person who has read your blog for years, it's super fun to see how your life has changed.

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