Friday, October 7, 2011

Willis (Sears)Tower

Thursday was the day we ventured into Chicago, to see the Willis tower and have lunch at Elephant and Castle. Matt and I discovered the restaurant when we visited last time, and it was so delicious we had to go back. Matt's Momma had to work, so it was Matt, his Dad, Emma and I. Emma took a long nap on the way there, so she was up and happy when we got there. I had to see this tower at least once in my life, so that I never had to do it again! After 9/11, I am a bit hesitant to be in any building that has more than 10 floors, so needless to say I was ready to be in and out pretty quickly! I'm not sure if my stomach felt uneasy because we were going to the top of a gigantic tower (108 floors), or that the price for this silly thing was $17 per person! And I didn't even get lunch out of it! Or chocolate! 

Once we got to the top, it was pretty apparent that I would never be doing it again. Not really worth the price to walk around the top of a building for 10 minutes and then leave. BUT, now I can say that we did it, and also Emma too, so she doesn't have to go up again either. We did get some pretty great pictures out of it all, so I am happy about that!

Right before we went up...

 We did go out on the glass ledge windows, and that was pretty intense! I was terrified, being afraid of heights and all, and could not look down. Matt had to go out first, and then I grabbed his hand and looked straight out to get the picture. I accidentally looked down as I was getting off the ledge, and my knees buckled! It was scary!

Matt on the glass ledge
Matt taking a video of the view...

I kept it together for the camera...
Notice my grip on the blanket... I was so nervous!

We went to lunch at Elephant and Castle, a cute little pub restaurant in the financial district of Chicago. Everything was delicious, just as we remembered it! The rain started to come down right as we were finishing, so Matt's Dad ran (literally) back to the car that was parked blocks away to come pick us up. He is so great, and we love him!! We made it back to Ottawa safely, and the sun even decided to come out. 
 After we got back, we went for a walk around the neighborhood and took some pictures of Ottawa and a couple family shots. It is a beautiful town, surrounded with lots of rivers and trees! We are so grateful we were able to visit! 

Matt and his Momma

Emma singing!

She loves putting one foot in the air...

Her new thing is to play "shy" when you look at her

Then she looks to see if you are still looking... and laugh

The town of Ottawa, IL

Ohana Means Family

On Saturday after we arrived in Illinois, Matt's Mom invited all of Matt's extended family over for a BBQ so they could see Emma, Matt, and I. Most of them weren't able to come to the wedding, so it had been about 2 years since we had seen them. Emma was passed around from Aunt to Aunt, Uncle to Uncle, etc, and didn't even mind. Matt's cousin Savannah has a son (J.J.) who is 9 months old, and Emma had fun playing with him. She was probably just jealous that he was mobile (he's crawling), and she hadn't figured that out yet. It was so great to see everyone, and the dinner was yummy! Emma loved seeing all the new faces.  I was also able to put faces to names, finally! We already miss you all so much!!

Emma and Aunt Kathy

Uncle Kenny and Aunt Tonya

Cute Lil J.J.!

The gang outside, up to no good I'm sure! :)

Savannah and JJ

Emma with Uncle Randy, love the expression!

Emma had to have his hat...

There were many more people there than what you see in the pictures, we just didn't get everyone captured on film! It was so good to see everyone, and we hope it's not 2 years again before we see you all again! I absolutely love Matt's family, they may be a crazy bunch, but there's nothing like Family. It reminds me of a quote that I love from one of my favorite Disney movies, Lilo and Stitch- "Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten." "This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good" 

 I love my own family, as well as Matt's. No matter what, family is always there for you. I am so thankful that Matt and I have an eternal family, and that we can be with Emma and our future kids forever. Our family is something that does not end when we die, I know I will see them after this life is over. It is a great blessing that I know I will not fully comprehend until I am able to partake of it in Heaven. Ohana means Family.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Emma's First's in Illinois!

Emma had a great trip, and also experienced a few "firsts" in Illinois:

First Oreo Cookie 

Grandpa Entwistle said it was time for Emma to have her first Oreo cookie. She loved it (I think), and made a nice mess of herself (we made Grandpa and Grandma clean her up). Here are some pictures and the video of the Oreo mess:

First Swing ride 

Ok, so the baby swing we have at our house doesn't really count! We took Emma to the neighborhood park, and put her in the swing. She loved it! She likes to "sing" as we call it, where she just opens her mouth and makes a singing noise. She was doing that while swinging, and laughing. It was a lot of fun to see her enjoy the swing! We will definitely be taking her on swings again! Here's the video and pictures:


First Airplane ride

Emma did so great on the plane, we thought for sure take off and landing would be an issue, and came ready with binky's and a bottle for her to suck on during those times. On our way to Illinois, she started giggling during take off, and didn't need her binky at all. She did awesome, and I am so thankful for that! Matt and I were both anxious to go to the airport with her, so we made a couple of checkpoints and after we passed each one, we'd look at eachother and say, "we made it through security, CHECK". It is a little nerve racking taking kids to the airport, I am so glad we made it through with no problems. It was a 3 hour flight, and Emma took good naps on the way to Illinois and also coming home. She made lots of friends on the flight, and got lots of smiles from everyone on the plane. She is such a charmer!

All in all, Emma had a great couple of "firsts" on her first vacation to Illinois. We love her so much, and being able to witness all of these new experiences with her are priceless! We love you Emma!

Matthiessen State Park & Starved Rock State Park

The biggest difference between Utah and Illinois (besides not having mountains) is that in Illinois, there are forests. I mean large, dense forests everywhere you turn! In every neighborhood you can find a forest to walk into, and quite possibly get lost. Matt's parents live in Ottawa, and within 20 mins there are these amazing dells and hiking trails. We visited Matthiessen State park, and Starved Rock. You can learn more about Starved Rock here. To Find out more about Matthiessen State Park, go here. I have never seen anything like it! You walk into a shade of trees and all you can hear are the crickets, birds, and the wind blowing through the trees. If you are ever near the area, please check it out! Matt and I both agreed that we would hike much more often if we had trails similar to Illinois here in Utah. You instantly get out of the heat, and you are welcomed by the cool breeze and shaded by the trees. Here are the pictures we took, amazing!!

Matthiessen State Park

The Fam at Matthiessen Park

The view of the lower dells from the bridge

Patti on the bridge, we were down below

One of the smaller dells

Inside one of the many mini caves carved out by erosion

The rocks look tough, but they are just limestone! They break easily and can be carved into

Inside another cave

Took this one to give you an idea of how big this place is! Look at the people by the cave, this place is huge!

 Starved Rock State Park

The ground is all limestone sand from rocks that have eroded, it was so cool!

One of the waterfalls, it wasn't very big since it was September. In the spring it's a lot bigger


I know it's dark, but this is another eroded cave in the park

Brad found a mushroom, but I forgot the name already. Go me :)

Happy girl! She loved going on hikes and sang the whole way!

Me and my sweet girl by one of the giant bridges

The leaves started to change, it was so beautiful!!