They used to live here and I have so many sweet memories of them:
- I met them when I was sixteen working at First United Methodist Church. Lisle and I met first and I called him Mr. Outrageous. He was such a fun person and kind husband to Diane. I told my Mom that I hoped to meet someone just as great one day to marry (guess what, I did!).
- Diane and I had 30 years between us, but it never mattered. We were fast friends. She and I went through "clown college" together and visited hospitals and did performances as clowns. I remember a worship service where we performed as clowns and our friend Dee's wig caught on fire and Diane and I had to *quietly* put it out!
- We were wedding coordinators together and spent many a summer Saturday helping couples with their special days.
- Lisle, Mom and me sang songs from Sister Act for the church vaudeville show. We all dressed as nuns - the Metho-Nuns. We came out with our heads bowed and what a surprise when we lifted our heads with tall Lisle and his moustache!
- She was the first to serve me tofu in a chocolate dessert. And also the first to get me to try soy milk, but we laughed when it was expired so it scared me off from that first taste!
- I housesat for them when they were out of town and even had sleepovers with them - just for fun.
- She was the first to turn me on to garage saling and thrift stores. One day, we even made a special trip to Bellevue to visit their huge Goodwill. We outfitted my first apartment in Pullman with second hand fun things!
- Lisle and Diane were both grief counselors. I had no idea how important that would be for me in the future.
The Friday before we left Elyse ended up with a fever of 101. I was nervous she wouldn't be well enough for us to leave on Sunday.
She was a 100 percent better on Saturday morning. We headed downtown to get Lisle and Diane some local Olympia treats - lotion and goodies from Archibald Sisters and Dancing Goats coffee from Batdorf and Bronson.
Saturday afternoon after Elyse's nap, we headed up to Seattle. We had a lovely visit and dinner with friends' Beth, Shileen and Jack and stayed in a hotel. It was great having time with friends. And also to have some extra special time as a family before we left Daddy. We were going to miss him and sad he couldn't come with us. Daddy went and got us a piece of tiramisu for dessert - yum. Look at the weather we were leaving behind!
Sunday morning was an early flight. Elyse watched Caillou and looked outside at the planes while we waited for our flight. She was a very good girl.
Diane borrowed a pack and play and high chair and we rented a car seat. Super convenient. Elyse is completely over sitting in her high chair at home, but loved it at Lisle and Diane's. Monday morning I found Elyse like this when I came out of the bathroom.
Can you see why she was so engaged? Breakfast and Dora - lucky girl!
She was fascinated with this sheep. Diane had a special rocking chair for her.
At the Venetian.
She loved listening to the opera singers in the gondolas - just like Aunt OJ!
We had planned to visit the wax museum at the Mirage. But, it would have been almost $50 for the three of us. We decided to pose with the ones outside instead. Wow, The Rock is tall.
And ol' Jessica Simpson.
We went to a local park and fed the ducks. And some pigeons too.
This big guy was very cool.
We played at the playground.
This was shortly before an accident that about stopped my heart.
The last picture I took before I quickly dropped my camera. Diane chased Elyse around the corner and she ran straight into a horizontal pole that was at eye level. It made a horrifying sound when she hit it and knocked her backwards and flat on her back. It was TERRIBLE. Amazingly, she wasn't hurt badly. She took a painkiller that night and was fine by the next morning. Incredible. I am so thankful Elyse didn't see her fall - and that she was not hurt badly!
She was fine the next morning. We were out early for some exercise. Elyse was happy in her pajamas in the sunshine.
Quick back story... the morning we arrived in Las Vegas, we had to go down a floor to get to baggage claim. The elevator was out of order. I crazily thought I could collapse the stroller and carry it, my backpack, diaper bag and hold Elyse's hand. It was dumb - like it could have been a safety video from work of dumb accidents. Fortunately, we were at the top of the escalator and had only one casualty - Elyse's baby doll fell. She screamed bloody murder as the little baby doll slowly traveled down the escalator steps. It was enough to stop me from trying it myself - that could have been Elyse instead of the baby doll!! A blessing arrived as the lady we had sat next to on the airplane saw us. She ran up to us when she saw I had my hands full and a crying little girl. She carried Elyse down the escalator and I carried our gear safely down and rescued baby doll at the bottom. Wow.
The rest of the week she would show that baby doll (a gift from Beth and Shileen) to everyone and say, "Baby fall down!!"
When we traveled on any escalator or moving sideway, she'd hold the baby tightly on top of her head as pictured below.
View from the Mirage to the Venetian and Treasure Island.
She liked the dolphins, but was a little afraid as they got pretty close. She watched them with her hands over her face, peering through her fingers.
The dolphins were so adorable. I loved them.
The tigers were absoltuely beautiful.
I couldn't get over the lions. It was Vegas - they must groom their fur. It looked like my dog Annie's after I'd brushed it out. They were beautiful!!
Lisle and Diane had a dog door for their three doggies. Elyse quickly figured that out and would escape to the backyard - day and night! Here she is in action.
Diane found this HUGE white tiger at a garage sale. It was over $300 at the Siegfried and Roy gift store - but Diane got hers for a buck. Elyse LOVED it.
She had a good nap that day, but had terrible coughing spells that night. She ended up not going to sleep until well after 11 because her cough wouldn't let up. Some Children's Motrin finally helped her settle to sleep. Again, she was much better the next day.
In the morning, we went shopping to Daddy's Adidas and I sent him pics of shoes to choose from.
They had a children's book reading and songs. Elyse enjoyed it.
And after the reading/songs, each child got a sticker that entitled them to TWO free rides on the carousel. She absolutely loved it.
Another Henderson morning of beautiful weather and exercise.
Grandma Diane shopped in Chicos and Elyse had a snack.
The huge shopping center had a great place for kids to play
Back at home for a nap, I worked on a craft project (chalkboard labels I got at Hobby Lobby) while Diane sewed a project for a friend. I took a picture of this figurine my Grandma Jo made for Lisle in honor of our Metho-Nuns (Mom, Lisle and me). Lisle has this proudly displayed in his office.
Elyse liked looking at the doggie pics and videos on Grandma Diane's phone.
Mama did get a new cosmetic bag from Kate Spade. And it's not PINK or even ORANGE. What is going on?
On the plane ride home, Elyse slept the entire way after a little help from Melatonin. Unfortunately, her diaper leaked. It soaked her shirt and pants and I only had clean pants in the diaper bag. I got this shirt on clearance at Life is Good. It was way too big and Christmas, but at least she didn't have to sit in soaked clothes while we waited for our luggage. Here she is happily eating her cheese Daddy brought her. We were real happy to see him!
It was a wonderful trip of catching up with dear friends. I am just sick that I didn't get one picture of Lisle. But, here is in a pic I snagged off Facebook - Diane as a clown and wonderful, Lisle.
Thankful for such well-loved friends! I already miss them.