Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Great Escape!

The weekend before last I got the greatest Mother’s day present ever---a 5 day vacation! Jayson had a free plane ticket that was about to expire, and his company was requiring everyone to take a week of vacation this quarter anyway, so he let me use his ticket and he stayed home with all the kids. What a great guy! Don’t worry, he did have help---my friend Virgina, who can pretty much run things at my house blindfolded with both arms tied behind her back, practically moved in to help out while I was gone. There were also several other friends who, when they found out I was gone, brought over meals or picked up one or two of the babies for an afternoon playdate.

I spent my five, kid-free days in Utah. Both of my parents are from Orem, Utah, so I have lots of family members there, including my grandparents whom I don’t get to see very often anymore. I also timed my trip so that I could attend Women’s Conference, an annual event put on by Brigham Young University (my Alma mater). My mom flew in from Phoenix to attend Women’s Conference with me.

The Women’s Conference was Thursday and Friday. The theme for the conference was “In the Strength of the Lord”. We enjoyed hearing from several speakers. My favorites were Jon Bytheway, Brad Wilcox, and L. Tom Perry. Thursday night there was a concert featuring several LDS musicians. After spending two days listening to uplifting and motivational talks and listening to beautiful music, I really feel like my spirit and my psyche got a much-needed boost!

My mom (Betty Ann), myself and my Grandma Rappleye at the BYU Women's Conference

Me and my mom in front of the Ernest L. Wilkinson Center. (no relation to me, but cool last name all the same!) "Y" mountain in the background.

At the conference, we ran into my friend Christina Brian. Christina and I lived a few streets apart when we were growing up. We went to high school together (though she was a grade younger) and attended the same church. She has a set of twin girls and a set of triplet boys. Coincidentally, she was pregnant with her triplets at the same time I was pregnant with the quints, and we both had the same doctor--Dr. Elliott.

Both my sister Tiare and my brother, Shane attend BYU and are living in Provo for the summer. They both have full-time jobs, but we were able to meet up with them for dinner every night while we were there.

Shane and Mom

Rachelle and Tiare

Saturday morning we got up bright and early (and I mean EARLY!) so that we could go to the temple. My Grandma Rappleye plays the organ at the Mount Timpanogos Temple on Saturday mornings. It was cold and rainy outside, but inside the temple was peaceful and beautiful. For more information on LDS Temples, click HERE.

Mount Timpanogos Temple

Saturday afternoon I met up with my good friend Meagan, who used to live around the corner from us here in Texas. Meagan was babysitting my kids while I was at the doctor’s office on that monumental day when we found out we were having quintuplets. She was the first person I told and the first shoulder I cried on. She moved to Utah about halfway through my pregnancy, and I was really sad to see her go!

Rachelle and Meagan

Sunday was filled with family activities. We went to my cousin’s baby blessing in Springville, my aunt’s Relief Society lesson in Eagle Mountain, a family gathering (for my dad’s side of the family) at my grandparents home in Orem, and an extended family home evening (for my mom’s side of the family) in South Jordan. Did I mention that I have A LOT of family members in Utah???

In between family gatherings, we managed to have dinner with my Uncle Alan and Aunt Kathy Sue

Making dinner with my cousin, Heather

The great gathering of Curtis' (my dad's side of the family)

Me with my Aunt Debbie (my dad's sister). My siblings all think I look just like her.

Grandma Rappleye with my cousin Noelle's baby who was only one day old!

Monday I squeezed in a quick visit with Megan (Jayson’s sister) and Alex (her husband) before doing some last minute shopping and one last lunch with my mom, sister and grandma. Then it was time to fly home and go back to “real life”.

Alex, Megan and Rachelle

When I returned home, everything was in perfect order. Jayson said he actually did less work with me gone than he does when I am here. I gave Virginia specific instructions that she was not to make things too easy for him---so that he would appreciate me when I got back! Clearly she didn’t listen to me on that one, but it is probably better that way---since it wasn’t too painful, Jayson might be willing to let me go again sometime!!

It was a much needed break and I am so grateful to Jayson and Virginia for making it possible!

My Trip, By the numbers:

0 = The number of poopy diapers I changed
15 = The number of meals I ate without cutting up someone else’s food
16 = The number of speakers I listened to at Women’s Conference
2 = The number of BYU Mint Brownies I ate—YUM!
2 = The number of favorite restaurants from my BYU days that I revisited (Café Rio and Hogi Yogi)
1 = The number new restaurants I tried that I am adding to my favorites list (Zupa’s—great salads and sandwiches and every meal comes with a chocolate covered strawberry!)
1 = The number of “chick flicks” I went to (17 Again)
2 = The number of pounds of chocolate covered cinnamon bears I brought back for Jayson and the kids
20 = The number of pounds of Miller’s creamy honey I brought back (it is the best!)
77 = The number of family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc) that I was able to see in Utah

Of course, no post could be complete without at least a few pictures of the kids!

The week before my trip, Riley competed in the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race. His car won first prize in both speed and design. He was so excited! So was Jayson----my dad made some pretty great pinewood derby cars with my brothers growing up, so I think he really felt the pressure :-)

Riley with his car and two trophies!

Riley's "Batmobile" Pinewood Derby car

Kaiya at her Kindergarten student-led conference. Kaiya has really done well in school this year. She has made amazing progress in her reading skills.

Fun with bubbles!! Ryder, Rustin, Kyndall, Kassidy, Kaydence

Early morning bottle: Kaydence, Kaiya, Rustin, Kyndall, Ryder, and Kassidy


Sunday, May 10, 2009

7 Reasons Why I Love Being a Mom

#1 Riley

#2 Kaiya

#3 Kassidy

#4 Kaydence

#5 Rustin

#6 Kyndall

#7 Ryder