This year we decided to take a Thanksgiving family road trip to visit BC's family in Kansas. The drive is about 12-13 hours, and we broke it up over 2 days, staying in Oklahoma City between drives. Iyla did GREAT in the car… happy as could be watching endless iPad movies. As a general rule we don't have much screen time at home, so this was indeed a special treat for her! I did make a concerted effort to alternate with reading books & playing with toys, though in the end she usually just wanted the iPad.
We got to meet the newest member of the family, sweet 10 month old Crosby:
The elusive car nap. Iyla is an excellent sleeper at home and usually naps 2-2.5 hours. However, in the car? We are lucky if we get 30-40 minutes.
First stop: Oklahoma City! Happily the only increment weather we had this year was torrential rain -not super fun to drive in but tolerable. A huge improvement over the category 5 tornado we had on our last visit through town!
Then we were off to Kansas. We stayed with BC brother's family, which includes 3 boy cousins ages 5, 10, & 12. That first night those boys had Iyla in absolute stitches laughing- it was such a delight to hear! Iyla doesn't laugh very often, so when the belly laughs do come, it totally lights up the room.
Love these boys
Naps in cousin Jake's room looked a little different from home!
One huge advantage of Holidays with family? A Grandma who loves to spend time with & babysit Iyla! I got to go out with my sweet sister-in-law Jules for a girls' night while BC went out with his brother & the boys to a Kansas Jayhawks game. BC and I also enjoyed a lovely and much needed date night later that week.
Iyla was indoctrinated into BC's alma mater, the University of Kansas, with her first official Jayhawk gear:
Her post nap hair was amazing that day
On Thanksgiving proper, BC's brother's family hosted a fantastic party & feast with 21 people. This was a bit of a struggle for Iyla, who consistently shows us she does NOT enjoy large groups or having to interact with lots of people she isn't intimately familiar with. There was quite a lot of fussing & pulling Mama by the hand back upstairs, where Iyla told me she wanted "just a little bit of quiet." I hear 'ya kiddo. I get it. It still made for a bit of a difficult holiday from my end, as Iyla wasn't all too keen to have me interacting with others either! She's lucky she's so cute. : )
A Holiday message from Iyla
We departed the day after Thanksgiving, happily having a safe and uneventful journey back into Austin. Upon arrival we went straight to one of our favorite neighborhood haunts- the Weatherup- to grab dinner & a cocktail before heading home.
Our pants free toddler taking a moment to luxuriate in prosciutto bliss
One of the best parts about traveling? Coming home again! It was sweet to see how excited Iyla was to rediscover all of her toys. She was especially excited to see our kitty Sam, and has been giving him huge hugs ever since our return.
Thanks to all of our beloved Kansas family for such a wonderful trip!