These last two weeks have been busy beyond measure as we hopped from one event to the next! We started out with a visit from my mom, which brings Addie pure melt-your-heart happiness. My mom was basically her other parent for nine months during Tim's deployment; thus, the two are inevitably bonded.
Following her arrival, we hosted a party for Tim's soldiers as a farewell and thanks before he changed out of command the next week. We prepared appetizers and drinks for a happy hour shindig that lasted long after happy hour. We so enjoyed mingling with everyone and will dearly miss this fellowship. The highlight for Adeline was definitely the jumping castle. At first she just sat there, then bounced while she sat, and eventually made her way to running all over the castle with glee.
Then it was time to prepare for Easter before our next guests arrived for Tim's change of command. I picked up some cards and stickers for Adeline to decorate, but in all the rush of events, we never got them sent out. So, next year you'll get this year's intended cards, Family =). Then, we put some wall decals on the window to decorate for the upcoming holiday. Addie likes to take things off as soon as she puts them on, so the decals didn't stick around for too long.
Next, we visited some dear friends for lunch, who passed down their daughter's ball pit to Adeline when we left. She's in LOVE! If you need to get some things done around the house, get your kid a ball pit! She's entirely occupied with it =).
Shortly after, Tim's parents arrived and we headed to the airfield to see Tim's last flight as a company commander. It was a truly awesome experience and symbolic of his endless work and dedication to his team over the last 21 months. Six Apaches were planned for the flight, but one had to return for maintenance issues, so we watched five helicopters take off that afternoon.
We took a quick trip to the rose garden, headed home to feed Addie dinner, and then raced back to the airfield to see Tim land. One of his crew chiefs allowed me to put on a headset to hear all the communications upon landing and speak to Tim, which was a neat experience. The next day we attended Tim's change of command ceremony, where he handed over his soldiers to a new commander. It was a tough task, after three years with Charlie Company. These men and women are his family. They've been through two deployment together, lost a brother at war, trained endlessly, and supported one another through it all. Tim was blessed to command the absolute best company in the Army, no comparison! I can't express how proud I am of him for leading these soldiers. Over and over and over soldiers tell me he is the best commander they've ever worked for in their military career. Tim poured his heart and soul into this job and we'll remember it fondly for the rest of our lives (minus all the long hours, middle of the night phone calls and deployments, ha).
Right after the ceremony, we packed up and headed to Cloudcroft, NM with Tim's family for a weekend getaway. We stayed in a beautiful cabin, watched the kiddos play, went for walks, the guys golfed, and the ladies got massages. On our trip down from the mountain we stopped at White Sands for some sledding. It POURED on our way there so I didn't think we'd be able to play, but as soon as we pulled into the park the rain stopped and the weather couldn't have been better.
The next morning was Easter, which we started off with a beautiful church service. After Addie napped, she woke to her Easter basket (a shopping cart). This girl is really into pushing things right now, so she was one happy lady!
Next, we took Addie to her first show--Sesame Street Live. She probably had the best time of her life. We all know she loves to dance, and boy, did she ever dance! Hips shaking, hands clapping, arms waving! It was a blast to watch her excitement over Elmo and the music. We also bought her some cotton candy, which she was not a fan of, but continued to keep sampling. This video doesn't capture the half of it, but gives you a taste =).
We ended the afternoon with a cascarones (confetti filled eggs) hunt. Cascarones are a Mexican tradition and since we're in El Paso it was only fitting. I didn't think Addie would quite understand the concept of hunting eggs yet, but she picked it up RIGHT away, finding each egg and placing it in her basket. She accidentally dropped one, discovering the confetti inside, and then proceeded to try and shake or break each egg. It's good luck to have a cascarone broken over your head so we each took turns receiving our good luck.
With EVERYTHING going on, I never had time to plan an Easter meal so we called in an old favorite--Papa John's Pizza. However, we did eat use our china dishes, so that's something =).