Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we will travel to the capital city to pick up my mother-in-law, who is coming for a visit! We are so excited!
It seems like the plans for this trip have been in the works for ages, but suddenly, the time has arrived! We are so thankful that Ann was willing to travel by herself across the ocean in order to see us. (Ann has been widowed since 1994). The girls are super excited for Grandma Ann to be here, and have been busy coloring pictures and choosing books for Grandma's bedside table. We are moving Christin in with the big girls for the duration of the visit so that Ann can have her own room.
I am so thankful that none of the standard mother-in-law jokes apply to me. I have always appreciated my mother-in-law, Ann, and I feel like we have an open and enjoyable relationship. She has been an encouragement to me on many occasions and I know is faithful in prayer for our family. Shortly after John and I were married, she even lived with us for about a year! We got along wonderfully then (of course it helped that when I would come home from a long day of school/work she would have the house tidy and some supper ready, who wouldn't love that!) and so I am really looking forward to spending these three weeks with her.
Most of all, I am looking forward to giving her time to interact with the girls and love on them. One of the hardest things about living here is keeping my children away from their grandparents. We try to keep in touch through phone calls, emails, webcam, etc, but Ann has had some trouble with the technological side of things so our contact with her has been more limited than with my parents. So I hope this visit will go a long ways to establishing some great relationships with the girls and making lots of memories.
We have some fun things planned, including the opening ceremonies of this country's national games, which are being held in our city with other events around the province. For several years now, we've noticed serious efforts at giving our city a "face lift"--improving the looks of existing buildings, tearing down old buildings, putting up newer, nicer cosmetic touches--it's a fine time for Ann to be visiting! The lake in the center of the city has a newly-opened, expanded section which makes the lake park almost double in size. It's lovely! All of this was ostensibly for the national games, but hopefully we'll be able to appreciate the benefits for the years to come.
The national games have their opening ceremony on the 17th, and we managed to get some tickets! That will be an experience! We hope to attend a few of the sporting events as well. Though, strangely enough, some of the events are already complete--before the games have officially started! Gymnastics is one of them, too bad. We hope to see a baseball game and maybe some equestrian events.
So, our very special guest will be leaving in a few hours from America. She has said that she was a bit nervous about flying alone--getting to where she needs to be, not getting lost or late or on the wrong plane. We offered our reassurances but I think she was still a bit nervous. We'll be praying her over! Welcome, Grandma Ann! We're excited that you're coming to visit!