Tuesday, November 28, 2017

WHEN IN ROME...rogers edition.

So it's pretty much a dream to be reunited with all of your siblings, and dad, in EUROPE. We just aren't one of those rich families who travel around the world together. My brothers had never been to Europe, so I was excited to give them a good little taste. Starting with Rome!! It was a giddy reunion when my siblings started flooding out of Jeff's car, after having been smashed in there like sardines, and almost getting knocked over when my big, little brothers hugged me. 

We wasted no time, and left for Rome the very next morning. We all flew together which was totally fun. We scored $30 round trip tickets to Rome, I mean how can you say no to that? After a little bit of drama with our hotel room, we arrived at our really nice 3 bedroom airbnb and tested out the super comfy beds...but had to cut the bed testing short because I knew my jet lagged family would ruin their trip if they kept sleeping. So we ventured out to St. Peter's square, only after getting a first taste of italian pizza. It didn't disappoint, but we were also starving so it's hard to be a critic in that type of situation. I went home early with the girls that evening (I was feeling sick) while everyone else explored until dark. They came home and we all went out to dinner. After weaving around a few neighborhoods in the darkness, we found ourselves in front of a literal hole in the wall. But not in a good way. The waitress looked at us as if she had never seen an american. And as much as we all tried to have positive attitudes while we were there, it was GROSS, and Jeff & the boys deemed it necessary to hit up a McDonalds on the way home because their man stomaches were not satisfied. But I mean, you can't appreciate the fabulous eats without experiencing some of the not so fabulous...

 ^^ true americans, eating mcdonalds for breakfast every morning. It was right next door and just too convenient.
 ^^ jeff trying to "teach jane a lesson" about how if she walks into the road she will get smashed and killed by those crazy italian cars. He is not one to beat around the bush.
 St. Peters Square with the original FOUR. I seriously love those people. And long cardigans are cute and everything, but paired with a regular short jacket...looks like I am wearing a cape.
 CLASSIC LYLA, begging for anyone, ANYONE, to hold her.
 CLASSIC JANE, sucking on her fingers, tag in the other hand, and cuddling.
 ^^ Maybe my favorite picture of the whole trip. True joy captured.
 Our first gelato stop, I almost didn't get any. Gelato has never really blown me away. I've tried it a ton, even in other places in Italy, so my expectations weren't too high. Holy cow, Rome turned me into a true believer. This gelato shop had us all gushing and sharing flavors and in pure heaven. We stopped here twice in one day. And once the next day. It wasn't enough.
 The girls were so adorable, wanting to share with each other the flavors they got. Just like me and my siblings were eager to share our favorite flavors with each other. Its true family love.
Will was spectacular with my girls. On their own accord, they started calling him WILLY. "hey willy!!" "Where are you Willy??" It was so ridiculously adorable. He spent most of his energy playing with them, throwing them in the air, and making a large space for himself in their little hearts.
 ^ my love, and my new second love ;) This combo was a winner, chocolate with  mint. holy cow....so good.
okay, okay...enough about the gelato.
 Our next stop was the Colliseum. We all loved it, and were so mesmerized. It's so crazy to think about how old this thing is. I handed my camera to Jane for awhile at this point and let her snap away on my camera. She was in heaven, and it was just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.
 Here is Lyla trying for the 100th time to escape past this gate. Couldn't turn my back for a second.
 What a classic...Brendon photobombing.
 This picture is a good summary of our entire week. Lyla entertaining the masses. She brought everyone a lot of joy and a lot of laughs. Also notice the gum in her mouth. She probably ate about 3 packs worth this week....always knowing exactly who to ask. Aunt Kacee or Aunt Rachel. Smart girl ;) It's realllllly hard to say no to that girl. "Rachel, I want gum, OKAY??"
 Will took a turn carrying Lyla in the hiking backpack. That thing with her in it is SO heavy. Here is Jeff relishing in his pack-free back. Sweet relief.
 We made a quick stop at the Trevi fountain, and I have to say it was more beautiful than I thought it would be. Truly spectacular.
^^ love him. He was an amazing tour guide, completely taking the reigns on all the public transportation and daily itinerary. I joked that if it weren't for him, we would all be walking around like a bag of question marks.
Sooooo many in people in Italy will come up to you and try to sell you things. Well Rachel fell for it, and she ended up paying this guy $15 for 2 string bracelets. Haha so obviously they had to be documented. When we first arrived, this one guy was trying to sell something to Will, and Will kept trying to politely decline, but to nobody's surprise, the guy would NOT stop. Finally Will and the guy got to where Jeff was. Jeff saw what was happening, put his hand out, and said as if he were talking to a 3 year old. "Pleas stop. Stop. Please turn around and walk away. Walk away right now." We were all laughing pretty hard. I mean, i have to give those guys credit for their persistance but you literally have to be THAT blunt for them to leave you alone. 
 One of the good eating out experiences. Lots of pizza. Lots of Bruschetta. Doesn't get old.
 The next day was thanksgiving! We spent the day cooking. By we, I mean me, my dad, and Kacee. Everyone else entertained the kids though so everyone did their part. It was a perfect Thanksgiving spent with people I love most in this world. Kacee went on a run, and took Jane for part of it. I snapped this absolutely adorable picture!! I love kacee! Also hated that I couldn't run with her....this pelvis just cant handle it atm.
 We managed to get everyone looking semi-decent to go out behind our house and snap some family pictures, with help from my neighbor. I recognize I come from a pretty good looking family but I can't help but feel that I kinda steal away from some of the beauty. That oversized shirt hiding a big belly and the pregnancy face is just not really up to the standards that the rest of my family is setting. Haha.
On friday, I stayed home with the kids (and Rachel) while Jeff took everyone to Prague. Then on saturday, we all went to a Christmas market and to Ikea. Both of which were much more exciting for the women involved, but the guys were good sports ;) I seriously loved wandering and driving around what has become our stomping ground with all my siblings. We had a blast.
Lyla was not selfish with her cuddles. It took her a little bit longer to warm up to Brendon, but I'd say they ended on a good note.
 I am so sad that my family is gone now. I definitely teared up a few times the day they left. As I was cleaning the house that was messy in the best way, carrying our kid sized basketball hoop back down to the basement. My brothers spent hours shooting on that thing, just like when we were growing up. Lyla and Jane were bored and didn't quite know what to do with themselves without a flock of aunts and uncles heeding to their every whim. Im grateful to have a family that makes it so hard to say goodbye. Im also grateful that there are 3 people I don't have to say goodbye to. Jeff, Jane, and Lyla. I love spending my life with them.


  1. Oh I love your family! I wish I could see them more like when we wereturn roomies. You really so have the best!

  2. Love this! You really have a great family! So glad you all had such a fun time!!! Love you all!

  3. My heart is all warm and fuzzy just thinking about how awesome this trip must have been for you! Amazing!



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