We got back late last night from our annual Spohr Family Trip to Arizona for Spring Training. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to join Mike and Annie until just a few days before, when Dr. Risky cleared me to go. Her only caveat was that I not fly, which wasn’t our plan anyway. But she also laughed and said, “Driving to Arizona while you have hyperemesis? And a three-year-old? Are you sure it wouldn’t be more relaxing to stay home?”

And yes, of course it would have been relaxing to be home alone. But it would have been lonely, so away we all went on Friday. The drive there was much, MUCH better than I expected. We stopped three times – once to get gas/food, and twice because Annie asked to use the bathroom. Not bad at all for an over 400-mile trip.

The weekend was filled with swimming, dancing, and cousin-love.

I love this one.

watching the line dancers
Desperately trying to learn how to line dance.

cousin love
Cousins and best buddies.

Of course, there was lots of baseball, too, but I skipped most of that this year. I went to a few innings of a game on Saturday, but I listened to my body’s cues and left early. Annie went to two games with her dad and thoroughly enjoyed herself (and the food) at both ballparks.

watching baseball

Mike and Annie let me do a lot of resting, and I was very grateful. My hyperemesis has been a little more…active…as I try to adjust to the requirements of gestational diabetes, so I’ve been feeling a bit worn out. Even though I was able to sit by the pool while Mike and Annie swam, or afforded nap time while they were at a baseball game, there’s just something about being away from the comforts of home that makes me tired. But a bit of extra-exhaustion was worth the fun, and seeing Annie have a perma-smile was a great energy boost.

This was my ninth time going to Spring Training with Mike’s family. We’ve slowly been adding more kids, and next year we’ll bring The Acrobat, the final grandchild on the Spohr side. Maddie went with us to Spring Training less than a month before she died, and that was where her bond with her two older cousins was cemented. This trip is always going to have rough spots for me emotionally (I had a tradition of calling Jackie from the warm baseball stands to rub it in her cold San Francisco nose), but it has so many bright spots, too. It’s going to be great to bring our baby next year. That’s not a bright spot – that’s a beacon.