OK about my very sad post the other day- thank you for your good thoughts ad well wishes, I think you helped. I worked Hospice for years.....and around here, these things have always seemed to come inhuge clusters......always has since I was in like 3rd grade......Life goes on.I hold on to precious memories. Some of the spark is back, YAY.... and per GM thread this morning..Yes, we DID go anyway, in spite of the weather. OMG the roads were SO horrid.....I do NOT do expressways.so for us the trip is slightly longer becuz of that fact....(after my illness hit, merging etc in the city area of chicago is just too fast for me---safer for us to stay to non expressways) But we plugged along, me in my durango and easy child behind me in our jeep-----I had difficult child and OC had her boyfriend and my son. We stayed around 20 MPH....my county was the worst of all, nothing had been plowed or salted and drifitig here in the country was wicked. It stayed minus 5 the whole time....with minus 50 windchiill. the cars could not keep u with the temp-----but I packed us small blankets for our laps, extra socks, gloves, etc and water and chocolate etc We had the best time. We do not see family near often enough.I am oldest by far (one of my broothers is 30 years younger than me).....my sibs are still in the young child and work lots part of life.....and we had a long estrangement in there. I did not get to spend the day with my husband becuz he has continued tobe estranged from my family....but.he is happy I HAVE family....(his is all long gone) It was so fun to watch all the ages interact and cominngle...my brother who hoosted is a ministr and his chucrch has him in a huge house -the hosue itself has several room the church uses for preschool, youth group and scouts......but since it is IN my brothers living space, he gets to use it for his gatherings, to0. So we had such a good time. It never did warm up, BUT no new snow fell, after all, as far as I could see, LOL........truth is my brother is a south burb of city and I am far north.....and at least he had FAR less snow.....BUT I DID make sure to show him on my cell phone photos of MY snow.lest they think I am behaving like "an old lady" but I also took the opportunity to announce to all of them, hey.I AM an "old lady" for I am now technicallly the matriarch, LOL......BUT then I got down on the floor and popped a 3 yr old nephew onmy back and engaged in Thomas Tank Engine play while also playing webkinz with a 3 yr old neice, LOL. LOL. Then I informed my 19 yr old nephews new girlfriend, I am his "goofy" aunt......becuz as far as I know, everyone has a goofy aunt, a mean aunt etc.and we all KNOW my nephews mom is The Mean AUnt.......and it IS common knowledge *I* am the silly one.....so it is ME who will play with kids.and buy all the cool toys. Cuz I like toys maybe even more than the kids do, LOL. and yes, it was family so we did get in a little mushiness, too.....OK by me, I am mushy. Thankfully the trip home was slightly better.....at least on way home no cars were off the road at OHare, but we saw our Krispy Kreme there is now gone... darn. BUT it never did get any warmer, all day. So we are EXHAUSTED being hypervigilant on those roads.......but, we all decided we were so glad we DID go. I think my car defroster windburned my eyes and lips, tho, LOL.and the kids, too said same thing. we all have burning eyes and dry lips. Small price to pay for such a nice day. Yup, I will treasure today, for sure. AND.......they are ALL excited about our new baby to be. Yay!