On a lighter note, I had to stop and give Ellie a break from the car ride in each direction. The random exit I took on the trip up ended up going into a mostly residential neighborhood... which meant no good places for Ellie and I to hang for a few minutes. But I did find a Dollar General store where we could walk the aisles for a while. Ellie found this package of tupperware (below) and proceeded to carry it around the store almost the whole time we were there. Too funny.
Meanwhile, on the home front... Brian was a tiling machine! He stayed behind on the Rockford trip to take advantage of the baby-less house and work hard on tiling our kitchen floor. It's a project we've really wanted to get done, but not something that's very feasible with Ellie under-foot. (It's especially hard because the kitchen is the only access between the front of the house and the upstairs... so we'd either end up trapped in the bedroom area or trapped in a section of the house with no bathroom... neither idea with a baby.) Anyhow, Brian worked so hard all weekend and got some major help from our friend, Abby. We are so grateful to have a huge chunk of the project done! We've got some grouting and lots of cleanup scheduled for every night this week... but YAY for the kitchen starting to come together. I'll post pictures soon!