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News from the Nest: Optimism prevails when weekend plans go awry

My family recently had a fun weekend planned in the Twin Cities. We were going to spend a few nights with my husband's cousin and his family, and also attend our first Twins baseball game at Target Field.

Earlier in the week, my husband spoke to his cousin and learned something had come up. They could no longer keep the plans with us, so we scrambled to come up with Plan B.

A week earlier, my husband's godfather had passed away, and the funeral was on Thursday. So, with our weekend plans still unknown, we packed a lot of clothes and headed to a small Minnesota farming town for the funeral.

The funeral was sad, of course, but as we all know, the only good part about funerals is the chance to see and catch up with relatives. After the funeral events, we let our kids swim at the hotel for a while and then went out for a nice supper with my husband's parents and relatives.

The next day was Friday, and our big Twins game was not until Saturday. After the kids swam for another three hours, we packed up and left the hotel. My only living grandparent lives in a town that was right on our way to Minneapolis, so we stopped by to see her. It was one of those unplanned visits, but I was so grateful that my kids, husband and I were able to spend a little extra time with her.

We didn't rest for long when we finally got to our hotel in Minneapolis. We wanted to take the kids to the Mall of America, and decided our mode of transportation would be the light rail. The kids had a great time riding the fast train.

The Mall was good to all of us. My daughter got her picture taken next to a giant Dora the Explorer mural; my son and husband got to go on the log chute ride; my favorite restaurant was chosen for supper; and my in-laws, who also were staying for the highly anticipated baseball game, had just one request: ice cream. So before we got back on the train, we all enjoyed a tasty treat.

Although incredibly exhausted and up two hours past her normal bedtime, my daughter didn't want to go to sleep that night. She wanted to go to the baseball game, and wanted to go now. Luckily, about 30 seconds later, she hit her pillow and was sound asleep.

Eight days before the big game, the weather was supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny. As the day got closer, however, the forecast for game day became less attractive. With an expected high of about 50 and an all-day chance of rain, we bundled up and headed to Target Field.

My husband is a huge baseball fan - only rivaling his father and his son - and had hoped to spend a lot of pregame time checking out the different memorabilia around the stadium. The rest of us did our best to be supportive, but as the rain and wind picked up and the temperature dropped, much of our time was spent under the heat lamps around the concourse.

My daughter went from person to person in our group batting her big blue eyes and asking to be carried everywhere. My son wanted to stop and buy items from every single booth we passed. Yet, overall, the little ones were so patient and never complained about the cold; in other words, they did much better than us adults.

About an hour after the game was supposed to have started, they announced that the game would be rescheduled. I was disappointed, but relieved. We were cold, tired of standing, and already had had too many $3 hot chocolates.

Tired, wet and all a little grumpy, we made our way back to our van and climbed in for the drive home. I commented to my husband about how the weekend was a bust. We were supposed to spend a sunny April weekend with his cousin and their kids and see our first Twins game at the new field. Instead, we started with a funeral and ended with a rain out.

I looked in the back seat at my son already sleeping and my daughter quietly singing to herself. That's when I realized it was actually a great family weekend. We were able to see many relatives, including my grandmother. We spent some great quality time with my husband's parents, the kids got to swim and see people and places they hadn't before. They had to practice patience, and taught us adults a thing or two about the trait, as well.

We all really had a great time.

What a great reminder that just because plans may not go as planned, that doesn't mean our time was a bust or waste. Many great memories are made by the unplanned.