Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama

Okay, y'all are really sweet for encouraging me to keep blogging. And Chey-Anne...checking here every week? Really? You're a sweetheart!

After camp, the next big thing on our calendar was a trip to Alabama. And when I say “our,” I mean Eli, Landon, Harper, and myself.

By ourselves.

The week leading up to this trip I vacillated between “this is crazy and I can definitely not do this by myself” and “I can do anything! And I can certainly go on a little trip by myself, with my children, to see my family.” It complicated things a little when Harper came down with a horrific cough a few days before we were supposed to leave. I was on the phone with her doctors several times that week and they assured me (after I made them sit on the phone and listen to her cough) that she was going to make it okay. I still hadn’t decided whether or not we were going all the way to Alabama, but I packed enough clothes for a year, loaded my car down, and headed to Dallas…still postponing the big decision until after the weekend. We spent the weekend with Mom and Mike.

Monday morning arrives and I drag my feet for several hours until I finally thought:

1. I’m not going to have this opportunity for very many more years. Once the kids get involved in school and activities, it’s a lot harder to just up and leave for 10 days.

2. I haven’t seen my grandparents in two years. They haven’t even met Harper and I know they are dying to!

3. All but one of my siblings are going to be there and you know how I can’t miss out on anything.

So I threw the kids in the car and headed for the state line, refusing to think about all of the bad things that could happen in the backwoods of Arkansas, the car trouble I could have, the screaming and crying that could take place over the next 12 hours, or the inevitable loss of sanity that was coming. And can we all take a moment to remember the last time I took the boys to Alabama by myself? I'm a glutton for punishment.

It took much longer than 12 hours. It took 19.

Katelyn (my saint of a little sister) was with me for the ride down. That day, we had several bouts of torrential rain, one instance of vomit, one total and utter blowout of a poopy diaper, 5 chipped teeth (Katelyn’s), and one hour spent lost. But we made it. 19 long and gory hours later, we pulled into my grandparent’s drive way and I’ve never been so happy to let my kids run wild (at 2:00 in the morning).

You know what else we had? Not.One.Single.Tear! I still to this day cannot believe it, but it’s true. No one cried (not even me). Thank you, Lord!

The trip was great. We hung out with grandparents, Dad, Anita, cousins, aunts, uncles, and siblings. We played Mexican Train every single night. We ate good food. And we even went to the Space Museum one day to see the rockets. It was a great visit!

And then we missed Dustin so terribly bad that we loaded up and drove home to see him (without Katelyn this time). I came dangerously close to running out of fuel somewhere in Arkansas in the middle of construction and I did get a speeding ticket on the way home (confession), but other than that, we had a very peaceful and easy ride home. Harper (who didn’t sleep much the whole time we were there. Ugh!) slept for most of the way home. I mean it. The drive to Dallas took about 13 hours and Harper slept the majority of it. Another blessing from above. We spent the night there before heading home the next day.

I can’t say it wasn’t hard. Some days it’s hard to just make it through the day until Dustin gets home from work, so it was definitely hard to be a single parent for 10 days.

But now that I’m several months removed from the trip, I can definitely say it was worth it :)

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