Annalyse and I just returned from a wonderful, but very fast, trip to Michigan to visit extended family. Oh my. There was drama. There were emergencies. There were tears. There was humor. And there was, for sure, memory making.
But before all the details of our trip, I'm just wondering why it is such a production for me to get away for a few days? Grady heads out of town on business frequently and it involves nothing more than tossing a few clothes in his suitcase the morning he leaves and he's out the door after a quick kiss good bye.
Not so simple when I leave for a few days.
There are babysitters to line up, instructions to type, a fridge and cupboards to stock, underwear drawers that need to be full, dinners that need to be made ahead of time, clothes arranged and organized (because I fear what my boys may have looked like otherwise)... not to mention actually packing and preparing for me and my baby girl to travel.
Annaylse flew like a champ and made lots of friends on the plane. At one point I almost lost track of her because the flight attendant wanted to bring her to the front of the plane to introduce to another flight attendant. "She's just so cute I need to go show her off!" Um, okay... I think.
We had an hour delay in Cleveland and after several laps around the terminal, she fell asleep. Good thing since it was hours past her bedtime and I wanted to grab dinner.
On the final flight to Michigan, Annalyse and I sat next to a down-to-earth and wonderfully sweet man who was a very proud and very happy dairy farmer. If you've ever flown with a child in your lap, you understand that your ability to completely control flailing arms and kicking legs isn't entirely possible. Mr. Farmer was very gracious and offered kind smiles when he was bumped or had a toy dropped on him.
You are laughing right now, but I wasn't laughing then. What to do, what to do?! Unclenching a hand that was determined to fish out the lost Cheerio was impossible unless Mr. Farmer was willing to part with several of those dark arm hairs.
But, alas, Annalyse and I arrived in good ole Michigan and my parents were waiting for us at baggage claim. Actually, if I'm being honest, they were waiting as close to the "Do Not Pass" security gate as they could possibly get. My Mom taped our grand arrival, which was only magnified since we were escorted through the secret elevator and hallway via the very friendly and loud pilot, copilot, and flight attendant down to baggage claim.
First stop Thursday morning was to visit my Mom's parents, Annalyse's great grandparents. My Granny cried and wouldn't put Annalyse down. She was thrilled to hold and kiss and love her great granddaughter.
My Poppy is aging quickly and probably wasn't entirely sure who I was or who Annalyse was, but he sure did offer a nice lap for Annalyse to lounge in and eat her Cheerios.
Thursday evening my mom and I spent a couple of hours shopping. On our way home, traffic on the highway came to a dead stop and we saw dozens of police cars, news vans, and helicopters. Earlier that day we'd heard reports of a shooting spree happening on the north east side of the city and seeing all this commotion we knew instantly something big was happening in relation to that.
My mom turned the radio on and we quickly learned that the man responsible for seven murders that day had led police on a chase down the very highway we were on. He then drove off an embankment, fled on foot, and kicked in a door at a nearby home and was holding its residents hostage. We sat on the highway for 45 minutes listening to the play-by-play before we were able to finally exit.
If you watch the following clip, it gets exciting around the 4:50 mark. My mom and I were literally minutes behind all of this craziness. We just missed the highway chase and crash. Once police had the killer cornered, they allowed our section of cars off the highway so they could have the entire perimeter locked down and cleared. Talk about God's perfect timing!
But, that aside, this past week was a true vacation. I slept in until 8:30 each morning. I drank my coffee while it was still hot. I took a shower without interruption. I read when I wanted. I sat outside and lounged. I didn't make meals. I didn't bathe or change Annalyse. I was basically a lazy, lazy girl for several days and rather enjoyed it!
My dad raced home from work and we all got in the car for a 40 minute drive to the hospital where Jeremiah was. One of his coworkers met us in the waiting room and explained that Jeremiah had been cutting some material with an exacto-knife and it slipped and sliced his wrist. He said there was a lot of blood and the cut was large and the doctor said the internal damage was enough to warrant surgery.
And besides, Annalyse got plenty of love and attention from doting nurses, a smitten grandpa, and an uncle that thinks she's the sweetest thing ever.
Growing up less than an hour from the lake, I spent a lot of time here. Then, when Grady and I lived in Chicago we enjoyed the lake from the other side for the six years we were there. Now, as much as we love North Carolina, nothing can replace the fondness and beauty of Lake Michigan.
I arrived home to this darling "Welcome Home" sign, complete with a family picture. Precious.
On the other side of the kitchen was this colorful poster and these pretty flowers. Beautiful. I love the three boys in my life!
And my husband, bless his heart, knows me all too well. The kitchen was spotless. The laundry room was organized and ready to go. The fridge and fruit basket had been restocked. The main floor had been vacuumed. The toy room was picked up. And, most importantly, my boys were fed, dressed, and happy as can be.
So, I wonder when my next vacation will be?