Monday, November 21, 2011

We Made It!

We woke up Sunday morning to dreary skies and didn't see a crack of sunshine all day during the drive. Then again, we were in Ohio and Michigan and the shining sun isn't the norm. That's not a criticism; it's just a fact. And did I mention it's flat? Very flat.
I grew up in Michigan, went to school for four years in Ohio, and lived in Chicago for five years. It wasn't until I moved to North Carolina that I realized just how much gray and drizzle the Midwest has. In North Carolina, overcast skies and rainy days are not the norm. That's not an accolade; it's just a fact.
The seven hour ride on Sunday went great. I think there was only one timeout issued to Grady Lee, one all-out cry-session from Annalyse, and one emergency bathroom stop about 10 minutes after the previous bathroom stop for Micah. Annalyse actually slept this time, which helped tremendously, and the boys were happy to watch a new Curious George movie again and again.
We arrived at Grandpa and Grandma's house at 4:00ish and wasted no time in getting the boys outside to play. Grandpa ran around the yard playing soccer and Grandma ran around the kitchen getting a fantastic dinner ready. And, like I said in an earlier post, Grandma met us at the door with tears and Grandpa handed out huge hugs. Nothing unusual in that, but everything special in that.
After dinner, Grady and I sat back to do important things like catch up on Facebook and ESPN happenings, while Grandpa played games with Grady Lee and Grandma played catch with Micah (a baseball in the living room is normal, right?) and Annalyse waddled around with a gourd in her hand and mouth (again, this is normal, right?).
After some not-so-challenging-because-my-five-year-old-is-a-know-it-all pages of "Where's Waldo?" it was time for bed for everyone. All were tucked in and sleeping by 7:30 pm and no one made a peep until 7:30 am. Travelling to Michigan is hard work!
This morning Grandma and the boys walked to the library to get a collection of books and DVDs for the week. That's right - they walked. In very not-normal Michigan weather, the sun was out with brilliance today and the temperatures were fall-like instead of winter-like.

We visited Great Poppy and Great Granny for lunch and, although the boys were initially terrified of Molly, the big black lab, they decided she wasn't so bad by the time we left.
My Poppy prayed before we ate and when he said amen, Micah promptly declared to him, "Boy, you sure do pray in a pretty quiet voice, huh?" No Micah Man, that's just what an indoor voice should sound like.
Micah got a kick out of asking Molly to do a slew of tricks and rewarding her with one of Annalyse's leftover peas in return. A pea for shaking? A pea for rolling? Pfshhh.
During naps my mom and I did some shopping. I don't remember the last time she and I went shopping without the interruptions of kids. It was so fun to take our time and wander. And, I am the proud new owner of a set of kitchen knives (my cheapo set as a wedding gift 11 years go have seen much better days), and the happy owner of a new bag that can somewhat fashionably carry diapers and crayons and juice boxes along with all my regular purse essentials.

When Grandpa got home from work he joined the kids in the basement to play. He's a rock star for being able to share his attention and energy on three little people wanting a piece of him at once.
Grady and I said adios to the kids and left them with my parents for the evening so we could enjoy dinner out with my cousins and their husbands. We talked and laughed over tapas at a great place downtown that I never knew existed. The atmosphere was great and the food was delicious and my stomach is now uncomfortably full.

My cousins, Michele and Kristi, are two of my favoritest people ever. It's been ages and ages since we've been able to really spend time together like we used to, but I think the respect and love and appreciation and memories I have with them will never change despite long intervals between laughs and talks. It's hard to not enjoy time with two people who love Jesus and love their families. It's hard not to laugh with two people who are naturally funny storytellers. 
You know, I think that after a day of watching my parents love my kids, taking my time to shop with my mom, and enjoying dinner with family, I could almost pack up and go home and consider this a trip well spent. Almost. 

Almost, because I'm sure that by hour two out of the 14 hour trip I'd be wondering why on earth I thought this was a good idea to drive around the world just for shopping and dinner. But then again, maybe it would be worth it. Family that I hardly get to see and love so much.

Yeah, it just might be worth it.


  1. What a beautiful, heartwarming post! I am SO glad that you are there enjoying this wonderful, blessed time with your family! And sunny weather to boot! I am still smiling at the love, joy & happiness in this post!