Friday, September 25, 2009
The long trip, the first of many posts
I don't even know how to get back into blogging when I take these periodic LONG breaks that happen- because life happens... I guess I'll start with the month long trip I took this summer.
On July 15 my mom flew up here. On July 16 she went to my 20 wk ultrasound with me! That was fun. She's never been here for one before and since this will be the last I'm so happy that it worked out for her to be here. We found out we're having a BOY!!! Isaac Merrill is due to arrive on Dec 9. On July 17 my mom and I and the kids headed to Tennessee while Jason left for Oregon with a group of teens for a missions trip. We drove 10 hours and stayed with my grandparents (both sets live in the same town!). I would love to add pictures but one of the reasons I haven't blogged is because they are all stuck on my broken laptop (ugggghhhh....)! Maybe I'll add pics to this post some day when I can get to them. We stayed in Quincy, IL for about 4 days and then drove 11 hours to Chattanooga, TN- home, sweet, home! We were there for 2 weeks. The 2nd week Amy flew into town and we enjoyed the week together.
The 3rd week we drove down to St. George Island, FL where we met up with the rest of the fam for a week of pure vacation (plus Justin and Stephanie's beautiful beach wedding on the final day). Mark and Anne and the boys (coming from VA Beach) met us at a gas station outside of Atlanta and we kind of carpooled down the rest of the way. Mark S flew in from Portland, OR and Jason flew in from Minneapolis. Stephanie spent the month of July in China and then flew in for the week- and the wedding, of course! :) It was amazing. Dad rented a beach house for all of us to stay in. It was beautiful. (it's in the background of the family pic above) We were on the bay side of the island with our own private dock. Off of this dock we regularly saw schools of jumping fish, manta ray, and hammerhead sharks! The guys also enjoyed poking around at the blue crabs and catching them. Jason enjoyed boiling and eating them too! The island is long and skinny so across the street from our house was the beach front. It was a beautiful pristine beach that was never crowded. At times we'd see a few other families scattered up and down about a 1/2 mile stretch. It was so good for our family to be together- ALL together- ALL week! The times we've seen each other in the past few years have been for graduations and weddings. We all know those aren't the most relaxing occasions! On Saturday- the day before we left Justin and Stephanie got married. Jason officiated the wedding. They were married on a perfect beach at 8:00 AM. There were about 30 people there. It was very intimate and beautiful.
The kids LOVED seeing Jason in FL. We really missed him for the 2 weeks we were in TN, but grandma and grandpa took good care of us! Jason had to fly back to MN after the week in FL so we dropped him off at the airport again. We said our goodbyes to best friend cousins and sisters and brothers and new in-laws and lovey-dovey honeymooners. My parents and I and the kids and 2 vehicles and one boat made the journey back to TN together. The whole way back (about 9 hours) I was thinking, "there's NO way I'm ready to make the long trip up to MN!" The kids do so well traveling. I was amazed. However, being 22 weeks along at that point made stopping for bathroom breaks and stretches (My new preggo issue is varicose veins- another story!) important. So, we ended up staying in TN for another week! At the end of that week Justin and Stephanie came back to Chatt (where they will be living) from their honneymoon and had a very nice reception for friends and family. I was able to help out with that. I'm glad we were there for that.
Then came the good-byes and the long trip back home- ALONE! We were able to spend another 2 days with my grandparents in IL on the way up. That was a blessing. As I get older I soak up their stories and their lives more and more. The trip went well and I'm so thankful for a whole month that I had with my parents. It was relaxing. I enjoyed every minute of it. Since we are looking forward to foreign missions in the future I know these times with family are to be treasured! Now we've been back for 2 months already and here I sit FINALLY facing the blank page of my forgotten blog. I did it! I started. I'll post many more pictures of our travels. I won't worry about the ones sitting on my hard drive that will be out of order. I won't worry about all the editing I wish I could do to these, but can't get them onto my mac, and I won't worry about another LONG absence I'm sure you'll have to endure in the near future when baby #4 arrives! I've missed you, blog. I've missed you, friends. It's good to be back.