June 14-20, 20014, marks a delightful period for our family. Josh finished intern year and went on break for a couple weeks. So, first, we headed to North Carolina to visit my family. The time proved super relaxing for Josh, who often sequesters into his temporary man cave and hacks away on projects. I try to relax, but shoving a year’s worth of quality time into one week can be just a little busy. And, folks, I brought an entire bag of books to read. Why do I do this every time I visit? The thousands of pages. They just sit by my parent’s fire place and mock my aspirations. But, really, the time spent with the precious people in my life supersedes books any day. So, books were set aside (mostly), and a wonderful time was had by all of us–including, Millie, the dog.
Our trip began on the fateful night of the 14th, where we carried out our master plan of driving through the night. A little background–Adalynn vehemently protests and blubbers whenever constrained in her car seat, causing me to turn into emotionally-overwrought mommy, thus distracting our, normally, stalwart driver. It seems like a natural decision to drive through the night, right? Well, what we didn’t consider is that our toddler thrives and melts by his routine. When 8 pm hit (his normal bedtime), he was doing great. I’ll admit I was feeling pretty proud of our plan. But, by 10 pm, when he realized we weren’t anywhere near home, he was tired, and he was not in his crib–he was FRUSTRATED. Frustration turned to anger, and then tiredness overcame him, and–try as he may–he could never get comfortable in his car seat. Hours of crying, waking, kicking, flailing, and screaming ensued.
The whole experience was a lot like labor:
“Ok, it looks like the toddler is finally asleep! Whew, we can all get comfortable and relax!” says the optimistic, but totally worn-down, mom.
(I hunker down in the front with my pillow, and close my eyes).
Then, BAM, it (aka, the apocalyptic meltdown) hits. The toddler is awake again, letting the whole highway know how upset he is.
Can I just have a contraction instead?!
So, sleep eluded us. The good news, though, is that we did make it to his beloved Nana’s and Papa’s house in one piece. And, in usual fashion, they made him forget all his troubles. And, instead of regaling you with more details of our trip, I’ll let the pictures and captions speak for themselves–
The North Carolina homestead. The toddler and dog loved having all this room to roam. I just loved being there.
Nothing like home. I spent 18 years enjoying this simple view.
Caleb, the little climber, enjoying his mommy’s childhood play set.
I’d be remiss to exclude a picture of the loyal Millie dog.
Our infant-approved portion of the play set 🙂
Papa is hidden in this picture, but he and Caleb are enjoying a picnic here.
Plumber Papa also made a sand/water table for Caleb out of pipes and a sink. Caleb loved it!
I spent an entire day having a playdate with my old high school friends. There’s nothing quite like hanging out with the girls I grew up with. They know my background, my foibles, my issues; and there’s a great deal of comfort and grace in that history. And, yes, that would be my son having a meltdown in this picture. I’ve termed “2” as the year of fragility.
Josh and I went to Asheville for a day and a night. This was one of the few pictures we took (at Curate restaurant, which I highly recommend) since the absence of kids often means the absence of my camera. Nevertheless, it was a delightful getaway, and we really enjoyed getting about 9 straight hours of sleep! Special thanks to my parents for making it possible.
We spent an afternoon visiting my best friend, Miranda. I loved her new house. And, I really loved getting to see her cute boys. Pictured are Nolan and Adalynn, the cutest little duo.
Caleb and J giving hugs. No, this is not an accurate portrayal of what the entire visit looked like, but allow me to savor the one minute of absolute preciousness. Seriously, can they just stay this way forever?
Folks, we had a breakthrough. Caleb actually slept for 45 minutes straight in his car seat! Maybe there’s hope.
My cousin brought her kids’ ride-on tractor for Caleb to borrow. Lots of rock scooping and dumping happened.
One happy camper. To put it mildly.
Seeing my mom spend quality time with her granddaughter just melted my heart. And Adalynn clearly adores her Nana.
People, I didn’t even have to bathe my own daughter during our visit. My mom spoiled me. Thank you, Mom!
Oh, the joy of being with Nana!
This girl sure loved her Papa, too.
My Granny met Adalynn for the first time during this visit 🙂
Our last day–The kids went to church with Nana and Papa, and I caught everyone looking at the camera–success!
As I look back at our NC trip, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. One of the hardest parts of being married to medicine and living so far away from family is mourning what could have been, especially after having children. If my parents were even a mere three hours away, I know I’d feel a lot less lonely and a lot more encouraged while I’m in the trenches of motherhood. But, God has placed me 9-10 hours away (depending on who is driving), and in a way, it makes our visits even sweeter.
So, we said our goodbyes and headed back to Indiana.
This stop at Tamarack in West Virginia is well worth it for the kiddos who need to run around.
Once we got back home, we enjoyed a Day Out with Thomas the Train. Caleb, true to his contemplative self, analyzed the entire ride. And talked about it for days later.
Just look at this 8-month-old sweetie. She was rather fond of Thomas, too.
Meeting the one and only Sir Topham Hatt.
I thought Caleb would be reluctant to get on a ride without his mommy. False. He is Mr. Independent now, and I am just an afterthought. Same song, 33rd verse here, but I am SO glad I spent endless hours snuggling and holding him as an infant because it went by too fast. Sniff, sniff. Sorry for being so nostalgic, folks.
And before Daddy officially started residency, we took a family trip to Costco for groceries and a hot dog dinner. I’m truly learning that it doesn’t matter where I am, but rather who I’m with, that brings happiness. And, these kids and the resident doctor–they make me happy 🙂