Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our adventures

The first week of July we decided to be very adventurous and take a serious road trip- to Michigan! Jeff had a conference for pastors at Mars Hill - Rob Bell's church, and so we were going along to make a vacation out of it. The plan was to leave at night, drive as far as we could to make good time while the girls were sleeping, and stop over night at my parent's property in TN. We would sleep, and then leave the following morning to drive the second leg of the trip during day light. The goal was to arrive on Saturday so that we could go to church at Mars Hill on Sunday. The conference ended on Tuesday, so we were going to leave on Wednesday and meander on down to Chicago to see what there was to see there. At some point we were going to stop back in TN to visit and spend some much needed time with my family.
This is how it really went down. We left at 8:30 at night, drove until 12 or so, and then Jeff couldn't stay awake any longer. He pulled into a rest area where he "slept" and where I fielded girls all night- one would wake up, I'd get them out of the car, feed or calm them down, and try and get them back to sleep. We got back on the road around 6am. A few hours later Jeff started feeling ill. We stopped for lunch and he slept in the car. When we got back on the road, he was really feeling sick and getting worse. Finally he agreed to let me drive the rest of the way. After arriving at the property, he went straight to bed and didn't get up for two days. It was the worst flu that I've ever seen him catch. We weren't going to get to Michigan in time, nor was he feeling up to driving another 12 hours, so we cancelled our plans to continue on to MI. We were disappointed, but as the week progressed, we were glad that we had made that decision. As Jeff got better we were able to enjoy the property and my family who were able to be there too.

We had two and a half beautiful days there where we got to enjoy hiking, picking blackberries black raspberries, preparing green beans for canning, four wheeling, swinging in the hammock near the stream, making berry cobbler with their freshly picked berries, and spending time with my family. My parents have been very anxious for us to get up there and enjoy the property with them for a year and a half now, so we were glad to finally be able to do so.
When we left, we went to see Tallulah Gorge, a huge waterfall in GA. They have dammed it, but it is still rather intimidating. It was beautiful, and an incredible display of raw power. We went down the 1099 steps to get closer to the falls, and you know it was worth it when the 1099 steps back UP became an after thought.

The girls did beautifully traveling. I put a mirror in front of Addison which really entertained her, and took it away for nap time, =) Caiden entertained her sister when she got lonely, and sang her little heart out to cheer her up when she wanted to eat - 20 miles ago! Caiden's favorite way to pass the time was listening to my old Disney books on tape. That and little petting zoo animals, coloring, library books, and "I Spy" (like Where's Waldo but with tiny objects) books were big winners. Both of the girls were real troopers and we were very proud of both of them.
Every memory made has moments that we cherish close to our hearts. Mine include: listening to the girls laugh contagiously at each other in the back seat of the car (is there anything more beautiful to a parent's ears that their children loving each other?!), From his sick bed, Jeff telling me to go enjoy my family- (so sweet this man of mine!), watching my sisters love on my daughters, watching my Dad relax and be in the moment, fun moments of exploration, enjoying Tallullah Gorge with our little family, and picking berries. Caiden's favorites: finding a turtle on the top of the mountain, picking berries, swinging on the porch swing while Allie reads to her, and snuggling with Nana.
Addison enjoyed being OUT of the carseat, being held all the time, and seeing Daddy more than she's seen him in a few weeks.
Jeff's favorite moments? Well, I'll repeat the ones he has mentioned since we've been home: taking us to Tallullah Gorge, those two days he spent with my family was the most quality time he has had with them in the last four years, picking berries, four wheeling, enjoying being "disconnected" for a little while.
So, our adventure didn't quite take us as far as we planned, but it was lovely nonetheless. Thank you Jesus!

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