We left at 4:30am Friday. No traffic on the roads and it was still so dark.
The sunrise over the mountains was stunning. I wish I would’ve got a picture of that.
The view of the mountains was simply amazing. My crappy camera doesn’t do that view justice.
The kids did really well on the drive there. I was a little worried about Samuel because he doesn’t like the carseat. Even with all of our stops we made it in 12 hours.
Ava said she was looking at everything through her noculars.
Samuel kept himself entertained fora bit with empty juice pouches.
Anything that made noise he was happy with.
Kiah enjoyed the view for a bit before drifting back off into dream land.
Driving through my hometown again felt surreal. So many things had changed, while others stayed the same.
I can honestly say that I do not wish to live in Ohio again. I used to. It was so nice to visit, and I look forward to visiting again, hopefully this summer.
My mom and brother were so excited to see my kids. It had been three years since my mom saw the girls. My brother had never met Ava or Samuel. They talked about Uncle Rand Mamaw the entire ride down there. They were so excited to see them. It was funny because Ava didn’t remember my mom, and she had never met my brother, but somehow she knew if they were alright with us everything would be ok.
I was a little nervous about seeing my mom again after all of this time. It wasn’t awkward at all though. Everyone meshed back together like we had never been apart.
Ava took to my mom and brother like they had always been a part of her life.
It’s really sweet to watch them together.
We ordered pizza and watched movies.The played my brothers Wii.
You know my girls are gamers. They have played with Uncle R everyday since we came back home.
Samuel and Uncle R meeting for the first time.
Of course we got some snow play in too.
I was blessed to spend one on one time with my three best friends. I have missed them so so much.
Friday night I stayed with one of my friends. Her son is 18 months and we were all up at 1am. The kids played in his room, we watched TV, ate, laughed and talked, opened gifts.
It was like I had never left.
Saturday I went over to another friends house. She has three girls, and our kids played so well together.
I wish I had taken more pictures. I was so caught up in the moment I forgot to break out my camera.
I couldn’t stop staring at my friends kids. It was hard to believe how much time had passed.
Saturday night I went to my third friends house for a couple of hours.
Her son is 3 weeks younger than Kiah.
After we left her place we drove to the other side of town to check into our hotel.
The girls ran all over that room. It was really nice. Huge bathroom, fridge, microwave, big ol’ bed.
Have I mentioned lately how much I looove co-sleeping?
It was so nice to see my friends again! They were all so surprised. I promised we would not let another five years pass before we returned.
There was hugs, tears, smiles, laughter, and so much joy.
Apparently so many people thought they would never see us again. We missed the Christmas play, but were able to enjoy the choir.
After service was a Christmas dinner. So much good food. I really wish Charles could have come with us, but he had to work.
I’ll never forget the look on their faces when we walked in the door. I don’t think they could believe when they were seeing.
I felt like a celebrity! Where ever one of us were there was a group of people around us. There was so much love in the air. It was amazing!
We’re all grown up with our own families. Our parents are older and they have grandchildren now.
My church family was more my family than my blood relatives. I attended that church for 23 years. Since I was three years old! We literally grew up together.I loved how our kids played like they had known each other from birth and played together everyday.
Once again, I got caught up in the moment and forgot to take pictures. Although I think the images of our visit are forever etched into my brain.
We left Sunday night and drove all night. Kiah and Samuel had a little stomach bug on the way home. Nothing like vomit in the car to perk you up.
My mom rode back with me. We talked the entire ride home. I think there was only an hour of silence. That was spread over the 12 hour car ride.
One of my friends told me before we left to pick them up last week that I could let my mom bring up anything she wanted to talk about from out past. I don’t know if she ever will, but if she does, I’m here to talk about it with her.
I decided it was really time to forgive and move on. Not forgiving her has only hurt me and my family. I don’t want to live that way anymore. It’s not Christ like at all. I mean how would we like it if God decided to hold a grudge and not forgive us? Millions of us would be hurting.
I want to set a good example for my kids, ya know? The past is the past, and I really want to leave it there. I’m ready to move on with this new chapter in our lives.
My family is back together, and it feels so right, so natural.
We came back home and settled right in. It’s like no one has missed a beat.
Tonight we’re going to make peanut butter cookies to leave out for Santa.
I think we’ll put the candy canes on the tree now too. We’re all looking forward to spending Christmas together as a family again.
My heart feels light and happy. I feel different and I know we are all different.
Merry Christmas to you and your families!