It is always a wonderful thing to return home no matter the length of the journey. The last time the kids and I made the trek to Green Bay and back, it took us 10 days. I said last time that 10 days was too long, so, of course, when I planned this trip I extended it to 14 days. When will I learn? I truly enjoyed the visits and excursions along the way, but it pushed me to my physical limits to be the only parent (God bless single parents!) for 14 days. The kids woke no later than 7am and went to bed no earlier than 10 pm on average. This was mostly due to the long summer days, but also to the break in schedule and sleeping arrangements.
We arrived back in Omaha on Wednesday around 3pm. It was almost like being home. The kids had a glorious time playing with their cousins and I got to hold a baby! We didn’t get to see my nephew until the following evening, but that was okay because he was busy helping to bring new life into the world. I learned he is nicknamed Dr. Midwife because he stays with his patients. How awesome is that? My super cool nephew/pro-life doctor—I couldn’t be more proud. Of course, I can’t sing his praises without singing the praises of his beautiful wife and the mother of four. This family is a role model for me. They are so gentle and patient and willing to serve one another. After Kevin returned home at midnight from the delivery, he left at 6:30 am to return to work. When he walked in the door at 5:30pm that evening he was all smiles and ready to jump in with dinner and the kids—and not just his kids, mine too. Meg was looking out for him as well: did he want to get a shower, or change of clothes? I so admire how they love one another.
Friday was the 4th of July and little did I know that Nebraskans love their fireworks. Yes, they do! For days before and days after, the fireworks start around 4pm and continue until 10pm, except on the 4th when everyone is out in the street shooting off fireworks until midnight or later. And by everyone, I mean 8 out of 10 home residents have purchased fireworks and are in the middle of the street setting them off. It was really amazing. I thought my little ones would be scared, but they loved it and my boys especially ate it up. I went out for a short while, but felt like I was in the middle of a battlefield with shots coming from all directions (no offense to those who really know what being in the middle of a battlefield is like). My mommy hormones were all like, “protect the kids! Danger! Danger! Fire!” while the logical side of me was saying, “This is really cool. Oh! Look at all those colors!” The mommy side won out and I let Kevin manage the crew. The best part of the day, however, was that we got to pick Lauren up and spend the entire day with her.
She looks great and healthy. You couldn’t even tell that she has a strep and staph infection. Thank goodness for her strong immune system. It was a nice, relaxing day with family and we had great food to fill our bodies. Truly living the American Dream.
We headed home on Saturday at 6am. It had been storming again, but we got a lull just long enough to load up. I had to stop for ice and oil for the car—thank you nice gentleman who helped me get the oil cap off—and then we hit the road. We took more breaks on the drive home as our tolerance for extended driving was shrinking fairly quickly. Lunch at a park on Random Rd. was enjoyable and we even saw a fawn emerging from the adjacent creek bed. The next six hours felt like ten and each mile crept by as if we were walking instead of driving 75mph. I didn’t let Allison drive as the wind gusts were pretty tough and I was concerned about her going so fast and tolerating the gusts—being a new driver and all. Also, if she was driving, I would have to manage the six overtired, grumpy and demanding children that were riding in the back seat.
I truly don’t think my nerves could handle it. We got home at 6:30pm and Patrick had an awesome meal waiting for us to gobble up: steak, asparagus, potatoes, zucchini, green beans, ranch beans, mac n’ cheese, and a salad! I took a shower, unpacked a few things and fell sound asleep by 8pm. That was one tired momma! It was a good trip with memories to last a lifetime.
St. Christopher, St. Raphael and St. Michael, thank you for watching over us on our journey. Join us in giving thanks to God Almighty for a safe trip. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.