Well, here I am again. Sitting here on my couch with my laptop (and my phone being used as a hotspot) composing a blog post.
Almost two weeks ago my four younger children, plus Parker (Lynn's oldest son who is Clay's age) and I left at 8:20 PM on a Thursday night (after the children's piano recital), bound for Florida.
When Olivia left to go back to college after her spring break, she was a little sad that it would be 8 weeks before she could come home. And of course that is a long time for us too! Not long after I took her to the airport to fly back, Jimmy and I formulated a plan. The kids and I (plus Parker) would drive down there and SURPRISE Olivia with a long weekend visit! :) We were all so excited and talked about it until the day arrived for us to leave.
We drove until about 1:00 AM Thursday night, stayed in a hotel (briefly), and got back on the road about 7:00 AM. We were on schedule to arrive at Olivia's school around 3:00 PM, just in time for my older children and Parker to run with Olivia's cross country team during their 4:00 practice.
Unfortunately, the last 58 miles of the trip took us almost 3 hours! I think we traveled 9 miles in one of those hours. It was a major traffic jam! And so we drove up on campus just as the runners were finishing their practice--we saw Olivia! But she did not see us! I parked and we were waiting as she and her friends ran to the meeting spot. SURPRISE! Yes! She was completely surprised! It was great!
We spent the weekend participating in a few campus activities (concert, singing, talent show) plus lots of time just visiting with Olivia. We took her out to eat and to see the movie, Cinderella. I bought some groceries and supplies for her, and we spent a good bit of time with her church family. They are all so kind and hospitable. I truly appreciate the good care they are taking care of Olivia. Julie stayed in the dorm with Olivia, and the other children and I stayed in the hotel I always stay in while I am visiting Olivia, packing her up, or moving her in. The staff there remembers my family and me, and they are always so nice to us.
We left that Monday morning at 10:20 AM (we wanted to wait and see Olivia between her classes to say our goodbyes.) We drove all the way home, arriving at 10:00 PM. We stopped only 5 times for coffee, gas, bathroom breaks and 2 meals. Each stop was 15 minutes or less. We listened to The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs (one of Leah's Sonlight books) on audio, and on the way down there we had a Toy Story marathon. They kids watched (and I listened to) Toy Story 1, 2, and 3. Coming home they watched Big Hero Six, Annie, and one other movie that I can't remember. It really wasn't that bad of a drive.
And it was so worth it.