Ok. First of all, this is the reason I never blog anymore......it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes to upload these 12 pictures, and they are not even in the order I wanted them to be. I am not kidding. Will high speed internet please come to my house???
So, about 5-6 weeks ago Julie asked me could she run the Coke 10K race. Our family has run this race every single year since she was 8 years old, and she really, really did not want to miss it. However, we had one tiny problem. She, Olivia, and I would be in Tampa, Florida (12 hours away) on the Friday night before the race for Florida College's graduation. I had only registered Jimmy, Leah, and Clay for the race because I was well aware of the conflict this year.
But Julie said, "We can leave as soon as graduation is over and drive all night and make it just in time for the 8:30 AM race start."
Really? I have never stayed up all night in my life. Even with sick babies I dozed in the rocking chair. Could I really drive all night?
But how could I say no? Olivia said, "Mama. We cannot drive all night and then run a race." I decided I needed a challenge, so I told Julie sure. And just like that all three of us registered for the race.
Then some of Julie's crazy cross county friends heard about our plan, and they wanted to join the fun too! In the end, Josh, Cameron, and Sam (not my son Sam) registered for the race and agreed to caravan all night with us. Their XC coach and his son drove to my house Friday and met us at the race Saturday morning.
I spent the few days prior to our road trip flying to FL, packing up both girls' belongings from their dorm rooms--putting most of it in storage, and then squeezing the rest of it in their small car. Josh also carried a couple suitcases for us in his vehicle. Then we all attended graduation.
On our way to the gym for graduation. Olivia is holding a pitcher that contains her beloved goldfish, Bingley. He went to graduation too!
Sadly......Bingley passed away a couple of days after we got home (our cats attacked him!) :(
Olivia has gotten a new goldfish, and his name is Levi.
Julie with Sam (we call him Big Sam--so we won't confuse him with our Sam)
Sam is the main reason we all wanted to attend graduation.
After graduation we stopped by 7 Eleven for gasoline, coffee, and I got the biggest coke you have ever seen! We were on the road at 8:13 PM EST.
Car #1: Josh and Cameron.
Car #2: Olivia and Me
Car #3: Sam and Julie
This was my passenger!
The road trip home was actually pretty uneventful. Just miles and miles and miles of driving in the dark! We stopped about 7 times I think....for coffee, coke, the bathroom, gasoline....at our first stop, Josh and Cameron ordered seven Chick-Fil-A sandwiches! I alternated listening to an old John Grisham book on audible and peppy music on the radio. I got a little sleepy after about an hour of driving, but after more coffee, I was alert the rest of the night. I drove our car the entire way, Sam drove their car the entire way, and I think Josh let Cameron drive the last couple of hours.
At 7:38 CST, we made it! Twelve hours and 15 minutes of delirious driving.
We met Jimmy, Leah, Sam, Coach Weliever and Miles, Lynn and her family, and a host of other friends and family members at Jimmy's mama's house. The all night crew quickly changed into running clothes, and we were all on our way to the starting line.
We made it!
The rest of these pictures are all out of order.....
Coach Weliever and his cute son Miles
Cameron and Big Sam
They both won a golden Coke bottle!
Julie with her Coke bottle
The all night crew---all ready to race!
Josh, Cameron, Big Sam, Julie, Olivia, and Me
We don't even look sleepy!
My sweet children
Jimmy and Me--before the race
Lynn and Me--after the race.
(Russ and Megan in the background)
Let me just say---running 6.2 miles after being up all night fueled on caffeine and sugar was harder than driving all night. I wasn't sure if I could even finish the race!
Josh and Bo (a local friend) with their Coke bottle trophies
The Three Sams:
Uncle Sam, Big Sam, and Small Sam
It was an adventure, to say the least!
After the race we all went to Jimmy's mama's house for lunch and visiting. Many people joined us, and we had a really nice time. About mid afternoon, we all packed up for one last leg of our road trip--45 minutes to our house.
And the fun continued! Coach, Miles, Josh, Cameron, Big Sam, and Big Sam's parents (they just met us at our house....they drove during the day like sane people) all joined my family at my house for a couple of days of fun and fellowship.
I would have NEVER been able to receive guests and be hospitable after being out of town for several days if it were not for the wonderful help of Jimmy and my kids at home, Lynn, Leanna and Megan. My dear friends kept Leah and Sam for me, bought groceries for me (and washed and prepared all the produce), changed sheets on beds for me, and I can't even remember all what else, but it was FANTASTIC! My house was clean, and we had food for the masses. Priceless.
We made some remarkable memories over those several days.