Monday, December 2, 2013

National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Vacation

We are alive.  Know that the story ends that way.

Since Howard (and I when I'm not running around having babies and whatnot) teach, he is afforded a wonderful full week off for Thanksgiving.  

We, in our naive new parent ways, decided this would be the perfect opportunity to drive across half of God's beloved creation and visit my parents in Tulsa, OK.

Oh we.

Friday night kicked off with our first date night since Jonah's birth and of course, guess what we talked about?

Then Saturday we loaded up the car and headed out.  My 'packing light' plan ended up resembling a natural disaster rescue operation.

The gallons of purified water, first aid kit and backup first aid kit, and month's worth of diapers and wipes are one thing.  But I packed toys.  Our 3 month old doesn't play with toys yet.  

Somehow Howard got our refugee camp supplies into our tiny car and we were off!  

And stopped two hours later to breastfeed.

And change some diapers.

And breastfeed.

And then we made it to our first stop!  Abilene!  Jonah got to spend some time with his precious great grandma.  We call her Gape (Gah-pea).

Then Sunday morning we (and by that I mean Howard) loaded up the car again and we were off!

Until we hit what I can only describe as an iceberg.  In west Texas.  

This huge chunk of ice (what I thought was about 5 feet tall but Howard says came up to about our front license plate) fell off a semi and was in the middle of the road.  It wasn't safe to swerve so we hit it head on.  

It's funny how life is so foretelling.  I have been reading about the Titanic.

So here we are in the middle of NOWHERE at 5 something in the freezing morning and we hit this thing and our heat goes out.

Then the car starts overheating.

Now we're on the side of the road with a car that's cold and won't drive a minute without overheating.


We were terrified.  As Howard was trying to figure out what to do I start telling him about this documentary I saw one time about this couple who got lost on foot in a Colorado snowstorm and how they put their baby in a duffle bag to keep him warm.

Howard said his hair stuff was in the duffle bag so we needed to make it to the nearest town by inching along in our car.

It took us 45 minutes to go 9 miles.

And we finally arrived in Haskell!  Yay?

We spent most of the day camped out in the lobby of the AmeriStay motel. Because the gas station was too crowded and the Dairy Queen was closed.

FYI, you can't eat Paleo in Haskell.

But they have a lady there who will be your grandma if you don't have one handy.

It was a Sunday so we stressed about how to get the car fixed and what to do.

One couple at the AmeriStay offered to drive us to Oklahoma City, but we'd need to stop and visit their brother in jail first.

Tempting, but no.

We finally got the car towed back to Abilene where it could be fixed that day, and a saint of a family friend came to get our little trio and take us back to Great Gape's.

This sign hung in the AmeriStay lobby:

I have no doubt about that.

So then on Monday, we tried for Tulsa again.  

This time we made it!  And it only took THREE DAYS!

We had a blast and Jonah loved his first Thanksgiving.  Mom (Nonni) worked so hard and it was so delicious and so special.  And Dad (Poppy) cleaned and tended to our car.  We call Tulsa home The Heritage, and we are always treated to such sweet services and perks as part of our stay. :-)

Yes, Jonah got to watch a few minutes of football.  Sigh.  What can you do.

He even got to watch the Christmas lights come on at Utica Square!

He was more impressed by the football.

He grew up so much in the last week!  Here are all the new things he is doing:

-no more newborn baths
-sleeping unswaddled

And he would tell you he's also talking, because he definitely thinks he is :-)

The trip back home was much smoother.  Traveling with Jonah was a bit more familiar now and I no longer felt the need to email everyone I knew to announce mid-trip things like we're going to try bottle feeding in the car.

This time we stopped in Dallas for the night and Jonah got to meet his Great Aunt and Uncle and second cousin!

Our Thanksgiving Day prayer included thanks to our maker for both Elijah and Jonah.  We love our little boys and would be the worse without them.  Here's to making it back home, and to people who love us along the journey to our final home.

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