|Ahava makes her own little "couch" |
out of a plastic organizer and a pillow.
She was beginning to feel the changes
around her but was full of her
usual joy and happiness.
|Bryan getting moving truck in the ice/snow storm|
|Our friends coming to the hotel|
to say good-bye to us.
|Ahava can count pretty good now.|
Every time we went on the
elevator in our hotel, she
would anticipate counting the
|Grammy and Grandpa Gary|
|Ahava in her seat where we had our own little section!|
|Finally arriving at the hotel on Valentine's Day.|
When morning arrived, I found the reserve energy I had to get us up and down stairs for breakfast. The only problem is that there was no breakfast. I had Ahava in
|Eating soup alone in the bathroom. Poor me.|
her highchair and was ready to eat a good meal before continuing on to home, but there was no meal included. A bowl of cereal was probably about $10.00. I decided to eat the last granola bar in my room. So then it was packing everything up again. I called for a luggage cart and the guy brought it up and just left it there at the door. I mustered the strength to get it all on it and then put Ahava on as well and then try and control the thing down the hall into the elevator and then the lobby. The cart had a mind of its own, it was like a donkey that didn't want to be bothered. Every inch of the way was a tug and pull to try and get it to go the direction I needed, never mind trying to keep Ahava afloat on top. We got to the lobby and waited for the shuttle, and finally got the luggage in the van and back to the airport we go. We arrived and they drop us off at the same location as before....right in the middle island between cars driving like crazy!! I have to hold Ahava and get a luggage cart while trying to keep an eye on the luggage (they didn't drop us off directly near the cart renting dispenser). I finally got the thing out of the rail and attempted to put the luggage on while trying to contain Ahava from running in the street in front of us and behind us. There were so many people around and no one came to my rescue. I had Ahava squeezed between my legs and started trying to lift my big bag...the attendant said "wait" and looked at me half annoyed and lifted it up on the cart. Ahava resumed her place on top of the cart and off I went to check-in with the United counter agent. There were thousands of people there. I waited in a long long line and finally got up to the counter and tried to operate the check-in machine, ended up asking for help and then lifting my luggage to the weighing scale. Ahava is trying to break free now. I am trying my best to corral her. The guy barks over to me that I am a pound over and need to take stuff out and put it in my carry-on as if it were a completely easy thing to do at this point. Crowds of people were behind me, but there I was busting open my bag (which for some reason I totally blanked out of the code to get in for a moment!!!!). Of course my personal belongings were right on top! Right? Yikes...but this was no time to get embarrassed. I had to shift and shift I tried. Finally, I don't know if I truly accomplished the task or if the ticketing agents began to have mercy on me, but the bag was tagged and off. I head to security.
No stroller, bags and wild child in hand, I approach the line and was told to go to the family check-in line. I was kind of relieved because there was NO line!! She asked for my tickets and ID and I begin unzipping the pocket allotted to the items and they weren't there!!! I had to pay for my bag (yes...again!!!!) and I remembered putting them in my bag during the "great shuffle 2014" and I couldn't find them. I get on the floor, trying to keep a limb on Ahava somehow and finally find them and look up to a HUGE line in front of me. People are everywhere. I wait my turn. I am beginning to get discouraged. I take out the water, get off my shoes and juggle once again across the security section. They swab my hands...not sure why and check my water, we are good to go. I'm dreaming of home now. Really ready to be there. I get re-grouped, shoes on and hunt for our gate. It is in the satellite terminal, so we get in line for the shuttle, get packed in like sardines on the bus and walk up a 2 story flight of stairs to the terminal. I buy some lunch and we find the nursery room to eat, change and get out some of Ahava's energy. Our gate is right across the way. The time approaches for our loading time but we are delayed. I wasn't too worried since it was the last leg. But it was delayed again. I asked for a direct flight home, but there was no room. We had to get home via this neighboring city. Finally we were ready to board. The attendant allowed me to pre-board. Ahava and I went down the ramp, outside, into the plane, scrubbed our section as we always do and waited to take off to home!!! But...oh no....really???? They said there was a slight delay due to a potential oil leak and they were fixing it. Maintenance people were opening the plane and checking the problem. They attempted to fix it, closed the cabin door and ran the propeller to make sure, but the oil leak was still there. They came on the loud speaker and told us we had to de-board the plane. Ahava was bucking and crying at this point. She was so ready to sleep. So we went off, they gave us our gate-checked bags and we waited in the airport. I had no milk for Ahava. They said we just had to sit and see what happens. I asked the gate attendant what to do and if there was any other way we could get home. The next flight to this place was full (and the flight to home that was the next day was full as well). I began worrying. I went into the nursery room with Ahava and got on my knees and began praying. I asked my "Daddy to come get me and bring me home." I was so tired and my body was hurting and screaming "STOP!!" I came out and an old lady gave Ahava a yogurt to eat. She did eat most of it. Thank you Jesus! Then I heard the radio call in from the plane and say the plane has been repaired and that we could board again. So we trudged back on and Ahava fell asleep before take-off. We ended up waiting a good amount of time before we had runway clearance. But finally we were up in the air. Ahava was asleep and I just imagined being home. Towards the end of the flight we hit a lot of turbulence. We were nearing our destination. The pilot said he would try and land, but if he couldn't we would have to go to a different airport. He said we were making our decent. I knew we were close because I could see the ground, but that was when the plane began bouncing up and down and sideways and I knew that I needed to begin praying. So I prayed and sang and prayed some more. I honestly was scared. I began texting Bryan illegally. I know, I know, but we were just about to land. He said he could see us!!!!!!!!!!!! He could see us!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!! I could taste home now, I could feel Bryan's arms around me, we could finally be together and this nightmare would be over with!!! But we didn't land. Oh no...no...no....we didn't land. In fact we kept going north, and north and north so much so, that we ended up in the next state.
We landed in a state and place I had never been. It was a tiny airport without proper food or any stores, one baggage claim area, and far far FAR away from anything and anyone I knew. We exited the plane outside and I waited for my gate-checked bag. It was cold. They brought out the gate-checked bags and mine wasn't on the rack. It had my medicine, glasses and contact stuff as well as all of Ahava's things for the airport. The man said that all bags for gate-check needed a tag and he got all the ones with tags on it. Mine must have fell off. I told the man that I needed my bag now and that it matched my back-pack and actually told him over and over that I need it please and started crying. He walked over to the plane "trunk" and got it as easy as that. I said "thank you thank you thank you" and just cried. A man walking off the plane took off his jacket and wrapped it around Ahava and asked to carry my bag. Him and his wife walked inside with us. Another small piece of God's Love hidden within the chaos...there as plain as day ready to be noticed, and I did, and my tears began to be one of thankfulness for this man beside me. I began examining what to do now. At first they were not going to de-board us, make us wait on the plane for who knows how long and perhaps attempt to fly back. SO thankful that didn't happen!!! Bryan and I (through our texting) decided he would drive the 2.5 hours to come get us and was hopeully already on his way. The reception is bad in this area and he was not responding to any of my calls or texts. If we headed back, Bryan would again be a long distance away and would not know where we were. All I knew was that he was on his way and we needed to stay put. I needed my checked-in bag, but until they knew what they were doing with the flight and if they would attempt to fly back to the original landing place where we were unable to do so because the 50 mph wind, they couldn't release them to us. But they did end up cancelling the flight's return and so put our luggage on the baggage belt in the airport. Ahava and I exited the terminal and waited for our bag. It finally came out and we got it down. Perhaps the Check-in people at the other airport were right, the bag was slightly overweight. I changed Ahava's diaper and was now down to the last one and it was ON HER BODY translation: HELP ME!!!!!!!!! I had no snacks and no milk for her. The little tiny "store" (if you could even call it that) only had nuts and candy. I knew she was hungry and saw a Mom with a child and thought, "hmmmm, should I ask?" and I decided I needed to because Ahava needed food. I explained our situation and asked her if she had any snacks I could give Ahava. I know!!! I was really not wanting to do that, but I needed to for Ahava. She didn't have any snacks, but her Mom that came to pick them up at the airport, had a juice box Horizon Milk. I thanked them and put it in her cup. I got a blanket out and set it on the ground. I took out some of her toys and coloring things and we camped out and watched the crowds come and go as they collected their luggage. We waited for Bryan to come rescue us.
Ahava then saw a little girl playing with a ball and if you know anything about her, SHE LOVES BALLS and promptly headed that way. I met her Mom and explained how we were stuck there and she offered us a whole zip lock bag of snacks and gave us a whole pile of diapers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You Jesus!!!!!!!! He always Provides!!!! Ahava and I waited some more, had a little picnic and she ran around the whole area as if she knew we would be here a while and might as well get used to it. Flashes of the movie with Tom Hanks in it called "Terminal" played in my mind. I so desperately didn't want to eat saltine's with mustard and ketchup for the next week. Ahava saw a child and headed that way and we were talking with a young girl, when Bryan walked in the door!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just hugged and hugged him tighter and was so relieved to see him! We gathered our things and packed them away and headed to the car where Gracey was waiting for us!!!!! By now we were all so tired, but so happy to be with each other. We hunted for dinner and then got on the road home. It was a FIVE HOUR (yes, yes YES I said 5 HOURS!!!!!!) drive home on the windiest road you could ever imagine. Gracey actually threw up on me 2 times during that drive home. Ahava was upset for a while and I tried my best to calm her. I knew the last place she wanted to be was strapped in a car, but we had no choice. So there I was driving to a house I had never been in, thinking about how to get Ahava to her room and then me showered and to bed. Ahava had never been "transferred" to her bed from anything, so I was truly praying she wouldn't wake up when we put her in a room to sleep that she had never even seen. We planned it out pretty good though, and when we finally pulled up to the house at 10pm (which is midnight for Ahava and I) Bryan jumped out while Ahava and I stayed in the car and he got her bed and stuff all ready and we stepped out on our new drive way. When we brought her in we changed her and got her to bed and she went back to sleep pretty good!
|First picture in new house. We|
are so very blessed.
|First walk in our new neighborhood|