Thursday, July 9, 2009

All Signs Point to “Go”, Part 2

Once all the travel arrangements were made, it was time to begin making arrangements for the kids while we were away.  This was actually a bit more difficult and they ended up with more of a multi-destination day than we did with our connecting flights. 

It was just a little after midnight when I finally crawled into bed and set my alarm to sound just four hours later.  I know it wasn’t much but I was looking forward to those four hours of sleep.  Unfortunately, Corey woke up just an hour and a half later with strong abdominal pains.  He spent the next few hours in pain and discomfort.  ( I will save your stomachs and leave out all the gross details).

I asked him multiple times if he wanted to reschedule the trip, but he was determined to go.  So at 4 a.m., we loaded our sleepy kids into the car to go to my sister’s home (their first stop) for the early morning.  We had to pull the car over once for Corey… he still wasn’t feeling very well (again saving you from the details).  We were able to drop them of and barely make it to our flight on time.  (We were actually five minutes late… 25 minutes to take-off, but the sweet woman at the counter was able to get us on the flight anyway).

At this moment, we felt like our luck was beginning to turn around.  As we landed in Dallas to get onto our connecting flight we were beginning to relax and enjoy ourselves as much as one can while not feeling well.  I had to make a few calls to make further arrangements for the kids.  It had been too late for me to call their “school” the afternoon before when we realized that we would be Houston bound.  The school confirmed that they had an opening and they would be happy to have the kids for the day.  Whew! 

We climbed onto the Houston-bound plane excited about being one step closer to having our passports (and one step closer to returning home).  It was still too early to call my sister to check on the kids so I sent her a text letting her know that Corey’s brother was supposed to pick the kids up before lunch and take them to “school” (a Mother’s Day Out program offered by a local church… I really like the curriculum and enjoy the new facts that they learn about Jesus each day they attend).

Then we had another turn of events.  While it was beautiful and sunny outside in Dallas, it was pouring rain, lightening, and thundering in Houston.  The air-traffic control would not let us fly.  So we were stuck on the plane… on the runway… for 30 minutes… and hour… hour and a half… for over two hours.  Once it became apparent that we would not make our appointment on time, I called the passport office and scheduled a new appointment for later that day under Corey’s name.  I called Corey’s brother to see if the “drop-off” went smoothly and asked him if he remembered to get lunches for the kids.  He hadn’t.  He turned around and headed back.  I was so thankful that he was still close to the school, because the last thing that I wanted to think about was my babies and their starving stomachs.  He took the lunches to the School Director, who has more than pleased to see him walk up bearing food.  Situations handled.  No sweat.

I sat back in my plane seat and hoped to get a bit of shut eye while we were waiting.  As I sat there I couldn’t help but feel proud of all the other passengers that were on the plane.  You may think that is silly, but, seriously, I have been on other flights where passengers felt entitled to act like fools, shouting about the obvious wait.  As if there is anything that the flight attendant can do about the weather.  So even though we were waiting for a few extra hours the wait wasn’t made unbearable by others foul attitudes.  I was thankful for their positive attitudes and that Corey wasn’t feeling as bad as he was earlier that morning. 

Not much more time had passed before the captain announced that our flight just received the green light to go to Houston.  The timing was great.  We would arrive in Houston in plenty of time to make our later appointment. 

Then as the plane was landing we had another hiccup (once again I am sparing you the disgusting details).  I’ll just put it like this, Corey’s body was undergoing something serious.  We had guessed a series of possible ailments… kidney stones (he’s familiar with that one unfortunately), stomach virus, etc.  (I’ll spare the details… who wants to hear about my or my husband’s bodily functions… unless you are in the medical field, then you may actually be hanging on the edge of your seat thinking WHAT IS IT, WHAT’S HE GOT?)

I am in awe at Corey’s determination to stick with the vacation.  I probably would have thrown my hands up in the air back when we realized that we were double booked for the weekend.  (I MAY have told you this before). But not him, that is another reason that I admire that man.

Corey called to make sure that his mother was picking up the kids on time and that all went well.  We are so thankful to our entire family for being able to take “shifts” and watch the kids or taxi them throughout the day to make it possible for us to get our passports.

So we get a taxi and head to the passport office.  Corey was feeling much better by this time.  It was the only time throughout that day that he was himself.  He was so himself that he was singing… LOUDLY… in the passport office.  I kept trying to get him to be quiet.  After all, we had made it this far…. I didn’t want to get kicked out because of his singing as off-key as he possible could.  I was desperate, so I told a boob joke and distracted him.  He forgot all about singing and instead talked anatomy for the next five minutes that we waited in line for them to call our number.  I have to admit I do love the male mind.  There aren’t many things in life that can trump a husband harassing (embarrassing) his wife in a public place.  I truly thank God for giving women that card.  You think I’m joking, HA, I am extremely serious, I do thank God for that often. 

I have to say they ran the office very efficiently, we were only there for maybe 30 to 45 minutes and everything was completed.  We were so thankful, and since they were so fast we were going to try to grab a quick bite (it was now 3:00 pm and we still hadn’t eaten anything.  This was definitely not good for my diet.  I’m trying to LOSE fat, not send my body into starvation mode so that it will begin storing fat).  My biggest worry was still Corey though, I didn’t want to even mention food because I wasn’t sure if even the thought of food would make him hurl.  I can honestly say that I didn’t have a strong desire to find out… we had already been down that road a few times and I wasn’t eager to go back.

“To eat or not to eat, that is the question”

As we were trying to decide we ran into two air marshals that pointed us in the direction of a great little diner with a unique burger & sandwich specialty.  I never in a million years would have ordered it if I saw the description on the menu but I am thankful that it was recommended because it was fantastic.  I will try to duplicate it someday for you.  And if I ever get it figured out, I will be happy to post the recipe for you.

After we ate we were back to the airport to try to get earlier flights back to Oklahoma.  (Our original flight didn’t return home until after 1:00 am due to late flights throughout the day).  My mom called to let me know that she had dinner and was on her way to watch the kids.  She was taking the last shift.  She was such a sweetheart to drive (she lives an hour away from us) up after she got off work to stay with them.  Corey & I really are very fortunate to have family that can help in situations like this.  The kids had an action-packed day and after dinner, the park, going for a walk, baths, and books, they crashed hard and went to sleep quickly (all that was just during my mom’s shift… their day was FULL).


Back at the airports, we were listening to our last flight being announced and hoping that our names were close enough to the top on the standby list that we would make it on the plane. 

I wasn’t quite to the point of holding my breath, but I was close.  I was ready to be home.  Corey became tired of waiting and took another bathroom break and sure enough, they called our names.  That seemed to be the secret to getting on the plane.  Each time he left for the bathroom, we were called to the desk.  The flight was short & sweet and we were glad to be home by 10:30p.m.  It was a pleasant surprise to be able to visit with my mom before we went to bed. 

So after all of that, we are more than excited to go on our vacation.  We have worked for it in more ways than one.