Sunday, June 07, 2009

Road Trip with Elijah

Last week, I did something a little crazy: Voluntarily spent 18 hours traveling with a not-quite-two-year-old. By myself.

Was it worth it? You bet.

I had been thinking of taking Elijah on a road trip to Ohio sometime this spring. The break between Easter and the Fourth of July seemed too long, and while I'd *much* rather make the trip with Steve, he just doesn't get enough vacation time. The last time I made the trip by myself, when Elijah was about 9 months old, I said I'd never do it again. But the memories of that trip had worn off, and after a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided I was stupid brave enough to try it again.

We stocked up on toys, books and snacks and mapped out every rest stop, park/playground and McDonald's Playplace (in case of rain) along the route, and set off last Tuesday. We got to break the trip up on the way there by spending Tuesday night in Indianapolis with some dear college friends of mine, Sandra & Kevin Andrews. Sandra and I have known each other since fourth grade, and Kevin became a friend, too, when we all sang together in the IWU Chorale. It was so nice to catch up with them--and I was absolutely stunned by how well Elijah did on the five-hour trip up. He was an angel. Seriously, almost too good to be true.

Wednesday found us back on the road and arriving at my parents' house just in time for a playdate. My two best friends from high school came over with their kiddos: a total of five, ages 2 and under. We decided that next time, we're leaving the little ones with their daddies and having girls' night out! But it was a lot of fun. Here we are: Jill with Simon and Sophie; Julie with Joel and Luke, and me with my little man. Who was just on the verge of melting down after running all day on no nap, bless his heart. He did so great through the trip and the playdate, though--in the photo, he's actually not yelling or crying, he's doing his fake cough at the prompting of my dad (the photographer).

On Thursday, I got to leave Elijah with Grandma Sue (my mother-in-law) and spend the day in Fort Wayne--ahh. A little shopping, then catching up with three people I hadn't seen in way too long: an afternoon with Stephanie, my college roommate; dinner with my cousin Bekah and her sweet new baby, Olivia; and the rest of the evening with Jaala, another dear college friend. I got home really late, so Elijah spent the night at Grandma & Grandpa's and I got to enjoy sleeping in a little :)

Friday morning began with some quality time with my mother-in-law, then lunch with the in-laws at my favorite hometown pizza sub spot. Friday evening, I went to a surprise party: my best friend Julie turned 30, and her sweet hubby pulled off a big surprise with her family and friends!

In between all that, Elijah and I got to enjoy the company of Grammy and Pops. I am so thankful for my parents and I love watching them as grandparents!

Saturday morning, we finally headed home to Steve, whom we sorely missed. It was a very long day, but Elijah was a trooper--and I had a great audiobook on the iPod to keep me entertained and awake. We popped in to see another college friend, Aeron, just long enough to grab some lunch, and finally rolled into the driveway Saturday evening. Steve gave us a warm welcome home and Elijah completely crashed--he slept for 14 hours last night :) I think he was as glad to be in his own bed as I was!

I'm so thankful for all the amazing people God has put into my life over the years, and glad for every opportunity to see them now that we live far away!
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sara jean said...

Looks like you had a lovely when are your cross-country journeys going to become cross-globe adventures??? Love you!

Amy said...

as soon as someone pays for international plane tickets :) we'd love nothing more than to come visit you! but a flight to NZ costs a whole lot more than gas to Ohio, unfortunately...

Sandra Leigh said...

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit us! Amy, it was a delight to catch up with you. It was also really fun to see how much Elijah has grown. I'm impressed with how much he loves books!
Kevin and I are looking forward to planning a visit down your way sometime in the future.
Love ya, girl!

Jules said...

I'm so glad you braved the trip. What a blessing to visit with you and to have you as a part of my birthday surprise! I am definitely looking forward to the girls night out!