We promised the kids they could attend their awards ceremony at church Wednesday night, even though that's when we wanted to leave town. So we attended the ceremony with the car packed to the brim in the parking lot, and hit the road for an all-nighter right after. We figured it would just be easier to drive at night while the kids slept, instead of making multiple stops for food/potty/nursing, etc. Brian and I promised to switch drivers if we got sleepy, and brought a list of hotels along the way, just in case.
As we were filling up with gas before leaving town, I listened to the voice mail I received during the awards. It was my friend's sister, informing me that my friend was in labor! A quick call to my friend confirmed that yes, she was in the hospital, being induced 5 weeks early because her water broke the night before. The news (and the coffee I had earlier) were all the adrenaline I needed to stay away on the drive. We pulled into my Dad's driveway at 5:00 AM local time.
After a lame attempt at sleeping (I think I gave it a full 90 seconds) I decided I needed to be at the hospital and see how my friend was doing. I figured she had probably had the baby, and I just wanted to be there. So I told Brian I was leaving, asked him to give Braxton a bottle when he woke up, and drove in the wee hours of the morning to the hospital, despite the fact that I had been awake almost 24 hours.
I got to the hospital just as my friend and her husband were waking up, and the contractions were getting more noticeable. To my complete and utter joy I got to stay there the next 7 hours and witness my dear friend becoming a Mommy for the first time. She did amazing and it was an experience I will never forget.
I slipped out shortly after the baby was born and drove back to my family, remarking on the way over God's goodness and timing over everything. I didn't get to be there for my friend's shower, as we had to reschedule it. But even better - I got to be there for the birth. And Mom and baby are both doing great.
The rest of the trip was the perfect mix of visiting with family, playing games, and snuggling babies. There were three baby boys in the last ten months, including my 10-day old nephew. Of course we couldn't miss the opportunity to get some family photos.
This next one pretty much sums up how the boys felt about the American Girl store.
Oh, I forgot to mention that during the trip Brian and I made a visit to Ikea. Um, yeah, we bought out the store. In fact, we purposely brought our roof-top cargo box just so we could stuff it full of Ikea goodies. It actually looked like we weren't going to be able to bring everything home, but amazingly, Brian was able to make it work.
I'll skip over the part about how somewhere, in the middle of the night, we lost four pieces of furniture while driving home.
We're back into the swing of things at home, working on school and projects and getting ready to host a Super Bowl party.
Stay tuned for a detailed house-tour up next....