Last week was our vacation to the midwest that I had mentioned before. We'd planned to drive to St. Louis to see the Arch, take in a Cardinals game, pick up my MIL at the airport and then visit my Grandparents in Illinois for their 60th wedding anniversary.
On the way home, we'd planned to drop my MIL back off at the airport and then take the kids to Mammoth Cave in KY and visit Chattanooga, TN to see Rock City, Ruby Falls, etc.
Our anniversary is 2 days after my Grandparents' and their 50th was our first. We'd come to celebrate then too and then visited these places, so we thought it'd be fun to recreate the trip with the kids this time.
But...if you've ever heard the saying "If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans," I've got proof it's true.
We left early Monday morning and drove all day. The driving was great until we hit mid Kentucky. Then my Tahoe decided to just die on the side of the interstate. It cranked back up after a few minutes and then died twice more in downtown St. Louis, always cranking back up after a few minutes of sitting. Tuesday morning Chris left it at a nearby car shop and we set out to explore the Arch.
It was really neat. The museum was great, full of American history. We found out that Emma is a bit claustrophobic and did not enjoy the trip up or the viewing area from up top AT ALL. She seriously was clutching Chris' leg and almost crying all the way to the top. Oren, on the other hand, thought it was AWESOME and wanted me to take pics of EVERYTHING!! :)
Word of advice--do the Arch first thing in the morning. We got there right after it opened and didn't wait for anything. We left about 2 hours later and there were hundreds, yes hundreds of people just waiting in line to get into the museum!
On a sidenote--I picked out my kitchen wall colors and Chris finally agreed. I'd been wanting to boldly paint my large kitchen/dining room walls a Tiffany Blue, but our bedroom is right off the kitchen and it's painted in light aquas and Chris wasn't sure that would go together well. But after seeing the old capitol building with it's patina-ed dome he was sold. So...thanks to St. Louis for our future painting projects!
That night we picked up the Tahoe (they swore there was nothing wrong with it and didn't charge us--ummm, thank you??) and walked over to the Cardinals game. It was awesome! We had GREAT seats, the crowd was awesome, and the home team was on fire!
Wednesday we picked up my Mother-in-Law from the airport and drove the 2 hours to my Grandparents' house in rural Illinois. Yes, my blog is called Small Town Stitcher, but we got nothing on the area my Grandparents call home. They have about a 30-minute drive to a town the size of mine. I have a 30-minute drive to Gainesville, a big college-town.
Thursday evening, the whole family (4 generations) got together for a wiener roast and s'mores. I am always reminded how important family is when we're all together. My cousins and I have basically always lived 1000 miles apart, and yet, as children we were each others' favorite playmates. We don't see each other but once or twice a year, but time and distance doesn't matter. Family always comes first.
Friday evening we headed to my Aunt's house to eat supper there and let the kids play. Around 8, Oren came out of the basement crying and holding his arm. He'd fallen and hurt himself. If you don't know Oren--he's a tough kid. He'll usually shake off an injury and go on playing, but after 10 minutes he was still crying and holding his arm to him. So we headed to the local ER. And yep--he broke not one both both bones in his arm below the wrist and they said he'd need to have it set by an orthopedic surgeon when we got home. They splinted it up and gave us some meds and sent us on our way.
So Saturday brought a subdued Oren, me with a stomach bug, our 11th anniversary, a party for my Grandparents' and questions about what to do about our trip. We decided to just enjoy the day and leave early Sunday morning. Chris had to drop his mom back off at the airport early Sunday morning and we'd just leave from there to come home.
My grandparents are an example for all. Through 60 years of farming, working, raising children, and loving each other, they've managed the hard times and the easy. They are loved by all who know them and I couldn't ask for a better example of how to live my life.
Sunday morning we started home. After dropping off my MIL, we stopped for breakfast and within 20 minutes, the day got longer. Oren got sick. We don't know for sure if it was the Tylenol 3, a migraine, the stress of his arm and the trip or the stomach bug I had, but I imagine it was a bit of all of it. He threw up all over himself (except for his splinted arm which he managed to avoid bless his sweet heart!)
So we cancelled our trip to Mammoth Cave and Chattanooga. We told the kids the family comes first and those places aren't going anywhere. Both of them were great about understanding and Emma has been so good about helping Oren out with this broken arm and all the attention he's got for it.
I have to say in all that happened, God was with us. So many things could have been so much worse, but through it all, we were reminded how much He loves us. I know this will be a trip we never forget--through both highs and lows, it was memorable to say the least. :)
And that concludes the personal content...I'll be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow with a WIP post!