I have had a hard go of it with material items and water the last week or so. It started with my camera. It got wet from a water spill and stopped working just as we arrived in Blacksburg, VA for a family wedding. (Erin Wilcke married Mike Nott on May 31, 2008) I purchased a new one and am quite happy except for the $$$. All was well until Chris called with the news that the basement was under 6 - 12 inches of water as we got 4 inches of rain in about 3 hours. Ahh, the children's toys, the extra bedding, the extra BED (that had only been moved downstairs 24 hours before!!!), all that submersed in a nice bath. Chris went to Lowe's and purchased a sump pump (more $$$) and father-in-law, Greg came out with another one from one of his warehouses in Davenport. They happily (not) spent the day drying out the place while I fretted over whether or not Chris was exaggerating; he was not. This all happened on Friday morning just as my parents, my children and myself had set out on a 22 hour car ride home from Florida so there really was little I could do. After hearing the news that we had no insurance to cover any expenses I settled in the back of the van for some napping, reading and heavy drinking. But, alas, material things are just that and we will survive. Well, then Saturday arrives (day 2 of our 22 hour car ride) and somehow my purse has become wet. My brand new camera is inside - it is ok - my iPod is inside - it has survived - and my cell phone is inside - it is toast. My dad assures me that it will dry out and magically turn back on. We leave it on the dash all day and I blow dry it this morning. Nothing. I take it to the store this afternoon and they are happy to tell me that for $$$ I can have a new phone, but if I wait until June 14 I can get the free upgrade that is coming to Chris. I ask the nice gentleman who is about to dig into shallow pockets, can you move that date up 6 days and he so nicely lets me know that I would have to call and talk with customer service. Why the *&#@ do they have a store if they can not get things done!? So now I wait, without the ability to contact 911 in case of emergency, until either Chris calls customer service or June 14th decides to roll around.
My trip to Blacksburg, VA, New Smyrna Beach, FL and Winter Park, FL was great. My parents picked the boys and I up on May 29 at 7:00 am. We got the car packed and set off on our great adventure. Two minutes into our trip, as we are entering I235, a little voice from the back says "I gotta go potty." I thought my father was going to drive off the road. The day was filled with Go Diego Go dvds and a pididle contest (being the first person to spot a car with only one working headlight and call out 'Pididle'). At the end of the night, we were tired of the Rescue Pack song and dad was in the lead in the Pididle game.
Day two of our trip was much shorter. We left the hotel in Morehead,VA around 7:30 am and climbed through the scenic mountains before entering Blacksburg around 11:30 am. Nathan had flown in earlier that morning and had our rooms ready for us when we got there so it was off to lunch with the bride and her fiance. We ate at a great local sandwich shop and then back to the hotel for some much needed naps! The rehearsal dinner was that night and the groom's parents invited out of town guests so we got to go. Very nice to meet everyone, but as always happens you end up spending most of your time with the people you know. We ended the night going to Jeff and Jan Wilcke's (parents of the bride) house. It is deep in the hills (mountains) and very beautiful. At least it seems deep in the mountains while trying to get to it in the dark! Harrison and Bennett were wonderful as it was 10:00 pm. Bennett kept all the ladies smiling by flashing his smile and then crawling off while shaking his head like a bull. Too cute!
Day three started out with a buffet breakfast (the bill came and dad said "Oh, just put it on the room" to which Nathan said "Hey, the room is on my credit card!") and then some shopping for the girls and pool time for the boys. Mom and I found a farmers market and got chocolate covered strawberries. Mmmm! :) We also went to the campus book store. It was great. I can easily spend hours in most book stores, but I think I could have spent days in this one.
They had a great clothing and Virginia Tech merchandise section, but the books were even more wonderful. It was spacious and inviting and the books were displayed in such a way that you wanted to pick all of them up. Harrison found one about the beach and had to have it. He made himself at home in the children's section. (Wish I would have had a camera!) He kept pulling books off the shelf saying "But I just have to read this one, Mama." I love that I am raising a reader! I found two children's books that are great. They are by the author Antoinette Portis and are titled Not a Box and Not a Stick. They are about someone asking you why you are playing with that stick and you saying it's not a stick and there will be a picture of you slaying the dragon with your sword. Great imagination books. Luckily we had Harrison along with us so we needed to get going otherwise I think the bill could have been much higher! The wedding was that evening and we didn't go. It was more of a small, private affair so we opted for the rehearsal only. Great food and great blue grass music. Great time.
Day four was back in the car for another road trip except this time we had a hitch hiker. Nathan had purchased a one way ticket so was in need of a ride. Luckily we had a vehicle! There were many chuckles on the way but the one that sticks out was between mom and Harrison. I can't remember the exact details, but Harrison was saying 'Ow! Ow! Ow!' and mom said "Oh, I am not hurting you;" to which a quick witted Harrison replied in his weepiest voice "But you are hurting my feelings!" I realize that he is my child, but I honestly don't know where he comes up with these things. He is only 3! We got into New Smyrna much earlier than anticipated so Meredith and the kids decided to come down that night as well. James and Kaitlyn are wonderful. I just hate to think about the fact that we live so far apart and I miss seeing them all of the time. Both James and Kaitlyn are taller than their counter parts Harrison and Bennett. James and Kaitlyn will both be vertically gifted. My children, not so much. James and Harrison ran to each other and to them it probably felt like they had never been apart. Meredith and I were off to Wal-Mart for some necessities (a new Canon Elph for me!!! YEAH!) and Nathan tried to put Harrison and James to bed in the same room. This didn't work as well as we would have hoped, but after some adult supervision eventually sleep was accomplished.