Consider this your pre-warning: This whole post will be bragging on my husband. After this past weekend, he deserves a post like this and so much more.
You see, being part of the Leadership Development team with Cru means having to attend Preview Weekend (essentially a conference for college juniors and seniors where we talk about how to discern God’s call for their life but also recruit them to join with us to reach college students). We were supposed to leave Friday morning, travel to Charlotte, and be come home Sunday. But then, nothing ever works out like it is supposed to, right? Especially when there is weather involved.
Because of the bad ice/snow storm that was coming, our team decided to travel down Thursday night and we tried to encourage the students who were coming to do the same (about half of them did). Thursday nights are Cru’s weekly meeting – which meant Ed needed to help setting up the sound system and couldn’t get home in time for me to leave. After lots of calls and texts, my sweet friend Keri Hughes (and her amazing daughter Julia) agreed to come watch the kids until Ed could get home. I could breathe – we crossed hurdle #1.
When I got to Charlotte, we went ahead and went grocery shopping for food for the hospitality suite (in case the roads were too bad the next day) and so the students wouldn’t starve to death as they were closed in the hotel for the weekend. Yall, Wal-Mart at midnight was a crazy house. Seriously…no sugar, low on meat, low on chips, no gallon sized waters, low on bottled waters, low on juice, no milk, no bread…and the lines were all the way out in the clothing. They only had 4 lines open which I call crazy too…but thats another post for another day.
On Friday, Kinsley’s school was canceled and Ed did a great job of having fun with the kids despite being stuck in the house. He built a fort for them in the living room, turned on the fire, and let them watch TV and eat a snack in their fort. They sled outside and played in the ice. Then, later that day, they started making homemade cookies and getting everything ready for dinner. I did plan meals for them to eat for dinner. I did not plan for them to have meals for dinner that the could fix if the power went out.
Yes, the power went out – for about 8 hours. Oh, the girls liked it at first – going to the next store neighbor’s and playing by candlelight – including a game of “Pie in the Face.” But then, Kinsley started freaking out – missing me, wanting her cookies and dinner she had looked forward to, and wanting to go back home (she is the true definition of a homebody). Poor Ed handled it all really well. Ed went to town in hopes of finding food for dinner but everywhere was closed either because of the weather or because they were out of power. Thankfully, our neighbors had some chicken pulled out to grill and mac-n-cheese that you can make without power (who knew they even made this?). To sleep, he put Blake in his pack-n-play and the girls in their sleeping bags and they all started the night sleeping by the gas logs in the living room until the power came back on in the middle of the night.
The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful, compared to that. But my sweet and courageous husband handled it all in stride. I think that if the tables were turned and it was me at home with the three of them and no power while he was out of town, I may have lost it – more than once. He never once complained or guilted me about not being there and even told me to stop worrying – that he had it under control. He is truly my hero (and lots and lots of thanks go to our neighbors and friends who helped or offered to help).
Meanwhile, in Charlotte, we had about 85 students show up (out of the 175 who were supposed to be there and didn’t travel because of weather). It was a great weekend processing their lives, gifting, and futures with them. One of the girls in my discussion group said “This weekend was really great – I was so stressed about my future and what God wanted me to do going into this weekend, but what I learned is that their is freedom – so much freedom – and all I have to do is walk with God, seek to glorify Him, and He will lead me where he wants me.” It was a challenging weekend for me as I fought through mommy guilt for not being with my family through the power loss and ice storm. In the end, I am so glad I got to go and be involved in the students’ lives in that way, but here’s to hoping it never happens again this way!
And just because all of the above pics are of the girls, here are a few of Blake. Another new development in our lives – Blake is walking! He was taking 2 and 3 steps before I left for the weekend, but he officially started taking off across the room and walking lots and lots of steps while I was gone. And his other favorite pasttime? Climbing. He LOVES climbing to the top of the girl’s bunk bed ladder. This kid is going to give me a heart attack before it is all said and done.