Praise the Lord we made it safely to Colorado. Was our trip eventful? Yes. Was it long? Yes. Was it full of memories? YES!
We traveled from Raleigh to Greenville, SC and stayed with Ed’s parents for about 5 days. We met with current ministry partners, potential ministry partners, and spoke at a church. Here is our car as we started out on this cross-country journey. Packed to the brim.
Then, we traveled to Lexington, KY – our old stomping grounds. We stayed with the Duffields (who are our old directors from when we worked on campuses in KY) and not only was it great to see them and catch up, but Kinsley and Sawyer (their son) both had a great time (minus the normal refereeing we had to do with a 2.5 year old and a 3 year old). Here they are enjoying the cows.
We also got to visit with ministry partners/friends and enjoyed Lexington’s beautiful scenery. To say that traveling around on a Saturday morning enjoying the green hills, horse farms, and sunshine nourished my soul would be an understatement. This below is just one of many reasons why I miss Lexington…so beautiful!
Then, after staying in Lexington for two nights, we traveled to St. Louis. This is where the trip got interesting. We had decided that we travel early in the morning and after the kids woke up from their naps in the car (nothing more beautiful than watching your child sleep..especially when its in the car and the car is quiet 🙂 ), we would go to the St. Louis Zoo (which is free but not really free when you add in parking, tours, train rides, etc., etc.).
We knew that there was a 50% chance of rain – but 50% means it could go either way. When we stopped for gas in O’Fallon, IL (20 min or so from St. Louis), it was
raining pouring! We decided to go ahead to the zoo and assess what the weather was like up the road. When we arrived, it was just overcast and the nasty cloud from O’Fallon was no longer over us. So, we paid for parking and were unburying the stroller when it started drizzling. At this point, we had already payed for parking so we decided to go for it. It rained on and off the whole time, and while that wasn’t really fun and even some of the animals were no-shows because they didn’t want to be in the rain, it kept away the crowds.
So, after a rainy, yet fun trip to the zoo, we traveled the 20 min to our hotel. When we arrived at the exit, we looked over to our hotel and there were no cars parked anywhere near it. When we pulled up, we noticed trash dumpsters all throughout the parking lot and the inside of the lobby was torn up. The hotel next door was the same way and we were at a loss for what was going on. We had made a reservation through the hotel’s main website and hadn’t heard anything else, so we weren’t sure why in the world the hotel wouldn’t be up and running. We stopped at the La Quinta Inn next door and learned that a big storm had traveled through within the last week and tore off the roof of a few of the hotels. Those hotels were condemned until they could get everything fixed. So, with no notice from the hotel chain and no vacancies at the La Quinta, we were on the hunt for another hotel. We found one an exit up and after getting dinner at 7 at night, our kids were happy to go to sleep!
The next day, we traveled to Salina, KS where we enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool, getting a good meal, and goofing off in the hotel.
Our last day, we traveled to Erie, CO and stayed with our good friends Joscelyn and J (Joscelyn was in my wedding and we have remained good friends ever since). They have a little boy, Wes, that we had never met and a house they bought that we had never seen. After staying with them, we traveled an hour (felt like 20 min after all our traveling) to Fort Collins and moved into our apartment. We are feeling more settled every day and are so thankful to be here.
All in all, the girls did AMAZING. Seriously way better than we ever anticipated. I had planned activities and prizes for Kinsley to get every 3 hours or so, and that helped to keep her attention and give her new things to do. We also let them run around at rest areas during lunch, never did more than 3.5 hours at a time, and then had things planned for the evenings to get energy out. Honestly, Emerson was harder than Kinsley to keep occupied, since her attention span is so short and she is so active.
Another new development that happened in Greenville – Emerson is pulling up on things to stand. Yesterday, she even held on to me and other things with just one hand as she balanced herself. She is definitely growing up too fast!!
Thanks for the prayers – we felt every single one of them and are so grateful for the opportunity to bond more as a family!