We're home. We traveled over two days breaking the trip up and stopping to visit with family, hug their necks, wish them Merry Christmas and allow them to peek at our princess. Dave and I enjoyed our drive with Ashley Kate yesterday. We were probably the happiest two people you've ever seen traveling down the highway. We smiled and smiled and smiled as we watched our baby girl play in the rear view mirror. She truly is a gift. A gift that can't be topped.
Today we headed out with our explorer packed to the top and full of children. All three of ours with us and all of our stuff traveling down the highway once again. We laughed, sang Christmas carols along with the radio, stopped about 30 times for this one or that one to use the bathroom, readjust, or change places, and enjoyed every single minute of the 6 hour drive into Texas and up our little street. We pulled into the drive about 7pm and jumped out of the car to plug in the lights, turn on the music, and light the candles. Then I slipped out for a little while to finish up some last minute items I didn't have a chance to complete before heading out to Omaha and Dave and the kids played board games and got our pickle all tucked into bed.
Once I got home I baked cookies for Blake and sat in the floor with Allie and dumped out our "vacation fund" so that we could get it ready to take to the bank tomorrow. Her eyes lit up as she counted pile after pile of change. We keep a huge water bottle in our closet and toss all of our change into it throughout the entire year. The money inside of it becomes our spending money for vacation and then we don't have to take a chunk out of our bank accounts while we are gone. The kids love seeing it get full through the year and every once in a while you will see them searching the house for lost change to add to it. It makes me laugh to see how excited they get over the discovery of a quarter behind the couch or a pile of dimes and nickels found in the dryer. Anyway, Al is looking forward to taking it to the bank tomorrow so she can cash it in for larger bills.
It feels so good to be here again. I have no idea how long it will last for us this time, but walking through that front door is the best feeling in the world. Burdens are dropped on the front porch and not picked back up until we find ourselves heading back out for another stay in Omaha. The house is so warm, so beautiful with the glow from the lights on the tree, and so yummy smelling. The older kids are too excited to sleep and have decided to have Al sleep on the extra mattress in Blake's room so they can visit and listen to Adventures in Odessey tonight. There is much cleaning, packing, and planning to do tomorrow, but for tonight I think I'm going to go kiss the foreheads of my children and whisper to them how very much I love them and then snuggle up next to Dave. I can't tell you how grateful I am to be home with Ashley Kate. Coming home never gets old. Each time we are allowed to come back it feels better, and better and better. I'm just so thankful to be here again. I pray it will last for a long while. She needs a break and so does her mom.
Thanks for praying for us this week. It was a long one. She's still got a long way to go, but she's gonna get there. Someday. For today, she is happy and for that I'm thankful. God bless guys. Goodnight. Trish