Basing your blog title off of the Hobbit automatically brings up the awesomeness quotient of the post, does it not? Not that our life needs any boosting in the awesome department. We were blessed to divide our time this weekend between 5 wonderful families. The only negative, besides being incredibly busy, was simply that 2 days is not long enough to fit in the other 5 or so families we'd have loved to have seen during our time there.
Friday night we started the 5.5 hour trek. Caleb's sleep schedule has been so thrown off since the time change. My baby who could previously barely stay awake until 6pm began going to sleep around 7/7:30. No problem, we naively thought. He will just sleep in the car seat. Ha ha. At first all was going well. Caleb napped almost as soon as we got on the road. When he awoke we stopped for dinner for him and us. By the time 7:30 rolled around he was showing signs (like screaming) of being ready for sleep. However, for a devoted tummy sleeper, being trapped on your back in a car seat is one step shy of torture when you're trying to go night-night. I spent the better part of the next hour alternatively distracting him and praying he would sleep. No such luck. We arrived at my friend, Michelle's house at 8:30, let him burn off some energy for 20 minutes and then put him to bed. Ah, sleep at last!
The morning brought more fun as Michelle's 18 month old, Zoey, was also awake and ready to play. The kids had fun together while the adults traded off keeping an eye on them, showers and breakfast.
Then our day really began. Our first stop was to our former pastor's family. Visits in their home always leave me with a sense of refreshment and peace. It's hard to believe how much their children have grown and changed in just the few months since Christmas. Caleb took his morning nap there and then we were off to a very special visit with David's grandfather.
Lunch dates with Grandaddy are a staple of every Tallahassee visit. We always go to Hopkins Eatery and enjoy mint tea and seafood sandwiches. The atmosphere is perfect for lingering, even with a sometimes noisy little one. This time, Caleb was able to join in on the eating and Grandaddy got to see him devouring his food like a big boy.
Next it was back to our pastor's family's home to let Caleb take his afternoon nap. Their house is just set up so nicely for napping and, I must admit, we were eager to steal some more time with them. We walked in to the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies by their oldest daughter (yum!) and enjoyed another fun visit.
After Caleb awoke we drove over to the Holiday Inn where our friends were throwing a party for their 5th anniversary. It was so nice of them to make time for us on such a special day and we enjoyed our quick visit and planning their visit to us in the fall/winter. We love visitors, we get snow, we're near Gettysburg, DC isn't too far away, same with Philly! *Shameless plug for all our FL friends to come visit us!*
After that, we scooted across town to visit David's cousin and Aunt. I'd met them all once before at David's graduation, but this was our first chance to get to know each other a little better. Colleen and I keep up on facebook. Technology is such a blessing when you live far from family!
Caleb started breaking down so we loaded him into the car seat and headed for Michelle's again. Her home was such a wonderful place of rest at the end of a busy day. She had a delicious dinner waiting for us just after we arrived. Can I just say chicken apple sausage is amazing? After the kiddos were tucked into bed for the night we played Agricola and waited for her hubby and son to come home from their father/son weekend trip. We finally turned in from our big day around 11.
The next morning was full of packing up and getting ready for church. Caleb and Zoey played together so sweetly. Zoey kept hugging Caleb and he was enchanted by her ability to climb on things : )Finally, everyone was dressed and ready so we said our good-byes and headed to church.
Caleb and I watched most of Pastor Jim's wonderful sermon on prayer in the cry room. Not because Caleb was crying, but because he was so enthusiastically vocal about the service. I was worried everyone could hear his exclamations, but thankfully, they could not : ) Afterward we got to briefly spend time visiting with many special people we rarely get to see now.
We had hoped to spend the afternoon with another couple we are close to, but knew it was unlikely due to illness. When those plans fell through, Pastor Jim and his family graciously opened up their home to us again for Caleb to nap before the big trip home.
Knowing this would be our last visit for quite a while I found it harder to say goodbye to everyone than ever, especially Grandaddy. I cried for about 30 minutes after we left. It's hard to no longer be a regular part of the lives of people you love so much which is true no matter where we move, but I always find that letting go process a difficult one.
Fortunately the return trip was easier than going up. Caleb fell asleep around 7:30 and stayed asleep until we returned to our apartment. His schedule seems to be heading back to normal, whatever that is any more!
I feel so blessed that we have so many people we love and are loved by no matter where we go, but I must admit, this weekend drained me emotionally and I know the next 3 weekends of "last visits" with our respective families won't be any easier. I'm seeking rest and peace in God's plan for our family and trying to stay focused on the joy of reuniting with friends and church family in PA while allowing myself to grieve this move. Simple right?