Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Trip Home: Part 2

I know it's been a while, but this post was half way finished so I decided to go ahead and do that and hit the highlights over the past two months (since I haven't written in that time). I've had plenty going on, which I can explain later, so this is the second part to our trip home.
Once we spent a few days in Florida, we drove to Georgia to visit with my family. Daniel stayed for the weekend and a few days and left to go back to spend time with his family in Florida. Over the weekend while he was in, we were able to surprise my brother and sister-in-law. My other family knew I was coming in, so we were only able to surprise a few people. I had to let my mom know so she could adjust her schedule accordingly and of course she told my dad. By the end, my brother and sister-in-law were the only ones that didn't know we were coming. None of our friends really knew, but family wise, everyone but my brother knew.
We had such a great time and Caleb really enjoyed being around Papa and Nanny. Caleb LOVED being outside and tried to bother the dog when she came out to be seen. Other than that, he pulled Papa around between the lawnmower, tractor, 4-wheeler, and motorcycle. He had a blast to say the least and loved every minute of being there.
The first weekend we were down, we visited with Daniel's Aunt Janice and his Granny which was staying there and luckily caught all of our cousins in the process. It was nice to see all of them because it had been a little over a year for us. We hung out one day at the pool at Jamie and Cassie's house and had lunch beforehand at Janice's house. Caleb got to enjoy his Granny for a little while and his cousins which he never sees. The kids (including the adults) had a blast and it was so nice to see everyone there.

Although the trip was great and we had tons to celebrate (two new nephews), my mom had surgery before we were suppose to go back to FL. I decided to stay with her so Daniel went back to FL I kept Caleb for a few more days to keep it fair between the grandparents, and that would also give Daniel a little bit of time to enjoy his family and friends without having to worry about Caleb and his normal routine. After a few days with Caleb I took him half way to Daniel (roughly 3 hours) and Caleb then went off with Daniel back to FL. This was my first "real" time without having Caleb for a few days and it was pretty hard. It's so strange because that's all my life and routine had consisted of for 3 1/2 years. Once I got back to GA my mom had surgery on her foot the next day. I hung out with my dad in the waiting area all day and had lunch with him which was really nice. My mom got to come home that night but we had to do some tedious work to keep her foot taken care of. Anyways, she is still having issues so I'm waiting to hear what steps will be taken next.
After the surgery I went back to FL and hung out with family. We took family pictures and enjoyed a birthday dinner with Daniel's sister Tara and her husband Bryan. We had a blast and definitely didn't want to take the LONG trip back home. We all had a great time though and can't wait to make another trip back home.

Here are some pictures from the trip in GA and a video of Caleb riding the lawnmower by himself.

video

My brother's baby - Kyler and Caleb

Daniel's Uncle Buddy and the rest are cousins

Daniel and Caleb swimming and playing

Monday, September 14, 2009

Our Trip Home

Yes - it's been a LONG time since I've posted so there's a lot of information in this blog. You're being warned now. I'm sure there have been longer ones in the past that I may have posted, but I'm trying to break this post down as much as possible for everyone to view a little easier.
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Hi everyone. Yes I realize it's been close to a month (if not a month or more) since I've posted. We've obviously had a lot going on and those close to us know what that is. Our visit!! Daniel and I thought it'd be fun to get away for a few days so I called the terminal to see what flights were coming up within the next three days, and there was a flight going straight into Jacksonville, FL. Maybe 15 minutes from either Daniel's brother or mom. We were like, okay we'll take it! After a little bit of work (getting the orders squared away, etc.) we were packed and on "stand-by." Being on stand-by has it's moments, but this trip was definitely one like I've never experienced. The flight ended up landing on Friday (we were told it'd be here Saturday morning), fueled, and left carrying no passengers to FL. We were crushed but decided to go anyways since we had already told very few people and we were already in the mindset to see family and friends. We made it onto a flight for CA but first had to do a 17 hour layover in HI. Yes, Hawaii isn't that bad, however when you have to stay in a terminal because there's no hotel within a good 10 minutes of the airport, it's not the greatest either. Caleb and I slept on the floor (I think Daniel slept in chairs - not sure) and after a few hours we were up and going to CA. That flight wasn't too bad, but Caleb wasn't feeling really well and had an upset stomach.
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We finally make it in to CA and we have a Savannah flight that's leaving the following morning. Needless to say, they can't take any passengers because the flight had issues the day before. Okay, fine. There will be two flights leaving for Charleston, SC that night (the same day as the GA flight) and we'll try to make it onto one of those. Both, we found out around 5 PM, were cancelled. Not sure why but they'll no longer be leaving. At this point Daniel had had enough. Believe it or not, I have a little more patience at stuff like this, but I also don't have "leave days" that I have to worry about (other than worrying with him). I was just as upset and aggravated and tired of dealing with all of the cancellations, so we bought tickets from San Francisco to Jacksonville, FL. We flew that night (all night actually) and made it in around 630 AM to Philly. From there we flew into FL arriving around 1030 AM.
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We had planned not to tell anyone in our families about the trip, but we needed Tara (Daniel's sister) to pick us up since her and her husband Bryan are keeping our truck while we're in Japan. We finally told her, and also told Jason (Daniel's brother). Other than that, no one knew. We decided to meet over at Jason's house that night and Rhonda had already planned on coming out, so we'd surprise her then. It was too funny. Jenny (Jason's wife), myself (holding Trevor), Daniel, and Caleb were in Trevor's room (which was still under-construction) and Jason got Rhonda to walk back there. Of course she was holding Cale, so when she opened the door and saw Caleb and Daniel right up front, she freaked out. She dropped down and gave Caleb a hug and started crying. I knew it was coming and called it before we ever left Okinawa. Cale was fine, he just got scared, so Daniel scooped him up while Rhonda was hugging Caleb. She then made her way to Daniel and that was a little more emotional seeing in how he hadn't seen any of his family for a little over a year. I was just there, so I held the baby and laughed. It was so great seeing everyone and hanging out. The boys (the three mobile ones) were into everything. Caleb and Brody played very well together, although there were moments, but overall did great. Caleb actually came back to Okinawa saying he had brothers. It varies from day to day, but he'll say my brother Brody, or my brother Brody and Trevor, and once or twice he's told us, along with friends, that he had brothers. I asked him who, and he told me my brothers: Brody, Trevor, and Cale then laughed. He is so cute and really enjoyed himself and Brody this trip. We can't wait to come back home, but we have roughly a year left.
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While there we did a lot and I didn't have my camera for much of anything. We have some pictures that were taken on the beach by a friend of the family, Kari Vernnard, and also some snapshots from Tara and Bryan's birthday dinner, which happened to be before the beach pictures, so I'll post what I have.
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Caleb on the flight to Hawaii (91/2 hours from Okinawa)
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Daddy and Caleb

Caleb and Mama
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Outside of the terminal in Hawaii.
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Caleb outside of the terminal. We're waiting on a bus to get off base.

One of the military "PX" shops. We were right at Pearl Harbor. This place was huge.


Caleb was done! He literally fell asleep as the plane took off. This is the flight to Philly.

This is all of us at Tara and Bryan's birthday dinner. We were about to leave to take beach pictures. Caleb just had to hold Trevor, so we helped assist him.

Our family picture on the beach. Caleb was a bit distracted - go figure!!

Caleb, Cale (Tara's son), Brody, and Trevor (both are Jason's sons).

Jason, Tara, and Daniel