Oh how to summarize our trip? It was a long, exhausting trip there, leaving the house at 4am with very excited kids and arriving at our Aunt and Uncle's house in Newville, PA by 11pm PA time (which is 8pm WA time). We were so done with each other and with traveling at that point!
The trip had it's ups and downs. One major up is that Uncle Warren isn't dying, at least not that we or the Dr's can see! It would appear that all the prayers for him worked! He is very energetic and even spent a whole day at Hershey Park with us!
Another up is that I re-connected with my Cousin Brandon and fell in love with his adorable baby girl, Madyson. We hadn't seen or talked to each other in many years--16 to be exact--but I still felt close to him and had this overwhelming, unexplainable love for him, almost like how I think long lost siblings would feel or something. I don't know, but I do know that I hope my future includes more frequent visits with him and that he's often in my thoughts, as with any of my cousins and half-siblings that I care so much about.
Another up--we loved seeing the Amish people (Sophie especially--she really wants to be Amish!); we loved Hershey Park and Chocolate World; and we enjoyed Gettysburg immensly and even though I don't necessarily believe in ghosts, I will admit that Gettysburg is a bit haunting and I've been indulging in many books on ghosts and weird happenings there.
There were a few downs too, but many were quite personal and can be left unshared. I will say that the trip itself was very stressful, all around, for many different reasons, but it was very good to see family and to say that we've been to PA. Ben experienced some very negative behavior while there and got physical with me a few times, and upon being home had to see his pediatrician about a few things. However, we think we have come to a diagnosis about some of his behavior problems and are seeing a new psychologist next week and will know more then.
The trip home was eventful! Our American Airlines flight was cancelled, but because we were there early, we were able to get on a NW Airlines flight. With 30 minutes to make the flight and no breakfast, we got selected for extra screening at security. They took my brand new Body Shop Grapefruit lotion because it was over 3oz. :( We made the flight though and it took us to Detroit, where we had 45 minutes to get about a mile away and catch a flight to San Francisco (with a sobbing 4 year old!). We made it to our flight. Our luggage did not, but we did not know that yet. We then waited at the San Francisco airport for almost 5 hours, while unbeknownst to us, the Olympic torch was arriving there and leaving from there as well! We finally got on our flight and by this time, the kids were about done. Ben was bouncing off the walls, Sophia was melting down and actually fell asleep over Northern CA, and Madeleine was grouchy. BUTTTT---we made it home to Daddy and were giddy with delight, until we realized we had no luggage! They did locate all 7 pieces though and we got them within 24 hours (thank you Alaska Airlines!)
So, with all that, we left chaos to go to chaos to come home to chaos! We leave for Disneyland 4 weeks from today. I gained 2 more pounds. Our house thing is moving a bit slower than expected. We've had some stress with some soccer stuff, and with baseball starting, and with the next 3 weekends filling up.
But, here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking that it seems the last 6-9 months have been a drought period for us. We are having some very hard times, and I truly believe that at the end of this long drought, we will have many blessings to be thankful for. For tonight, I'll end with that thought, as I think I'm still on PA time! I haven't stayed up past midnight since I've gotten home! Next post, I'll share some pictures and explain more about Ben's situation.