The Long Haul

If you weren't already aware of this, Texas is really far away from Alabama. And Texas is really stinking big. I'm not sure any one state should be allowed to be that big. It's such a frustrating experience for travelers. I mean, you're destination is "somewhere in Texas", so when you cross the border into the Lone Star State, you naturally think, "Oh, good! We're getting close." But you are sorely mistaken because you have forgotten that Texas has really swallowed six other states that never had a chance. So, you keep driving for hours, and then you're not even halfway across this massive chunk of dry, flat land. And why do Texans think it's the Promised Land, anyway? It's as hot oven, and just dry and brown everywhere you look. Where are the beautful streams. shady forests, and rolling hills that I left behind in Alabama? I'll just never understand Texans, I guess.

But one great thing about Texas is...wonderful people. Namely, Matthew, Emily, Steve, and Sandra. I wouldn't make this horrendous drive with three children (one of whom is NOT fond of spending any length of time in his car seat) for just anyone. Just when I am about to jump out of a moving vehicle to avoid driving one more inch with a very tired, impatient baby (whom I love dearly), we arrive! And, just like childbirth, you forget the agony you endured to get here. (Okay, childbirth wasn't really agony for me because I am a chicken and have had three fabulous epidurals.) We get out of the van, stretch our legs, and see my brother and his sweet wife, and the memories of the last twelve hours fade away.

We had such a great time with them, as we always do. They are so sweet with our kids, and we have such a great time just doing nothing together. But the whole visit is so bittersweet, because our time with them is so limited. It just makes me want to live closer to them so badly when I am reminded how much we love them and enjoy being with them. I've been passing along some suggestions to God about the future plans of our little family and Matthew and Emily. I can think of a few sibling duos in the Bible, so why not us? I'm just's a good idea. Only Emily has some crazy idea that we'll all be jealous of each other's other friendships, but I think we'll be fine. They'll just have to be sure they spend much more time with us than with anyone else. What's the big deal?

So, we did some swimming, eating (which I'm paying for now by having to lose a few pounds), and game-playing. NRH2O, a water park we went to, was awesome. I always forget how much I love water parks, until I go to one. Then I wonder why I don't go more often. And thanks to Steve and Sandra, we even had a double-date night of bowling, mall browsing, and cheesecake! (Hence the weight gain.) But, oh, the sadness of leaving! I suppose I should just be thankful to have such great family. I'll have to work on my attitude.

So, then we spent some time with Chris's brother and his family. Let me just say here that my kids are incredibly blessed. They have the best grandparents and aunts and uncles in the world! (Of course, I guess that would make me blessed, too.) Since Jack and Luke weren't feeling well (did I mention Luke was sick the whole time?), we just did some hanging out, exercising, another trip to a mall, more eating (Yikes!), and a little putt-putt - with a little road-side vomiting thrown in just for fun. I must say, Sandra and I have quite a way with a putter and golf ball. And then more goodbyes. :(

And then another long haul...Is it possible that Alabama moved further away from Texas in the last few days?

(It did actually get longer in time thanks to our one hour completely stopped in Mississippi.)


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