Let me tell you a story. Grab your coffee, sit back and read a little story of a weekend in my life that was SO amazing but I've never shared it. I think that since this happened a year ago it must have been that I just simply forgot to tell some of the details of this weekend because Christmas was happening and I was getting ready for the festivities of that. So, here's my story.
The story actually starts in October of last year. My mom came down to San Antonio to spend a week with us before Hannah was born. Our hope was that Hannah would come a week early like the other two did...but Hannah (God) had other plans. My mom spent a week playing with the big kids, helping me clean, going on some family outings with us, enjoying some quality time with us and hoping and praying that "today" would be the day Hannah would come. I finally started with active consistant contractions early in the morning that my mom was scheduled to go home. By the time I got to the hospital my contractions basically stopped. But they kept me because of my high blood pressure. Everything was going good and my mom was trying to change her ticket...but she wasn't able to. The morning went on and she wasn't able to bring the kids out or come say goodbye because there simply wasn't time. Hannah was born around 1:30pm and my mom's flight took of a 1pm. We were beyond disapointed that she wasn't able to be there to meet Hannah and snuggle her at least once before she left. But like I said, God had plans for us.
My parents had decided by this time that they were going to serve as missionaries overseas. They were scheduled to go to Indonesia at the begining of February 2011 (that changed and there were some hiccups along the way but they are happily serving overseas...just not in Indonesia). Our home church was having a commissioning service for them on December 13th (and it would also be there last Sunday at Grace) so my siblings and I started the conversation...can we all be there to share in this with them? Eric and I knew it wouldn't be feasible for our entire families to fly home so we figured that it would just be us. We both flew into Milwaukee on Friday, December 11th and stayed with my sister. Mom and Dad had NO IDEA that we were 10 minutes from their house! The plan was that on Saturday Tracey and Brad were going to pick up my parents and take them to breakfast so they could celebrate Christmas with them before they left to come visit us in San Antonio and eventually head out to California to stay wtih Eric and Catherine for a while. So, we got in Tracey's car and headed to my parents house. We knew they would come out the back door of the house so she pulled almost all the way up the driveway, Eric and I got out and hid behind her car. Brad had to drive seperately otherwise there wouldn't have been enough room for all of us (since Hannah was with too). My mom thought that was odd at first but it didn't take her long to figure out why he drove too. Mom and dad came out together and Eric and I stepped out from behind the car and mom SCREAMED! I've not heard her scream like that before. I thought she was going to have a heart attack. I got ONE picture of her freaking out and it's priceless! Dad, just smiled so big and they kept saying I can't believe this, I can't believe this. We got them good! And it was good!!
I then added to the joy and told my mom that Hannah was in the car. This was the first time that she had seen Hannah...remember she left San Antonio the day Hannah was born. She was so excited....like most grandmas are to see their grandbabies! We enjoyed a great breakfast and catching up. We got to drive out and see Brad and Tracey's new house. I got to see my best friend. We went to church on Sunday and got to see friends from there. We enjoyed lunch, dinner, hanging out and just being home with all of us one last time in their home was GREAT. My parents were able to sell their home by the end of December but when we were there it wasn't sold yet. We knew it would be the last time that we were all in the house and it was bittersweet for us all.
On Monday before my flight back to San Antonio I was able to take Hannah to meet her other godmother for the first time. It was great to see Tami and all the kids again and the kids LOVED seeing Hannah and having a baby in the house! By February their house was going to grow by 4 feet! (you can see their family of 9 here) Tami was pregnant with her second set of twins when Hannah first got to meet her. Now, Hannah will be able to play with those sweet kids! She did enjoy sitting on them though!! The flight back was uneventful and it was an incredible weekend that I will not forget.
When Christmas came my parents were tying up loose ends with their house before they could make the drive down to be with us for two weeks before heading to California for a month before leaving the country for their mission year and a half (did you follow that). So, while they were driving unbeknownst to them Tracey and Brad were also driving down from WI to San Antonio so spend Christmas with us. We had tabs on both vehicles and knew that Brad and Tracey would arrive well before my parents on Christmas Eve. Tracey was able to go to church with us and when we arrived home my parents were sitting in the driveway waiting on us (they had just gotten there). When they came up to our van to greet us and the kids they were surprised again to see Tracey sitting in the back seat with Naomi...another mini heart attack for mom! It was priceless! What great memories. We enjoyed a great Christmas celebration and had a great couple of weeks with my parents. It was REALLY hard to let them leave for California. We thought it would be the last time we saw them in person for 18 months. But God had other plans. My parents were able to be around for the birth of their 5 grandchild when Ella was born in California in January so that's great news. Then Greg got the call to serve at Concordia in Tennessee and we knew we needed to fly up there and visit the church, but we didn't know who would keep the big kids. My parents mission trip was delayed so they were actually able to come back to San Antonio and spend another two weeks with us! They got to be with Naomi and Micah and spoil them while Greg, Hannah and I were in TN. They got to see the SMALL amount of snow in San Antonio (the Friday we were gone) and we just had a GREAT time with them being with us. I treasure those times, those memories.
Here are some photos from our surprise weekend in Wisconsin, one year ago! This is what happens when you give your camera to someone who doesn't know how to use it. Sorry Eric! Grammy loved hanging out with Hannah...as much as she could! Me and my best friend! (who just drove 24 hours two weekends ago to spend my birthday with me!! Thanks Clif and Julie we love you and are so glad you could come) Grace, Faith, Tami, Jeremiah, Josiah and Thomas oohing and aahhing over Hannah! Here's Hannah and her godmother while Hannah sits on Jonathan and Hope! Brrr! There's no weather like this in San Antonio. It was actually one of the coldest weekends WI had that winter. Go figure! Hannah and her first "experience" with snow! Gonna miss this house! We moved to this house when I was 10. So, it holds a lot of memories... Here we all are after the Christmas service in San Antonio.