For over a year now, I've been talking about going home. The driving factor has always been my grandma's. They're not getting any younger. And should anything happen to them, I'd be on a plane and headed home. So, why not go why they're healthy? It was more than that though. I wanted to catch up with my friends and family. I wanted to share with them about my heart for Ethiopia. So, when I heard my Abuela was in the hospital and a day later saw my other grandma who had aged quite a bit, I knew I needed to get home.
I'm so thankul to my husband, Ryan. He's amazing.
Going home wasn't going to be easy. After all, I was getting ready to travel to Ethiopia. How would we finance both trips? Did I even have that much vacation time? With the support and love of my husband, I purchased a ticket to fly to the home town I was (mostly) raised in. Because of ticket prices being so high, I wasn't able to take any of the kids with me. Which meant that I'd have a weekend to run around like crazy and enjoy some time with my family and friends.
Who knew that Wednesday I'd get the 24-hour stomach bug that had loated around. An early night to bed on Wednesday, with a short work day on Thursday so I could pack, I headed to the airport. My flight was late leaving Cedar Rapids but I made my connection just fine. When I did land in Fresno, I was met by my dear friend, Kristine, her sweet girl and these yellow roses from my husband. He knows these are my favorite:
Friday, I had a fun day with my family. Lunch with Mis and the kids, an afternoon with my dad, sis and niece and nephews. Then an evening with my aunt, uncle and a bunch of cousins. I loved being home and living life with them, if even only for a few hours each. Then Saturday morning I was able to sit in the corner of Starbucks with my friend, Paul, while we chatted and life happend around us. After a quick stop over at the winery, I headed to my nieces birthday party. For the first time in her 8 years of life, I was able to celebrate her birthday with her. Not sure that she cared but I did and it was sweet.
That evening, was the wine social to benefit my volunteer work with FOVC. I will write a more detailed post on my journey4hope blog later. But for now, just to share that this was only possible through the help of my friends, but especially that of Oscar, the winery owner, and those who came. Thank you Oscar and friend for loving, encouraging and supporting me!
And of course, a very important reason for my trip was my Grandma's. I got to see them both. And while we didn't exchange much for words or family history like I'd hoped for, I got to love on them, hold their precious hands and just be there. It was so sweet. Since I didn't get a pic with my nanny, here's one of nanny with one of my besties:
And of course, sitting with my abuela was such a blessing. But it wasn't just my grandma, it was seeing all my family. I consider myself blessed to have seen each of them. It had been a long time. Especially my dad's side. I hadn't seen some of those cousins since my grandpa died in 1997.
This morning, I got to hang out with Seebs, one of my fav high school teachers, lunch with my dad and Nina and then back to Krsitine's. As the time drew to a close today, I packed up my suitcase while still fighting some stomach nastiness. I grabbed my laptop since I'd lost my flight agenda before I even left, and realized that my flight left at 340pm, NOT at 430 pm. Who knew I was dislexic. Nina immediately rushed me to the airport. We were nervous, in need of gas, and hoping to get there on time. No dice. Seriously, even though I was standing there with my luggage at check-in, the not so bend-over-backwards-to-help-me lady informed me that I missed my flight. What? The flight doesn't leave for 30 mins! Well, I learned that in such a huge, I mean, dinky airport like Fresno, they can't manage to get me through check-in, security, and onto the itty-bitty plane in time. Stupid united. Stupid me for not having the time right. Well, $75 later, I'm booked and checked in for the first flight out tomorrow.
And I have to be there at 5am. Good to know.
So, back to Kingsburg I go. Still no desire to eat. But here one more night with my friends. While my husband thinks that I will do anything to extend my vacay, I am so ready to be home. seriously.