I can't say it enough--it was SUCH a blessing to be able to spend time with Mimi and her family before officially moving! My last post detailed some of our fun times; we finished off our little Kansas vacation with a couple more adventures, to include fishing in the pond near the H's house (Craig took the kids on Monday so we could concentrate on packing!) and eating a yummy Mexican dinner at Mi Ranchito.
The dinner was an...interesting experience! While I was sitting at the end with the younger kids, trying to help them decide what they were going to order, a waiter set a very full glass of ice water right next to my elbow, unbeknownst to me. When I turned to ask a question or something or other...wham! The contents of the cup ended up on my lap and Krystiana's chair! (But mostly on my lap!) YOWZA, it was COLD! Well, it couldn't be helped, so we continued with dinner...queso dip helped take my mind off my soggy lap, and the amazing entree that Ted and I shared was definitely worth the trip. To top it off, Craig informed our waiter that Zaden was turning one soon, and so we were treated to an enthusiastic seranade complete with ginormous sombrero for Zaden to wear, plus a ginormous dessert that all 8 of our family members sampled!
By the time we had dinner that evening, we were pretty much packed and ready to go. We had even mailed the "gorilla box" to our Italy address, the giant black container that Ted had mailed from Kandahar with a bunch of his uniforms and items that wouldn't fit in his deployment bags. Because we did this, we only had 4 suitcases and 2 duffle bags to check for our flight to Naples. Not bad!
Mimi and I did one last workout together (a 5K run) the morning we left, which was perfect timing, since it was starting to rain as we pulled out of the driveway! I'm so grateful for the time we had to laugh, cry, talk, and pray together. Thankfully she is FINALLY on Facebook (tee hee!), so it will be a bit easier to keep up. It seems weird to think that we can actually keep in touch better with some people now that Facebook exists...but it's true. As much as I hate that I can get "sucked in" and waste a lot of time online, I also cherish the opportunity to be more of a part of my friends' and families' lives through seeing photos and random fun little updates.
We drove to St. Louis on August 14, arriving in just enough time to check into our hotel and unload the Suburban so that Ted could get it over to the vehicle processing center for shipping overseas. He took a taxicab back to the hotel, and then we ate dinner (provided for us, since it was a Residence Inn) and got ourselves to bed as quickly as possible.
After a not-so-great night of rest, we got up early and prepared for the next step of our adventure!
...To be continued. :-)