We spent the weekend in Nashville. Joe's uncle invited us down. We stayed in a hotel Friday and Saturday. Everyone was really excited about getting away for a short trip. It was our first overnight trip with all 3 children. Joe and I both tried to prepare ourselves for the fact the this trip wasn't going to be like our usual getaways without the kids.
Friday was Joseph's birthday. His party was the night before. With all the preparations for the party and then the trip, Joe and I were both exhausted before we even set out for Tennessee. Despite our good intentions to leave our tired bodies home, we left grouchy and moody. We were greeted at our hotel by a very friendly lady at the front desk. We told her it was Joseph's birthday. She had everyone in the lobby sing "Happy Birthday" to him. He stood, looking down at the floor, being bashful (aka: bashable, by Bethany) until the lady asked him if he would like a cookie. He immediately looked around and said, "Where's da cookies?" Typical Joseph!!
Bethany and Joseph were very excited and religiously took turns pushing the elevator buttons. We stayed on the 3rd floor, Jophie's number. As we were settling into our room, Bethany checked out the view from the window. She looked down at the air conditioning units and excitedly said, "What are those?" After we told her she said, "Wow!" Then she told Joseph, "You can see the whole world from here!" to which he absolutely agreed. They were especially thrilled that they could see Cracker Barrel too!
By bedtime Joe and I had enough of each other's grouchiness and moodiness. We were spatting back and forth as Bethany and Joseph feel asleep. I say we were spatting, not to sugar coat fighting, because we hadn't yelled or been raging mad. We were both tired and irritable, snapping at each other.
The next morning Joe went to a Bible study with Uncle Joe. The kids and I stayed at the hotel. Bethany was drawing pictures and said they were for Joe and I, to make us feel better. I knowingly asked her, "Why are you trying to make us feel better?" She said, "Because you and Daddy weren't happy with each other last night."
After Joe came back, we went shopping at the mall and out to eat. We battled pushing strollers through the multitudes of people and the long lines to check out. We had planned to go see the Christmas lights at Gaylord Opryland Hotel but we were both to tired and ready to crash. The kids were cranky and sleep deprived. We packed up and planned to check out in the morning and turned in early.
About 4 am Joseph woke up saying his tummy was hurting. I could tell he was miserable because he was wiggling around trying to get comfortable. He went back to sleep for 30 minutes. At 4:30ish, we woke up to him falling off the bed. Joe picked him up and was laying down in our bed with him, when Joseph suddenly threw up all over Joe's chest. That was our wake up call. The whole family was up, taking showers, changing sheets, cleaning the floor, opening the window, gagging for fresh air, living in fear of who would be next.
We decided to head home and call it a weekend around 7 am. We were supposed to go to church with Uncle Joe and Aunt Gina. Joe called to let them know but his uncle felt that we should come to church if we could. The devil had been fighting us all weekend!
Joseph was a trooper, he battled it out through several trips to the potty. We attended Sunday school and church. We are very thankful we were able to go. It was really interesting because the issue that brought us to visit their church was discussed in their service. God is really neat that way.
Joseph was feeling better by the afternoon. No one else has been sick, so we are praying it was a one time thing and not contagious. I have pinpointed it to a couple of options. I told Joe, he could have gotten sick from drinking the pool water, or licking the bottoms of his shoes, or licking his sister. All of these are possibilities. I am learning little boys are really hard to control. Just because I told him to stop doing these things doesn't change the fact that he had already done them, nor does it mean he won't do them again.
As hectic and frazzled as our weekend was, despite our grouchiness, a puking child and lack of rest, we were blessed. Joe and I always look forward to spending time with our family. We were encouraged and that made it worth it all.
The kids had a great time. Even Joseph. The highlights for them were riding the elevator, pushing the buttons, going swimming, enjoying the view from our room, watching the fish at Bass Pro, playing with the dog at Old Navy, eating at Cracker Barrel and going to Uncle Joe and Aunt Gina's house. Oh yeah, and Joseph got to eat with a spoon and a fork. Twice the fun, twice the food.
Joe and I were reminded once again, family time is best enjoyed with no expectations. It's amazing how I stress, plan and prepare for ways to have fun with them and the best parts of the trip were the simplest things.