Alright; it’s been a few days since I last posted… the good news for me is that I’m pretty sure my resolution was to post at least once a week, and, if I’m going with calendar weeks, I’m still on track for this year! So, I am definitely going by calendar weeks!
It’s been an eventful few days – January 8, I didn’t sleep well at all; was up in the middle of the night sick for a couple of hours, nothing horrible, but enough that I slept in that morning before getting up for a busy workday. That night was Awana and BW3 – yes, we’re finally back to music bingo on Wednesday nights! I actually even won one round! Dinner was Taco Bell – I know, those of you who have been reading my blog for a while were expecting me to say McDonald’s since this was a Wednesday night, but the girls wanted something different this week… go figure!
January 9, I went into the office! It’s been a long time since I was actually IN the office so it was really nice to catch up with people. After lunch, I had a dentist (actually, periodontist) appointment. They had to make an impression for a stint that I will use after my upcoming gum grafting surgery… this is long overdue to repair a gum injury from last July! The surgery was scheduled for January 27, but I had to reschedule this week… I’ll get to that in a bit. After work, we spent the evening packing, making matching shirts for the family for vacation (hokey, but fun!), and then going out for dinner with the family at Applebee’s… unfortunately, I was sick again this night – ended up going to bed around 9 p.m.
The good news is that by Friday morning I was feeling much better – January 10, I was up early to finish packing and to tie up last minute to-do’s before heading for the airport with the family before the sun came up! We flew to Orlando, checked into the hotel, and I spent the afternoon working before we headed off for a few hours at Magic Kingdom. Dinner was at one of our favorite spots – Pinocchio Village Haus – in Fantasyland! Then it was back to the hotel for an early bedtime…
January 11, we were up early and headed for the Disney Marathon Expo to pick up race packets for Hubby and Jay Pea. We spent the morning at the Expo, checking out exhibitor booths, making signs to cheer on the runners, and listening to speakers talk about race details. After lunch, we headed over to Hollywood Studios where we spent the afternoon trading pins and riding a few rides. I can’t remember what was for dinner, but I know everyone was in bed early again to prep for the big marathon event on Sunday!
Sunday morning (January 12), we were up at 3 a.m. and out of the hotel at 3:30. We dropped Hubby and Jay Pea off at Epcot to run the marathon (yes, they ran 26.2 miles – and then some if you count all the walking to and from the car and the race start/finish), and the rest of us headed for Magic Kingdom to prepare to cheer them on! We were able to see them four times during the race which they finished in about 6½ hours – once at Magic Kingdom, once outside the Polynesian Resort, once at Animal Kingdom, and, the last time,
at Hollywood Studios. They were extremely wiped out after the race, and, as spectators, the rest of us weren’t much better after standing, cheering, and moving between parks all morning. We got the runners back to the hotel room and had to pack right away to move to our time share for the next phase of our vacation! Hubby and Jay Pea sat on the couch eating burgers and fries (a recovery meal of champions!) while the rest of us packed up.
Once we checked into the new place, it was time for naps before meeting up with friends from Minnesota (we’ll call them the Teen Leaders, as the husband is a senior high pastor). They were down here for the half marathon the day before. Anyway, we had pizza for dinner with them, rehashed the race, and talked about recovery methods. It was a good way to end a long eventful day! On the drive back to the resort, I talked to Mema and PawPaw who told us that Grandpa M had taken a turn for the worst and that hospice was not hopeful that he would recover. They couldn’t predict how much longer he had, but his body was beginning to shut down. For those who’ve been reading this blog for a while, Grandpa M turned 101 this year on January 2, so we were not surprised to hear this news, but it is still never easy to hear that a loved one is dying especially when you are so far away from them.
Monday was Jay Pea’s last day with us, so January 13, we let her pick where we went. The day started with a 1½-mile walk to Chick Fila for breakfast (Jay Pea and I went and brought food back for everyone else). Then, Jay Pea, Loo Hoo, Doodle, and I headed to Animal Kingdom while Hubby and K-Cat stayed at the resort to play in the pool. We came back to get them for lunch, and everyone went to Epcot together.
I called Mema and PawPaw to check on Grandpa M and was told that things were continuing to get worse; within minutes, they called me back to tell me that he had passed away. Again, while this was not a surprise to hear, it was still very hard news to actually accept. I have great memories of my grandfather trying to be patient while I “learned” to fish; persistently lighting stubborn fireworks with a blow torch so we’d have the perfect backyard Fourth of July; and letting me run loose in his garage making things out of spare wood, rubber bands, and nails. I have memories of following him through his huge garden while he picked and weeded and I stared in horror at the bugs on the plants and of going out to the garage to find him sitting up in the engine of someone’s car working on it. I remember the smell of the garage – oil, gas, metal – and it always makes me think of summers in Kansas. Grandpa M was a quiet man who loved us all very much and who showed that love through acts of service. He was our go-to guy for many years for fixing cars and finding new cars. He was always my oldest grandparent, and it was amazing to me that he lived to see me graduate, and then to see me get married, to see my first, second, third, and fourth daughters born, and then to see them each grow up! I’m sure there are not many kids who still have a great-grandfather when they are 21 years old, but Jay Pea did… rest in peace, Grandpa M; I’m sure the fishing is great in Heaven!
Simply for consistency, I’ll add that we had dinner at Taco Bell on the way back to our resort that night…
Tuesday morning, January 14, Jay Pea and I were up early for a drive to the airport for her flight back home. I spent the rest of my morning catching up on email, updating bills, and working on travel plans to get to Grandpa M’s memorial service in a couple of weeks. I also rescheduled my gum graft surgery – no sense having to deal with recovery and traveling for the memorial! I’ll take care of the surgery later in February.
When Hubby and the girls were up, they headed off to Universal Studios for the afternoon. It was nice having a quiet afternoon in the time share – just me and my email (I know, it’s sickening, but I really do love it!)… They picked up Wendy’s for dinner – a family size chili and chicken nuggets (I didn’t even know they sold such a thing!). It was the perfect size for us… then, I took the girls back to Disney (Magic Kingdom again) while Hubby stayed home and rested his still tired legs.
Whew… finally caught up! This morning (January 15), we all slept in before Hubby and I went on a run to Chick Fila for brunch to bring back for the girls. Hubby was able to stretch the distance out to 2 miles by adding a few extra laps in the parking lot at the end; I gave up at 1½ – figured that was a good start for me still, at least until I can run a mile without stopping.
After eating, Loo Hoo and I packed a backpack with extra clothes and headed into the parks to take her senior pictures! It was a blast… we went to three different parks and had as many outfit changes. We ended up with over 300 pictures for her to pick from and edit – this was definitely the right spot to do her pictures! Dinner was Cici’s again – not the best pizza, but a good bargain, and the girls like the macaroni and cheese pizza… After dinner, we dropped the girls off at Hollywood Studios and Hubby and I headed for the Children’s Pastor’s Conference opening session. It was great to hear Harvey Carey (one of our favorite speakers last year) again. He had an inspiring message on leading while limping (doing what God calls you to do even when you feel like you are not equipped). I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the conference!
The girls met us afterwards, and we headed back to the resort where we found that we were craving BW3 (must be a Wednesday night thing)… so, Loo Hoo and I drove out to pick up a few wings, chips and salsa, and some corn dog nuggets for a bedtime snack (okay, maybe a bedtime meal!)… now, it’s time to head off to bed as the morning will come early for another general session and our first breakouts at the conference!