Last year I attempted to surprise my parents by going home with my brother for my dad's 66th birthday. Unfortunately, my sister unknowingly spilled the beans and we arrived to happy, but not surprised parents.
This year my brother called me up to see if I wanted to go to our parents for my mom's 60th birthday. Initially my reaction was, "Umm, I just had a baby I'm not ready to travel yet."
But the more I thought about it, I decided it would be fun to surprise my parents (for real this time) and to be there to celebrate mom's 60th. It helped that both Jack and Isaac do well in the car.
On the drive to Arkansas, it took us 9 hours. This involved three stops (including picking up my brother in Nashville), driving through three intense thunderstorms and one construction site in West Memphis. Thankfully the boys were troopers.
We arrived after my parents were in bed and somehow made it into the house without waking anyone up. The next morning Jack was up at 6am (uncharacteristic for him). I let him play games on my phone (on silent) until my parents were up.
It was worth the drive to see the look on my mom's face when Jack ran down the hallway to say, "Happy Birthday!" to her. My folks had no idea we were there!
Jack had a blast on this visit – he ate blackberries that he helped pick straight from the garden, and he remembered getting to ride the little red wagon (he was 2 when we were last there!).
He also got to ride around on the lawnmower (without a blade) with my dad and they spent time building lincoln logs together.
We had a lovely, though short, visit. We celebrated with our family's traditional pistachio birthday cake. We also had a blackberry cobbler – that Jack helped make.
In addition to celebrating my mom's 60th birthday, we also celebrated my parents 39th anniversary and my grandma's 94th birthday.
I am thankful that both of my boys have now met my grandma. It was amazing how much my grandma lit up whenever my boys came into her room to visit. She was over the moon about getting to hold Isaac. I think we really made her weekend.
Sunday morning we enjoyed homemade pancakes and another visit with my aunt and uncle. Hopefully next time my sister and her family can join us as well. They were definitely missed.
Our trip home was slightly shorter – only 8 hours of driving, three stops, no construction, and no storms.
Until next time...