August Ann Inspired

 

I’m just a traveler on this earth

Sure as my heart’s behind the pocket of my shirt

I’ll just keep rolling till I’m in the dirt

‘Cause I’m a traveler, oh, I’m a traveler.

Chris Stapleton

 

It has been a while, you guys. If you’re a mama, or a dad for that matter, of a school aged child, you can probably guess why. Two reasons. May is INSANE. Between the end of the school year field trips, band concerts, baseball games, awards programs and last day festivities, it is a wonder ANYTHING ELSE GETS DONE!  And, once school is out, my ME time is G-O-N-E. The stillness in the house that I savor when I’m writing is replaced by kids either playing or fighting, watching TV, running in and out the door, needing another snack even though they just ate an entire bag of chips a minute ago. Or, I am running them EVERYWHERE. They have sabotaged my writing time. I’m not mad about it. I LOVE summer break. I mean, my kids drive me nuts, but I do love the time with them. Even if it comes at the expense of churning out some blog posts.

Back to the craziness of May. This year, on top of the normal insanity that month brings, we added a wedding trip to Covington, Kentucky and our third trip to Houston for Abby’s clinical trial. Then just last weekend we spent the day in Chicago. Hence, folks, the title of this post. After many, many years of being home, making peace with not leaving our little bubble, but still always longing for the days when we could see MORE, I am now, a TRAVELER. So, in celebration of that feat…and yes, believe me it is quite a feat, I thought I would share some highlights from each of those trips, and explain why traveling was and still is such a big deal when you have a kiddo with a Urea Cycle Disorder. Whether it’s traveling WITH her or leaving her home for someone else to manage her diet and meds, it is a Very. Tall. Order.

Covington, Kentucky

This was a big one. Not because it was super far away (2.5 hours), but because it was the first time EVER my husband and I have BOTH left all three kids overnight. Our kiddos are thirteen, ten and nine. We have been married almost ten years. It was an adults only wedding and one that I would not have missed for the world. My only cousin on my mama’s side was getting married and my brother and I have always looked at him as a little brother. So, I could either go alone, take a friend or Scott and I were gonna have to bite the bullet and make THIS the trip where we finally left the kiddos, and when I say kiddos, I mostly mean Abby. She is the child who takes two different medications, one 3x a day, one 4x a day, plus a metabolic formula 3x a day, plus every bit of food she eats has to be counted for her daily allotment of protein (she’s on a low-protein diet). On top of that, there is ALWAYS the fear of her becoming metabolically unstable, her ammonia spiking and the need to rush her to Riley Children’s Hospital. Because of all of that, plus the fact that I’m a control freak (yes, I do realize this about myself)  we have just never gotten up the courage to leave her overnight, without at least one of us being there. My sister-in-law, Scott’s sister, told us she would take the weekend off and take care of it all. Thank the good Lord for her.

Scott and I had an amazing time. We stayed at the Hotel Covington in the heart of Covington, Kentucky, nestled right across the river from Cincinnati. Absolutely gorgeous hotel and just the most beautiful wedding. Precious time spent with my mom’s family, and one of those moments where I just wish so badly she could have been there to see it all. To talk about how good the food was. To drink. To dance. To reminisce. She was missed. But, I honored her in the best way I knew how…black dress, red lips and a pair of her earrings. Scott and I stayed up way too late, ate greasy food at 2a.m. and paid dearly the next day when all we wanted to do was sleep, but had to do some adulting instead. Here are a few of my favorite pics from that weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houston, Texas

This trip started out a little rough. An 8p.m. flight turned into a 10p.m. flight due to mechanical issues with the plane. We got in to Houston around midnight, picked up our rental car and headed to the hotel. We (me, Abby, my dear friend April and her son) arrived at our hotel and were told our rooms had been cancelled. Even after being told we would be checking in very late, they (Days Inn Kemah) CANCELLED OUR ROOMS. Memorial Day weekend, almost 1a.m. and we have no rooms. Four hotels later and we finally found two at The Hampton by Kemah Boardwalk. THANK YOU HAMPTON INN. The rest of the trip went smoothly and while we don’t absolutely love our time at the hospital, we sure do make the very most of the rest of the time we are there. This trip’s highlights were Kemah Boardwalk and the Johnson Space Center. We’ve got one more trip in November and Abby is already sad this trial is coming to an end. She is most definitely an adventurer and mama is finally getting the hang of packing ALL the medicine she needs for our stay AND patiently waiting in line while airport security tears it all out to inspect it. <insert profanity>    Here are a few of my favorites from Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago, Illinois

Slightly last minute and just a day trip, but when your neighbor’s ask you to go to a Cubs game, you GO! If you’re a history lover AND a baseball fan (I am both) then there’s no better way to spend a day than at Wrigley Field. If you’re a Cubs fan, and we are, then it’s just icing on the cake. Loved seeing Ben Zobrist wear the socks,  stirrups and plain black cleats that he wears for day games at Wrigley. Nostalgia overload and my sentimental heart just loved it. Watched the Cubs get the W, then headed to Navy Pier for dinner at Harry Caray’s (AMAZING Bloody Mary’s), btw. It’s a four hour trip home, not counting slow as molasses Chicago traffic, so we pulled in our drive around one in the morning. Well. Worth. It.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My world has grown this year. We have lived in our comfort zone since Abby was born, not venturing too far from the security blanket we call Riley Hospital. It is scary. It is exciting. It is a new era for our family. For Scott and I. We are embracing the journey. Loving the adventure.

I LOVE being home. I LOVE traveling. More than anything, I just love this life.

As always, thanks for reading!

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