We welcomed the new year in Little Rock with my family. My dad and his friends have a Beatles Party every year to celebrate New Year's. It was so fun to bring David and George to sing along with Beatles songs. George even wore his Beatles t-shirt! We also had Christmas with my family where George was showered with even more gifts! It was nourishing to the soul to see my family. Little Rock always feels like home.
A common scene throughout our entire trip...
Playing piano at Papa's house on NYE
Enjoying the mild weather at my dad's house
Visiting George's great-grandparents in Mtn. View, AR
Playing at Grandma's house in Little Rock
Opening Christmas presents
Visiting great-grandparents in Little Rock
Fun at the Zoo
Friday, January 13 (aka Friday the 13th!) was supposed to be our last night in Little Rock before heading back North. David had a Skype interview with a university that night, so George, my dad, and I left for dinner to give David some privacy for his interview. While I was driving our (only) car along Chenal Parkway, we were hit by a car turning across our lane. Immediately after impact, I jumped out to grab George from the backseat. The only problem was that I didn't put the car in "park" first and the car, with my dad and George inside, began to roll forward. I had to chase the car down (not far) to put the car in park. Meanwhile, we were in the middle of an intersection and all I could think about was getting George out of the middle of traffic. So I scooped him up and ran with him into a grassy area as far from the road as I could go. George was screaming, but he looked okay. My dad came over to us and his head and hands were bleeding pretty bad. It was terrifying. It was incredible to see the number of Good Samaritans who stopped to bring us blankets (it was pretty cold) and ask if we needed anything. One woman even prayed with me and George. My right knee hit the steering column and it felt like it was stiffening up to where I couldn't move it easily. It turns out that my knee was fine, just badly bruised (and still hurting now because of fluid trapped under the knee cap). We all rode to the hospital with my dad in the ambulance since he had a head injury. Turns out he was fine too, needing only stitches and pain medicine. The woman who hit us wasn't injured. The whole experience was quite surreal. We are so grateful to God for our lives and that no one was seriously injured. Our car was totaled, but we were able to buy another car in Chattanooga on our way back to NY. Our "new" car is actually just like our old car, but with fewer miles and white instead of tan. Praise God for watching over us during this terrifying experience!
We left Chattanooga to return to NY on January 20th. After planning to spend the night in VA, we opted to press on and drive a total of 16 hours to NY, avoiding a big snow storm headed our way. (16 hours is a very long trip with a 14 month old.) Fortunately, George slept most of the way. We pulled in to Earlville around 1am after stopping to get groceries at Wal-Mart and even got pulled over for speeding 4 miles away from home after such a long journey. ANYWAY, we finally arrived at our house and David wanted to go inside to look around before having George and I go in. While we were waiting, I saw David running towards us from the house. He screamed for me to call our landlord and said that the house was flooded!!! Sure enough, the ceiling had fallen in the kitchen, there was probably 6 inches of water in the kitchen and 2 feet in the basement. The pipes had burst while we were away. We have no idea how long the pipes had been hemorrhaging before we arrived. Water was still gushing in. The furnace was off, there was probably 8 inches of snow on the ground, and the outside temperature was 0 degrees. David's beloved book collection appeared to be ruined as all of the pages of every book were warped. The next day they seemed to have straightened out. We really think this was a miracle since the pages were SO bad the night before. The heat allowed the pages to straighten again. Thankfully, only 3 rooms of our house were flooded. George's room was just fine so we put him to bed and stayed up all night cleaning up the mess. When David left the house in mid December, he left the heat set on 55 and the faucets dripping. The pilot light went out on our furnace, however, and caused the house to freeze. We know of at least 4 pipes that burst. We're STILL cleaning up the mess and dealing with mold, mildew, etc. With the car totaling and the house flooding within a week of one another, we are considering these events as a "wake up call." We are trying to focus on the things in life that really matter: our faith, our family, and our health/lives.
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
This past fall, David has been applying for jobs. In fact, he's applied to over 50 around the country. This January and February, he was invited for a few on-campus interviews! I can't go into much detail, but we are grateful for the opportunities and looking forward to the next step in his career. He has worked tirelessly on applications and preparing for interviews. I'm so proud of him and I am confident that his hard work will be rewarded!
Well, February has been free of drama (compared to January), but has been unbelievably busy. David has been traveling, teaching, and working on various other projects nonstop. I know he is beyond exhausted.
While Daddy has been away, George and I have been working on weaning. I've been breastfeeding him three times a day for some time now. The past few weeks I've eliminated one feeding a week. Tonight will be his last feeding--ever. My feelings are very conflicted. I know he'll be fine, but I'll miss our special time together, especially since my boy isn't a big cuddler.
David and I are going away to a big writers' conference called AWP in Chicago at the end of the month. We will be representing 32 Poems at the conference in addition to attending readings and social events. This will be our first time away from George together. David's parents are going to stay with George in our house while we're away for 4 days. It will be so fun to have time together again, but I know we'll still miss our baby boy. We're saving our Valentine's date for Chicago, too. It's been too long since I've dressed up for a date. :)
What another lengthy update! I hope to be better about updating the blog again now that we're back in NY and getting settled again.
My last blog post was in OCTOBER(!), so I'll attempt to wrap up 2011 in this post.
George was a dinosaur for Halloween. We enjoyed parties at the library and Earlville fire station.
George turned 1! We had an intimate celebration with just the three of us. George opened his gifts, ate cake, looked through his baby book, watched videos of him, and we went on an outing to the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, the pumpkin patch was closed and there was not a pumpkin in sight.\! Oh well. He loved the cake and enjoyed ripping the paper off of his gifts. The Earlville girls (and their kids) threw George a surprise party at the library so he could have a party with friends! What a blessing it is to have these women as friends and neighbors!
Earlville Story Time Gang
Sarah (David's sister) and Aaron got married! We left NY on Nov. 21 to head south for the festivities. It was such a lovely wedding and I'm so glad we got to be apart of it, even if George's babbling forced us to step out early from the ceremony.
George was perfect on the plane. He's definitely prefers window seats!
George and Dada at Sarah and Aaron's rehearsal dinner.
We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in Chattanooga with David's family. First, let me say that George and I were away from home Nov. 21-Jan. 21. That's TWO MONTHS away from home! It was so great to spend time with our families and for George to get to know his grandparents, aunts, and uncles a little better. I don't think I cooked a single meal for 2 months! Since Sarah's wedding was the weekend before Thanksgiving, it only made sense to stay there until then. After Thanksgiving, David returned to NY to finish teaching his class and drove to rejoin us in mid-December. We decided not to go back with him to spare George the trauma of two long car rides. Below find gratuitous photos from Christmas and our general visit to Chattanooga: