I, for all intents and purposes, ran away…for thirteen blissful days I was absent from my real life and immersed in a dream vacation…a dream vacation that started at a house with a pool and hot tub (and a cooler with iced down beer)… a dinner delivery and an early morning wake- up call that enabled me to get in my ride at dawn and watch the sun rise in beautiful California as I began to make the coastal journey from Pasadena to San Francisco… a dream vacation which has taken me from my real life in Temple, TX to California where I spent time in Pasadena, San Francisco, Humboldt Red Woods, Yosemite National Park and once again returned to the private house in Pasadena with a pool, hot tub, fire pit…and the cooler of beer…
I shared this adventure (or in all reality they shared their adventure with me seeing as how I was tagging along on their vacation)with a 4 year old, a 5 year old, two 8 year olds (one of which turned 8 on the trip), a 10 year old and 4 other adults. But I was not responsible for any of them, and each and every one of them showed me so much love, grace and hospitality that I was saddened to say goodbye at the end, and I miss them terribly, still today.
The trip, which was planned by my incredible sister-in-law, Michelle and her friends, Windy and Erin, was an invitation that I received on Sunday, May 4, via text message, while I was in church… it said, “Wanna take a trip with me and kids? Coastal red woods and maybe Yosemite? XOXO Leave on June 19 from our house and get back 27 or 28? Would LOVE for u to come with. And you could stay thru Brandon’s bday and u could hang with us on the 4th of July??? Tempted yet?” When I read it, I started crying…Tempted? Darn right I was tempted!! In fact, I had been dreaming about running away for several weeks…but knew that I really had no place to go.
Then I received this amazing invitation… I was so tempted it scared me. But I knew that there was really no way I could go. Even when I told my best friend, Karen, about the invitation and she said, “You should go!” It would never happen… Even when Cody asked me if I had looked into the cost of plane tickets… there was no hope that I would actually be able to make the trip…
But, even though I held very little hope- I looked into the cost of plane tickets. I looked up information on the Humboldt Redwoods. I looked at the dates on my calendar. I day dreamed about it…pictured myself making it and then gave myself a mental scolding for being so selfish.
A trip by myself to California? I would miss my husband…I hate to go anywhere without him! Even though I smart off about running away all of the time, I really want him to run with me. What if he had another heart attack?! I can’t go that far for that long… why was I even dreaming about it??? What about Jean? (My mother-in-law) Her health is precarious… How selfish was I to think about going on a vacation, out of state, for several days… precious vacation days that I should be using to make the most of the time I have left with my incredible mother-in-law. How could I even consider leaving the state and my husband…what if something happened to my mother-in-law? S.E.L.F.I.S.H. thinking. I can not even think about leaving.
But then, Mother’s Day rolled around. Cody and I spent the weekend in Lubbock celebrating the great mother that Jean Crittenden is… we had Mother’s Day lunch with most of Cody’s family…and then we had to load up and make the trip back home.
Cody always does Mother’s Day for me in an amazing way. He cooks an awesome meal, and works with the kids to make sure that I feel special. This year was no different. We had a great lunch on Mother’s Day in Lubbock with Cody’s awesome family- his mom and dad, his sisters, brother-in-laws and nieces and nephew. He hid a card in my Kindle which I found on the way home and we ate dinner at the Lone Star Steak House in Temple with David. I had received “Happy Mother’s Day” messages from all of my children. And I had been able to spend the day with my mother-in-law, who deserves a celebration everyday… AND I was able to talk to my own mother (also deserving of a daily celebration!) who was spending her special day in California with my brother, sister-in-law and nieces and nephew. My Mother’s Day was complete… except for the fact that apparently, it wasn’t.
Lynnsay and Katherine kept wanting to know when we were going to celebrate Mother’s Day as a family…and so we came up with a plan to celebrate it on Tuesday at a restaurant in Temple (funny story- my first choice turned out to be a bar instead of a restaurant now… so we had to make a second choice- Old Jody’s for beer and fried food!!!) At the end of our dinner, I was presented with a gift bag… it contained two mini bottles of wine and a homemade boarding pass for a flight from Austin to LAX… my family bought me tickets for a trip that I could not imagine taking…for Mother’s Day my family was giving me permission to run away… and I did.