Must write it down, getting behind
|Ethan, cuter during the day.|
So we left off around Ethan's naptime on Saturday.. I vaguely remember hanging out with Lydia, (my niece) Jeff, Sarah, Mom, and Dad. Drinking some coffee.. Then stopping at our friend Dustin's house with Jeff and the family. His kids are pretty dang cute too. I heard there was one in the basement that never came upstairs. Wow.. basements. For all you Florida folks, they aren't ALL dark and scary. I am sure that Dustin doesn't keep the twins in a dungeon. Right?
From there I headed back to April's house to see how they were holding up post-funeral chaos. Things were going along as expected. I still couldn't look at the picture board that was sitting on the living room floor.. Or think about the whole reason I was there. I was just enjoying time with 2 of my favorite girls. We also used the bubble wrap as carpet, which was fun. Annabelle let me brush her hair, which is apparently unheard of. Debbie an April were pretty mad that she didn't cry or throw punches at me. Apparently its usually pretty dramatic. Deanna (the one who found Ben) came over and brought Belle a BUNCH of cooking stuff. Turns out Deanna used to work with my dad. Small town I tell ya!
Emily texted me to say there were at her parents house so I went there next. Emily is the God-mother of MY kids and vise versa. I was SUPER DUPER excited to go see my other kids!
Tea is my first God-daughter. She is officially taller than me now, (unless I am wearing my boot) and pretty much looks like a grown up. I am not ok with that. I held her right after she was born and I'm sorry girl, you will always be that cute little girl in the picture that sits on my dresser!
I love Mercedes because she is quiet and quirky and a middle child. Us middles have to stick together! I told her to give some attitude here and this is all she could muster. We had a lesson on proper bear hugs so I know she is teachable. Seriously though, She's super sweet.
Lance is awesome because he doesn't take crap from people. The boy loves video games. When him and Logan met a couple years ago it was a match made in heaven. Someday they'll be best buds like me and his mom.
I also learned the difference between 3d and regular camera phones. I look all shiny in the 3d one.. I wonder why Emily didn't send me pics of the two of us.. What's up with that? Also, Thanks to 'Mom Hunt' for feeding me some awesome spaghetti and to Jerry Hunt for scaring me into thinking it was mexican spaghetti.. whatever that is.
<---- shiny 3D, all camera phones
should do this.
Not 3D, but I am rockin
the excederin modeling, right!?---->
Our plan was to hit the high school we went to since the band was hosting a competition and my girl Molly is in colorgaurd. I spent a good amount of time getting in trouble while in band as a teenager. We were about an hour early and we didn't REALLY want to hang out there so we did what we do best, drink coffee. (At Big Boy this time) Its where we use to go when we skipped for lunch. Oh so many stories of Saturday school after we got caught... We stopped the 'new' Meijer, which until that moment I was pretty sure was just a mirage. I had to get a couple essentials and a bottle of de-tangler spray for Belle.
|THIS stuff rules.|
|I changed this boy's diapers. |
Now he's a hairy college student
|My Beautiful girl|
|Me and 2 of my kids. Ian was at home being lazy. |
Look what you missed!
By this time I was starting to fade but took Emily back to her parents house and went in to see her sister Jen and brother Ron. (And of coarse the kids and her parents too) I had to stop at my mom and dad's to get a couple things, get changed and agreed to meet Emily at O'malley's bar later. (She punked out on me. I don't blame her, I was tired too) I went to pick up April and said goodnight to Annabelle. We promised her we wouldn't drink (and we didn't) and got back on the road.
Jay and Maggie were already at the bar playing pool with friends when we got there.I forgot to take pictures of them, oops! Our girls are the same age and cute as can be together. Loopy is best friends with Jay's brother Ian. Mikey was at the bar trying to talk us into taking shots with my buddy Will. We eventually even got Luke to come out to play!
When we weren't at Burger King or Big Boy for lunch we were at "The Loft." Which was Will's house. Being in band, our lunch hour started 1/2 hour before everyone else's. Me, Wendy, and Emily would sneak into his house through the doggy door and make grilled cheese sandwiches for the Alternative Ed kids.
Luke was in my class pretty much from Kindergarten all the way through high school. This one time in Jr. High we were both late for class and I came running around a corner and he was running the other direction. I BOUNCED off him and went flying threw the air. I think my glasses broke. He is a teddy bear and I love him!
Mikey was a TA regular with us for YEARS and I even worked in construction with him at one point. We built walls for a traveling art exhibit. He still works there but insists that its just no fun anymore. There have been MANY shennanigans with Mikey. AND he brings us bubble wrap. Can't go wrong with that.
This is me and my best friend April. I am pretty protective of her especially after the last few weeks. We've been through a lot together over the last 16 years. I have a very similar picture of us from about 14 years ago. I'll have to find that and post it.
After a couple hours I decided that I needed one last cup of coffee and a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato from the TA. So we headed back to the place where we are most comfortable. There is something about that place that just feels like home. I forgot to mention in the other post that when we were at the truck stop my first night in town I wanted to show April something online. I didn't know if they had wifi so I asked the guy behind me who just happened to be hacking a cell phone. He was nice enough to share a user name and password he had. Which just happened to be Ben's email and password. Ben figured that since he was getting free wifi there, everyone should. How cool is that? He hadn't worked there in a couple years but the legacy lives on! Even though I swore I wouldn't stay out late. I should know better.We got back around 3am. I gave April and Debbie big hugs and left.
Sometimes Goodbyes are REALLY HARD
I have been gone from Michigan for a long time and come back to visit lots of times. But it has never been so hard to pull out her driveway and leave them. I knew that it would be a long time before I go back. I know that I won't be there when things get really hard and the shock wears off. I wish I could be there hold her up when reality hits and everyone realizes that Ben won't be coming back. He didn't just go join the circus (he did that once) or run back to Seattle. Even though April and Ben were divorced they were still a family. They went hiking together, to the beach together, they had family dinners together. Its hard to believe that chapter is over. I packed up my bags and laid in bed for a long time just wishing there wasn't so much distance.Wishing that it was all a bad dream. The next morning I got up, said bye to my family and drove to the airport. I think I cried all the way to Kalamazoo. (that is a REAL town an hour north of where I grew up) I heard this song around Jackson and lost it all over again. Deep Breaths.
Nothing brings you back to reality like an airport. I got there crazy early (for me) and returned my car. I narrowly escaped a $500 fine because of the new chip in the windshield that happened on my way to the airport. If it had been 'in the drivers line of vision' it would have been one costly rental! I took off big stinky boot and made it though the full body x-ray. (whoop whoop) with plenty of time to spare. I chose an uppity sports bar for lunch to settle my stomach because California Turkey Wrap was on the menu. If you know me you know I have an obsession with avocado. I eat em on everything. After placing my order for a $12 wrap and watching professional poker (really?) for 45 minutes I was told that my sandwich was given to someone else and they would make me a new one pronto. Once I got it there was no avocado to be found. I was no longer WAY early for my flight and started to eat it anyway. I flagged down the waitress an politely asked where the fuck is my avocado (was getting grumpy, but didn't really swear at her) She apologized again and ran off. She brought me a small cup of guacamole. The manager came out to apologize and explained that they used the last avocado on the sandwich RIGHT before mine (that was supposed to be mine) and said I'd get a discount. Great. Now my wrap was wrong but reasonably priced. Whatever. I asked them to change the channel on one of the MANY tv's because a man was jumping out of a plane from the edge of space. That should have been WAY more interesting to lots of people. They said no, its a sports bar. Sorry. Sadly they didn't have a Science bar so I missed it. I'll check youtube.
I grabbed some coffee and chose a seat at the gate to do some people watching. I talked to an extremely sweet couple who had just adopted two little girls and they were headed to Disney for a family vacation. They are going to be great Dads! I love diversity. I love that people are going to have to accept this eventually. Even the old couple that noisily moved to the other side of the gate to avoid it.
The flight was bumpy and fun. I was entertained by a group of terrified high school wrestlers who had never flown before. They tried so hard to be macho. Fail. I think I slept for about an hour. Aaahh, turbulence. Around 7:30pm I had found my bag and my family. I was so busy all week that we didn't talk much so I had A LOT of things to hear about. What better place to enjoy a Florida homecoming with the family than Disney!? More on that later. I still feel about a week behind on sleep. We'll get caught up on the regular bloggin' tomorrow.