After all the busyness of Christmas, Mike and I took the kids to Chattanooga to visit Dick and Daphne, Mike's dad and step-mom. I thought we would never get on the road.
Mike had to work Monday and Tuesday, so I tried to get everything packed and ready to go. It is easier said than done when you are trying to unpack all the mismatched clothes and short-sleeve shirts your kids put in their suitcases and telling them they can't take everything they got for Christmas. I could not keep my focus on what I needed to do and would get distracted at every turn. The kids were helpful in that they cleaned my bathrooms, dusted, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher and whatever else I needed them to do.
Hannah's friend MaKayla was going with us so her mom Ami dropped her off late Tuesday afternoon. While going through our bags to see what to put in the van first, we realized that MaKayla's suitcase was still in the back of her mom's van - 45 minutes away. Ami and I met halfway at Sonic. The kids ate dinner while Ami and I made the exchange. As I am pulling out of the restaurant, the car behind me started honking at me. It was Ami again. She forgot to give me a permission slip in case something happened while we were gone. So, we both pulled back into the parking lot and Ami gave me the paper. Once we get home, Mike helped me get the van loaded with all the suitcases, toys, bags, food, cooler, pillows, blankets, movies, DVD players, etc. We make the kids take a potty break while we walk through the house one more time then get on the road. We finally pull out of the driveway at 8:55 p.m. Yes, you read that right - PM. Since I had to make an extra trip I wasn't planning on, Mike thought it would be good to top off the gas tank. We pull into Sam's and notice the gas station closed at 9 p.m. It was 9:02 on the van clock. Since Mike had not eaten, we decided to forget getting gasoline and stopped at Krystal's. Normally we are in and out within 5-7 minutes. That night, we left about 15-20 minutes later. We finally got on the road at 9:30 p.m. Mike bought two 8 ounce coffees, one for me and one for him. I drank both of them plus most of a 24 ounce cafe mocha Mike bought when we got gas at the Linden exit. (In my defense, I was tired after all the packing and late night plus I was driving.) Needless to say, I was wired and could not stop talking once we finally got to Chattanooga. Mike and his dad were amused.
We arrived at Dick and Daphne's at 4:15 a.m. and got the kids settled quickly. Mike and I slept until 10:30. Mike's brother Rich, Michelle and their boys drove down from Pigeon Forge and spent the day with us. Brent and Jennifer, Mike's step-brother and his wife, along with their two boys came over too. We ate a wonderful dinner and opened Christmas presents. We had a great time.
Thursday found us being lazy all day and not doing anything. We thought about taking the kids to the park and letting them run around and play but we never got it in gear.
Friday, we all went to Brent and Jenn's house. The kids ran around outside and played (the temperature was around 65). Everything we ate was delicious. The kids have a picnic outside and enjoyed it. Jennifer made chocolate fondue as a snack. GOOD!! It started raining late and rained all night and most of Saturday. Mike and I took the kids to the Creative Discovery Museum Saturday since it was wet. The kids had a blast playing and looking at all the exhibits. Their favorite was the water feature at the very beginning. If they had a choice, they would have never left.
Saturday night, Cody and Erinn came over along with Brent and Jenn and their kids to celebrate New Years and Cody's birthday. Erinn is pregnant and due any day. She wasn't feeling few well so they left early.
After an awesome breakfast, we left Chattanooga around 1:30 for home. We made good time and made it home by 7:15 after stopping for lunch in Dickson. I was so excited to be home. We really enjoyed our trip but it was nice to sleep in our own beds.