Friday, May 29, 2009

road trippin' days 3-5

Day 3

The drive to Amarillo yielded LOTS of open country, dead animals along the road, clear skies, and a fantastic stop in Adrian, Texas at the Midway Cafe, a place that boasts being the mid-point between Los Angeles and Chicago on Route 66. An old timey diner and Route 66 paraphernalia greeted us, along with super sweet owners, and I loaded up on postcards, water bottles, a new "Cars" toy for Maggie, and a slice of chocolate peanut butter pie (one word: awesomeness). Maggie enjoyed the ride as we sang songs, looked for horses and cows and windmills, opened several travel gifts (many thanks to my mom and friend Nicole for their thoughtfulness...these kept us sane), and listened to Raffi and Colbie Calliat. I was about to pull my hair out at one more play-through of "bumpin' up and down in my little red wagon," when we saw the lights of Amarillo. After deciding not to stop in at the "Big Texan" restaurant, famous for it's competition of eating a 72 oz. steak dinner in 1 hour (click here for a list of winners...note the 118 pound female at one point...holy cow), we rolled into our hotel, a nice place with a suite, perfect for us. Maggie and Curren basically slept in the same room, which turned out just fine (in fact, they slept in the same room every night; before this trip I never would have thought that would have gone over well). We woke up the next morning, not too refreshed, but knowing we had to push through.

Day 4

Memorial Day. After breakfast at the hotel, we loaded up and found a gas station. As we were filling up, we began to notice a plethora of unusual looking vehicles and soon discovered they were storm chasers...I think I counted over 18 of them. It was crazy...was there a tornado coming we didn't know about? We hoofed it out of there and soon, Amarillo was behind us. We were headed to Albuquerque. Again, more open country, dead animals (including 2 deer), and mesas. New Mexico is so beautiful! I started to notice Maggie getting more agitated today and continued to play with her, listen to music, make up voices for her dolls, just to pass the time. Throughout the drive several friends called which was a nice break. After we arrived and checked in at our hotel (an Embassy Suites...the suite thing works well if you have kiddos), we left for Sophia's Place, a restaurant featured on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Our friends, Clayton and Molly, have wanted to eat there for ages, and we beat them to it. It's basically a 5-star Mexican place in a little hole-in-the wall place. We pulled up, only to read a sign that said they were closed and to head over to the bowling alley across the street for dinner at their sister restaurant. We shrugged our shoulders and headed over, only to find it was also closed due to the holiday. Back at the hotel, we ordered room service (the spinach salad was a welcomed respite from fast food), put the kids to bed, and ordered a movie (which I ended up falling asleep to). We got a call about 30 minutes into the movie, a manager wanted Aron to come to the door. He asked if we had a crying baby and Aron said, no, Curren was sleeping. The man said someone had called about a crying/screaming baby. He was very nice, just wanted to check on us (translate: make sure we weren't child abusers). Curren had cried for a short window (maybe 10 minutes?) on his way to sleep that night, but nothing like I know he is capable of (we call his really bad cry "the velociraptor cry" because that is exactly what he sounds like). Conclusion: there is no way a parent called about our crying baby because any parent would know that kids cry, it's just how they are. Sheesh.

Day 5

After putting Maggie's car seat in the truck so she could ride with Aron, we headed back to Sohpie's Place for breakfast and LOVED EVERY BITE...french toast and breakfast burritos. AMAZING, AMAZING. Worth the wait and the time to travel back to the restaurant. On the road by 11:30am, we embarked for Flagstaff, Arizona. More open road, dead animals, crying children, fast food, phone calls, and just enjoying the beautiful mountains and mesas. I also found a book on tape in my car, and that really helped make things go quicker. We had hoped to stop at the Petrified Forest, but didn't have time. We plan to do a Route 66 trip one of these days, and just travel the open road and see the sites on old Route 66. We rolled in to Flagstaff around 8:30pm that night and crashed, once again, at Embassy Suites. Flagstaff is gorgeous and at one point and thought, "I'm in Estes Park, CO!" It's stunning, just stunning.

Day 6

We had debated going all the way to OC (the longest stretch yet...about 465 miles; we had traveled roughly 320 miles each day up to this point), but decided to do it. On the road earlier after a yummy breakfast in house, we headed out on the open road once again. Pockets of rain dashed against our windshields and we soaked in the sights of beautiful mountains and evergreens that lead into dessert. We stopped in Kingman, Arizona and had lunch at In-N-Out...what a thrill!! After a long day of driving (there really isn't that much new information to add here), we pulled into OC at 10pm. Another book and a half on tape (including my Texas book club's next pick, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) helped to pass the time. Curren was a champ overall, crying when he was sick and tired of his carseat (who can blame him?). Maggie was too, and survied the long drive as well.

We unloaded our truck last night (Thursday) with the help from some friends and now, on this beautiful Friday morning, face the task of unpacking. I'm tired and sad and feeling lonely, but know that God has good things for us here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

road trippin' day 1 and 2

We left Dallas on Friday night after a day of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and packing and loading. It was exhausting but we made it! And we couldn't have done it without the help of our neighbors, Bethany, Tyce, Ellie, Jeremiah and some extra last-minute help from Kyle and Justin. But, most thanks goes to Bethany for helping me clean all week and get ready. I'm sure we'll get most of our deposit back thanks to all her hard work! :) We had hoped to leave Dallas by 4pm, but didn't end up getting until 7pm. We stopped in Lewisville to feed Curren, then headed up to OKC. I downed half a bag of M&Ms, courtsey of Bethany, and talked to Maggie for 2 hours, as she asked lots of questions (including a random and very sad one: "Where is my home?") and soon requested her sunglasses (which she promptly put on for 1 hour). Curren cried on and off for 1 hour, despising his carseat; and when Maggie finally fell asleep at 10pm, she proceeded to wake up on and off over the next 1 1/2 hours, crying because her pillow had slipped, her blanket had fallen, she was cold, she wanted Daddy, etc. It was rough for a good 50-60 mile stretch. All I could think was, "Dear God, we haven't even started our trip!" But, we finally pulled into the Churchill's house around midnight and were all tucked in bed by 1am. OF COURSE, Maggie woke up at 6:30am. Dang. It. All.

We headed to my aunt and uncle's house later that morning and enjoyed a fun-filled day with family, celebrating my grandpa's 90th birthday. There was a good 50 people there; so fun! Maggie was charming, passing out napkins and answering lots of questions.

Today is Sunday. After momentarily locking my son in the Churchill's house alone (he was fine, resting peacefully on the bed), we figured out the garage code and let ourselves in, headed to Jonnie's for breakfast (best granola ever!), and are now at Aunt Peggy's house one last time. Mom and Peggy just took Maggie for a walk, and in half an hour, we are headed to see my grandparents one last time, then hopping on I-40 and heading West!

Saying goodbye totally sucks. I miss my friends already!

Amarillo, here we come.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

almost wordless wednesday

Today, I enjoyed one last coffee hurrah with my good friends Patti and Misty. Misty took some good pics, including one of Curren's 2 front teeth (just in this week...both of my kiddos are early teethers at 4 months). The last shot is one Maggie took (reminds me of my friend Tina who's son often takes pics). I want to get Maggie an inexpensive camera so she can practice more.

Packing is coming along; hard to believe we leave on Friday afternoon! I plan to document our trip cross-country so check back daily starting Saturday!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

California bound!

Should you be surprised I'm blogging about another move?! :)

It's true, the Mckays 4 are headed back to the West Coast. Many of you know about our decision-making process over the last 5 months; it wasn't an easy one to say the least, but after much prayer, hours of discussion with eachother and our community, we are going forward with another move (and hopefully one of our last). In a nutshell, Aron is going to finish seminary at Talbot (Biola's graduate school) and will complete his M.Div in 2 years, as opposed to 3 here at DTS. All of his current coursework (30 units) transfers...only 60 units to go! It came down to the fact that Aron is working way too much in his job (on average 60+ hours a week) and going to school on a part-time basis has been an *enormous* struggle. And yet, the point is not to barely squeeze by in school and walk out with a degree. Aron wants to study diligently and apply himself and it's not been happening on a level we find satisfactory.

Aron asked me on Saturday what I was most excited about with the move and I instantly said, "Seeing you thrive again." And it's true. His job has just been so extremely draining for the last 3 years and while we are so thankful for work, we realize that if we don't make a change, seminary will slowly get pushed onto the back burner. Of course, I'm also excited about connecting with old friends (runs with Dawnielle, swims with Laura, spending time with Cayla and Linds), being closer to family (we are actually moving in with his folks for awhile; and Shan and Steve come to OC all the time because his family is still there), the beach, the mountains, Pedro's tacos, In N Out burger, the weather, Golden Spoon, the beach, you get the idea.

It's totally bittersweet; I have AMAZING friends here (in no particular order): Erin, Allison, Rachel, Nicole, Renee, Bethany, Patti, Brad/Tammy, Misty. I love living on campus and have made some awesome relationships that I am going to miss terribly. I love our church. We live close to family in OKC, so it will be so hard not to see my aunt and uncle and grandparents more regularly. I love my monthly crafting group and book club.

But, I am excited what God has in store, even though I'm still in denial in many ways that we are actually moving and actually have to start packing next week because we are, and here's the kicker, moving on Friday, May 22! Holy cow.

Pray for us, for the transition back to OC, for the travel cross-country with 2 kiddos, for Aron starting school full-time in the fall (we are going to be cutting back his work hours), for the adjustment to living with family, and for those we leave behind.