Friday's drive was less than eight hours. It should have been a walk in the park. It should have been pleasant and leisurely. We had done many longer drives on much less sleep but this particular journey seemed fraught with stress.
"Stop touching me!"(James decided that punching and kicking were more entertaining than any of the toys he had gotten on the trip.)
"You don't have to speak to me like that!" (We all needed to work on our tone.)
While we were gone, I gave my father the key to our house and asked him to keep an eye on things for us. And he did, daily. Of all the things I worried and fretted over on our trip, the house was not one of them. Grandma and Grandpa Frank popped over soon after we got home and the kids were excited to see them. On Saturday we stayed pretty close to home, but we did get a visit from Grandma Edwards and Grandpa Mike before their own epic journey around the world.
Most of the people we saw on this trip, we hadn't seen for five, seven or even ten years. Most of the people we visited with had never met Miranda or James (and were thus unprepared for the power of their charms). Unfortunately, we couldn't see everyone we wanted to on this trip and and that was difficult. We would have loved to visit the Christina Hunt project in Seattle or the Sarah Roberts experiment in San Antonio, but they were a way too far off the beaten path. There were even friends and family in the very towns we passed through that we were unable to see because of time and schedules. I really feel like we made the most of our time and we're so grateful for all the support we had both at home and abroad. For many people the idea of a four week, 13 000 kilometer, cross country trek with four young kids in tow is the very definition of insanity. It's only because of all of the help we received from beginning to end that we were able to have such a positive experience.