The weekend.....

Thursday night we packed our stuff and got ready to leave on Friday for Pennsylvania to attend Justin's commissioning ceremony for his Masters program.  Tiffani had flown in from Texas on Thursday night- a complete surprise to Justin- orchestrated by his wife and sister.  Justin was completely surprised, and thrilled to have Tiffani  there for the weekend.

Our plan for Friday:

Pick Lila up from school and head out of town
Dinner with Justin, Maggie, Tiffani and Maggie's family
Commissioning Ceremony
Italian Ice- "The best ever"
Hang out at hotel
 Spend the day in Philadelphia on Saturday

Unfortunately, some time after Lila went to bed on Thursday night, she vomited all over herself and her bed.    Poor little thing, she was so sick.    She made it all night without getting sick again but in the  morning she had no energy and did not look good.  We went back and forth- should we bring her or should we keep her at home?  Agonizing over the decision.   In the end the decision was made for us.  Lila was going through diapers like nobody's business.  Whatever it was, it had moved to the other end of her body.  I was hoping for some sort of miracle but that didn't happen.  

Nick told me to hurry up and get in the car or we would all end up missing everything.  The decision was made and I had to leave for Pennsylvania by myself.   I hated leaving Nick and Lila at home but we really had no choice.   (It would have been a nightmare if we had decided to take her but I will spare you the details of what was going on at home while I was driving to PA.   Let's just say it involved lots of diapers, wipes, the bathtub and a couple changes of clothes.)

After a brief stop by Justin and Maggie's apartment (loved it by the way!) we headed out for appetizers before the ceremony.  While I missed Nick and Lila so much, it was good to be with my big kids.

Justin, Maggie and their good friend Jared
 Tif and me- I miss this girl so much.

The commissioning ceremony was very moving.  
They actually prayed for each of the students individually 
which gave it such a personal touch.
There was so much passion in that auditorium!  
You could hear it in their voices and see it on their faces. 
I was so happy to be there.

Mags, Justin, Tif & a proud Mama!
Justin & Mags
 My awesome big kids

 After the ceremony we went out to dinner with Maggie's family and a couple of friends.  Buca di Beppo- I had forgotten how much I love that place!   

After some great food and a  lot of laughter, Tiffani and I headed back to Virginia so that she could see Lila and Nick before she flew back to Texas on Sunday morning.   We arrived home around 3:00 A.M.    When I woke up around  9:00,  Tiffani was already up hanging out with Nick and Lila.

I'm pretty sure Lila ended up kicking Tif's butt in Zingo, by the way.   Tif and I got back in the car around 4:00 P.M. and headed back to Pennsylvania.   Thankfully, Justin met us half-way and we were able to grab dinner, just the three of us. 

After dinner I hugged my precious big kids goodbye.   
Knowing that I will be seeing Justin and Maggie again this weekend.
Not knowing when I will see Tiffani again.  
Isn't it great to have e-mail, text messaging and cell phones?  
Even though she is across the country from us she never feels that far away! 

I drove away with country music blaring and the sunset in my rearview mirror, 
tears streaming down my face.
It wasn't  the weekend we had planned, 
not at all.   
It would have been amazing to have all of my kids 
in the same place at the same time, 
but that wasn't possible this weekend.

So thankful for the relationship I have with my family.
I hear other people's stories and I know 
we have it good.





  1. Now tears are streaming down MY face. It's so hard when they are far away, but yes, what did they do before email, texting and cellphones. I've imagined that so many times. Long distance too expensive, letters so long in arriving. We are blessed now days!

    So sorry Nick and Lila couldn't be there but grateful they were ok on their own and you could go.

    Great pics!

    Donna (changed google name to sign on Jaralei's! so will sign anonymous here)

  2. I'm sitting here at Common Grounds, reading this again... and crying... AGAIN.

    We are so very lucky to have each other.We are blessed beyond measure.