You haven't heard from me in a while, because Cole and I left Wednesday morning for a seven hour trip to Alabama to visit my family. We had our Christmas get-together and the first of Mamie's birthday parties. (Her birthday is the day after Christmas.) We had lots of fun. Jess, Em, and I spent Thursday in Chattanooga while my mom took the day off work and stayed home with the two cousins. I think it's fair to say that all four of us grown girls had a great day and that the babies enjoyed each other too, as these pictures prove:
(I promise they have matching pj's on accident, although we did make an effort to have them wear them at the same time. We don't usually dress them alike. Will they gripe about these pictures later?)
Cole got several great Christmas gifts, but my favorite was a nice, wooden sled from his Nana. He and Mamie were having a great time on it, even inside with no snow, so I couldn't wait to get back to Indiana and use it outside with real, honest-to-goodness snow.
(If you're wondering, Cole decided at the dinner table he needed to shed his shirt and later tried to shed his pants and diaper. Who knows what's going on with this boy...)
Ironically and much to my disappointment, it was this snow that I was longing for that kept us from making it back to Indiana as planned. Gilbert called when we were almost to Bowling Green and said, "If you're coming, you'd better come right now. They're calling for 12 inches in Indianapolis." Since Cole was ready for a break from the car and for lunch, and since driving in perfect weather with a one-year-old is stressful enough, I decided we'd better sit tight in Bowling Green until the road conditions were safer. I was, as many of you know, based upon the tears you know I ridiculously shed over this decision, sad not to be able to be in Indiana with Gilbert and the snow as planned.
However, things turned out fine. As we are blessed with great friends in Kentucky, we invited ourselves to the Gibbs to spend the night and went to church with more dear friends today. (Cole got plenty of kisses--he honestly did have a few lipstick spots on his face by the time we left--and they got their Cole fix for a little while.)
When we finished the lunch that Dana and Megan treated us to, I called Gilbert to check on the weather, and he told me that he thought we could try to make it. I suggested he call someone knowledgeable for a second opinion, and with that I got the green light to head on back. Since Cole had fallen asleep in the car on the way back to the Gibbs, I left him in the car, grabbed our things very quickly, and headed back north**. With much, much prayer, we are safely home. Another piece of good news is that the snow is still around (I'm sure it will take a while for almost 9 inches to melt.) I'll post pictures of Cole in his cool new coat, hat, gloves and sled soon.
**Thanks, Todd, Dana, Megan, and Andrew for the hospitality. Sorry to leave in such a hurry. I hope you understand. If I left anything, let me know, and we'll figure out what to do with it. Also, thanks, Valerie, for letting me invite myself to your house this afternoon. Can I get a rain-(or snow-)check?
On a related note, I wanted to share a cute Cole story. He slept from Bowling Green to just inside Indiana, where we stopped for gas, a diaper change, and a stretch break, but when we got back in the car, it was the LAST place he wanted to be, and he made sure I knew it. I was doing everything I could to make him happy but also to ensure our safety. I got to the point, though, that I had to just ignore him until I came up with a new idea. By the time we got to Indianapolis he had come up with his own plan for occupying his time. This is what I heard from the back seat: "Momma?" "Yes, baby." Then he'd speak to me in his own, special language. (If you've spent any time with Cole you know what I'm talking about.) I came up with some answer to his question like, "Yes, we're getting closer." Then as soon as I'd finish talking, "Momma?" "Yes, Cole." Then more jibberish. He continued with his questions, and I continued with more random answers. "It won't be long... We're getting closer...Yes, Daddy is waiting on us...Yes, we can call Nana when we get there." This went on long enough for him to ask 10 or 12 questions, one right after the other. It was too cute. The more I think about it, the more I think he was probably just saying, "Momma? Are we there yet?"