Thursday, July 14, 2016

On Our Own

We woke up in the morning Thursday with a plan to have Marc’s dad come pick us up since we were worried our car would take a while.

“Why would we have him come pick us up all the way from Utah while we were in California?” you are thinking.

Well, that was one of the other little blessings is that Marc’s parents were visiting family in Marc’s hometown of Visalia and Visalia is only 2 hours away from Yosemite. Gary was happy to come help us out.

We were supposed to check out of our rental by 10am, but I had talked to the owner and she was happy to let us stay longer so we could arrange everything with our car.

I was very hopeful that the repair shop would be done with our car that day, but we didn’t want to put all of our card in the hopeful pile and thought we should be prepared just in case they weren’t able to get it done by noon like I had politely and sweetly requested.

Marc’s dad, Gary, got to the house at 11am and we all packed stuff into his car and Jessie and Joel’s car and at 11:30 we were ready to leave when I decided to call the repair shop just to see where they were and make sure that we weren’t taking off for Visalia if the car would be fixed before we got there.

“Hi, it’s your favorite customer from Utah again,” cheesy smile even though they can’t see me, “um, so, I’m just wondering how our van is coming along, you know, because you are so amazing and everything…,” I give a little giggle and wait with anticipation for the answer I hope to hear.

“Oh, yes, Rachael, we found what the problem was last night. It was the ‘blah blah blah blah” engine ‘blah’ connector ‘blah blah’ tube ‘blah’ and one of our employee’s wife works in Tulare and was able to get the ‘blah blah’ part we needed that happened to be there and she brought it back with her so our repairman got the part in this morning and he’s just doing all of his finishing-up right now. We should be ready for you to pick it up within and hour.”

(disclaimer: I heard what he was saying, but I don’t know the exact words after trying to remember back a month…)

I was so excited and surprised and grateful that there had been yet, another blessing. With the repair shop have been 12 or so weeks out on repairs and yet they were able to get to ours in one day was so kind of them and thoughtful to take care of us out-of-staters.

I hated to tell Gary he had come up for nothing, but he was just glad he was there in case we had needed him.

We decided that we should all, at least go out for lunch.

Right when we were done with lunch we got the call that our van was ready.

We were so thankful to the employees at the repair shop that they couldn’t but smile when they saw how thankful we were.

The other blessing was that the bill for both towing and getting the van repaired was only $440. It was definitely not money we had planned on spending, but we know it could have been a lot worse.

Our prayer that we had asked for honest people, a quick turn-around and for the kids to handle it all in stride was all completely answered.

I was surprised the entire time at how well, especially Sister, was handling this bump in our road trip and wasn’t melting or screaming at us about it. I mean, it wasn’t exactly smooth like butter but I would at least give it a chunky peanut butter rating.

The girls were already loading in Gary’s car and I didn’t want to rock the boat by moving them to another car after they had been all situated so I figured I should ride with Gary since I knew it would be tough for him to be alone with the girls.

I tried to stay awake during the drive, but I think with everything, I was just exhausted…oh!! And I forgot to tell you about our little medicine issue.

To make a really long and overly complicated story short, we were not able to fill a certain prescription for Sister and Brother there in California so we had to have my mom rush to pick them up and overnight them before we left Oakhurst. That was the other blessing was that even with all the drama it caused my mom, and the stress of not knowing if our kids would have the meds they desperately needed that the meds were delivered to our rental home’s door just in time for Brother to have only missed 1.5 days and Sister to miss none.

Trust me, you learn to count every tiny little blessing when you’re in our situation. You have to find the shimmer in the darkness to keep you smiling.

When we got to Marc’s parents’ house the kids were excited to see their cousins, Aunt Amber and Uncle Aaron, then they had to jump into the pool… it was hot… really, really hot there! I think I melted a little bit.

Jessie and Joel had decided they’d had a full road trip and decided to head home instead of stay a night in Visalia and then go the Sequoia National Park the next day.

I was sad, and frankly, a little panicked, to see them go because they had been such a blessing to our kids the entire trip and I’ve never gone on a vacation with my sister so it was a joy.

They let their kids swim a while before heading out to Las Vegas for their last leg of their homeward journey, so we got a few pictures of that.

It was so good to see Marc’s California family again and take time to get reconnected. It was really great to see Brother interact with his cousins and see that he has learned so much socially. At moments it was as if he was just “one of them.” I had to take a picture just because it was so sweet to see.

I love that Gary was creative when Baby declared, loudly, that she didn't want to do pictures.
so Gary obliged and get Baby on the swing in the background!

Gary is so proud of his family and wanted to get a picture of everyone who was there that night.

Brother hadn't seen the newest Star Wars yet so he sat down with TeddyBear and was completely enthralled with the whole movie and has made it known that his favorite movie character is Rae. Brother loves taking care of TeddyBear so watching a movie with him was great.

Marc and I were able to take TeddyBear's room and Baby slept in there with us in a Wall-E box TeddyBear likes to play in.
I had to take a picture because she was so cute with all the stuffed animals in her own little space.

Marc and I talked, after Baby had dozed off, about all the blessings that had happened the last few days and then proceeded to express our worries of doing the rest of this trip without the help of Jessie and Joel and their kids helping us with our kids.

We weren’t trying to be doomsdayers… we had just been through a huge meltdown with Sister when she realized that LittleB wasn’t coming back and they were now on their own vacation… trust me, we had reason to worry about how the Sequoia’s would go without help…

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