Sunday, July 24, 2016

Saying Farewell

This little blog has definitely taken the back seat the last few weeks as we get Cami ready to go on her mission next week! Between the shopping (not my favorite thing to do) and all the errands, I've barely been able to keep my own head above water with my normal daily chores, yet alone being productive enough to actually be able to blog or do anything else that falls into the extraneous category. 
July 23:  Yesterday we crossed one big thing off our list when we got our family pictures taken.      It was 100ยบ.    

I spent far too much effort and money on procuring the "perfect" matching outfits, but since it has been four years since our last family pictures, I was committed to give it my best shot.   In the end I did like the way we all looked together in the blue and gray, so here's hoping that they actually turned out well.  I'll post the actual sweat soaked photos when we get them back from the photographer.  

July 24:   Today, Cami gave her farewell talk at church.  She did a fantastic job and managed to quote "Les Mis", the Book of Mormon, and the BFG, in addition to other sundry of general authorities.    

We had a big crowd turn out in support of her and it really was a special day.  

We finished the day with a little family dinner, a hilarious game of telestrations, and one of our last family home evenings before Cami heads off.   
We will miss this girl! 


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Reliving a Nightmare

June 23:    My sister, Kristina, really wanted to see Cami before her mission and offered to pay for a ticket out to visit her in California.   As cool as it sounded, Cami did not leave much open time in her schedule this summer and the only open week she had was while I was at YW camp, which meant that she was on babysitting Ellie duty for the week!  I thought it would be a deal breaker, but tickets were actually super cheap and Kristina just invited Ellie to join them as well.  

So this morning, I dropped them off at the airport, giddy and excited for their cross-country adventure together.  Some of you may remember that  THIS happened to Cami a couple of years ago.  Because of that nightmarish experience, I was definitely  a little nervous sending them off, but took heart in the fact that it wasn't wintertime, so any potential storms out there should be more quickly passing than the giant snowstorm that stranded her before.   Plus, I've never been stranded in an airport in my entire life, certainly my 18-year-old wouldn't be so unlucky as to have it happen to her again.

<sigh>  I was wrong.     <double sigh>

The trip out there turned out to be one grand misadventure after another.   First off, their original flight out of BWI got cancelled.    We called the airlines and quickly got her rescheduled on another one that left out of IAD, which is closer to home anyway,  so we didn't mind that change.   Then I dropped them off and took heart in that the flight left on time and everything seemed to be going smoothly.    Smoothly that is  until instead of calling from their scheduled layover city of Denver, they called me from Rapid City, SD.

Apparently there was a storm in Denver that prevented them from landing there, so after circling Denver for a while they flew to Rapid City before they ran out of fuel.   Rapid City.  We've been there.  It's a great little town not far from Mount Rushmore, but weirdly it is not a super happening place  and the quaint little regional airport was already closed for the day.    That meant no dinner options (the restaurant had run out of food, except for bowls of cereal and United certainly didn't even offer a snack or anything).   There were no back-up pilots nearby, so they had to be flown in from Chicago.    Basically it meant that Cami and Ellie got to wait, wait, wait, with nothing to do and nothing to eat for hours.

Eventually (after several hours there) the back-up pilots arrived and they got on their way to Denver.    They were getting into Denver about midnight (2am to my girls) and I knew there was no way they would be catching any flights to California that night.  We called United several times and were met with rude, unapologetic people who would do nothing for them.   The only thing we managed to accomplish was to get them scheduled on a flight to California at 8am the next morning.    All the nearby hotels were booked, so Cami got to spend her second night of her life on an airport floor and Ellie her first, which is still one more than me.

All the restaurants in Denver were already closed, which meant still no food, but worse than that...they were absolutely freezing.   They were dressed for summer weather, not for sleeping on cold tile.  They asked United for a blanket.  They said, "no way" and seemed more than happy to let an  18-and 11-year-old that they had stranded for many hours without food or accommodation of any kind just freeze.  #unitedcustomerservicesucks

At least they had each other though.   And I think that meant a lot to both of them.

The next morning, Cami, in her freezing, sleep deprived state-of-mind, didn't notice that they'd changed the gate of their flight out and they missed it by 5 minutes.   Eventually around noon, they finally got to take off.   All in all, it took 27-hours for them to reach their destination.  

And once again, Cami handled it with better humor and attitude than I did.   I wasn't quite as emotional as I'd been a couple of years ago, but I definitely didn't sleep much and our words for United after the ordeal was done were none too kind.   On the bright side though, they did end up getting a travel voucher out of the deal, which meant that Cami got to extend her trip a couple days and visit her "friend" in Utah.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Catching Up!

We are trying to take the reins on our house this summer, which means that this blog is taking a backseat for a while.  I'll try to get a little catching up done through June 30, so I can at least say I made it half-way through the year on the picture-a-day.  After that though, you can just assume that every picture would be about the same---either  reorganizing a closet, scrubbing something, or just in general delving into some forgotten corner of 15 years of accumulated stuff.   Either that or a picture of bucketloads of kids, since Cami is currently watching my brother's four kids while he and his wife are adventuring in Australia.    Life is good.


June 18:   Today Glen, Emma, Adam, and I  hiked from Carderock to Great Falls, via the towpath and  Billy Goat A.    We estimate that it totaled about 8-miles.

I really enjoy pushing myself on these kinds of hikes....

If you were to ask me what an ideal day would entail for me, there would definitely be a family hike included!  


June 19:  Emma made a delicious Father's Day breakfast for Glen....

We went to church which included Cami's roommate and BFF, Katy's, mission farewell, as well as musical numbers by the primary kids and the youth ("Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy").  

After church we went for a pleasant stroll around the neighborhood...

June 20:   The beginning of our house projects begins by getting a dumpster delivered in front of our house.     We are cleaning out the attic and garage.   Oh joy!  


June 21: Attic cleaning has commenced.   It's HOT up there, so we are trying to get most of our time in the attic done early in the day, then spend the time in the AC organizing and determining what belongs in the cavernous dumpster in front of our house.    

I also decided it was high time to get some mission shopping done, so Cami and I headed to the mall and had a great day at Sears and New York & Co.   

The girls made chicken mango rice salad for dinner! 

June 22:   Today we cleaned and sorted stuff from attic....again!   Then I started selling things that we didn't need anymore.    And Adam and I played Scrabble.   He beat me.   

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