Wow. This week’s week in review somehow turned in to a month in review. 😉 Sometimes time just gets away from me and this has definitely been one of those times. I was so busy three weeks ago preparing for Andy’s return. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning….clearing out, making posters, preparing fun family activities, getting the backyard finished, the house perfected, traveling back to OC to pick him up…it was all a blur.
The night of July 19th everything was in motion. I had family traveling into town for 24 hours, just long enough to be at the airport and go to dinner that night, then heading back out. I had friends lined up to be at the airport to greet him as he deplaned, I had lunch lined up for a party of 50, afternoon activities, an evening meeting scheduled at 7pm for him to be officially released as a missionary, and then family dinner.
Andy was scheduled to head to the Lansing airport at about 5am to catch a 7am flight to Chicago, where he had a 60 minute layover and then would take off for OC on a flight scheduled to arrive at 10:30am. Everything seemed perfect…everything except for the gut feeling I had been having for a week that something was going to not go quite as planned.
With all the craziness at airports and with airlines across the country this summer…pilot shortages, cancelled flights, lost baggage…the list goes on and on…I was worried. Admittedly, I am a worry wart, but this time, my worrying was not in vain. At 5am John and I were awakened by a call from a fairly distraught Andy. He had been at the airport for hours and his flight had not left Lansing due to mechanical issues. They initially told him that it was delayed and they would make it out, but it quickly became apparent that nobody was leaving Lansing that day.
The Lansing airport is a teeny airport with only 2 flights out a day. After three hours of scrambling, John and I were able to find 1 spot on a Delta flight that left Lansing at noon. It would take him to Detroit, then on to Atlanta, then to SLC and finally to Orange County. It was going to be a LOOOOOONG 14 hour travel day…when Andy’s travel day had already started 7 hours prior, but there was nothing else out of Lansing. Complicating factors, missionaries don’t have cell service. They have phones, but they are limited in what they can do and the only way they can communicate is via FB messenger when they have wifi. Trying to coordinate with the mission office in Lansing, the missionary travel department (who had bought his flight) in SLC, Andy at the airport and us in OC was a bit of a circus. Everyone was working hard to find a solution, but Andy was feeling super stressed. He hadn’t slept or eaten and just wanted to get home. We wanted him home too!
It was 11:15am EDT when we got him that spot on the Delta flight. He needed to grab his luggage and check in immediately to make it…but American airlines wouldn’t give him his luggage back! Ah! We were frustrated to say the least! The sweet Mission President’s wife came to the rescue mentioning the possibility of finding him a flight out of Grand Rapids. Bingo! We found another seat on a flight that was leaving Grand Rapids at 4:20pm, so the Mission Office Elders picked Andy up from the Lansing airport, got him some lunch and lifted his spirits, then drove him the hour to the Grand Rapids airport where he finally made the flight! This new flight ended up going through Minneapolis to Orange County. With only one layover, he made it safely home at 8:00pm on the 20th.
Friends and family rallied and changed their plans to still meet up with us that night. We had a quick dinner at In-n-Out after the airport and he was released by the Stake President by 10pm. It all happened so fast. It was a long and stressful day with a happy ending. Whew!
Thursday we enjoyed a day at home. we got Andy all set up with his first Sip n’ Save and took him on our morning walk with our Polar Strides gang.
Friday morning we packed up the car and headed to Phoenix to see more family and be there for my nieces’ baptism. We spent a few glorious days relaxing by the pool and eating yummy food and reconnecting.
I had a week of fun activities planned once we got back to OC…and then it hit like a ton of bricks. John got pretty sick…and four days later I was down. Bummer!! Fortunately the Covid tests came back negative, but man…after not being sick for 2+ years, our immune systems must have been shot. Here we are more than 2 weeks later and we are both still not back to 100%! Yuck!
We did sneak in a quick dinner in LA for our favorite Pizza and a walk around our favorite Century City mall.
Rams training camp, Angels games, Disneyland…and who can forget the matching pickle ball outfits. Ashley was thrilled…Andy, not so much. lol! 😉
The kids have been able to spend a lot of time together having fun and doing all the things I had planned…so it hasn’t been a total waste…but I was so sad to miss out on some good family fun and bonding time after not being together for 2 years!
It’s been super fun for Andy to reconnect with friends and family that he hasn’t seen for awhile too.
We did manage to squeeze in a concert with friends and a fun day with cousins…so that was great!
Last week we came back to Utah. Ash got her license…I can’t even believe it!
Now we’re getting Andy ready to move into school in a week. These kids are just growing up TOO fast and I don’t like it one bit!
We spent a bit of the weekend down in Provo getting some things ready. We had the chance to go to the Sundance Theater to see Cinderella (such a fun outdoor venue!) and we attended a BYU football scrimmage. I can’t believe that fall is almost here and school is starting! It has been a total whirlwind!
It has been SO wonderful to have Andy home. Having a missionary is amazing, but I’m not going to complain about having that 2 years behind us. 😉 With all of the fun and chaos of the last few weeks, I have to say, my favorite times have been those where we get to gather around the backyard fire pit and chat, attend the temple together, and just listen to the kids giggling and having fun together again. Those sounds and moments have been missing for sure the last two years.
I’m looking forward to all the fun things Andy will be able to do in college and Ashley has a couple years of high school left to look forward too. Lots of family time awaits and I love it!
I hope you have a wonderful week!