Friday morning, we got up early and completely packed the car. We picked up Jonathan, in the dark, and very, very quietly put him in the car. He was sound asleep the whole trip through the house. As soon as the car seat snapped, he looks up and says "where going, Mommy?" So funny. All that work for nothing. We tried to get him to go back to sleep on the way to Memphis, but no go. He was up and ready for the day. It was freezing when we got to Memphis, and of course, Mark had thought it would be better to pack our coats so we wouldn't have to tote them through the airport. Not the best of ideas. Luckily, I had not packed Jonathan's coat. We got through the Memphis airport and security fairly easily. Security was hilarious as we took everyone's shoes off, broke down the stroller, took the sippy cups and other liquids out of our bags, and pushed the car seat through the x-ray machine (it did not quite want to go). We flew AirTran which was definitely low cost and NO frills. However, Jonathan was completely enthralled with the airplane. He watched all of the planes land and take-off for an hour before we left. He would just shout and jump up and down and was so completely honestly happy. It is such a joy to watch him learn and grow and see new things.
We got on the plane and Mark did a great job strapping the car seat in the airplane seat. We put him by the window and the car seat put him at the perfect height to see out the window. It was also great to have the car seat on the plane. He is so used to being strapped in, that he never fought being put in it or staying in it 'til the plane landed. He loved looking out the window as we took off. He colored for a while and then watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Mark's Ipod for the rest of the flight.
Once we got to Atlanta, we rode the subway between the terminals. Jonathan loved riding the choo-choo train. It was almost as exciting as the airplane! Uncle Russ picked us up in baggage and we strapped the car seat into his car for the trip to his house. We had been talking up going to see his cousin, Lucy, for weeks and Jonathan was way excited to see her by the time we got to the house. He runs up to the front door and is walking towards her when he gets in the house. Around the corner comes their cat, Tinkerbell. That was it. The cat won, poor Lucy. Jonathan loved the cat, I mean really loved the cat. Luckily, she is a very good-natured cat, and never got mad at him. He chased that poor cat for three days. He was very sweet to her and very soft when he petted her. He eventually did come talk and love on Lucy as well.
We took Jonathan and Lucy to a park near their house that afternoon. Jonathan had a wonderful time playing on everything. They had a twenty foot slide that scared me to death, but he went down the silly thing like it was no big deal. Several times. Russ cooked us a great dinner and we had a nice time visiting with them and the baby.
Saturday, the rest of the family arrived. Mark's parents, sister, and aunt & uncle had all come in for the weekend, as well as Katherine's Mom. It was a house full! We got to babysit Lucy that morning while Katherine did a workshop and Russ went to the practice for the baptism. She is a sweet, even-natured baby and a blast to play with. Jonathan liked sitting with her in Mark's lap. We ate lunch at a tea room that was a lot of fun. The food was really very good. After lunch, Katherine, Kim, and I went for manicures and pedicures. It was a great chance to take a break and do something girly. (They were also super cheap!! Why can't I find someplace like that here in LR?) We went to a steak place for dinner Saturday night that was really good. After dinner, we drove over to Mark's Great-Aunt's house. She had only met Jonathan once before when he was a baby, so we were very excited for him to see her again. I had never been to her house before and it was so neat. Her husband had traveled all over the world selling airplanes with his job. He had brought home some of the neatest things. Jonathan loved seeing his Great-Great Aunt Gerald and playing with her frog toys! She had bought him the cutest tooth pillow for when he is older. It was such a great present as we did need one, and I had not found one that I really liked.
Sunday was Lucy's big day for her baptism at church. Katherine's dad made it to the church in time, so the whole family was there. Russ and Katherine had asked Kim and Jonathan to carry in Lucy's banner to the church. It was a special honor and he did a great job helping his Aunt Kim. She did a great job keeping him on task and happy! I was so proud of Jonathan, he was such a big boy during the church service. He colored, played with his toys, and snacked, but didn't hardly make a sounds. Thank goodness!! Lucy did great as well. She did not even cry when they put the water on her head. We took a ton of pictures, and then went back to Russ and Katherine's house for a reception. She had bought a ton of food and everyone had a nice time. Katherine's Mom plays the bagpipes. She gave Jonathan a mini-concert after the reception. It was wonderful and he really enjoyed her playing. He kept telling her "more-more" after every song. She eventually had to stop as it was freezing outside and they were all icicles!
Russ took us back to the airport and we did a reverse of the way down there. The only exception was the much more complicated security checkpoint in Atlanta. The line was not long, just windy, especially with all of our stuff. The return flight went well and Jonathan and I had a great time talking about everything we saw on take-off and landing. We watched a bunch more planes take-off as Mark put the car seat back into the car and finally left Memphis. We stopped in West Memphis for McDonald's (and Taco Bell for Mark). Poor Jonathan was so very tired, that he fell asleep with a chicken nugget in one hand and a french fry in the other. This time he did stay asleep between the car and his bed.
It was a great trip and we had a ton of fun being with our family and meeting Lucy. Hopefully we can see her again soon. And thank the good Lord that we were not on that airplane in New York. God is so good. And many prayers of Thanksgiving for the safety of the people on that plane.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my Daddy, Jonathan's Grandad, today. Jonathan called him on the phone and told him "Happy Birthday" and "I love you Grandad" today. It was very sweet. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see him today, but we will soon I'm sure!