Friday, January 02, 2009

Christmas Vacation, Chapter 3

In some ways I think that the last day we were there was the most important day. I really felt like there was a purpose for us being there for Christmas, which is probably why everything worked out perfectly in a really short period of time. Because if just one detail hadn't worked, we wouldn't have been able to go.

Originally we planned to go to the Florida Aquarium on Wednesday after we got there. But we were pretty beat after the long drive and we'd have missed out on spending any time with Shane and Angie and the kiddos. So we postponed it to Saturday and decided to go to Lowry Park Zoo instead since we could go for free. But since we'd spent so much time out on Friday I realized that I wasn't going to have any time with my brother. So we scratched the trip all together and just hung out at his house. In the past it's been frustrating to me that we never really talked but just watched TV. I've felt that my being there was pointless. I can't really describe what's happened in the past or why we were where we were but I couldn't fix it. This time was different though. We had the most amazing time just hanging out and talking. I went out to the back patio to thaw out at one point (my brother keeps his house pretty cold) and he and Wendy followed me outside and we talked and laughed and they invited us to go scalloping with them next summer. I can't even put into words how important that was to me. At one point Jon and Travis were sitting on the back porch talking about stuff and I was surprised but I didn't want to go out there and spoil the moment. It's not that there has ever been anything bad between them it's just that my brother doesn't talk much. I've thought that he and I didn't have anything in common but I found out on this trip that he and I are neurotic about some of the same things. Floaty things in swimming pools- gaaa! It drives us both crazy and he emptied out his whole swimming pool to fix it. Most people never do that- but I totally would. We both hate leftovers. We both hate dirty cars- although mine is dirty for lack of time to clean it. He has someone come to his office to clean his every week. And I was able to explain to him why I wanted to move away. Yes, God called us here but I wanted to leave too. I needed to become who I was supposed to be without anybody else telling me what they wanted me to be. I needed to breathe, to get away from all the bad stuff and start over. And we did and I'm thankful. And now I want to be near my family again. I want to watch my nieces and nephews grow up and have my brother and Wendy over for dinner and hang out with Shane and Angie and let my mother-in-law keep the kids so Travis and I can have some time to ourselves.

Yes, that's a big statement. And I realize that would require us not living here, in a place that I love. Will we? I don't know. I'm not pursuing anything like that. I'm just saying that if I was able to choose....I'd still choose to do whatever God has called us to do. That's the one thing I can't get away from. It's always going to be about that. But I really miss my family.

Later that afternoon we met the Johnson clan (Trav's family) at Banana Lake park. Yes, another lake with a park. Shane brought corn toss and a frisbee and a soccer ball. And when Christian got there he threw a football to Travis as soon as he stepped out of the van. At one point the guys were playing football, soccer and frisbee all at the same time. I haven't seen Travis smile that much in months. He was truly happy. I actually threw the football a bit with Trav and was able to impress him a bit- although my arm tired out pretty quickly and I started throwing it all wobbly. We got to see his Abuela, and parents. The kids played on the playground and we all went to a local pizza joint afterwards. At the end of the evening it took all of us about 30 minutes to say goodbye. We said goodbye in the restaurant, and outside the restaurant and in the parking was sweet. Travis has such a loving family.

Then it was back to my brother's house to pack up and we left the next morning. And here are the final pics of our trip...

The water in the pool was *freezing* but that's how badly Jon wanted Halle to pay attention to him. Those of you that know Halle understand...
Chloe was as happy as a clam in the frigid water...she cried all day after this and wanted to move in with Uncle Jon...

Poor Tessa was so cold and was really trying to not get splashed. Somehow I missed getting any pictures of my other two nieces...bad Aunt Amy. I feel bad about that.Dalton is showing off his "tat"...Cam is a cutie pie....Landon made it to the top!Chloe and Landon climbed together...My sweet Chlo-Chlo....Manda made it to the top of the rock climbing wall...Trav and CJ are tossing the football....Joyce and Lana- CJ's girlfriend. We all love her.These little spinnie things were totally cool...Chloe made it to the top too....And Chloe finally grasped the concept of sleeping to make the trip go by faster.I think this trip was exactly what the Dr. ordered for the Buttons. I am very thankful that we were able to go. The End.


Tisra said...

I sensed this was important and wonderful for you all, too. You know, selfishly, I'd be mad if you moved. Then again, we've been *there* before, haven't we?

I didn't know you before, but I know that you've bloomed, and grown, and changed, and sought God this whole time you've lived in Nashville. I know He'll just keep doing more of the same type of refining and growing and maturing and the end result- whether here or in Florida or in China will be BEAUTIFUL.

Mary said...

You know you would miss us terribly if you moved back to that other place. :)

Sounds like a really, really great trip. Thanks for sharing all of it with us.

God has such a cool way of making us want what He wants. I know He'll take you, or keep you exactly where His best is most obvious.

Amy said...

I know that I would miss everyone here. In fact, it would break my heart. That's why I'm not going to give it much more thought. I'm confident that whatever plan God has for us will be accomplished wherever and whatever it is.