Saturday, July 19

"Oh hun"

**Authors note: I know it's a loong one, but if you're in a hurry at least read about Diane at the end!

28 hours on the road, about 8 stops (coffee, gas, food, bodily functions), sunshine, open road, rain, darkness, fog and detours. All vital descriptors in summing up our trek to Florida for the most amazing moment of our lives. That moment is not even here yet but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Chip did most of the driving, trudging through mile after mile while keeping a smile on his face (most of the time) and cracking standard issue 'Chip jokes' over and over. Yep, he's amazing!

I was charged with the task of night driving. Truth be told, it's not as easy of a task as it used to be. Lasik has changed that for me drastically. The worst part came when it decided to start raining -- and not stop!! Grr...I finally resolved to turn the dashboard lights to a dimmer setting and that helped a great deal. And, of course, the 2 hour Rest Stop snooze-a-thon (for Chip at least) helped pass the time a bit as well. I drove for 2 more hours after leaving the Rest Stop cursing at the fact that the sun was determined not to rise. Seriously, not even a glimpse until 6:30. That's crazy!

Simple but charming

Didn't work well for Matthew

Chip says the AT&T tower (far left) looks like Batman
I called the hotel (that a friend was able to book for us on a deal -- last minute) and ask if they had anything available for early check-in. She couldn't make any promises but didn't see a reason why they couldn't do that. (Insert giggle here) We arrived at 10:30 this morning to a front desk attendant with a dumbfounded look. I should have known better.

Okay...without showering or brushing our teeth, we set off to accomplish a couple of last minute errands before our son enters the world. Task one was a gift for his birth mother. We had an idea of what we were looking for and set off the mall to find it. Our first stop was JCP where we met Diane. "Hiah, hun, what can I help you with?" in a kinda southern, quasi-rhaspy voice. It didn't take her but a moment for her to direct our attention to an item that met every attribute we listed. However, we hadn't checked out other options yet and, of course, there was the matter of the 4 hours we had to kill before getting into the hotel. So, we said we probably be back and went on our way. 

There were only two others in the mall that met our requirements and one of them was a more expensive version of what Diane showed us. You know what that means...back to JCP. Though Diane assured us when we left that she would be there until 3:30, she wasn't in the jewelry department when we returned. So another perfectly lovely woman started to help us. As we worked on completing our order, she was asking our business in Florida and we shared our story with her. Well, during this time, Diane had found her way back and was filled in on the story. Oh, the questions!! Both of these woman were so attentive to the details -- right to the knitty-gritty! "Will you get to be in the room?" "Is the car seat installed properly?" "Boy or girl?" "Have you picked a name?" And my favorite, compared child-rearing to selling "stones." "You can't sell diamonds properly until you jump in and do it!"

All said and done, my heart was bursting by the time we left. Diane congratulated and hugged us with a "god bless you both! That is one lucky baby boy!" (Yep, you know it, tears!)