Strengthening Bonds This Week

It's always amazing to me when the Lord throws something your way, completely unexpected and not in your plans.  I suppose death has a way of doing that too.  A few days ago, I thought I knew what this week held for us, but now it's clear that I really didn't :)  As I dropped off Ava and Travis at the airport this afternoon, I realized that our week would be full of unexpected surprises and blessings, mixed with grief and a little sickness too.  All unplanned in our eyes, but ultimately part of God's plan.
One of the best things Travis and I get to experience this week, is some one on one time with each of our kids.  I told Ava all morning that she was going to go on a "special trip" with Daddy today and boy was she excited!  As I rushed around to get everyone packed up, she kept saying, "Ready to go?"  When we finally told her we were in fact ready, she scooped up her baby and her little back pack and literally ran to the car! 
I love this precious picture of her! 
So grown up and yet, still my little "mama in training" with that baby under her arm :)
And then there's Carty.  Not sure he got much of a choice, but I told him all morning that we were going to get some snuggle time this week and no one was more excited about that than me!  I haven't really been able to spend uninterrupted time with him since the first week he was born, which feels like yesterday, by the way.  After a couple of trying weeks, I'm truly looking forward to one child at a time :) Especially considering I got the quieter/easier one!  He's such a lover and always happy.  I think this is going to be good for both of us. 
Isn't that a beautiful tree??  I've been enjoying its blooms all weekend and thought it was especially gorgeous today.  The weather has been PERFECT this week and we are soaking it up!
Ava's new favorite thing to do is pretend that she's driving our cars.
She's very serious about it and not happy when we have to end her fantasy :)
But the airport was calling and we needed to get on the road, legally!
As I went to bed last night, I was second guessing whether or not Carter and I should have gone to Texas too and feeling like maybe we made the wrong decision.  But, the Lord confirmed that we made the right decision several times today.  Yesterday poor Carter had some serious diaper blowouts and wasn't eating very well.  I hoped it was just a tooth coming in, but this morning he had another blowout and then started to throw up most of what he ate.  All day he barely ate and he wanted to nap far more than normal.  I realized how thankful I was that we weren't trying to get packed up too, I can't imagine dealing with any of that on a plane!  Anyway, after we got home from the airport, the poor little guy just got worse and I started to worry that he was getting dehydrated.  So, I called the pediatrician and they wanted to see him tonight.  I got him in before they closed and once again, praised the Lord that we were home to do that and not in some urgent care in Texas.  He does have some kind of stomach bug, but is not dehydrated.  We're off formula for a little bit and working back up to that with a diet of pedialyte.  So far, so good.  Even though he's definitely under the weather, he's been just as smiley and happy as ever. 
 I love that about him and today, I really appreciated it. 
Ava and Travis made it to Texas, although a little later than expected.
It struck me on the way to the airport, that sometimes what you think you want is not always what you wished for.  Lately Ava has been giving me real fits, and I've often thought, "If only I could get a break!"  But as we drove to put her on a plane with Trav for a few days, I got very teary and sad.  I already miss her cute little self, even her 2 year old spunky-ness!  I thought about all the things I take care of for her all day and wondered how she'd do without me.  I know for a fact that she will have a WONDERFUL time with Daddy and obviously there is no one else I'd rather send her off with.  But as much as I'm looking forward to this unexpected break, I do miss her.  A lot.  It's very quiet around here and the toys are staying strangely organized :)  I think even Carter will miss her this week! 
So while these two spend some quality time together, Carter and I will be doing some quality resting!  It is an unexpected blessing this week and one that I know will be good for all of us.  Thanks for praying for our family and for Trav.  I know he will do great!  I've begged him for lots of pictures this week, so we'll see how that goes :)  
If nothing else, you'll get plenty of Carter! 

Hope you have a blessed Wednesday, no matter how unexpected it might be!

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