Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 7-8 on the Road

Leaving Milford, Connecticut, we woke like usual, ate breakfast, packed up and hit the road. Our first stop was a few minutes away - the beach! Baby's first time!
The rest of the traveling through Connecticut was remarkably bland. So was the ride through Vermont, BUT we did feel the scenery was picture worthy. We almost felt at home being in the northern part of the Appalachian Mountains (note: the baby is not crying, she is unable to block the sun very well!)
We drove a few hours to a little town called Newport, VT. It is less than 8 miles from the border. The town was so small it made Lake City, TN seem like New York City! We rested as best we could and that ended our 7th day on the road.

Afterwards, we headed the few miles it took to get to the border. Crossing went a lot better than we could have ever hoped for (thanks for your prayers!) The guards were polite (that's Canadians for you, eh?), Adah was sweetly cooing, they didn't demolish our property, and it only took a little under an hour. Most of the wait was for typing up our paperwork! We paid our 250$ Canadian for our VISA's and drove the next hour to our apartment.

When we got to our apartment, we were greeted by some friends who helped us lug a trailer full of stuff up four flights! Thank you Harkonen Family and Matt! Ever since our arrival we have been going non-stop unpacking and setting up our little home/apartment! 

We conclude this entry on our journey to Canada with the obvious-we finally got our internet in the apartment. So now that we can blog, our next few will thoroughly bore you with mundane details of life in Canada and maybe one about our apartment! Thanks for the prayers and emails/Facebook messages of encouragement. We wouldn't be here without them!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 6 on the road

The day started out as any normal "on the road" day. Wake up to sweet baby cooing around 8-ish, get up and get dressed, go eat breakfast in the hotel lobby, go back to the room to call my (Tasha's) mom, and put the baby down for a nap, etc. But this time, we packed up our things and hit the road again before the baby's nap! Destination: Milford, Connecticut! We were hoping she would sleep during her nap on the road.

But first, we decided to make one very important pit-stop:
Georgetown Cupcakes
Look at that face! She can't wait to try all those!
After our pit-stop, it was off to Connecticut. Tom-Tom (our GPS) said it would take us 5.5 hours to get to our destination! We were so excited that baby would only have to miss 2 naps, now that we had her on a good (well, reasonable) sleep schedule. Unfortunately for us, things did not go as we expected. Between all the traffic jams, accidents, and big cities, we did not reach our destination for almost 10 hours! I guess that is what happens when you have to drive through Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, MD; Wilmington Delaware; Newark NJ; and New York City, NY. Okay. Now we realize we were very ambitious! Never underestimate the time it takes to travel from one place to another based on your GPS, in big cities!

When we finally arrived at the hotel, it was 7:30! Our poor little girl! It was past her bed time, she missed ALL her naps, she was in a strange place, and was beyond exhausted. Kevin and I patiently bathed her, clothed her, fed her, and put her to bed. An hour later, she was up again. We patiently rocked her until she feel asleep. This happened a few times. Her night was fitful, but we worked hard to pat her and soothe her back to sleep before she could wake up again. The result - a sweet, cooing baby waking us up at 8 AM!

And that brings us to Day 7 on the be continued!

Days 3 - 5 on the Road...VACATION!!!

Since we had only one chance to do it - we took a mini-vacation!!! Days 3 - 5 were spent "touring" Washington, D.C. with our little girl! So, here are pictures of our "restful" time!
Daddy and daughter ready for adventure
For once, we are on the other side of the FAA!
Showing daddy who is boss around here!
Ancient artifact I found in the tunnels of the underground metro. 
Baby being adorable! So close to giggling!
This is called a Redneck wallaby - for you folks back in Tennessee!
Giant baby attacks monument!
Native American's played hockey!
Healthy street vendor food (insert sarcasm) 
Cuppy and her cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes
Exhaustion comes from only 3 hours of touring a day with a baby!

Day 6 on the be continued.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Second Day on the Road

The location: Troutsville, VA
The day: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
The time: 8:15 AM
The people: The Spann's
The setting: breakfast

Imagine if you will, a group of four people and an infant, sitting cozily around a little table with soft music playing in the background. It is breakfast and you can see a well-balanced, wholesome meal spread out before them . Every conceivable fresh fruit, warm whole wheat toast, perfectly poached eggs, crispy bacon, coffee, and whole milk. The family is taking their time, savoring each morsel of food as they enjoy their pleasant, intellectually stimulating conversation with one another. The baby is sweetly cooing while daintily playing with her stuffed toy.

BORING! Who wants to hear that story?

Here is what our breakfast scene really looked like :The family rushed down to the breakfast room before the grumpy hotel staff cleared the "food" away. CNN is blaring in the background on a TV glued to the wall (metal must be expensive around here). Tasha shovels food into her mouth as fast as she can so she can feed the baby while discussing whatever it was she saw last in the baby's diaper. Mark (Kevin's dad) bounces the previously mentioned fussy baby on his knee, letting his "food" go cold. Kevin is going over trip plans and checking his email while inhaling his insubstantial meal. Debby (Kevin's mom) is asking him questions while she chokes down her Styrofoam...err, powdered eggs. AH! Now that is a morning! A morning bursting with excitement and tardiness! :-) Okay, the hotel and food weren't really that bad, but you get the idea.

We pack up at the hotel and hit the road for another day of adventure. The goal - Washington, D.C!

The baby and Tasha nap and nurse continuously until we stop for gas.
We uncovered a little hole in the wall "mom and pop" diner in a city town named Marshall. The type of town where Main Street is the only street. Delicious sandwiches for everyone and then back to the road!

The Shenandoah Valley was breathtaking and the weather was perfect.
We finally make it to Alexandria, VA around 2:30 to our AMAZING hotel! Why do I brag? Because our old (as in previous, not age) youth minister got us a friends and family discount at a Marriott! King size bed, couch, flat screen TV, separate toilet closet with sink, and a glass shower. Only downside - SHOWER, not tub:

Luckily, Debby had a storage bin we could use for a bath...but baby noticed the difference! Picky, picky little girl! She wouldn't even play with her pink duck!

That evening, we ate at Ted's and enjoyed a beautiful sunset at the hotel:

The baby is still having a hard time sleeping at night, which does wear on her mommy and daddy. But we are still excited to be on the way to language school! For the first time in a year, we will have a more consistent schedule which will hopefully result in a more rested family.

Day Three on the be continued...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Day on the Road!

Monday morning, we had great plans! Get up bright and early at 7:30 AM, shower, get dressed, finish packing and loading, say our good-byes, and drive away from our old house at 9 AM. They were great plans, weren't they?

Sunday evening, mama had a headache but worked through it with the grand idea she will get plenty of sleep that night to take care of it! Nope, baby had other plans! So, 7:30 AM rolls around and our alarm clock is ignored and the snooze button becomes our best friend. Around 8 or so, we finally get up and get showered. My mom comes to spend time with the baby while I pack. Kevin has to run errands so we can get on the road. 9:30 rolls around and is soon forgotten as Mark (Kevin's dad) comes over with the truck and trailer to finish loading us all up.

At around 11:30, my mom, step-dad and I say our "see you later's" (we plan to be back in October for fall break with family).
Now, we frantically shove everything that will fit into the trailer and hit the 12:24 PM! So, we drive and drive and drive. 3 miles later, we stopped to grab some food. Now we drive and drive and drive, and about 15 miles from home we ran into a traffic jam. That is okay, the baby is ever patient as we pick up speed and drive and drive and drive. We made it about 45 miles (in an hour an a half) and she had just started to nod off when BOOM! The vehicle behind us, a tractor trailer (you know, the big 18-wheeler?), gets rear-ended by a U-Haul (you know, the kind you drive in?)! It was such a powerful collision we felt the concussion in our chests. YIKES! Now, the baby is fussy because her nap has been interrupted and Kevin and I had a sick feeling in our stomachs and we say a quick prayer for the U-Haul driver, whose rear end can be seen above the tractor trailer. We heard that part of the interstate was closed for about 6 hours for clean up.

After driving forever, we make it to Blacksburg, VA where we meet up with the man who helped us start this journey - Brian Behal! Our MAF recruiter!
After eating dinner with him, we head to a hotel nearby. Grand total: 5 hours away from home. Time it took Adah to sleep that night: 5 hours! Poor baby couldn't sleep and when she did, it was fitful! I am just glad we decided not to drive to Washington, D.C. all in one day. Adults can do a 10 hour drive, babies can not!

Second Day on the be continued.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bittersweet Beginnings

I don’t often write descriptive entries about daily life, but I wanted to share about our journey to Canada. Part of being a missionary is the journey and the lessons learned along the way. Everything, both good and bad, should be shared as a way of being honest about how God is working in our lives. That being said, today marked the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. We are officially missionaries on the journey to language school, which will aid us in the field in Africa.

This trip actually began on Friday evening, August 17th. Volunteers from our home congregation (Highland View) came to help us set up for the biggest yard sale of our lives by pricing items and just spending time with us. On Saturday, August 18th, we sold most of our belongings. More volunteers from a local church supporting us (High Places) came by to help us with setting us, selling, managing the items, loading items for people who purchased said items, and packing up our leftover items. What a huge help! We could not have done it without them! On top of that, one of our friends came by to mow our lawn!

Sunday, August 19th, our home congregation gave us a going away commissioning service that brought tears to our eyes! It was complete with a slide show of our journey with the church! Afterwards, Kevin, Adah, and I gathered at the front of the church and everyone crowded around us to pray over us! I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the building! Then, it was completed with a potluck meal! Yummy! Do the blessings stop there? No! Many more volunteers from church came to our home at 6 PM to help us finish packing, load up the trailer, and clean up our now almost empty home! I can honestly say we would NOT be on the road now if not for all the help! I only wish I had thought to take a picture or two!

This brings us to the good-byes. Since we will be able to visit home, Kevin and I do not feel like it is a real good-bye. It is more of a “see you later.” We are on the road now and it just feels like we are going on another Ministry Partnership trip or a vacation (maybe we have been on the road too much)! Since we are technically going away to school/college, we will be home for Christmas. But for our family, it still feels like good-bye. With a 12 week old baby, our family is saying good-bye to this age, this moment in her life, this impressionable time where she is constantly learning. But we understand that sacrifices are to be made for the glory of God. It does not mean they are easy. There is a saying that I really like: God does not call the prepared, he prepares the called. We are called and he is preparing us for our journey to Africa. He is who is comforting us now during these bittersweet beginnings.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Guest Post: 10 Organizational Tips for New Mothers

My personality is all for organization. As a new mother, I found this to be difficult at first. But once I got into a rhythm with the baby, I found I could be just as organized, but in a different way! Check out my "10 Organizational Tips for New Mothers" post at Intentional by Grace.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Apologize in Advance...

I had the best of intentions! I have been working on a blog about Spiritual Warfare, one on Cultural Intolerance, and even a controversial one about the LRA (might not post due to graphic nature). Kevin has a few more posts in the work about What Is a Missionary, parts 2 and maybe 3. But something has halted all of this....

Packing! Ugh! First all, we are packing to move out of our house. It is officially on the market!

We are going through all of our junk...ahem...stuff to find things to get rid of to avoid having to look at so many things! On a side note, we are having a yard sale on Saturday, August 18th at 8-2! Second, we are packing for our move to Canada! This is also an ongoing process with packing for Africa!

Have I mentioned how hard this is to do with an adorable 10.5 week old who just wants to play?

And we only have 10 DAYS LEFT!!! Wow!!! So, I apologize in advance for our soon-to-be hiatus of intellectual posts. Next week, my guest post for Intentional by Grace will be out and I hope to have a preview and link posted here. Once we hit the road (August 20th), we plan on making our 20 hour drive to Canada a mini-vacation. So, if we stay at a hotel with free internet, I hope to bombard you all with unique photos!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Day in the Life of Baby A

Since mommy and daddy are SO busy with me, they haven't found any time to update the blog! So, I thought I would help out by showing you what I do all day while mommy and daddy work, study French, and pack!

I like to sleep in a little when I get the big bed all to myself! Ah! I enjoy pushing everyone else out of my way!
I absolutely hate getting all dressed up for any reason and would prefer to be naked all day!
After eating a big breakfast, I love to play in my Bumbo! It helps me to build up my next muscles!
When morning playtime is all done, I get to take a nap in my swing!
When I wake up, I get to eat lunch and play again!
Then, it is my favorite time - naptime with daddy!
Then I get to eat again and I get to go play! I love my playtime!
Finally, it is time for bed. Daddy gives me a bath and puts me in my jammies!
Mommy feeds me and puts me to bed!
And when mommy and daddy wake up in the middle of the night to take care of me, I am still adorable!
The End!
P.S. Look for info about voting for me in the Gerber baby contest! Voting beings September 4th and you can do so on Facebook! We will post info about it in a few weeks! Get ready to tell all your friends!