Sometimes Greg goes alone while the rest of us attend our church here in town, sometimes he takes a kid or two, and occasionally the whole family goes along.
Today, for a church an hour away, that we knew nothing about, with a 3 week old, for the first Sunday out as a family of 8, for the first cold morning of the season, we decided to all go along. Because that makes perfect sense.
I had my alarm set for 6:00am, which turned out to be unnecessary because Levi was up nursing at 5:30.
6:00 should have been plenty of time to get the family out the door, but I had forgotten to take into consideration that I would spend some of that time sitting on my booty nursing, not getting people and stuff ready. So there was a half hour lost right off the bat, from 7:30-8:00.
Then there was the fact that Brooklyn, recovering from a cold, had a coughing fit that left snot in her hair and down the front of her dress. (I know you wanted to know that). The dress we had carefully selected the night before. As in, everything else we tried on either didn't fit or wasn't right in some other way.
Then there was the fact that Alan's navy pants were too short AND he was wearing them with white socks. And the search for black socks for Tyler took a while, too.
I had a few minutes to fix my hair, then grabbed the rest of my makeup to finish in the van. But with everything else that took up our time, I wasn't able to pack the sandwich fixins I had planned on bringing with us.
Still, we were out the door only 10 minutes after we had planned, and still with 15 minutes "cushion" time. I sound all calm about that now, but in reality I was sitting in my seat with jaw set and fists clenched. What a lovely way to set off as a family to worship! Or not.
It was about that time I realized I had left my phone at home.
I don't go anywhere without my phone.
I was less than thrilled.
And Levi was scr-eam-ing.
I wanted to turn around and go home right then. But to turn around and drop us off would most definitely have made Greg late. So on we went.
And within just a minute or two Levi quit screaming and went to sleep. And it really didn't take too long for my knots to unclench and let myself enjoy the time in the front seat with my husband. We don't seem to see much of each other these busy days, so we were looking forward to the driving time today.
The driving time that was quite pleasant, even with Daniel whining and whimpering most of the way.
Then there was the moment about 15-20 minutes from the church when Brooklyn announced she had to pee.
There was absolutely nowhere to stop, because the moment she made this little announcement Greg was taking a huge descending, u-turn type exit to get us onto the next highway. Mid-way through this exit I, only half-jokingly, said "and now everyone's carsick!"
The words were barely out of my mouth before Daniel's breakfast was flying out of his. We didn't even have time to react before Brooklyn, in the next row back, was puking too.
I'm not kidding: I laughed out loud.
Greg did a u-turn and pulled into an abandoned drive across the road, where we all piled out and got busy.
I think it was the first time in his LIFE that Daniel had thrown up and he didn't like the experience One. Bit. Thank you very much. He wouldn't stop crying!
Brooklyn on the other hand, is an old pro at this carsick thing and waited patiently while we worked on Daniel and carseats and Alan's jeans (unfortunate victim sitting next to Brooklyn).
In the middle of nowhere you have no data signal, so Greg called my Dad to see if there was a dollar store in this little town. And - yay! - there was!
So we loaded everyone back up, Greg called the church and let them know we wouldn't be making Sunday school (and told them why) and then he went shopping for new clothes for the pukers while I nursed Levi. We decided to not dress anyone in their new clothes until we got there, ya know? Oh, and then Brooklyn reminded us that she still needed to pee, and while debating on whether to take her into the dollar store or not, it became a non-issue. So now, even her panties would be going in the dirty clothes sack.
I believe, as Greg put the van in gear, our words were, "Onward!"
We made it to the church without further incident, and with plenty of time to spare before services.
I got Brooky changed pretty quickly (and we even found clean dry panties in the back!) and she went in with Daddy and her big brothers while I went to work on Daniel. He and Levi and I brought up the rear.
The arrival of our family brought the Sunday morning attendance total up to a whopping 18. We were happy to be with those sweet people though, in their pretty little country church. And I mean "little" literally. The ladies' room was so small that the trash can had to sit on top of the toilet tank because there wasn't a space in the floor for it! It also the first time I had ever seen pews without armrests on the ends. Not that I was concerned with resting my arms, but those open-ended benches immediately brought images to mind of any number of my children falling off the end and out into the aisle.
I am pleased to say, though, that we made it through the entire service without anyone falling anywhere, Levi slept beautifully in his carseat the entire time (a true miracle), and there were no other mishaps or meltdowns, either.
And while the ride home wasn't exactly a picnic, it was far from eventful. We were thankful to be home for a late lunch and then an afternoon of quiet while the littles napped. Yes, I'd do it all over again.
But I might pack a change of clothes next time. ;)