Our Florida Weekend

Wow, what a whirlwind this past week has been! The girls and I got back from a trip to Florida to visit my grandparents(and Mom!) late Sunday night and I still feel like we’re on the recuperating side of things.

To back things up, most of you know my grandparents. I have written about them quite a bit on my blog(you can read some posts about them here & here). I haven’t shared what has been going on with them because 1) initially they wanted to keep things private and 2) there have been a lot of unknowns.

But the situation is basically this(and of course, they are some of my biggest blog cheerleaders, so they will be reading this and are okay with me sharing!), the week that we moved into our new house at the beginning of December, they called my Mom(who was here helping us) to share some news. They had been to the Dr. and my Pa had been diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer. Not good.

Thus began a long series of tests and appointments to figure out what exactly was going on. After seeing more specialists, they were able to refine his diagnosis to Bile Duct Cancer instead. They found a large tumor, had to insert a stent into his bile duct…and then he had a heart attack shortly before Christmas.

So, they had to place a stent in his heart, get that under control and then they were able to proceed with cancer treatment.

They continued to have issues with the stent in his bile duct and he has had multiple procedures to get that taken care of.

Finally, they were able to have a procedure to remove the cancerous tumor at the end of February. Unfortunately, because of how it has grown, they weren’t able to remove any of it. His only option at this point is chemotherapy to possibly reduce the size of the tumor- but they have told him that it is inoperable and incurable.

My Mimi and Pa have been amazing through all of this- my Pa regularly sharing stories of his faith and trust in our God through the midst of all of this scary, scary, and really hard stuff. We don’t know how much time we will get to have with him(though, none of us know how much time any of us have left!) so this last weekend, while Jim was busy at his very first film festival, the girls and I took a flight from Kansas City to Tampa to get to spend a really special and fun weekend with them.

So, here is a recap of our trip!
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I survived my very first solo flight with both kids! Afterwards, I kind of felt like a rock star…and I also kind of felt like I needed a drink. Nothing like being trapped in a plane knowing that everything could crumble and turn to hysterics at any minute! It never did, but being worried about it is stressful all the same, lol.
Our flight got in about 45 minutes before my Mom’s did, so I got myself, our two carry on items, our two suitcases, two car seats, and two kids gathered into a corner at baggage claim to wait for her.

Once she finally did we made our way to the rental cars, got a van, couldn’t figure out how to install either car seat, FaceTimed Jim for assistance, picked the wrong route for how to get to Mimi and Pa’s house, and then finally got on the road for the two hour drive to their place!
We were calm, cool, and collected the entire time. As you can see.

It didn’t bother the girls any!

But we finally made it and boy did it feel good to stretch our legs and settle into Mimi and Pa’s Florida house!

My Mimi has some wonderful friends who loaned her a pack n play, a high chair, stroller, and baby toys. We were well taken care of and she was so prepared for us!

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One day when Mabel was needing a nap and Mimi was needing a trip to the Verizon store to get her phone fixed, Pa offered to watch Abigail while we all took a drive. So Miss A got a ride in the golf cart down to the “golf court” as she says, and met a few of his friends. When we got back home after Mabel’s car nap we walked into Pa being tied up to a balloon and led around the house like a horse. Abigail definitely has us all wrapped around her little fingers!
I would be remiss if I didn’t toss in one brief mention about how wonderful Mabel goes to bed at home and how HORRIBLY she sleeps anywhere else. Oof.
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As I was saying, this is like 9:30 and Mabel is still up because…no sleep on vacation, right?
My Mimi used my DIY chalkboard post to create her own for her kitchen, but she hired me out to design it for her. They gave me the verse they wanted and then I drew it up. Don’t look too closely!
We got to visit their church on Sunday morning. It was really special! We got to meet their pastor and so many of their friends. Plus, a pew full of family is just about the best thing I can think of.
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My girls were clearly neglected all weekend. No attention at all.

Something Pa mentioned really wanting while we were there were some family pictures. So after church while we were all still fancied up, we took a few. And I really love them.IMG_2812 IMG_2818 IMG_2822 IMG_2828 IMG_2834 IMG_2873IMG_2856 IMG_2859 IMG_2868
After lunch it was time for us to head back to the airport. Mabel slept the entire two hour drive(rallying for a particularly fun flight!) and Miss A got to experience her very first bout of car sickness.

Jim has always dealt with motion sickness, so I called him to ask what to do. He gave me extensive specific instructions and before too long, she was back to feeling good again. Thanks, Daddy!
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And then we were off! Back to Kansas City! Thankfully we had free wifi on both flights, so Abigail got to enjoy some Disney Jr and I got to wrangle the squirmy Mabes.

After we landed in KC, we had a three hour drive home….but we made it! And it was so, so worth it. Such a great trip.

A few other fun things from this trip:

Mabel discovered the wonder of Honey Nut Cheerios

She got her first taste of a Ho Ho(Thanks to Pa. Which we teased him ruthlessly about)

We spent Friday at Walt Disney World! (which will be getting a post of it’s very own next week!)

Mimi and Pa are planning to be here for Miss Mabel’s 1st birthday party next month. And we are so excited and can’t wait for that!

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  1. I am so, so sorry to hear about your grandfather’s diagnosis. You and your family will be in my thoughts. Sounds like you guys had such a wonderful visit!

  2. Oh gosh, so sad to hear about your Pa’s diagnosis! Will be thinking of him! I love that you were able to spend such great quality time with them, and great photos! I really with my grandparents were still around.

  3. Prayers for your precious family! And props to you Mama for the solo flight – you are a rockstar!! :).

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your Pa. He sounds like an amazing man and grandpa! I love that verse you wrote out- that particular one is my confirmation verse 🙂 Also, you are SO a rockstar for taking both kids on a flight by yourself! And with all the bags and car seats! Seriously, you deserve all the high fives and praise hands. Baby carriers are the best invention for airports, aren’t they? 🙂 Loved seeing your snaps on your trip, and can’t wait to read your Disney recap!

  5. A flight with 2 kids by yourself!! You ARE a rockstar. I’m scared to do it with the hubs with one kid. haha. All your pictures are so sweet! You are very lucky to still have your grandparents around, but I am so sorry to hear about your grandpa.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather! But what a wonderful trip, and aren’t you wonderwoman for taking two kids by yourself! I don’t think I could manage that! Can’t wait for your disney post, we live 30 minutes away from Disneyland and I loveeeee it. DisneyWorld is probably 10x better 😀

  7. Oh I’m so sorry to hear your family is hurting. Lots of prayers your way! But how special that you got this time and so many beautiful pictures. Lots of wonderful memories I am sure!

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa’s diagnosis, your family will definitely be in my prayers and thoughts! How special that you could travel to see them and spend some quality time with them though, I’m sure they appreciated it so much and you got so many great photos!!

    We are traveling to adams home town in June for similar reasons, his grandpa isn’t doing well and it’ll probably be his last birthday so we want to spend some time with them and have him meet the newest little. It’s bittersweet but you never regret quality time spent 🙂 XO

  9. Praying for your family and your sweet grandpa. I mean…how cute is he?!? I just love the way they’re both down on the ground playing with the girls in all of these pictures. Such sweet memories for sure!

  10. Courtney, this is just so sweet! I’m so glad you got to go and spend a few days with your grandparents. How special for them to see you and your sweet girls. I’m sure they loved every single second you were there and miss having you with them. You are a rockstar for taking two littles, two carry ons, two suitcases, and two car seats, on a flight by yourself! The very thought of that makes me queasy. It sounds like it was just the perfect weekend. I can’t wait to hear all about Disney!

  11. So sorry to hear about your Pa. (The photo of him and Abigail holding hands at church -melt)
    And your Mabel resembles your mom a lot!
    What a special trip for you and your girls.

  12. So sorry to hear that about your Pa, Courtney. I’m so happy that you guys were able to go spend some time with them. It looks like your grandparents definitley had the best time! I’ll be praying for you, Pa, and your family!

  13. Well I’m just so sorry to hear about your pa. Definitely hard times, I’m glad you guys got to fly down for a short but sweet visit. Lots of floor play and family time and even a little Disney magic, can’t beat that.

  14. This post absolutely brought me to tears. I will pray for him and you all. I know cancer is cancer and it will do what it will do but God has worked amazing wonders lately with some of my family and friends (me included) in negating our cancer.
    God bless you all!

  15. i am so sorry to hear about that diagnosis for your pa!! i will be keeping your family in my prayers. i know the time all together was probably soooooo cherished! i love the smiles everyone is wearing in all your photos. 🙂 the sweetest!! and i love the family photos, too. that one of you and your pa!!! such a framer!! and OH. you are such a rock star for taking on that flight with the two babes! and uhhh the car seats!!! i convinced steven to let us rent them so that makes me look pretty terrible right there haha!

  16. Oh sweet lady! I will keep your Pa in my prayers. What a special weekend full of amazing moments and quality time for you all. The picture of Abigail holding your Pa’s hand during church brought me to tears. How sweet is that?! And I couldn’t agree more. There is something so special about a pew filled with family. Great pictures. Love the red noses!!

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