So, we have embarked on the trip of a lifetime. Hah. Maybe that means I am hoping it is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. As in, won't be repeated. At least parts of it!!
Like the part that we are traveling with a 22-month-old and an almost-2-month-old. Or that we will be traveling untold hours between many homes with said children.
But, there are parts that I am sooo glad to be a part of--and since some want to know how things are going so far and since my access to/time for communication is limited and/or unpredictable, I will tell some of my tales here!
We left around 3 pm on Monday, February 22. It was one of those days where you feel like you're in one of those dreams that you are running and running-- but going no where. We were running around like insane people trying to get everything done, but it felt like the pile was not getting any smaller. There were the obvious packing and van prep to do... but between our kiddos needs and mess-making abilities, and, mmmmm, how do you say... relaxed mechanics... and all those other last minute things that pop up, it seemed as though we'd NEVER get on the road. Packing for a 3-month trip is no small feat, and leaving your house clean enough for people to stay in it while your gone with an active toddler running behind you undoing your efforts is basically IMPOSSIBLE! But, yes. We did get on the road and headed north to Saltillo, Mexico.
We got to Saltillo around 8 pm. We were staying with another missions outreach, in one of their guest houses. They were very accomodating, but it was an extremely cold house. Even after running our space heaters all night, the rooms were super cold. That made for a long night, b/c I was trying to keep Aleni warm and worrying about Noah's comfort. Aleni wasn't sleeping well, so I spent much of the night sleeping while sitting in the bed, holding her.
We got back on the road about 9 am the next day, and headed for the border. It was strange, because the closer to the border we got, the colder and rainier it was. The border is usually MUCH hotter than where we now live in Fresnillo, but by the time we arrived to Reynosa, on the border, it was bitterly cold.
We stopped in Reynosa at a Peter Piper's Pizza to let Noah play for a while before attempting a bridge crossing. You NEVER know how long that will take. He had a blast and we got back on the road about 40 minutes later.
The bridge wait was only around 30 minutes, so that was great. We got to our destination, Mission, TX, around 4 pm.
We spent the days at the border enjoying the relaxation of being together and NO STAIRS! ;) The weather got warmer and Noah was able to play outside a lot.
We went to Rio Bravo to visit friends on Thursday morning. Rey went to visit his family on Sunday afternoon, spent the night and came to pick us up Monday morning to go back to Rio Bravo and spend the morning with good friends Vicky & Juan and their 8-month-old daughter Sofia. We all went and spent Tuesday morning with Rey's family.
Wednesday morning, we left for San Antonio and got there around 1 pm. We stayed with Verda, a sweet woman who spent 16 years as a missionary nurse in Central America. She had little gifts for all of us and took us sightseeing at an awesome "Riverwalk" in downtown San Antonio. Made a mental note that Rey and I should go back there some day, sans kids!
We pulled out Thursday morning, after a great breakfast of pancakes and eggs... and headed north to Arlington, TX (new Ft Worth/Dallas)... which is where we are now. We arrived there around 2 pm. Tami and Gary have been SUCH great hosts and we feel so at home. Noah is loving getting back on a schedule and having so many awesome toys (poor guy was almost beside himself after that awful week of missed naps and hooooouuurrrsss sitting in his car seat).
Thursday night, we joined Tami & Gary's home group and were blessed by a great time of worship and prayer. The group all prayed for us and encouraged us in many ways.
Friday, we were treated to a trip to the Ft. Worth Zoo with Tami, her daughter-in-law and grandkids. It was so nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery and diversity of animal life. After the kids were in bed, we enjoyed a yummy supper and some... vocabulary-rich... pool! ;)
Today, has been a wonderful day of rest... started with coffee and sweet bread... continued with great conversation and giggles with my babies.
It is so great to find "like spirits" in all parts of the world. Rey and I have been so encouraged and HUMBLED by the unconditional love, service and sacrifice shown to us--and find ourselves utterly unsufficient to express our gratitude. We learn daily from those we come into contact with, have our faith built up by people who barely know us... and who are we?? We can't even imagine all God has in store for us in the days to come, but we sure are overjoyed to be in His hand and part of His people!!