Day #20: Tupelo, MS to Deatsville, AL

I couldn't hardly sleep last night because the kids had slept together, but they were all the way across the house from the room we slept in. They are 9 & 10 years old, so I don't worry about them like I did when they were babies, but I sure would love to hear from people and know if I am the only momma who "needs" to be in the next room from my kids. It sounds kinda funny for me to feel this way; we were in a safe place, with temperature control, no wild animals, and no impending danger, but still I felt like if they needed me I would never hear them, and so I lay awake most of the night making sure that they were quiet. Is this hormones or just my nature??? I got up and walked into their room three times during the night and that was only because the other four times I made myself stay in bed. Each time I would adjust covers, open the blinds a little so that it wasn't so dark, check on the night light to make sure it was working just in case Garrett got up to stumble to the bathroom, and I'm embarrassed to say this but ... yes, I even checked to see if Ellie was still breathing. Don't laugh at me! It felt so foreign to me, to be so far away from them, that I almost curled up on the floor beside Garrett's side of the bed -- that's a little intense.

They had no idea I was there, and no one heard me go in there, so I should have just kept it to myself except that this is why I started this whole blog. Don't we women sometimes let ourselves feel "foolish" just because we are different from other women? This is what I am trying to stop doing to myself. I'm admitting my (potential) issues and maybe it will make many of you laugh, and maybe it will give comfort to someone who is like me (in knowing that you're not alone). Maybe it's just that I am always with my kids (I teach their Sunday School class, I helped in their AWANA class, we home-school, we vacation together, we sit and read together, we do friends' birthday parties together, they went to the office and work with me, and we have been in the same air space for 20 straight days now! I'm going to give myself a big ole, "it's okay, Vanessa, you're a great mother and you have to do what you feel is right!" And ... I'm never going to see that right now your eyes are rolling and you think I need to see a counselor.

In case you are on the edge of your seat wondering, everyone lived through the night and we all met up at the breakfast table just as healthy as when we all fell asleep, except at least one of us was just a little more tired than the others. When I go home, my family likes me to make homemade biscuits (and to tell you the truth, that is so very extremely flattering to me and it makes me feel so very extremely special), but I never can remember the recipe that I use for all-purpose flour. Real quick, I googled the Pioneer Woman recipe, tweaked it (because if you know me then you know recipes are just guidelines and I love to change them), and surprised myself with "real" fluffy biscuits! I got lazy and started using self-rising flour a while back, because I never seem to duplicate the perfect biscuit using AP flour. This morning, I was so exciting to finally have a good recipe, and then I realized that I am not sure what it was because I didn't actually USE a recipe. Geez! Breakfast was awesome -- biscuits, eggs, grits, fruit, and coffee. I do miss Delta but it's good to be home, where "do you want grits" is not even a question!!

After breakfast, we went to the closets and went through Will's dad's clothes. He has just passed away two months ago and all of his clothes were still there while my mother-in-law decided what to do. I took a large bag of his clothes with me and I'm going to make three memory quilts with them; one for her, one for Will, and one for Brad (Will's brother). I could use some ideas so message/email me with any that you have. I think it made her feel good to know that she can move those clothes without just tossing them out; good to know that she'll get back a collage of memories. I loaded the car quietly, so she and Will could chat some more, and then we said quick "goodbyes" and we headed out. We didn't stop until we got to Jasper and since everyone wanted different food for lunch, we took a minute and went to Little Ceasar's, Guthrie's Chicken, AND Burger King, and just ate it in the car.

We drove by some houses that are for sale near my parents house and then we finally went "home". That was the last drive of our trip from Alaska, and it felt phenomenal to be finished! My nephew, Noah, and my Momma were already in the yard running to the car before I got it parked; followed by Daddy and Granny. It feels so great for this ride to be over, and it feels so great to get those hugs again. Another great supper was waiting for us, more family came over, and once again we drug an enormous pile of "transient junk" into a tidy, clean house. Bedrooms were laid out for us; Will and I got a room, Ellie slept with Momma, and Garrett slept with Daddy. The rooms are all really close together ...... but I still feel like someone has just taken my kids away from me, and I have to go put an eye/hand on them during the night. Hi, my name is Vanessa, and I may have an problem.

In all today, we drove 227 miles and were in the car for 5 hours.