Rewind 13 1/2 months in your mind. Where were you last middle-of-May? I was insanely busy with schoolwork and trying to finish up my master's degree. I was six weeks pregnant. And I was wanting to go to Alaska. My oldest younger brother was graduating from high school. My sister was going to attend the graduation, and I wanted to, but his graduation was thisclose to the rehearsal of my own graduation, which had mandatory attendance. But...we made it work! For starters, we organized it with my sister to be a surprise for everyone in Alaska: no one knew I was coming. Second, I arranged it with a professor to miss my last class, take my final early, and finish reading a book on the airplane in order to finish my classwork. Third, we searched and searched for the best deal we could find on an airline ticket, and approximately $600 later, I was headed to Alaska for the quickest trip I've ever made there.
Saturday, May 16th, I got on an airplane at 6:00 a.m. in Raleigh, arriving in Anchorage at 2:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. East-Coast-time). I waited about an hour for my sister to arrive, and then we waited about an hour for her in-laws to drop a car off for us. We grabbed a bite to eat and then hit the road to Kenai, a three-hour drive. During the drive my sister confessed to me that she had so many friends who were pregnant and that she really wanted a baby, so all that she could think of when she was around them was were they jealous that she was so skinny? I was pregnant and hadn't told her yet. Fail.
When we pulled onto our road in Kenai, I hopped in the backseat and hid for the 1/2-mile drive home. Rachel hugged mom while she bemused that the only way things could get better would be if Michelle were there. And then I hopped out of the backseat and shocked the pants off my mom. She was so excited. Then I broke the news that it was great I was there, but that I wouldn't be able to come for Christmas. After my sister asked why not, I replied, "I don't think they let you fly when you're 8 1/2 months pregnant." Shock of all shocks, they both cried and were happy for us, and my sister immediately felt horrible about what she had said.
Anyhow, that was the crazy part. We spent Sunday and Monday relaxing and just chatting. Tuesday evening was Sean's graduation and we arrived early to get good seats. We watched him graduate, and afterward we headed home, grabbed our stuff, and Rachel and I hit the road to head to Anchorage, arriving at around midnight. We spent the night with one of Rachel's friends, and Wednesday morning we headed to the Great Harvest Bread Company and then to the airport. I caught a flight at 9:00 a.m., getting into Greensboro at 11:00 p.m. Shannon came and picked me up and we got home at around 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, and then got up and headed to our graduation rehearsal at 10:00 a.m. that same morning. Shannon's parents arrived that evening, and then we graduated for real on Friday. It was such an insane trip, but totally worth it! Especially now that I have a baby and can't do crazy things like that anymore, I'm so glad that we made it work!
Sean's the one in the middle, in focus, looking up at his (unseen) floating cap.
All the family (minus husbands): Me, Rachel, Sean, Mom, and Kyle