January 4, 2012

You're Not Crazy . . .

You won't drive across the country and back with a dog and a baby.

But we will.

And we did. But probably never will again. At least for a long time.

Don't get me wrong, we are actually glad we did and in all honestly the drives were not that bad. Driving allowed us to bring Roscoe and more crap than we possibly needed and ensured we had room for the abundance of Christmas presents my parents got for Finn. We also were able to do more and see more people than we would have been able to had we flown. So it was a worthwhile trip, but I'm sure glad to be home.

Our first part of the trip was a drive out to our future home in . . . .drum roll. . . . .Fort Hood, Texas. <<insert long sigh and facial expression of self pity>> We were really hoping the Army would send us to Fort Carson, Colorado, but no such luck. But you know that annoying saying about everything happening for a reason? Well, there actually are lots of good reasons to go to Texas. For one, it will mean that Miles isn't facing a deployment anytime soon. So of course that is good news. Great news. And for two, we've already got some really great friends out there and some of our family will be moving to Austin (about 45 minutes away) just a few months after us. So, it could be worse. And there is a Target and a Hobby Lobby near by - I've already scouted them out. We had already planned to stop in Texas, but since we will now be moving there it was nice to get a feel of the area and check out some potential places to live.

Texas to Arizona. Texas is FAR too big a state.

After a couple days in Texas we drove to visit my family in my hometown of Tucson, Arizona. While I'd never want to live in the desert long term, Tucson really is "home" for me. I grew up in the same house I left for college. While most of my friends have moved, their parents are still around and not much has changed when I drive around our part of town. So it was really nice to bring Finley to my hometown and introduce him to so many people who knew me growing up. And it's especially nice to spend time with my parents and see them interact with their grandson. Boy is he one loved little guy!

From Arizona, we left for California where we spent the bulk of our trip. Our sister-in-law is due any day now with our little nephew who we can't wait to me. Their oldest son Carson, who is two, is best buds with Roscoe - so it was fun to see them interact (yet for some reason I failed to take any pictures of the two). My favorite moment was when Roscoe came over to sniff Carson as he opened some gifts - "No, no Roc-co, my present." When we'd go out and do something, leaving Roscoe back at the house, Carson would often ask "what Roc-co doing?" - always very concerned about what our pup was up to. That dog has it made. While in CA, we made sure to not only dip Finley's feet in the Pacific, but Roscoe's as well.

While in California I met up with a friend of mine for the first time. Abby lost her daughter Nia in 2009 and really reached out to me after losing Cale. We've become good friends and she was such a lifeline for me during my pregnancy with Finn so it was  really wonderful to finally meet in person!

Meeting up with Abby was also really nice because I missed Cale a lot this Christmas, or at least thought about him more than I even realized I would. I think it's because 18 months would have been a fun age for all the excitement of the holidays. It would have been fun to watch him play with his cousin and to get as spoiled by Nana and Pop as Finn did. There's just so much I wanted for that little boy and each milestone is a reminder of that. But I'm ok with that. More than ok. I want to miss him. I want each milestone to remind me of what should have been because he deserves that continued love and acknowledgment. It's the least I can do for him.

But it was great to get to celebrate Finley's first Christmas, take him to see Santa, show him off, and just love on him this holiday season. I'm so, so grateful for that.

Overall it was a really great trip. Our return trip was the same, but with less time spent at each place. And finally, after 14 days, roughly 5,000 miles, and lots of pit stops, we made it back safely to home sweet home (which was a brisk 59 degrees upon arrival. Inside the house).


  1. Sounds like a lovely trip to me. I love road trips and while it might be crazy with a baby and a dog... it still sounds like something I would do!

    Texas, eh? Well, there are worse places. ;) I was totally pulling for somewhere amazing like Colorado for you as well. Great news on the non-deployment though.

  2. Trip sounds Amazing!! Love all your pics! Almost didn't recognize your Dad with all that scruff!! :)

  3. I love love love this post. Finely is such a happy baby---he gets cuter every time I see a picture of him. Dad's bread is out of control. I really love that you met up with your friend Abby. Although I wish those friendships never had to be made, you've met some pretty incredible people through your journey of grief. I'm so happy you all have a circle to remember Cale, Nia and all the other angel babies in. Love you so much sister.

  4. Sheer insanity! But awesome that you got to make some wonderful memories with family and friends along the way :)

  5. Wow, Caroline. Finn is seriously the cutest kid. That "Grandpa's Right Hand Man" shirt--precious. Looks like fun!

  6. "There's just so much I wanted for that little boy and each milestone is a reminder of that. But I'm ok with that. More than ok. I want to miss him. I want each milestone to remind me of what should have been because he deserves that continued love and acknowledgment."

    This is how I feel all the time. I think people feel bad for me when I cry or say something reminds me of Aiden. But I WANT to remember my son. I love that he is never forgotten. Totally get this. I wish Cale could have been here this Christmas <3

    Sounds like a great holiday trip! Love the pics. Finn is too adorable!

    Ummmmmm hello!!!! You're moving to Texas?!?!? I totally see a road trip in the future! Fort Hood is like 3.5 hours from Houston! And Target + Hobby Lobby will totally make the new town feel like home!

  7. That looks like so much fun! How was Finn in the car for long stretches? Texas huh? Well I guess looking on the bright side is usually best but humph. I also wanted to tell you, every blog I follow shows up in my dashboard or on my blogs reading list. But... Yours is the only one that won't show up in either place so I have to come looking for your blog to see if you've written anything. I have tried to remedy this but with no success. I think of you all the time. Great photos from your trip

  8. A little crazy, but I am impressed to say the very least! I think it's great that you guys did that!

  9. What an adorable baby you have! Such a big smile! You are not crazy. My sister in law along with her 4 kids and 10 other of family members drove from Miami to Ohio recently. That's crazy! I'm now a follower.

    Check out mines

  10. Finn is a beautiful little boy.

    We did a similar trip when our first was nine months old, from Los Angeles to Indianapolis and back. It certainly had it's ups and downs. :)

    And I'm glad you got to spend time with Abby. She has helped us so much too, and I feel lucky to be in the same city as she is.

    Peace to you,


  11. What a beautiful family you and Miles have! Great pictures and your road trip has inspired me to... not take one! Not that hanging out on airplanes is anymore fun. Ha!

  12. That does sound like an ambitious trip! But so good that you got to see lots of family and friends.

    I love what you said about remembering Cale and wanting to miss him. I think that's a beautiful way to think about it, and I hope it continues to feel more wistful and less painful as the years and months go by.

    And that Finn is certainly something to celebrate. I can see why he got lots of attention!

  13. Yes, you are crazy! But, so glad you did it! It was wonderful to have met you and Finley. I really love reading your blog. You're so talented. Texas will be good for you guys :-) You'll see! XOXO

  14. Caroline, I just can't stand it. That Finn is just too much. You have such a beautiful family.