We drove and I like to get an early morning start since it's a lot of hours in the car and I don't like to drive much of the time in the dark. So, I got up at 4:15 am, packed up the car and got ready and then woke M up at like 4:30. Sweet boy - half asleep he says "Yay - we're going home. Thanks for waking me up mommy". Seriously - what kid wakes up that chipper at 4:30 am (that's 3:30 am back home btw)? He is the best little traveler ever! No issues or meltdowns whatsoever the whole way there and back. So thankful for a good traveler. We got through Detroit and Toledo before rush hour that Friday morning which was the hope. We never hit traffic anywhere and made it home in a record 9.5 hours. YAY!
Here are some pics from our Michigan trip.
|we love the beach|
|those who came to the class reunion daytime picnic|
|cousin bonding time|
|bonding with Grandma at the beach|
|wrestling with Uncle Steve|
|Happy to go home - even when being woken up at 4:30 am:)|
2 days after getting home, instead of returning to the office that Monday - we had an offsite staff retreat. We've been wanting to do one forever but with 7 people on staff - 2 from out of state and most with families - it has been a bear to try and arrange. I finally had an idea that made it work out brilliantly. We rented a house just outside of Nashville on you guessed it - vrbo.com. Told you I'm addicted to that site. It was a great house on Old Hickory lake and our out of state staff were able to stay the night there and those of us who wanted to could stay too. Mihretu and I stayed there that Monday night. I dropped him off at school Monday morning and then went to the house and we had an all day retreat with our amazing VO staff. It was perfect timing since I got back from vacation on Friday and had an email that our landlords at our office found renters for our entire space and were giving us 30 days notice to vacate. We had asked them about a year earlier to start promoting the space since we didn't need that much space anymore and now have a lot of staff that work a majority of the time from home. We were in a 3 year lease so we couldn't just move out but if someone else wanted part of the space or all of it - we could either move into a smaller section or move out altogether. So we were excited about them renting it but having 30 days to get all the details figured out for a big move sounded overwhelming at first. Our retreat was perfect timing to just set those logistics aside and focus on worship, praise, and thanksgiving for all God had been doing in our lives and in VO the past few years. It was so great to go through and thank God for specific prayers answered including all the many many months of praying for Mihretu to get to come home. Lots of tears shed as we prayed and thanked God for so many miracles to make that one happen. It's amazing how when you start out in praise and thanksgiving - how your whole perspective of things that seemed big or heavy or overwhelming just completely shifts. I personally felt a weight lift and just a total peace come over me. Our whole staff experienced that too. It was a lovely day with this amazing team of 7 people. We do life together and I don't know what I would have done without each one of them these past few years. After our amazing all-day retreat - I left at 4 to pick up M from school and bring him back to the house where we were having our staff day. And several of the staff had spouses arrive to join us for the evening and the owner of the house picked us at 6:30 at the boat dock at the house and took us on a beautiful sunset boat ride and dropped us off at Sam's on the Cove for dinner and then picked us up afterwards and took us back via boat ride. It was a really great evening and we got to have some of our family members join us. Having a retreat nearby worked out so great. We will have to do that yearly.
|evening boat ride on Old Hickory Lake on staff retreat day|
Tomorrow is 4th of July and we are getting together with friends and having some pool time. I am excited about the long weekend. Mihretu loves swimming and fireworks so it's sure to be a great weekend. And best of all - the temps have dropped down to 80's and it's so much more pleasant than the 100 degrees we had a few days ago. Tonight there was even a cool breeze - it was lovely:) Happy July 4th weekend y'all!