Where to begin.
Well, I’ll start with this.
We’re not in Tennessee.
Not anymore, anyway.
We did go there but we didn’t stay. It seems God had other plans.
What’s that saying, “Tell God your plans and watch Him laugh?”
*The following pictures are not all the best. They’re all raw, unedited pictures and are not great but they work. 🙂 *
So this is how our trip began. With everything packed we piled in our van and told Idaho goodbye. With hope in our heart and excitement on our faces we left the home we knew for 8 years to go to our new one in TN.
The trip to Tennessee was nothing like I would have ever expected. I’m not going to go into detail about it because quite honestly I’m still pretty traumatized. We hit a lot of bad winter weather in the mountains and I know that the only reason we’re alive right now is because of Divine intervention. It. Was. Awful. Purely frightening. I will tell you this much. The tires on our van are only a little over a year old and we have to replace all of them.
Seriously. Rough. Trip.
I have some pictures and even some video but I am not going to post them because when my family looks back and reads my blog (my kids read it) no one will want to see them. Those memories can stay just that. Memories.
My husband is amazing and tried to make all the motel stays as homey as possible for us. (Young Living Diffuser, our salt lamp and our sound scape) As you can see, it worked.
When we finally arrived to Tennessee we were beat down and that was putting it mildly.
What happened over the 12 hours that we were there can only be attributed to God and Him divinely leading us and redirecting us. This post isn’t going to be about why we didn’t stay in Tennessee. I will tell you that, as some of you already know, our move to Tennessee has been 5 years in the making. 5 years of research and planning went into that move. So when our plans changed, even though we chose to change them, we all felt (and still feel) very disoriented. How could we not?
After deciding to leave Tennessee we got in our van and drove to Louisiana. Now mind you, we had already driven accross the country from Idaho to Tennessee. We were all exhausted. Motels were seemingly becoming our homes. Our very expensive home. O.O At least at a couple we got eggs. 🙂 Kinda weird looking but they weren’t so bad. lol
Next we had a beautiful drive through Alabama where we met some of the nicest people ever! And even more exciting than that was what my husband spotted….
I literally cried.
If you’re from the deep south and you have Whataburger I know that you know exactly what I mean when I say that nowhere else compares. It just doesn’t. We’ve had Whataburger 3 times since they’ve been available. O.o lol I have 8 years to make up for people. lol Thank you Jesus, for Plexus Block!!!
After Alabama we spent one night in Mississippi and soon we were in Louisiana, my entire family’s birth state other than me. I was the only one born in Texas.
(For those of you that don’t know, I have family in Louisiana and both of my parents are buried there.)
Many of my friends on Facebook were watching this journey and were worried about us. How could they not be. God has a way of taking care of those that love Him though and we were taken care of. Family of my brother in law found out what was going on and generously allowed us to stay in their Camper for as long as we needed. We ended up staying there for a few days. Just enough time to show my kids Louisiana, to eat some of their amazing food and to pay our respects to my parents.
The camper we stayed in.
Upon our trip to Walmart we quickly saw we weren’t in Idaho anymore. This was awesome!
All I could think was how I had missed Louisiana!
I couldn’t wait to eat the very foods that were staples in my childhood home.
It had been WAY too long since I had had them!
If you’re not familiar with what the above picture is, that’s boudin. It’s rice and meat in a casing.
Here’s a funny story. One of our children who had never had boudin has always asked for it. It’s been bizarre honestly! We would ask what they wanted to eat and she would say boudin. ?? She heard us talk about it once and never stopped talking about it. She finally got to have boudin and she couldn’t get enough of it! It was hysterical!
We bought 18 pounds and our family had a party! It was awesome!
Another thing we did was visit the Rosary House in New Iberia, Louisiana. My father had taken me there when I was a child. We met the nicest older Cajun ladies making rosaries. Such kind people!
The next thing we did was visit my parents.
That was tough. My father passed away 14 years ago. My mother passed away while we were in Idaho and I was unable to make it to her funeral because I was pregnant and not feeling well.
My mother is the one we’re sitting on and my father is the other one.
My father died when our eldest was 9 months old but my mother lived many more years and was able to meet our two eldest in person and they loved her. My mother talked to our next in line on the phone. Although not all of my children knew my parents well they feel like they did because I talk about them constantly.
After paying our respects to my parents it was time to say our goodbyes to Louisiana and head to Texas, where both my husband and I are both from.
The first stop there was where I grew up.
And it was devastating.
What we saw when we drove there was nothing less than traumatizing for me.
We saw homeless drug addicts at the gas station by their house. A lot of the area was trashed. It was like we drove into a horror movie. I was speechless. I won’t say anymore other than I am still in shock. And I probably always will be.
We stayed the night in Katy, Texas, had some Taco Cabana (another Texas favorite) and headed to San Antonio the next morning to see Tyler’s father.
We’ve now been in San Antonio for a few days and are just now starting to process everything. I have gotten many questions from friends and family asking what we’re going to do. Honestly, we’re still on the same journey following God wherever He leads us.
I don’t know why everything flipped upside down but I can tell you that my kids didn’t know their grandfather. They know my husband’s mom but not his dad and had this not happened, I don’t know if they ever would have known him, at least not well.
God is always so much smarter than us.
To tell you how God works, my sons are very shy and do not like strangers yet Joshua went up and hugged his grandfather the first day we were here! O.O The second day we were here Caleb went to him and fell asleep on him!! ????
Caleb had just woken up here.
I took this at a family’s birthday party. It was loud and Josh was overstimulated so he chose to have his grandpa hold him. He didn’t let go of him for over an hour. My husband and I were amazed.
This trip has been challenging and that’s putting it mildly. But at the same time, God has been so good to us. My kids had been locked up so much on the trip and it just so happens that we arrived right before their cousins birthday party. Although the boys were less than thrilled to be there the girls had a blast!
And my husband even got in on the action.
And yes, he got the flag. lol
That day was much needed for the bigger kids. Josh thought differently.
Even though this has been really hard on the babies, they’ve done really well considering.
I’m sure that they will flourish here in Texas and they’re both loving their grandparents who might I add are spoiling all of my kids like crazy!! O.O lol My kids deserve it.
There’s one other thing we’ve crossed off of our list of what we would eat once back i Texas and that is none other than Shipley’s Doughnuts!
Oh my word… they are as amazing as they were 8 years ago!
My husband took a bite of his Kolache and said he was never leaving Texas again! lol
Next on my list of to eat… Luby’s! I cannot wait!
So now what?
We honestly don’t know. We’re still following God and praying. We’re doing lots and lots of praying.
We are so grateful for everyone’s prayers and we ask that they continue. Out journey is not over yet.
I’ll update more as I can.
Till next time…