A Trip “Home”

This past July, Elaine and I hopped the pond and spent a few really special weeks with our family on that side. Ben wasn’t able to get away, but he sent us off with kisses and a shopping list. We missed him A LOT. (especially on the flight over)

It was my first flight alone with Elaine. And it was a whopper of a flight. The total travel time was 26 hours…not including the 4+ hour drive to the airport and the overnight in Addis Ababa. I was tired before we even got on the plane. Elaine was fine on the way over. I don’t think you can ever truthfully say a flight went “really well” when you’re traveling for a million hours alone with a 10 month old. I just kept on visualizing the handoff at the airport in Charlotte and I was able to make it through. We had a great seat and she didn’t cry…but it was just long and tiring. I didn’t sleep for 48 hours. 48 long hours with a baby on my hip. Makes me hurt just thinking about it. At one point I thought I would pass out when I was walking the aisles for the millionth time. But as far as I know, I didn’t. But that emergency exit sure did look tempting.

In Bole airport getting ready to board our first flight. Exhausted.

It’s amazing the things you’ll let your kid do when you’re traveling. She ate cheerios (and who knows what else) off the airplane and airport floor and played with anything that entertained her, regardless of their worth or her safety. Oh well. She strengthened her immune system and came out alive. Success!

We had such sweet times with family and friends in Charlotte, Lexington, Raleigh, and Boone. We fit a lot in to a short amount of time, but we were both so content with all that was going on. Elaine was in heaven with all the new toys and FOOD!

I’m pretty sure she ate blueberries for every single meal.

We even got to squeeze in two visits with Mamaaw, Elaine’s favorite Great Grandma! (and eat some delicious Lexington BBQ)

And Elaine got some cuddle time in with Pawpaw as well.

The highlight of the trip was getting to spend time with David, my sweet little nephew and Elaine’s most favorite cousin. He is just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and getting to touch and squeeze and love on him was so special.

Elaine especially loved having a playmate. She was scoot up right next to him, turn her back to him, and just kind of lean on him. When she wasn’t doing that, she was stealing his toys. He was a trooper.

Pardon the deluge of cuteness…


We spent the 4th of July in Winston-Salem and even took part in the annual parade. David and Elaine were in the stroller competition. David won best in the men’s stroller division. Elaine was robbed of her medal, but she brushed it off and enjoyed the day anyways.

We felt uber American, that’s for sure.

We also had a really sweet time in Raleigh with the Taylor grandparents and Aunt Jen. This little one is very loved, no doubt about that.

Elaine with her Aunts

The Harding girl cousins and our babies- all born within 7 weeks of each other

We fit a lot of adventure and traveling and relaxing into a very short amount of time. I am so glad we got to share Elaine with her family in America before she turns the big O-N-E. Time goes by so fast at this age and I just wanted everyone to have a taste of her sweetness.

It was an epic summer vacation full of sweet memories, but it sure was nice to come home to Ben.

I think I’ll save the transatlantic flights for a tag-team event next time.


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