Friday, July 4, 2014

Another Week With Paul- Part I

When Paul left the previous Saturday, a huge piece of us went with him.  We tentatively made plans for him to come back to stay with us during his "off week" of the 4th, but I wasn't getting my hopes up.  The next week had a lot of unknowns in it.  He had yet to meet his Colorado Springs family, and he had a whole week to form new relationships and possibly change his mind about going to Las Vegas with the other coaches.  They were caravaning down to Nevada after a meeting on Saturday the 28th.  I had a feeling that we wouldn't be seeing Paul again during the summer and I tried hard to be okay with it.

He and I stayed in contact over the week and I loved hearing about his adventures in Colorado Springs and how he was getting on with the new host family.  I won't lie- I didn't like that he was under someone else's roof for a few reasons.  He kept saying he was in fact planning on coming back to Salt Lake and that we would make plans and the day got closer and he knew how the caravan was going to work.

Because we were spending all day in Lava on Saturday, I felt a little anxious because it was going to have to be very well choreographed to get him back to our house that night.  His car was driving from Denver along I-70 and we planned on picking him up in Green River, about three hours from our house but along their route to Vegas.  Green River is about seven hours west of Denver.  As we spent the day at Lava, I repeatedly checked my phone to see if I had a Facebook message from him giving me an exact time to meet.  Nothing.  It was frustrating because he doesn't use his cell phone in America because of the outrageous international charges, so the only way to communicate is through Facebook when he was wifi.  So Facebook was our only lifeline to him.

It wasn't until 6:00 that night as we were getting on the highway from Lava that I decided to check my phone one last time, and I in fact had a message from him.  He was leaving Denver and would get to Green River between midnight and 1:00 a.m. if all went as planned.  Cody left a little after 10:00 that night to make the drive south to collect our boy.  I was a nervous wreck at the thought of Cody driving all night long when he was already tired from a poor night's sleep and a day in the sun.  Ever since Joseph died in a car accident when the driver fell asleep at the wheel, I am very nervous about middle of the night trips.  Sometime around 2:00 I decided to go to bed because waiting up and wringing my hands was futile.  At 4:30 my eyes popped open and I felt panic in my chest because they weren't home yet.  I started doing the math and I told myself to not panic until 5:00, and that even then it was PROBABLY okay.  A few minutes before 5:00 I heard a key in the front door and footsteps shuffled inside.  My body relaxed because my boys were home safe.

We had decided not to tell the kids that Paul was coming back.  Partly because we wanted it to be a fun surprise, and partly because we didn't want them to share in our disappointment if he changed his plans.  But Sunday morning I got up and was making breakfast when the girls came out to the kitchen, bright eyed and bushy tailed.  We chatted for a little bit as I made breakfast burritos and then Paul came up the stairs and Hailey and Lauren looked at him with complete shock and confusion.  It was priceless! 

We spent the day lazying around, which was very much needed.  Paul and Cody were dead tired from traveling all night, and we were playing catch up from our Lava getaway.  I worked on school most of the afternoon while Paul napped and played with the kids.  It felt wonderful to have him back with us, picking up where we left off.  That night we had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner and stayed up way too late talking.  It was grand. 

Monday morning was a little weird because we hadn't had a morning to be lazy during the week of camp.  None of us woke up until mid morning and then we stayed in our PJs for a long time.  It was fun having Paul home with us in the morning!  We decided to head out to the outlet mall in Park City to see if we could snatch any good deals.  I have never been too impressed with the low prices at that place, but Paul wanted to check it out anyway.  I found some deals at the Nike and Adidas store and got Ethan some new soccer gear.  Then we had lunch at Cafe Rio there in town and listened to a lot of Bob Marley on the drive back home.  It was nice!

That evening we decided to go to the rec center pool for dinner, so we picked up Little Caesars pizza on the way there.  The kids had so much fun playing basketball with Paul in the water, and Paul even found a fellow football player to bounce the ball off heads with.  Nice and chill evening.  You can see a short video of the kids and Paul in the water HERE.
Late that night my good friend Audrey came by to drop off a present for me.  She knows my favorite treat in the world is a Big Pink Cookie, and she brought me a case of them because the next day was the five year anniversary of Joseph's death and she thought I could use some comfort food.  That is an awesome friend, right there!!

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