And while I'm very glad to be in Austin, I really wish there was some way I could've brought the Aspen temperatures home with me.
Let me tell you, there's a huge difference between 72 degrees and 103 degrees. Yikes!
Those of us with kiddos know the hardest part of heading out of town without them is just getting ready to leave.
And I'm not talking about actual packing.
I'm talking about making lists of who needs to be where when, who likes this for breakfast and who doesn't, who to call in case there's a medical emergency, who needs to be in bed by what time, who sleeps best in a particular kind of pjs, who can use the computer and for how long, which kid is allergic to what, who needs a packed lunch for school and what's going in that lunch, and on and on it goes.
It's enough to make you second guess your trip!
My in-laws graciously volunteered to keep all three kids so we could enjoy some time away alone.
Since my in-laws have moved to Austin now, they're more familiar with Lily's routine so it makes things a bit easier. For example, I didn't need to tell them how to get to Lily's school or places to grab something for supper. They just know those things.
Ryley and Reagan would be here part of the time we were gone so I knew they could help out. But I also knew they would each be leaving on some trips of their own while we were still gone so I couldn't count on them to be 100% available.
I left notes taped to my kitchen cabinets like usual - notes of what to put in Lily's lunch each day and a list of important phone numbers.
Then Ryan and I headed off to the airport, preparing to enjoy an entire week away, just the two of us, something we hadn't done in about seven years.
And in less than 24 hours, we remembered why we never go away for any length of time on our own. Things just never seem to run as smoothly as planned.
Ryan's parents were called out of town due to a death in the family. Actually, two members of the family passed away within hours of each other and Ryan's dad would be doing the funeral.
So they needed to get to Indiana.
Before Lily Bird, this really would not have been that big of a deal to solve. I mean, our big girls are 17 and 14 years old and pretty self-sufficient.
But adding Lily to the mix creates that little extra layer of excitement.
Not just anyone is up for taking on The Bird.
Ryan and I were preparing to head back home when he decided to make one attempt at getting someone to hang out a couple days with our kids so we could stay in Aspen. It needed to be someone Lily knew and felt comfortable with. And someone who felt comfortable with her as well.
Ryan made one phone call and enter.... "Carla and The Team".
Carla is the Children's Minister at our church and we affectionately call her group of friends, "The Team". They hang out together and many of them work at the church.
Carla, Kathy, Amy, and Terre are the kinds of ladies you call when you need something D-O-N-E done! That saying, "If you want something done well, just do it yourself" does not apply to these ladies. They are go-getters, they all have hearts to serve, and they do everything with the most positive of attitudes.
Most importantly (to us!) is that they all know and love our Bird.
One phone call to Carla and she quickly reassured us that she was up for the challenge.
She called The Team and before we knew it, there was an around-the-clock schedule in place, all kids were accounted for and taken care of, and we were to stay in Aspen the entire time we planned and "do not worry about one thing!".
And that's just what we did.
We would never have been able to stay, let alone relax and enjoy the time away without the help of these wonderful ladies. We knew things would be fine at home while in their very capable hands.
Ryan's parents were able to be back to spend the last two days with our kids.
Isn't it great to have friends and family who drop everything to help out?
I mean, lots of us say we want to help, and we really do want to, but when push comes to shove, it can be hard to move around the things we've already planned to help someone out.
It's not always convenient. Or easy.
But speaking from experience, it means more than words can say to those of us who need some occasional help that you're willing to be inconvenienced just for us.
Or our kids.
I hope that I can be that exact same way for someone when the time comes.
So to my in-laws and Carla and The Team, Ryan and I thank you.
And we promise not to go away for a week again for at least another seven years!