I had a lot of fun flying with only one baby girl! The trip to Ohio was fast. I had very little time in airports. But the trip home was a lot more fun! I had hours in both Cleveland and Houston airports. I love airports. Here is a tidbit…okay, more than a tidbit…but a piece I wrote while on the plane. Read at your own risk. 🙂 🙁 I don’t like rambling about myself all the time, so this felt a little much. But hey, take it or leave it. 🙂

I am a TCK. I love airports. I love flying. Yes, I may be simply doing a two-hour stretch from OH to TX, but who knows? Maybe I’ll deplane to breathe in the thick, spicy air of Bangkok. Or enter the aura of excitement that is Nairobi. Maybe it will be Taipei. Who knows? I may find myself in Paris, tasting delectable pastries.

It’s called being a TCK. Exploring Houston Airport…fun! It’s the reason Craig and I eat ethnic food on every date. And the date where we inadvertently ended up in a non ethnic restaurant…waste of money. 😕😄 The world says, “Come…explore me! Find the treasures! Find my people!”

There was a reason I was looking for the perfect bag for this trip. And it went beyond just “Hey, I need a cool bag!” I have flown around the world starting at age 16, and in time, perfected my style.

Back in 1996, when the weight limit for suitcases was still 50 lbs, I would pack like it was my last flight. Every suitcase was maxed out. And every carry-on was maxed out as well. What can I say? I was young, with a strong back! After several flights of this manner through the years, I said, “Hey, I’m gonna let someone else bring my shampoo and deodorant!” And I went minimalistic.

On a trip to El Salvador I procured a brown, leather backpack. And this became my carry-on. Nothing to pull beyond me. Just pop it onto my back and away I go! I did carry a fresh pineapple home from El Salvador in that backpack though. 🤣 I mean, seriously, who but a TCK would carry a five pound pineapple through airports? Cuz maybe my friends want a taste of the real deal. I cut that thing up at work and shared it. 😇😄

So it took me a bit to truly learn my style of travel. But that brown backpack went around the world with me for years. I still have it. But it’s Bomani’s now. I had his name painted on it in Thailand. My first diaper bag.

One of my favorite adventures was the time my friend Beth and I and her cousin traveled across Eastern Europe by train. We survived mostly on Swiss chocolate and some sort of summer sausage. We also dehydrated ourselves because of the state of the bathrooms. They were beyond anything I had ever encountered in all my life. Possibly had something to do with the movement of the train. I have had numerous nightmares in the years since that trip, where the toilet in my dreams is definitely from the Eastern European train. That adventure…it was the real deal.

Ah. Traveling with my baby girl brings back the years when I was footloose. A whole year without an international trip was too long. I love the stage of life I am in now. But I do look forward to the time when Craig and I can once again travel the world.

The real hero of this entire trip, however, was this man:

(This was when he stopped at Old Navy in Fort Worth for my perfect bag for the trip!)

He stayed with the 99 kids I left behind. He worked from home. He took care of them. And he cleaned the house and did the laundry before I got back. I was blown away! He is amazing. Amen.

Below, calling hours on Thursday afternoon.

Dad and Mary picked me up from the airport, and we stayed together in Jake and Mary’s basement, which used to be my Grandma’s house. Many memories there! We spent Thursday afternoon and into the evening at the calling hours, with family. Friday all day was spent at the funeral and with family until about 8:00. It was a really good time of reconnecting with my mom’s family whom I had not seen in many years! 

On our way to the funeral.

That service was an incredible blessing in so many ways. Wow. 

Some of Aunt Mary’s art. She was extremely creative, gifted, and smart. In many ways. 

Talia was a sweetie and did really well. She did get tired of everyone wanting to talk with her and hold her. Then when they would reach out to touch her, she would just bat their hand away. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Haha! She really like the kids there though. She missed her brothers and sisters!

Saturday around 11:00 Dads dropped me off at the airport again. I had a lot of fun traveling home! I am sore, however. Next time I WILL take a stroller! Talia got really heavy! 🙂

Houston airport blew my mind. It is hands down the most amazing airport I have encountered in the US!

And as we neared Dallas Fort Worth…

We pray for the city we live in.
We pray that our sins be forgiven.
Do your will right here, as in heaven!
Father, we call on your Name…

I love Texas. Just do. 

Home again! 🙂

The welcoming committee! <3

Gifts from their grandma! They were so thrilled. 

And that brings us back to normal life. 🙂