Sunday, June 10, 2012

Airplanes, Elevators and Blessings

We left our house yesterday for Missionary Training/Pre-field Orientation in Springfield, MO. We haven't had much sleep and things have already been pretty busy for us. In fact, it's been so busy that I thought it best to post the first update about our trip before I get too far behind.

Early to Rise

Polly was up at 3:00 am yesterday morning and I was up at 4:00. After getting ready and doing the final packing, we woke Genevieve up at 5:00, packed the car and hit the road.

Get Lost

Our friend Harry drove us to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT. It's a pretty clear-cut driving route to get there...unless you use a GPS apparently. His GPS insisted that we go down these back roads leading only to restricted areas. He finally took my advice, ignored the GPS, got back to the main road and made our way following good, old-fashioned signs.

Over the Limit

Check-in didn't completely go off without a hitch, as one of our bags was 7.5 lbs over the allowable weight limit. Already paying $25/bag, I refused to shell out another dime. After rearranging and finagling some items between our suitcases and carry-ons each suitcase was .5 lb below the limt. I was happy.


Getting through security was painless and we didn't wait long to board the plain. To keep Genevieve occupied during boarding (I insisted on boarding early to accommodate our child, much to the airline's apparent displeasure) I let her play with my (turned-off) cell phone. She immediately put it to her ear and said, "Ammie." That's her current version of Grammie. She loves talking to her and Grampie on the phone.


Let's be honest, you never know who might sit next to you on the plane. And as a traveler with an toddler, you hope it's not someone who doesn't have the patience potentially required to sit next to an toddler. This is why Polly and I were incredibly pleased when the nice woman who sat down next to us immediately told us that she was a grandmother of toddlers who flies with them a bit and that she had no problem with Genevieve invading her personal space. Oma (what her grandkids call her) even offered to walk Genevieve up and down the aisle. We didn't take her up on it, but the gesture was nice. Polly liked her. They talked a little bit.


As well-behaved as Genevieve was, she had woken up early and had yet to nap. She was tired! I felt so bad for her. When we landed in Chicago for our 2 1/2 hour layover, I decided to push her around in the stroller to get her to fall asleep. Unfortunately, there was too much stimulation in the airport. Which meant...time for Plan B...

"La, La"

"La" is Genevieve's word for "play." And play she did...thanks to the play area at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Every other airport should follow that example. It made the long layover go by so much quicker. Before we knew it we were boarding the tiny plane to Springfield.

Gas Masks

Polly and I got settled into our seats with Genevieve ready for the flight from Chicago to Springfield. That's when the nice flight attendant informed us that we couldn't be in that row with a lap child because there were only 2 gas masks. We had 2 rows to choose from. We swapped seats and were on our way. As it tured out, we sat across the aisle from a Missionary Associate also heading to MT (PFO). Genevieve did a great job on the flight. She's such a good baby.

Doubly Blessed

We were picked up from the airport by my childhood friend Bobby. Genevieve konked out right away. On the ride to CBC, he let me know that they could let us borrow a car for the entire 2 weeks we're here and that his sister-in-law had a fridge for us to borrow for the whole time as well. These were both such huge blessings. God is so good!


Polly and I registered and got settled in. Then we went for a reminiscent walk around campus. We walked through Zimmerman (where we officially started dating over 8 years ago). We took the elevator down to the first floor. For the second time of the day (the other being at the airport in Chicago), we were reminded of Genevieve's fear of elevators. As soon as we pulled up to it, she kept saying, "no" as she nearly cried. While inside she wanted her milk and spun herself around in her stroller to see us with great fear in her eyes the whole time. The first time she did that was when we visited her little friend Omi at the hospital last month. Poor little thing :(

In Season & Out

My friend Bobby gave me a call and asked if I'd be able/willing to preach today (Sunday) for his dad who was not feeling well the last couple days. Why not, right? I guess that's just part of being ready to preach in season and out. Just one more thing to do.

Hanging Out

Once Genevieve and Polly went to bed, I went to my friend's (Bobby's dad) house (where I lived my senior year of college) and watch the basketball game and boxing match with the family. It was a great time (until the bogus decision was handed out).

Day or Night

I got back to the room at like 1:00 am (2:00 am Eastern Time) and couldn't tell if it was day or night. As it turned out, our window was right next to a light that stayed on all night by a doorway. Let's just say we bought a curtain today at Walmart.

A Warm Welcome

We were warmly welcomed at my friend's church today. It's the church where I did my internship and where Polly helped out her last couple years at school. It was nice to be back. And it was nice to have the privilege of preaching the Word. The service was followed by a delicious pot luck for my friend's going away, as it was his last Sunday there.

As you can see, it's already been busy, but it's also already been fun!

God bless,


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Deep Sigh

I don't know all the specifics of what the next couple weeks has in store, but I do know that I'm expecting things to be a little bit hectic. This is the two week stretch we both have and haven't been looking forward to all at the same time. It's time for MT/MR (formerly PFO).

MT/MR stands for Missionary Training/Missionary Renewal (formerly Pre-Field Orientation). Like most trainings in life, we anticipate to be bombarded with a lot more information than there is time to process it. We will have to be expert with working to pick out the gems. I don't say this to say that any will be useless. I just know from experience in life that you can quickly suffer from information overload if you try to take it all in at one. With all that said, I'm still really looking forward to the experience. Simply put, I like learning. Yep, I'm a nerd.

Beyond the actual training, there are some other elements that should be considered for this trip. I have listed the first 13 that came to mind below:

1. We needed new luggage in preparation for this trip. That extra money I made working all that overtime in Scottsdale, AZ was quite useful as luggage is not exactly the cheapest thing to buy, even when trying to keep it cheap. But, now we will have the luggage for additional trips we might make moving forward.

2. Packing is a time-consuming process. Let's face it, packing is not a quick thing. Thankfully, God blessed Polly with the gift of organization and time management. She began the packing process this past weekend. She is NOT a last minute packer. This leads to less stress that we will forget something.

3. It's inevitable that we will forget something. I know this sounds contradictory to what I just said, but if you read it carefully, you will see that I said there is less stress that we will forget something, not that we won't forget something. It is my experience that something is always forgotten while packing, regardless the time allotted. The hope is always that it's not an incredibly important item.

4. We will be leaving our house at 5 AM on Saturday to get to the airport with enough time to comfortably make it through security without risking missing our flight or at least reduce the stress associated with that possibility. This will mean adjusting Genevieve's schedule to get her up around 5 AM without her being a sleepy little Ms. Grumpypants.

5. This is the second time we will be flying with Genevieve, but we will also be traveling twice as this time around. We will be letting her run like crazy for our 2 hour layover in Chicago.

6. We will be visiting our old stomping grounds as MT/MR is being held at Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. This is the college that Polly and I each graduated from. We haven't been to Missouri since our friends Aaron and Jessica got married there two years ago. Interestingly enough, that was just after Polly and I had found out we were pregnant. What a difference those two years have made. But I haven't actually stayed at CBC since Polly was still a student there (2007). It will be nice hitting up a few of our old spots.

7. This is by far the longest Genevieve will ever be away from home and thus away from her routine and comfort zone. Genevieve never sleeps as well anywhere away from her own crib. It's hard to blame her as I'm not sure I ever sleep quite as well away from my own bed either. Still, it remains to be seen how well she'll do.

8. Polly has been a stay-at-home mom since the day Genevieve was born. I believe she has spent a grand total of 1 night away from Genevieve and only a few times has she been away from her for more than a couple hours. While in our classes during the week, Genevieve will be in what amounts to day care. This will test both Polly and Genevieve's resolve with regards to attachment issues. I, of course, am accustomed to this.

9. We will be out of our element with regard to food and exercise. We try to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Each will be challenged on this trip.

10. MT/MR costs money (obviously). We're praying and believing that we have sufficient funds to cover these expenses.

11. Speaking of money, I have to remember to coordinate of few of our bills and such while we're gone. Life doesn't stop just because we go away.

12. Because we have ties to Springfield, MO, we have a number of friends out there. We are hoping to connect with as many as we reasonably can. This will include Genevieve as she will have a play date her friends J and A Barratt.

13. We will be speaking at a church the day after we arrive back. So much for easing our way back into things :)

I'm sure there are other things to consider, but prayer for all these to go well would be greatly appreciated!

God bless,