Thursday, September 29, 2011. I pack up my car for our first over night stay. It took me almost an hour to get the bassinet for Avery Kate to sleep in, pack n play for Hallie to sleep in, Avery Kate's bouncy seat, one clothes bag for each girl, a bag with all the toiletries, a bag for the formula and gallon of water, and let's not forget about clothes for me to wear. Brandon had to work and was then going hunting in Texas. This was probably a good thing because I didn't even have room for him to sit! Terri (my step mom) had her family coming in from all over the country for a family reunion. Most of them were going to New Orleans, but I just couldn't bring my one month old baby to New Orleans to sit in a hotel room all weekend. I thought I'd just visit with them Thursday night and spend the rest of the weekend in New Iberia with my mom, brothers, maw maw and paw paw, and my aunts. Well after hearing everyone talking about the New Orleans trip all night Thursday night, I just knew I had to go see my family. I spent the night in Youngsville Thursday night wondering how I would be able to leave my baby.
Friday my family all headed to New Orleans. I packed up the girls once again and headed to New Iberia. Avery Kate got to meet my maw maw and paw paw for the first time as well as my aunts and cousins. We had a great day visiting. I wanted to take both Hallie and Avery Kate to watch my brother Kyle's high school football game. Maw Maw insisted that the weather was just too cool for Avery Kate and she should babysit. Of course the weather was just fine, but she needed an excuse to keep the baby. My nannie, Mona, was also staying at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house after having an emergency hysterectomy 3 weeks prior. They were all thrilled to keep Avery Kate with them for a few hours.
Hallie had a blast at the "foot-game" and cheered for Uncle Kyle the entire time. The game was awesome and the panthers won! I kept thinking about how much fun the other side of my family was having and how I wanted to go for at least one night. Now I never left Hallie over night until she was much older. How was I going to leave my 4 week old baby? My mom said she could handle both girls over night and didn't mind if I went.
The next afternoon I hugged my babies good-bye and left for New Orleans. I cried for about the first twenty minutes of my trip. Then, I get a speeding ticket. Seriously?? It was a speed trap, really it was. After this, I'm thinking, "What am I doing? I'm leaving my newborn baby to go to New Orleans." I just felt terrible and I thought hard about turning around and going back to my mom's.
Once I got to New Orleans though, I saw my family and had the greatest time. I also got to meet baby Gavin (my cousin's baby) who was just a few weeks older than Avery Kate. It was a great reunion and a much needed night out.
The next day I drove the long drive back to New Iberia, watched some of the Saints game at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house, and repacked the car...AGAIN. My mom kept saying what an awesome time they had together. I was glad they had that "girl time." We went back to Youngsville for some of my dad's awesome gumbo. My grandma from Opelousas was also there to meet Avery Kate for the first time. We ate and visited with the family. It was pretty late so we tossed around the idea of staying the night in Youngsville. Brandon didn't want us on the road after dark, but I just kept thinking about loading my car up yet another time. I couldn't do it, so we drove home in the dark and made it just fine. It was a long, but wonderful weekend! I was very glad to be home though.
Now that all of this has happened with Avery Kate, I have realized why God pushed me to leave Avery Kate with my mom that night. She would have never had the opportunity to be with the girls by herself. This was such a cherished time for her and I know she holds it close to heart. Once again, God has left me with no regrets.