To Kentucky we will go, the Kia knows the way to carry the Facefamily through high and hilly mountains.
We traveled a bit this Thanksgiving weekend, first to Irondale, Alabama. We spent Thanksgiving evening in Birmingham then attended Mass the next morning at the EWTN Chapel. We then went to breakfast with Brother John Paul and Brother Pascale, both of whom Joshua was in the seminary with. After breakfast, Brother John Paul gave us a tour of the EWTN studios and offices, it was pretty neat.
We even got pictures of the kids playing on the sets of some of our favorite shows.
I may or may not have told the story here, that Brother John Paul, before entering the MFVA, was a seminarian for a diocese in Pennsylvania. He and Joshua were at the Pontifical College Josephinum together.Â He stopped in to visit Joshua, then Brother Joshua,Â at the Fathers of Mercy, after Joshua had discerned that he was not called to religious life. He and Joshua were talking about Joshua leaving and feeling called to married life. Brother John said â€œWhat about Beth Martinâ€. Of course, Joshua said â€œNo, she is discerning her own vocation to religious life.â€ God was in heaven, laughing.
Two weeks later, Joshua and I were talking marriage!
After leaving EWTN, we headed north to Kentucky. We were not planning on stopping at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament, however, when I saw the sign for it, I could not pass it up, so we took a bit of a detour and headed over. The Shrine was mostly empty, except for a few souls and Love Himself. Joshua took the older kids around and I found a pew to sit in with a sleeping Benedict. I was only there for fifteen minutes, but they were fifteen wonderful minutes. We walked around a bit more, but it was very cold on that hilltop in Central Alabama, so we headed back out.
The rest of our drive was pretty uneventful and we arrived at our hotel in the early evening. We got things settled in and I nursed Benedict while Joshua ran out to get some dinner for us. We ate for a bit then I fell asleep nursing Benedict a few hours later, in my traveling clothes! I was so tired.
We woke up the next morning with no rush to get out the door, so we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel, best â€œfreeâ€ breakfast by far. After changing in to our party clothes for the wedding, we headed off to Bowling Green so Joshua could buy a tie (he forgot his) and possibly a new sport jacket, if he could find one on sale. He struck gold on the whole thing and got two new ties and a sport jacket for himself. He took Karol in with him and bought Karol his first real tie!
We headed over to Russellville and arrived with 10 minutes to spare. The kids were pretty darn good during the Wedding Mass. Benedict and I hung out in the â€œFuss Roomâ€ for a bit, until he fell asleep. Joshua brought Caecilia back for a bit and the other two were awesome. Karol asked to kneel at the end of the pew so he could see the priests during Mass. He ended up kneeling in the aisle for the best view!
The reception was nice, the number of kids there, amazing. I have no idea how many there were, but I know two of the families alone had 9 or 10 each, another 6 and us with 4, plus so many more. My kids had such a good time running around and playing with all those other kids.
After visiting with friends, we headed back to the hotel for the evening. I set my alarm for seven the next morning but must have done something wrong, as I did not wake up until about 8 am, so we had to rush to get to Mass. We were there with time to spare, thankfully. Karol once again got to see his Priest-Hero and our kids were positively awful during mass! (The Bedard Family was sitting behind us, I hope they didn’t think too ill of us, knowing them though, they probably enjoyed it.)
We visited again after Mass with our friends. We were going to have dinner (mid day meal ;:) with the Vincent Family, but they received an alarm about their chickens, so they had to head out. It was probably better that way, quick goodbyes are better than having time to dwell over not seeing people for a while, so lingering over goodbye.
We hit the road and headed back home. We stopped to get coffee outside of Nashville and swung by Target to pick up some milk for the kids, then traveled along I-24, doing anywhere from 5 mph to 40 mph, and a few pockets of 55, so it was a bit tedious. We were able to stop at the Lodge Cast Iron Factory store to buy a 7 quart Dutch Oven! I have been wanting one for a while and am so excited to have one now. We stopped for dinner in the same town then continued on our way.
We finally made it home at 2 am, got the kids to bed, fed Benedict and put him down, then headed to bed ourselves. Ahhh, my own bed, that was nice.
Only one bit of sadness on our trip. While Joshua was in the store with Karol, I was nursing Benedict in the van. I realized that the SNS was leaking all over the place and saw that the tube had broken. It was the last tubing I had in the large size and the only one I brought with me. So I had to give Benedict a bottle. Broke.My.Heart. I think it broke his too, the look on his face said â€œwhat is this!?!â€. He took just a bit from the bottle and was content at the breast for the little I had there. At the reception Joshua got him to take a bottle. Back at the hotel, I tried the SNS again, with the little bit of tubing I had left, as I just could not bring myself to give him a bottle. We managed it, but it wasn’t easy, with all the moving around he does while nursing now anyway, he pulled the tube out a bunch of times. Today, I ordered more tubing in that size so we can go back to the way things were.