February 13, 2012

Meeting Ava Grace

On Tuesday we had to leave sunny, warm Florida and head back to Tennessee to rescue our dogs and my parents. We were happy to discover that everyone had survived. All were intact and still sane. What a relief! Not to say that all weren't happy to see us! I'm know the girls were relieved that they hadn't been permanently abandoned and I'm sure my parents were glad we were back too to take command of the grand-dogs.

Wednesday morning, my sister drove down from Nashville with a little pink package for me to hold and cuddle. Ava Grace, at 4 weeks old, made her first of many future pilgrimages to Chattanooga to be with family.
She is a sweet little girl who is so good! She hardly ever cries. Even when she wakes up from a nap, she just sits there looking around, taking in her world, waiting for someone to come get her, which you know doesn't take long at all since we're all sitting around watching, just waiting for her eyes to crack open! In fact, for the day and a half that she was with us, she only had one crying episode, for about 10 minutes, because she was a little constipated and not feeling good.
Everyone took their turn holding Ava Grace and getting to know her. And while Uncle Malcolm had her, Ella just couldn't deny her curiosity any longer. She was pretty baffled by the little squirming thing in her man's lap. Up till this point, she'd been too chicken to investigate, though I'd caught her off and on throughout the visit watching Ava Grace from a distance.
Meagan and I took Ava Grace down to Grandma and Grandpa's house so she could meet her great grandparents for the first time. We had a nice long visit there. And then it was time for Mom to come home from work. We visited with her for a little while, and then we all packed up in the cars and headed to dinner, where Ava Grace had her first meal at Couch's BBQ.

She actually didn't have a meal, but she napped through her mom's meal. Actually she pretty much slept through the whole experience.
While Ava Grace slept, we all enjoyed the best BBQ in the world, and visited with my brother and his family. Bentlee got to share about her birthday trip to the American Girl Doll cafe and store in Atlanta, and Kensley stayed busy mooching potato chips from her Papaw, and entertaining us all. Both of my brother's girls are adorable and so much fun to be around.
And then Ava Grace woke up a little bit, and when her Grandmommy scooped her up, it became pretty obvious that her cousin, Kensley, had assumed Ava Grace was a baby doll. Kensley was pretty fascinated when the baby doll started moving around and making noises.
Pretty soon it was time to go back to Mom and Dad's and do some relaxing before bed time. But before we left, we had to get a picture to document Ava Grace's first trip to Couch's BBQ. It will be printed off and added to the "wall of fame" on the shelves behind Dad and Ken in the picture. That's where all the grandkid and family pictures are.
Thursday morning Meagan and Ava Grace headed back to Nashville, and that afternoon, Malcolm and the girls and I hit the road. Back to work! Oh joy!

We were kind of in the dumps about having to go. It was hard leaving Florida when everyone else was staying to play a few more days. And it was hard leaving Tennessee because we felt like we'd hardly gotten any time there. Plus we just didn't want to go back to work.  You know how it is.

But we'd had a load on our trailer all week long. We'd brought a load with us from Missouri to TN, and the plant in GA was waiting for us. We delivered our load Thursday night, and Friday we reloaded in Birmingham, AL. We stopped Saturday in Jackson, MS and spent the day with my aunt and uncle there, which was really nice! Seems like my aunt and I are always coming to Chattanooga for a visit at different times and for different holidays, so we always miss each other in passing. It was pretty special to get her for the whole day just to myself. And it was great to visit with my uncle too!

I had the sniffles all day long and assumed it was southern pollen. I've always had bad allergies down here. But then Sunday morning I woke up feeling pretty wiped out and icky. I had heard rumors (via Mom) that my sister and her family were sick, so I called Meagan. The minute I heard her voice, I knew I had whatever she had. Thankfully it seems to be a short lived crud bug and is kind of clearing up today. But yesterday was miserable. I was glad we only had 240 miles to travel. And I hope with all fingers crossed and wish upon a star that I didn't share it with my aunt and uncle....or Malcolm! Oh, if he gets it....honestly I'd rather by sick again than have Malcolm catch it!

We delivered our load in Shreveport, LA this morning and are now on our way to reload in east Texas. We'll have this load in west Texas by morning, and then we'll be reloading sand in Arizona and taking it to Idaho. And that will get us up to Wednesday and back out west!

I had a couple questions from bloggers after my last Trucking 101 post that I need to address.

Jake wanted to know what we do about eating. I know quite a few drivers eat meals out of their trucks, but with both of us in here, storage is limited. I haul too many books around and the girls have a big wardrobe! :) Poor Malcolm! 
But to be honest, most days our meals are the highlight of the day and kind of break of the monotony. As Malcolm likes to point out, we spend enough time in here without eating in here too. So we usually eat out. Most days, we just have 2 meals. If we're stuck with fast food, we try to eat Subway, assuming it's healthier or as healthy as we're going to get on the road. If we have time to go in and sit down for a real meal, we like to give our business to "mom and pop" places when we can. I think that comes from my family having that type restaurant, so I like to give my business to others like them to help support them. That, and it's just generally better food and more interesting. It's probably more costly to eat out instead of making sandwiches in the truck...well I know it's more expensive....but it's one of the things we splurge on because we enjoy it.

And Cedar View Paint Horses wanted to know what kind of engine was in our truck. This truck has a Cummins ISX 550 horsepower. The last truck had a CAT. Malcolm liked the CAT better...I think.


MTWaggin said...

That baby is adorable! You sound so happy and content even tho you are back on the road, what a nice visit you've had! Tell Malcom I made it to "Heaven" this weekend for the first time (Billings) and I loved it! I even got some "Heavenly" fudge!

Badlands said...

How do you get internet on the road?

Michaele said...

She is so precious! I love her name too. I am wondering why Idaho needs Arizona's sand : )

Shirley said...

Ave Grace (love the name)seems to be a little bundle of sweetness. Love that first photo, and especially the one of Malcolm.

Jake said...

Thanks for answering my question. We like to support the Mom & Pop food places also. They normaly are more friendly and fun. Glad you guys had a chance see family! :)

small farm girl said...

Ava Grace is such a cutie!!! Im glad your feeling better. And, I know what ya mean when you say you would rather be the sick one. Lol!

Meagan said...

Ava Grace loved meeting y'all!! :-) I hope next time we'll get a longer visit!

jenni said...

It was great to see you. We are so glad to see you. and so far we are well..hope you get better soon.

Pure Prairie Soap said...

Love the family photos! My, my, you guys get around! I have one more trucker question/request. We've seen pictures of Malcolm driving, or at least his hands on the wheel. How about a picture of you driving the semi? Just for me, pretty please?