Well, I'm officially home from the mountains. At 6:00am Sunday morning I boarded the death-shuttle from Estes Park to the Denver airport with 10 other bleary-eyed passengers. I took the shuttle last year, so I knew what was coming, but my companions remained blissfully ignorant until the van came squealing into the parking lot, catching serious air on the speed bumps. After the first few mountain curves taken on two wheels the women in the front row pleaded with the driver to slow down because they had children at home who needed their mommies. He didn't seem particularly sympathetic, but I think he realized that in two hours he'd either have a van full corpses or furiously angry people, neither of which tip very well. He reluctantly obliged and slowed down to a reasonable speed. We arrived at the airport, kissed the ground, and went our separate ways.
It was a pretty uneventful flight home. Had some ginger ale, stashed the peanuts in my purse for Bethany, and spent the flight organizing my thoughts from the week. It was much better than last year it terms of what I blogged about before I left. It seemed like everyone who stood in front of us made a point to hammer in the concept that competitions don't matter, recognition is secondary to simply using your gifts, and the importance of "blooming where you're planted". These mini-sermons, combined with time in the word and prayer, served as refreshing reminders that seemed to keep us all in the right place. There were great concerts, I met some really great people, and even went horseback riding with a new friend at the end of the week. Of course, it doesn't take much to make me happy. I had a blast just being around people who could feed themselves, carry on intelligent conversation, and use the bathroom without my assistance.
I did miss my kiddos, and Matthew of course. It was pretty hard on them, actually. It wasn't easy last year when Bethany was only 10 months old and Harper was still in my tummy, but Matthew said with two kids it was craziness and Bethany was visibly bothered by my absence. Next year, they're all coming with me. Next year… used to seem so far away. These days it’s just around the corner.