Wednesday, December 2, 2009


when you say to someone, "call me if you ever need anything." do you mean it?

i mean, really, do you mean it?

because if you don't, then make sure not to ever say that to us.

saturday night, as the sunlight was dwindling and the (ahem) incompetent AAA couldn't even figure out which state we were in, we sat in our darkening car on the side of I-10, praying and generously putting candy and juice boxes in the hands of our eager children in order to keep them happy and to preserve all sanity.

that's right. our car broke down. the alternator called it quits somewhere between nowhere and nowhere.
our contemplation of "what are we going to do?" somehow must have morphed into "whose friendship can we take advantage of...? who can drive hours out in the desert to rescue our little family?"

our dismissive waves of permission each time our children held up a new piece of candy to consume only added to the over-excited energy flowing from our now dark car. its one thing when you are in college, on a road trip, and everything is minor and fun and there really aren't too many cares in the world. its quite another when you have 3 small children and AAA says they'll only transport 2 of us to a gas station. sure. hey, anthony, go ahead and pick your favorite kid. i'll stay with the other 2 over there by the barbed wire fence and mesquite bushes.

once the highway patrol came to our rescue, i considered asking him for a picture. you know the whole, "this would be great on my blog. and actually, here, can you hold my baby? maybe perch him right above your firearm?" but it was cold. so we stayed in the car and ate sugar instead.

so the tow truck, with the large cab, came and took us all to a remote little gas station and parked our car right by the red curb. "if the police give you problems, you just tell them don said it was ok."


recently, bennett picked out a book on tow-trucks at the library. we learned all the lingo, like the "arm" and the "boom" and the "control panel" (its a book for kids, come on). so imagine our delight at the opportunity to learn first hand! oh, what an enriching experience... we are ever so grateful. thanks, don the tow-truck man.
so here is where i begin to wonder what is wrong with me? i remember to take pictures of our broken down vehicle and the bush that became our camping-style restroom:

"don't forget to flush!" ha ha ha (sorry, inside joke between me and my preschoolers)

and yet, i completely forget to take pictures of our wonderful friends who went above and beyond to help us out.

you, who left your mom's surprise 60th birthday party to drive over 2 hours out to pick us up late at night and then back again to civilization to drop us off at a hotel. i know i promised you my first born, but i was wondering if you were up for negotiation. she is actually a pretty good sleeper these days. would you be interested in trading for this one:and you, who, although you were miserably sick, came the next day to pick up anthony and car batteries and drive all the way back to our van and rig it so it would make it back to phoenix to our awesome friend and his trustworthy mechanic. you who also brought food, and water, and baby wipes, and pink eye medication so ella could open her eyes.

and you, who let us stay at your house in spite of the fact that we wore dirty clothes and were suffering from 2 day sugar highs and emotional dramatics just so that we could save money on another hotel and get to spend time with your lovely family. you, who made us beds and fed us and didn't even curse (at least to my face) when mason woke up 3 times crying in your house in the middle of the night.

and you, who, upon hearing i was venturing to the mall for the day, 3 hours before it actually opened, because i didn't want to inconvenience anyone else with the existence of me and my little kids while anthony got our car fixed, insisted i come to your house where we had coffee and the kids played and you fed us and communicated that us being there was a special treat for you and not a total nuisance.

and mom and dad, who got on the internet and found us a hotel and looked for car rentals and wanted to give us their vehicle and would have come to get us anywhere at any time, and even had the premonition to load us up with all the snacks that pacified my children while stranded.

and all of you, who called and prayed and were willing to drive us to california and give us money and do any and everything we could possibly need.

i may not have remembered to take your picture. and maybe i haven't fully expressed my gratitude to you for all you have done and are willing to do, but i'm not sure there are even words to tell you how much it means to know that people love you enough to do whatever needs to be done.

thank you. you made what could have been a nightmare a much easier experience. a fun little adventure even.

not to say we didn't have our moments:
but God is good.

and its not too often we get to have the fun hotel experience. so we made the most of it.

PS oh yeah, thanksgiving was pretty awesome too. its bound to be, with the fantastic family i have. and meeting my future sister-in-laws family who are also pretty cool themselves. all around, it was good times with cousins, baking with grammy,watching "chitty, chitty, bang bang" (which, of course, i encourage the repitition of because the 3 year-old translation of "ch" to "sh" makes me giggle. yes, i know, juvenile, isn't it?), wrestling with uncle chad, stories and memories with grandmas,
and just your typical hanging around
and silliness.
we have so much to be thankful for. God is so good to us.


Rachael Schepemaker said...

Sorry your car broke down...well sort of...if it didn't break down I wouldn't have been able to see you for a full hour :-) Just kidding...I wish you didn't have to go through all of that. And hey, glad you made one of the photos :-)

Shires Family said...

You are hilarious! Just to let you know, Ella's going to be a supermodel..just wanted to be the first to let you know...look at the cousins pic... :) I know, I watch too much tv...but she is GORGEOUS!

angie said...

Steph - you possess the rare gift of being able to take the miserable things that happen to you and using your wit to turn them into something thoroughly enjoyable for the rest of us.

By the way, is that vomit on Mason's shirt when he's losing it on the hotel floor?

Heather said...

The photo of Mason hanging on the doorknob? Best picture ever!

I love how you were able to still take pictures of the whole event, and turn a not-so-great experience into a holiday memory you're not likely to ever forget. That truly is a gift!

Glad you're safe and sound and out of the desert. Time for a new van, maybe?