After six weeks of being on the road (four of those weeks in Idaho) we are finally home – reunited with a husband/father who missed us greatly (hadn’t seen him for 3 weeks).

Typically, Steve flies up to Idaho to make the drive south with us, however, between work and school and church the poor man was exhausted and I made the decision to drive the 18 hours on my own…with three young children and pregnant. I mentally prepped myself for the taxing two day drive that awaited me. My dad and I had spent over a week diligently working on a large dining table and matching bench which was painstakingly attached to the top of my car: (I bet my dad slept for days after I left – I think I wore him out!)
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In the first 45 minutes of my drive I had stopped three times to adjust and readjust the two-hundred pound giant on top of my car. The third stop landed me at a Home Depot where I purchased more ratchet straps to secure the problem area. I got plenty of looks as I climbed atop the hood of my car trying to tighten the ratchet significantly. My efforts paid off and I continued on my way with relatively little concern for the large load.

In an attempt to minimize the painfully long days I decided to give my kids endless movies and snacks on the hour, every hour which worked out surprisingly well. I did my best to tune out the movie noise with some headphones and a good audio book – I also kept occupied as I made a conscious effort to recognize the beauty that surrounded me. The drive offers such a wide range of landscape that I never seemed to pay attention to before.

We started out in the farmlands of Idaho. Acres upon acres of farms and crops.
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We made our way through Salt Lake with miles of commercialism and a beautiful mountainous backdrop.
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Driving through southern Utah has to be my favorite – perhaps it holds a special place in my heart as Steve and I spent hours exploring the area while dating and working at Zion but it’s beauty is unrivaled on this drive.
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In no time the trees start to disappear and the red rock appears in all its glory.
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And then we cross into Arizona and we pass through desert and indian reservations. Typically we get the beauty of Lake Powell but the road is being worked on and we have to take a detour.
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It was about this time that we encountered our first rain storm. With the table on top of the car I was in a panic in hopes that our packing job would protect the table. We had wrapped it in a tarp “just in case” (although all the weather reports I looked at showed clear skies the entire way) but we did not prepare it to go through a storm. And then we went through the second storm. My blood pressure was high and prayed with all my might that the storm would pass quickly. We hit the mountains of Flagstaff – and wouldn’t you know it, more rain.
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I pushed forward as fast as I could – making record time when we had to stop for a bathroom break for Hunter. And before long, we dropped down towards the valley and the rain let up. And pretty soon we started to see cactus lining the hills and we knew we were home.

The kids were amazing – even Bennett’s screams could be drowned out significantly with a movie and my headphones. More than anything the drive gave me the confidence to make the drive again. Would I have preferred to have Steve by my side – absolutely – but it’s also nice knowing I can do it on my own and survive just fine.