Saturday, December 27, 2008


I'd have to say that "The Getting Home for Christmas Fiasco of 2008" was well worth it... I have been having such a great time with my family and friends!

So here's the rundown of what happened:

I was scheduled to fly out of Seattle at 6:15 on Monday morning. Kohl's had scheduled me to work from 3pm til midnight, and that sounded awful since I would have to leave home to head to the airport around 3:30am. A co-worker offered to switch shifts with me, so I ended up working noon to 6pm. When I got off work I was filled with excitement and ready to go home and finish packing. Then I listened to my voicemail... a message from Southwest saying that my flight was canceled. I pretty much immediately started crying because I had sort of been anticipating that and just hoping and praying that everything would go as planned. The weather in western Washington was really bad and totally unusual, so roads and airports were just closing down.

I went home and called Southwest and they said the soonest flight they could put me on would get me to Buffalo around 4pm on Christmas. Since that would be totally pointless because I'd miss all of my family's Christmas festivities, I decided the best option would be to fly standby.
There were 3 flights headed to Buffalo that were going out on Tuesday. One at 6:10am had a layover in Vegas, the 6:15 was going through Chicago midway (my original itinerary) and another at 12:40 was going through Chicago as well. My friend Brandon and his wife Stacey invited me over to dinner on Monday, then I took a nap from 9-11pm, and then Brandon took me to the airport so I would be more likely to get on one of those flights.

The ticket counter ended up being closed when I got to SeaTac, so I joined a few other people and sprawled out on the floor in line. I happened to sit next to two guys who were having some travel problems of their own, and were trying to get home to Pittsburgh. I let them know that if they had more luck getting on a flight to Buffalo, I could at least give them a ride to Erie. By the time the ticket counter opened at 4am there was a huge line of people and I was near the front.
When I talked to the lady at the ticket counter, I asked her which flight she thought I should take, because I was afraid that if I went through Chicago I would get stuck there with the weather. She looked to see if there were delays and said everything looked alright and encouraged me to take the Seattle-Chicago-Buffalo flight because at least if I got stuck in Chicago I'd be closer to home and not still on the west coast. I took her advice, put myself on the standby list, and hoped for the best. My Pittsburgh-bound friends (Ross and Joel) were trying to get on the same flight to Chicago, so we waited anxiously and cheered for each other as we heard all of our names called!

The flight to Chicago was pretty much uneventful. The flight attendants gave us lots of free snacks and drinks, and I sat next to a man who ranked about a 7 out of 10 on the creepy old man scale. I listened to Canopy Glow a couple times and brushed my teeth in the lavatory. As I was coming out of the bathroom, the pilot announced the news: the weather in Chicago was too bad, and we were being rerouted to St. Louis. I have to admit, I cried again. I couldn't help it, the tears just snuck right out.

We landed in St. Louis and the passengers for whom St. Louis was their final destination were allowed off the plane. The rest of us just sat and waited. We refueled. And then the pilot announced that the weather was clearing and we were going to head to Chicago after all. Ross and I talked about renting a car and driving the rest of the way home, but after we got into Midway, I went quickly to my gate and lost my Pittsburgh friends. :-(

When I got to my gate, can you imagine what I found?? That my flight was delayed because no one was flying in or out of Chicago midway. And that the plane I was supposed to get on was in St. Louis!!! There was talk of the flight being canceled. Snippets of conversations were overheard and passed down the line that if the plane didn't get to Chicago by 6, it wouldn't depart that night. More talk about renting a car and making the trip with like-minded strangers. When the plane finally arrived around 8pm, everyone was on edge. I was especially so because not only was it up in the air as to whether or not the plane would even depart, but I had no idea if I would even get on! There were 4 different ladies working at the counter, and I waited in line 4 times so that I could verify with each of them that I was on the stand by list.

Finally, finally, the flight began boarding about 7 hours late. I wrung my hands. There was nothing I could do but wait. I stood by the counter, waiting to hear my name and receive a boarding pass. The lady called out 3 names, not mine. I moved closer to the counter, hoping that they wouldn't show. Then a family approached the counter; a mom, dad, little girl and little baby. Ticket lady checked her computer, then looked back at the family. "This says two infants on here, but you just have one right?" The family confirmed... yes, only one. "OK, let me take that off there," ticket lady says. I jumped in, "I'll take that seat!" Ticket lady laughed at me and said, "it's not a seat, it's an infant. Do you want to sit on their laps?" "Yes! We'll switch. I'll sit on their laps, they'll sit on mine, it'll be fine!" She printed out their boarding passes and looked at me. I looked her in the eye and said, "I need to get on this flight. My flight was canceled yesterday. I've been in an airport since yesterday. I can't do it anymore. I need to get home. If you get me on this flight, I'll kiss your face!" She laughed and turned the computer screen to show me what she was doing. "I'll have to take someone off," and she clicks around a little. I kissed her cheek. Then she pointed to a list of names, with mine at the top. "When your name disappears, it means you're on." We waited. Stared. Didn't breathe. And then, kapoof! My name was gone! I grabbed her head and kissed her cheek. Four times. I might have told her that I loved her. Then she printed out my pass and I got in line!

My dad picked me up in Buffalo and I was home by 1am. All day I had been praying, "Jesus, just get me home tonight!" And boy, was my prayer answered!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Oh my gosh, I'm home. I pretty much just walked in the door, but I'll recount the story later since I've been up since yesterday morning.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, God was definitely at work today!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm going to try to fly standby on a flight out of here tomorrow morning. If I don't get on one of those, then I'm not going home for Christmas.
I'll be leaving tonight to spend the night at the airport so I can be at the front of the standby line or whatever.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Suck ass

I'm on hold with Southwest Airlines right now. And probably will be for the remainder of the night. Because my flight for tomorrow morning is canceled. *insert a picture of me crying*
The weather here is pretty wintery (if you're one of my PA friends or you know what "lake effect snow warning" means, just picture that.) The issue is that it doesn't ever snow like this here, or hasn't in the past 20 years at least, and no one is prepared to deal with the weather. At home this amount of snow wouldn't be a problem... all the streets would be plowed and salted and life would go on, but here, I literally have not seen a plow. "Plow" and "salt" really aren't even in the vocabulary, but "tire chains" is. Basically if you want to drive, you have to put chains on your car. I haven't because I guess I'm stubborn, and I just cannot believe this is how people deal with snow! (... not to mention that I'm borrowing a friend's car!)

So anyway, I'm hoping to get home before Christmas. I was OK with the possibility of staying here for Christmas, but after I found out that I would be able to go home I got excited! Now I'm reaaalllllllllyyyyyyy looking forward to seeing everyone because we already made plans!


I'll let you know what happens.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do tell...

Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?

Monday, December 15, 2008

a Christmas gift

Chandra, do you read this blog? I don't think so, but if you do, avert your eyes!!! I don't want to spoil the surprise!

la de da


do de day


But for the rest of you,

look at this pretty plaque I made my sister for Christmas!

It's a silhouette portrait of me, since we're so far away from each other! (too narcissistic?)

I haven't decoupaged in a long time, so I sort of forgot the technique. It's bumpy and not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty nice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great news!

Miracle of miracles, Kohl's is granting my vacation request, so I get to go home for Christmas!!!

In other news: I still love this song. It's just not getting old.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Me. The single girl.

Tonight I remembered that it can sometimes be fun to live alone.
I'm watching my friends' cat/apartment while they are on vacation and mostly I've just been dropping in to say hi, fill the food and water bowls, give a little scratch, play a little mousey, and I'm out the door. But I didn't have to work tonight or tomorrow so I'm staying the night so that I can give this needy cat a little more attention. My vacationing friends left plenty of food for me to munch on should I so choose, including a few bananas that have progressed from 'delightfully tasty' to 'too mushy to peel,' so I decided to make some banana bread for them to come home to this week. As I was getting ready to make the bread tonight I realized that there weren't any eggs in the house. I set out for eggs, a lighter (I've been wanting one for the candles in my room, and couldn't find one here either), and maybe something for dinner. As I was wandering around the grocery store, I remembered back in the day, when I was a single girl, living alone in my apartment in Erie. I had great dinners a few times a week, pieces of meat or fish from the store that were prepared and ready to bake. Fish with seasoning. Chicken and stuffing. Pretty simple meals really, but nothing that a single girl would normally make for herself. So I found my way to the back of the store and there they were! I was going to get fish, since I never eat fish anymore and I am very concious of the lack of fish in my life, bu then there was this absolutely deliousious looking piece of chicken that I couldn't resist. Chicken breast, stuffed with cheddar cheese and fresh asparagus spears! I left the store with one of those, 6 eggs, a lighter, a log of clean-burning wood, and a bottle of white zinfindel, and tonight has been wonderful. I lit all the candles in the living room, started a fire in the fireplace, cooked my dinner, poured myself a huge glass of wine, and made a yummy looking loaf of banana bread. What a cozy and nice night it has turned out to be.

A dream realized

The day before Madelyne came Stephanie mentioned that she wanted to buy a sling or wrap of some kind, and me being me (the baby/birth lover who has no reason to know this stuff, but does anyway) I gave her some info about a few carriers that I've heard people mention, with special emphasis on the Moby wrap. I even told her where she could get one downtown. I am such a baby fool... So Steph went and bought one that day.
Fast forward to this past Friday.
It was a busy day for both Stephanie and I. I had errands to run in the morning, and work in the afternoon, and she was getting the house ready for the holiday work party that she and Lloyd were hosting that night. I got home from running my errands just as she was getting ready to run to the grocery store. Relieved that I was home, she asked if I would watch the kids while she went to the store. I said no problem, as long as she was home by 2:30, which was when I had to leave for work. As the minutes ticked by, and I realized that she was probably going to get home just in time for me to leave, I decided that I had better start getting ready for work.
The problem? Madelyne had been really fussy all day, and was really only content when she was being held.
The other problem? The hems in the (only clean) pants I was planning on wearing to work fell out and I needed to sew them back up. (They actually fell out when I was in Baltimore because I wore some sequiney shoes that caught on the threads and tore them out. I did a 'quick fix' then too, by taping them up with scotch tape!!! I had forgotten all about it, then washed them last week, and there went my first solution.)
The solution? Become a domestic goddess!
I found the Moby wrap, and having helped Steph with it a few times, was able to wrap Maddy to me very securely. Then I admired myself in the bathroom mirror. Carrying a little baby in a wrap is something that I have wanted for so long. It's hard to explain I guess, but it's like a fulfillment of some part of me. I hope some day it will be my own little one, and I think that's a little part of the pain in this whole break up process that I am (yes) still going through, but for now I'll take what I can get. (ha)
Then I got out my thread, found a brown spool, and hand-stitched my pants up (not enough time to get my sewing machine out from the garage, but I should do that soon.) I also fixed my hair and makeup, and was ready to go before Steph walked in the door! I felt a little like Super Hannah that day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I heard this song last week and thought that maybe if I were the dancing doll in a music box, this is the song that would play when you opened it.

This is just to say

(to borrow from William Carlos Williams)

I feel lonely, lonely, lonely.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The adventures of baby Madelyne

First, I must say that I've realized what's behind my blogging patterns. Basically I only like to blog if I'm in a good mood, a 'blogging mood,' and that just hasn't been very prevalent as of late.
But anyway, I promised a story, so I'm going to tell it.

Last Tuesday, November 25, I heard a strange sound coming from downstairs. When I got to the kitchen, I found Stephanie on the phone, crying. I was worried. She had just returned from visiting her hospitalized father on Sunday, and though he was doing better and was at home when she left, it was the first thing that came to my mind. I must have looked panicked. She turned to me and said, "it's good!" and after quickly ending the phone conversation she again turned to me and asked, "So are you ready to have a newborn in the house?" My response: "Yessss!"

Then I got the rest of the story, piece by piece throughout the day as more information came in from case workers and family members. Stephanie tells the story much better than I do, and will continue to tell the story on her blog, Maddy's World.
We've had Maddy for over a week now, and she's doing really great. She's completely precious and is just a really good baby. I am so grateful that she's with us.
Maddy and I on Thanksgiving

Monday, December 1, 2008

Short version

This is (some of) how I got to where I am now:

In July I was reading Shane Claiborne's Jesus For President. He's a footnote freak. Footnotes on every page. I wrote some of them down, including one about Advent Conspiracy. This led me to the Advent Conspiracy webpage. Which led me to the Advent Conspiracy blog, where churches that had participated in AC told what they did or how they were affected. I was just browsing when the title of one of the entries caught my eye. Something about "Changing hearts in the South Sound." My heart jumped. "The South Sound! I live in the South Sound! A church near me participated in Advent Conspiracy?!" I had been looking for a church since moving to Washington in February, but hadn't had much luck finding the right fit. Could this church be the one? The entry mentioned Soma Communities, which I immediately Googled. As I made my way through the website, I felt certain that this church and I would get along. One of the things I was looking for in a church was an active 'small group' life. Soma's website talked about their missional communities, smaller groups of people in the same general location that meet weekly. Hurrah! When I looked at the map and saw that there was one in Lacey, I emailed Lloyd, the contact person. He got back to me immediately, and I checked out the missional community that week.
Now here I am, 5 months later, living with Lloyd and Stephanie and their son Jake.

That's the short story. It doesn't fill in a lot of the details, but I had to bring you up to now, because now is where I am, and now is where life is happening, and boy do I have a great story to tell.