And it's still empty.
I'm a horrible planner. I'm always late. And I'm always trying to catch up. So I've spent 5.99 on a planner that is small enough to fit in my diaper bag so I can take it everywhere. I'm determined and prayerfully planning to be more intentional with my time and my energy.
Enter Fantasy Lights.
Back in November we won a free ticket to the "biggest light display in the PNW" and I was excited to go. Both Lexington and Charleston (my former hometowns) have fabulous light displays and the last few years I've enjoyed visiting one that you can walk through in Chattanooga with Peter's family. My boys have been SO stoked about the lights....Reedster sits in the backseat saying "lights, lights" over and over again in the cutest little voice you can imagine. I had it all planned out.
Yesterday afternoon I realized the free ticket was missing. After searching the house we printed a coupon and decided to pay the fee. It wasn't much and it was going to be such a magical night it would be worth it.
Magical. Uh huh. Right.
I read on the internet that on Friday and Saturday night there is sometimes a wait so I figured we'd be ok. Since it was right after dinner we didn't need snacks and we had plenty of little toys/books in the backseat to keep the boys occupied in case of a small delay. We also left without a diaper bag.
So we set out on the 20 minute drive. According to my map we were less than a mile away.
And then we stopped. And waited. And waited. And waited. It would get boring for you if I wrote "and waited" about 76,000 times but that is literally how long we waited. And once you've waited so long you feel committed. So we waited. Patiently mind you. Once I might have said something like "come on!!" to the traffic and I hear a voice from the backseat correcting me,
"Mama you can wait patiently."
So we patiently waited. We finally pulled into the entrance 90, yes, 90 minutes later. By then this pregnant Mama had to go to the bathroom and thankfully there were a couple of porta potties at the entrance. I ran over quickly and made it back to the car before we ever moved an inch. Yeah you read that right.
As soon as I got in the car Stafford tells us "I have to go to the restroom like Mama. I need to go poop." Well again we made the assumption that the drive through wouldn't take too long and we told him to hold it. There wasn't a place to pull over and we were actually getting ready to pay and go through.
It's after 8 at this point (we left the house a little before 6:15) and that's bedtime at our house. I think the boys were interested in the lights for about 3.7 seconds. Then Stafford proceeded to say over and over again, "Can we get out of here? I really need to go!! I need this to be over. I don't want to look at the lights. I need to go potty." For thirty minutes. Literally at the end he was almost crying he had to go so badly. And there was just nothing we could do.
It was miserable. Seriously miserable.
It's was 8:45 by the time we made it back to the entrance and Peter pulled over and took him to the potty. And at that point he hit full meltdown mode. I could hear him crying the whole way back from the potty. And I don't really blame him. Who wants to sit in the car for 3 hours while they have to pee?
I asked Peter to pull over and get the boys cookies at Mcdonalds. I don't normally serve them large chocolate chip cookies at 9pm but I felt so rotten about the whole thing.
We finally made it home at 9:30 and got the boys to be around 9:45. Reed was surprisingly chipper, chasing the dog around the house as soon as we got home. But the S-man was so tired he wasn't sure which way was up. He went right to sleep and I set out to make corn pudding for a potluck. Because that's what everyone wants to do at 10 o'clock at night right?
I'm not sure what we could have done to be more prepared. We didn't have a way of knowing that the line would be so long. Another friend visited the lights on a Thursday night and literally drove right in the entrance.
BUT.....it does kind of make me want to be one of those super overprepared "You need x? I have it in my purse!" kind of Mamas.
The thing is I don't think we can be prepared for everything life throws at us. One of the ways God has asked us to be prepared is to know His word. In light of certain media events this week I just loved this verse...
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
It's important for us to know what we believe and why we believe it. But we are to communicate that in love and with gentleness and respect.
At our house this year we are going to be more intentional about "hiding the word in our heart".
What are things you are going to be more intentional about?
The Inappropriately named "Fantasy Lights"....this evening was no one's fantasy!!