The kids and I left Anchorage really late on January 1st! We had a very long night and day of flying with lengthy layovers. I am so grateful for the USO’s and that we were finished with the long flights from Anchorage to Cincinnati. We landed in Dayton around 4pm on the 2nd, picked up the rental car, and drove to Carrie’s house! We spent the night there and my kid’s cleaned out her supply of popcorn. She couldn’t pop the one portion size bags fast enough. It was hilarious!
The next morning we went to a regular clinic appointment! Finally a break from the dreaded MRI! Bloodwork was still looking great so we waited the 2.5 hours for the pharmacy to fill his clinical trial meds! LJ was starting cycle 8!!
We got in the car and began our 10 hour drive to Myrtle Beach, SC, not sure how I was getting all done must have adrenaline at that point. If I was going to have to spend two weeks waiting on Joshua to drive through Canada I might as well do it in my safe haven of my Nana’s house! Thank you Megan for that idea, but boy oh boy was it God ordained…
Joshua left Anchorage on January 4th.
He totaled our camper on January 5th.
It was a dangerous trip to attempt. There weren’t many people confident that Joshua and the trailer would make it across the frozen tundra in January, myself included. It was one of those situations in your marriage though where you just have to agree to disagree. Joshua wanted to try it, he wanted our camper and our stuff in Ohio so he did. Apparently ice road trucking isn’t as easy as it looks…it really doesn’t look easy in my opinion.
He called me late at night while I was trying to get the kids ready for bed. I was in complete shock and so grateful my aunt, nana, and cousin were there to comfort me and distract the kids. My husband was alone, south of Whitehorse, Canada, in -30 degree weather. I was googling the Canadian emergency line and trying to call our insurance company. Joshua was trying to salvage what he could from the upside down camper waiting on help to arrive. Did i mention that Joshua had Dolce with him the entire time? Someone stopped and helped Joshua by providing bolt cutters so that he could detach the camper and his truck was able to make it up out of the embankment. When the police and fire department arrived they could not believe Joshua did not have a single scratch on him. He did lose a glove in the craziness and had a bit of frostbite on his fingers. Overall, he was so well protected that night. He got a hotel in the town and went to the tow yard the next day in the daylight to get anything else he could out of the camper.
Meanwhile the kids and I tried to enjoy Myrtle Beach and Joshua drove the rest of the way to Ohio at a much faster rate. Losing the camper really stunk. We had just bought it and we were really looking forward to making so many more memories in it especially in the mild weather the lower 48 had to offer. But God’s protection over Joshua and the $4000 we made after the insurance company settled made losing it not so bad. It was also a huge relief to have Joshua driving the rest of the way without the ice road trucker death trap attached!
We had fun at Nana’s! Em ate some fancy shrimp cocktail at one of our favorite restaurants in Myrtle Beach! We loved on Nana’s Great Dane Grey, and went to the park to play with Madison!
We all went to Dave and Busters and played all the games! At the aquarium, Emmaleigh got to feed stingrays and even baited her own pole!
The Air Force showed it’s beauty when we got to visit a family that we were stationed with from 2008-2012 at Hurlburt Field. The Merchant’s! They were stationed in Myrtle Beach and the kids and I went to their house to visit and play! I was so nice to physically see each other after so many years and it felt like we had never been apart! I just had kids now and Casey had another one!
We had the opportunity to take some gorgeous pictures on the beach with a longtime family friend, Teri. She was so good to us and took so many pictures! They were all just perfect!
Joshua arrived in Ohio about a week earlier than projected and I found him a super cheap flight to Myrtle Beach so he flew down to surprise the kids and we needed to visit Rock Hill. He surprised the family while we were eating at Red Robin and we spent the next day visiting before driving to Rock Hill to surprise his Dad and Tricia!
Joshua’s Aunt Liz was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell cancer in the fall of 2018 and she was nearing the end of her battle. We were able to spend some time with her and say our see you laters. It was heart wrenching watching this matriarch of a woman leave behind her precious kids, grandkids, and everyone else she loved so deeply. We will miss the light she brought to our trips to Rock Hill. Aunt Liz was a powerhouse of a woman.
We drove back to Ohio together, dropped Joshua at the airport to pick up his truck, and headed to stay with the Wolf family. They had graciously offered us their home until we found one. The next morning we woke up to ALL the snow!!
The cool thing about snow in Ohio is it melts!! After a day or two it melted and we had to go pick up my car that had been shipped to St. Louis! We rented a Mustang (cheapest rental) to drive one way to the place my car was waiting! It was a fun memory cramming into that little car with our kids in carseats and my 6’4” husband! Joshua couldn’t even drive the thing!
While in St. Louis we got to meet up with some more friends from Hurlburt Field, Katie and Ella! We had our girls 2 weeks apart and were next door neighbors until we moved when Em was 18 months. We did the City Museum together and again, it didn’t feel like it had been years since we saw each other! The City Museum was so neat, it’s like an adult size jungle gym! We had so much fun I didn’t even take any pictures! We decided we’d have to make a trip back in warmer weather to enjoy the outside portions!
In January alone the kids and I traveled to 13 states. Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Joshua has been to 13 states and 4 territories. Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri. We were really looking forward to returning to Ohio and staying put for a little while. But first another clinic appointment. Blood work and EKG came back great and LJ would start another cycle of the clinical trial meds! MRI would be the following month!
We were ready to settle in and make Ohio home! Now we just had to figure out the whole home part…it was time for house hunting!