Sunday, August 11, 2013


Posting tonight from Salt Lake City, Utah . . .

Yesterday morning, bright and early we began our trek back towards Nebraska after several absolutely wonderful days of family fun.  The plan was to be in Salt Lake City LAST night.  Aside from some smoking brakes (oy!) after trying to make it across California (via the most ridiculously curving roads ever) our trip had been very uneventful on the mechanical side of things.  Our van IS 15 years old but it did have its transmission replaced once.  Josh is very good about checking fluids and looking for signs of something awry, and our transmission fluid had looked a lovely healthy pink throughout all of our traveling.  We had just filled up with gas and I had taken over the wheel for the first time the whole trip so that Josh could have a little break.  And not more than half an hour later the van suddenly revved up.  I braked a bit to try to get the RPM's to go down and it didn't really respond and then within a minute or so everything dropped and we had nothing and I kind of managed to get off on the shoulder, just shy of mile marker 255 on 1-80, northern Nevada.  We had good cell phone reception, we have AAA, so it was just a matter once again of the wait--finding a way to get off the road.  And having been through this once before we waited patiently for them to send two tow-trucks (it was against company policy to allow us all to ride while strapped down to the bed of the truck unlike our last mountainous journey).  We and our crippled van ended up deposited in a hotel parking lot in Elko, NV.

The next morning (today) Josh got to work trying to figure out our next move.  Our grandest hope was to rent something that could pull a trailer with our van on it so we could scrap our van for salvage and at least get a bit of money for it.  Elko didn't exactly have the hook-ups though.  And so when Josh pulled up in the hotel parking lot in a little red Toyota Yares with a hopeful gleam in his eye I thought he had gone crazy.  Salt Lake City--three hours away--had a minivan for us, but all Elko had was the tiny five passenger car.  And so in a move that goes completely against everything I believe about safety and child restraints we strapped Jackson and Owen in one belt, Marissa in the middle one, and Isabella and Emmett in another one and shoved as much luggage as we possibly could in the trunk.  And we prayed.

Thankfully, we made it to Salt Lake City without incident and unpacked our little sardines.  We got set up in a lovely hotel that originally we were going to spend two nights in and now just this one.  And then my dear hubby went and exchanged the tiny car for the minivan and turned around and DROVE BACK to Elko to gather the rest of our luggage from our abandoned minivan.  That is what he is doing right now and then he will make the three hour drive for the third time today, getting in sometime around 3:30 in the morning on the 12th.

So that's the story, but really, this post is about Josh.  Our marriage isn't some epic love story, the kind the romantic in me always dreamed I would have--just like the books or just like the movies.  He doesn't shower me with jewelry or flowers and there really have been few opportunities for us to get away just the two of us.  We have had our share of not seeing eye to eye.  But here is the thing about him that makes him so special:
His glass is always half full.
He is crazy persistent.
He will figure it out.
He is the kind of guy who tells you how amazing and awesome you are when you are laboring for babies without any pain medication.  He is the kind of guy who just knows your brain tumor will be okay.  He is the guy who determines he needs a new start and goes back to school to be a teacher.  He is the guy who will make the same trip three times in one day happy to know his family is all tucked in back at the hotel.  THAT is love.  Movie plots might not showcase the husband who drove to Salt Lake City and then back to Elko and then back to Salt Lake City.  But my heart is full tonight for what he is doing for us so that the kids and I can rest.  This whole ordeal has been frustrating and disappointing (and of course more expensive than we originally intended the vacation to be).  And while I have sniffled and tried to hold it together he has worked tirelessly and cheerfully, constantly encouraging me that we will get back home.  He is amazing that way.  And providing he gets in safely during the wee morning hours on the 12th we will be able to finish the remaining vacation events right on schedule (mainly, a baseball game in Denver for him and the boys).  He is the hero in this story, my knight in shining armor.  Situations like this make the planner in me want to curl up in fetal position somewhere and bawl my eyes out.  But Josh scoops me up and sets me straight and pulls me along until I'm able to stand all steady.  I am so thankful to be going through life with him at my side.
So, while we are bummed to not be able to salvage our van ourselves we will be getting back home.  And if you recall, back home there is another minivan, just recently purchased.  While the black van won't get us back to Nebraska, it did get us out to California to begin with (and partially back).  And up until the whole transmission going AWOL we were having the most amazing vacation ever. So God is good.  All the time. 


Anonymous said...

This is worthy of being published. This is a beautiful example of a woman walking in the Spirit. You have shared your disappointments and frustrations of it all but the silver lining of it is your love for Josh and obedience to your Lord. What you have gained from this vacation far exceeds a vacation that was "moonlight and roses.". What a beautiful lesson for your children, too. they will retell this story in years to come and remember the love their Dad showed by sacrificing for his family. Janna, you are a TRUE WOMAN and I thank God for you. Praying a safe trip home, Carolyn

Anna said...

Oh, Janna! I'm really feeling for you, but also very encouraged from your thankful (and hilarious!) perspective of this whole crazy ride. And your sweet words toward your sweet hubby makes me are a dear! (and wow, was that good timing with your van purchase--totally from the Lord.) Hugs to you, dear friend...I'll be praying that the rest of the trip can be smooth sailing. Your fun bunch is storing up a treasure of memories with these wild adventures. :)

sarah j. said...

i've enjoyed your instagrams from your trip. so fun to see what you guys have been up to. praying for happy hearts and faces and a safe rest of your trip home. :)