So, we made it. We flew "home" (funny how I still call it that even though it's been about 10 years since I last lived here) to Austin on Wednesday and arrived safe and sound... Though we almost missed both our flights.
Zach took his last final Wednesday morning, then raced home so we could get ourselves sorted and back out the door. We left a little later than planned, and the drive to Manchester took a little longer than we thought, which combined meant we got to the airport with only 30 minutes till our estimated departure time. Thankfully, upon getting to the check-in desk to drop our bags we found out our flight was delayed by 2hrs. And, thankfully, Zach had made a point to book a long layover for us in case our first flight got delayed bc of weather. So we had a couple hours to kill at the Manchester airport... We ended up running into about 10 other Tuckies on their way out for the holidays, and we discovered a play area near our gate so we spent a good bit of time over there. At the gate right before boarding the boys were running around like wild banshees and I could just see the look of fear on the faces of our soon-to-be fellow passengers.... But, the flight went fine. The plane was almost empty so we had plenty of space, and it was short so no one got too restless.
We got another dose of excitement in Newark- we'd used up our long layover and raced to the gate, getting there just as they were making the last boarding call. Miraculously, this flight was also nearly empty so we got a whole row to ourselves in the back. By then it was past the boys' bedtime, and after a while they both passed out asleep (WOOT!) and slept for a good portion of the four hour flight (DOUBLE WOOT!). So that made things way easier. Of course, then we landed and we had simultaneous meltdowns as Quinn wasn't at all ready to wake up and Donovan suddenly got some pretty nasty leg pains, but we managed to get off the plane and over to baggage where our welcome committee (aka the grandparent brigade) was waiting.
Zach left the very next morning on a recruiting trip on the west coast with several other Tuckies. The boys and I have been just hanging out here, enjoying grandparent time. One of my favorite parts of these visits is watching our parents and our kids just revel in each others' presence. So amazing.
In another bit of news, I took my camera to a local shop the other day to see what was wrong with it. They confirmed my suspicions-- the shutter is busted. Not a huge surprise after 5 years of heavy use, but sad nonetheless. They said they couldn't fix it in house, I'll have to send it to Canon for repair and it'll take 2-3 weeks and cost $200-$300. At first I was sure we'd just fix it, but it's already needed one repair last year and now this, and I'm wondering what else might go wrong with it again? So now Zach and I are tossing around the idea of upgrading to a new body instead (probably still fixing my 30D to have as a back-up, but maybe waiting some time to do so). I stayed up late the other night reading up on different models and trying to decide what would make the most sense.... Not that we have the money to spend on a new camera right now (hello, loans!). I'm a little heartbroken at the timing of all this, since it means I'm without a good camera while we're here with everyone (other than my phone, which is great for what it is but just not the same). Pictures of D & Q playing with their grandparents and cousins are some of my favorite shots that I take all year.