After my 8-8 shift on Saturday, Lucas and I immediately hopped in the car and made the 8 hour drive to Utah. Lucas drove the whole way there because I was so tired that I would sit up and stare at the road and would find myself dreaming with my eyes open. I could not stay awake. I think I might have been fully aware of my surroundings for about two hours and after that I was a zombie.
I did manage to eat about 1000 calories worth of candy, though. I can always manage a bit of candy eating even if I'm dead tired.
We arrived at about 4:30am Sunday morning and went into my sister's apartment where she had an air mattress waiting for us. I put my stuff down, walked to the bed, flipped the covers down, and I can barely remember mumbling something at Lucas. The next thing I remember was waking at 11am because get up and get ready for church.
I have been nervous for this day, but knew it was time.
I was going to meet little Tanner Michael, my nephew who was due at the same time as Kellen and is now named after him. We didn't see him until after church because there were so many people there that I sat down in the pew before ever meeting him.
Church was fantastic, and the blessing was beautiful.
As soon as I heard my brother say "Tanner Michael" as he blessed him, I could feel my chin shaking uncontrollably. I tried to make it stop but it was like twitching and there were streams of tears falling down my face as I listened to the blessing. I wasn't crying to the point of making sounds, but I had giant tears that came down with no effort. Like little rivers that joined under my chin. It was like my body was greiving even though my mind was feeling happy for Tanner. I could feel an ache in my arms as they sat folded on my lap, but I felt proud and happy for my brother and his wife, Ceci.
After Sacrament meeting ended, I walked back to where Ceci and Steven were sitting with Tanner. Steven had gotten up and was holding him, and I went up to him and immediately reached out for him. Steven handed him to me, a perfect bundle dressed all in white. I held him and I swear my entire body was feeling a mix of complete sadness and joy and wholeness mixed together. It was a relief to feel this tiny baby in my arms and kiss his chubby cheeks. I loved meeting him and seeing his little face and black hair. However, after a minute of feeling excited about the new addition to my brother's family, I did start to think about Kellen.
He would have been this size.
I could have held Kellen like this.
This could have been his blessing day, too.
But he is probably near.
I teared up a little as I stared at Tanner's face, and then noticed my brother was watching me with tear filled eyes. I love my family.
Lucas held him for a while, too, and it was great to see him with a baby, as usual. After church we took pictures and then went to Steven and Ceci's for some food. I kept watching the nephews, Hank, Jacob, and Tanner, and imagining Molly there making a mess just like her cousins, and Kellen asleep on my shoulder.
It felt so good to have Tanner sleeping on me. He even spit up all over my new blazer, and I was totally happy about it. I just held that little baby and knew that one day I would have my own, and right now I can just enjoy his warm breath on my neck and his tiny back rising and falling under my hand.
After we ate, Lucas and I got back in the car and made the 8 hour drive home. We were awake in Utah for 5 hours, but it was worth it. I drove the first half of the way and then Lucas drove over the second, more mountainy half.
At one point, the car started hydroplaning on some slush and water. We were fish-tailing like crazy and my mind immediately flashed back to our car accident. Lucas was trying his hardest to get control of the car as I yelled, "HOLY- HOLY- HOLY- YOU CAN DO IT BABY!" with my hands squeezing the handle and my seat.
(why is it I always yell, 'holy' when I'm caught off guard?)
Don't worry, he saved us and we made it home safely, just in time for me to come home, go to bed, and get about 4 or so hours of sleep. Then I got up at 5am and went back to work today. It was awesome, and I did come home super happy about my job/life.