It's been almost three years since Adam and his family's been home.
When Adam called to tell me they were coming to visit, I was ecstatic. Their family lives too far from grandma.
They added a new one, Sawyer, a year ago. So there is Adam and Sam, then, Ethan, Malia, Ava, and Sawyer. They did not bring dogs Dessa, Munster, or cats Psycho and Wacko.
Their plan was to leave Arizona on Saturday, March 8th and drive through the night. I've driven that route at least a dozen times. The Southwest is beautiful.
Have you ever seen that Chevy commercial where the car is cruising through the desert, with the gorgeous backdrop of the Arizona mountains?
Anyway, the Macks left at 4 p.m. on Saturday, with plans to drive through the night. I used to do that with seven kids in the car.
Today, I'm too old for that.
At the same time, Kortney and Chase decided at the last minute to visit from Ohio. It's spring break, and Camille and Elliott were headed down Interstate 70.
I hear from Adam, pulling out onto Interstate 10, with a happy van of six. He cuts across the back roads through Hatch, N.M., the Chili Capital of the World.
I get heartburn just driving through there.
They connect to Interstate 25 and head north toward Albuquerque. Once they hit Albuquerque, they hook up to Interstate 40 and drive east to Tucumcari.
From that point, it's the Texas panhandle, a piece of Oklahoma, and into Liberal, Kan.
Then it's a cake walk, through Kansas to Missouri. Think about it, driving with six is like locking a family in the space of a bathroom, for a day, whew!
Both Adam’s and Kortney's families arrived on Sunday, in time for roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas, salad, hot rolls, and Mississippi mud.
I was ready for them. I was rested. House was clean. Fridge was stocked.
First grandkids to arrive were Kortney's, Camille and Elliott. Elliott is walking since I last saw him and Camille is a mom to him.
When Adam's van opened, I couldn't believe how Sawyer had grown! A year ago, I saw an 8-pound baby. But he had transformed into a moving sneaky explorer.
I kissed him, 12 months of kisses, and then put him down to crawl. Five seconds later, he was chewing on something.
Come to find out, it was a thumb tack. Sam says he eats everything.
Malia told me I had a pretty skirt, which made me feel happy. Ava had her clothes on, and wanted to help in the kitchen. Clothes were a real challenge, last time I saw Ava.
At their house, I had to keep an eye out for the naked 2-year-old.
Ethan told me all about his soccer games and his goals (4-6 a game).
Well, today, it's been 3 days. I'm a bit tired. Kitchen floor is muddy. Laundry is piled on beds. Anything that is missing is in the kitchen trashcan, perfect height for Elliott.
I have toys in my bedroom, Legos in the bathroom, suitcases, socks and diapers, everywhere, and paper cups lining the kitchen sink.
I have to admit I am a bit tired. Yawn . . . I did sleep last night, but, yawn . . . I heard a baby or two. Yawn . . . then Kelsey got up.
This is really wonderful, yawn . . . being together . . .
Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.