October 12, 2013


My dad was not able to come and see Jocelyn when she was born. He asked if Jocelyn and I would come visit so that he could meet her before Christmas. I said yes. My mom said we should make it a surprise. I agreed.

Plan A: Leave our house at 1:30 am. Take a shuttle to Guatemala City. Arrive at the airport at 5 am. Fly to Houston. Fly to Grand Rapids. Arrive at 4:30 pm. Get picked up by my mom. Crash Savannah's birthday party and pull off a very epic surprise for my siblings and grandparents.

Plan B: Leave our house at 1:30 am. Take a shuttle to Guatemala City. On the way out of town encounter a drunk driver, swerving at, cutting off, and flipping off our driver. Drive so fast through the curvy mountain roads that we arrive in Guatemala City in only 3 hours at 4:30 am. Get a lot of grief at Guatemalan customs because Jocelyn does not have a Guatemalan passport, only a US passport. Cry for 30 minutes of the flight to Houston. (Jocelyn, not me.) Delay our flight to Grand Rapids for an hour. 45 minutes into the flight, be told that we have technical difficulties, and have to fly back to Houston. Say a curse word in my head. (Only one.) Instead, fly 15 minutes to Shreveport, Louisiana. Spend 3 hours in the airport waiting while they fix the plane. Try not to cry. (Me, not Jocelyn.) Learn that the problem was a loose bolt in the air conditioning. Think just one more curse word in my head. Arrive in Grand Rapids at 9:30 pm. Be epically surprised at the airport by my siblings waiting for us, because mom called them back to their house after the birthday party to tell them we were coming.

We decided to keep things exciting and go with Plan B. And we decided to simply be thankful that we arrived safely.

Check out a few pictures from this awesome 10 day trip.

At the airport, patiently waiting for us to arrive.

So thankful for my awesome brothers and sisters!

Relieved to have finally made it home.

Surrounded by lots of love.

Meeting Grandpa Potgeter for the first time.

Right away the next morning, we went to surprise my grandparents. For both grandparents, my mom walked in with Jocelyn, while I hid. Here is when we went to see Grandma Potgeter. I believe her exact words were, "Whose baby do you have now?!" She was quite surprised to see me walk around the corner.

Getting a little love from Great-Grandma.

Four generations.

Great-Grandpa Potgeter! Grandma called him right away and told him to come home for a special surprise. When Grandpa questioned her, I believe her exact words were, "Just come home, and then you can go wherever you want!"

Very blessed with wonderful grandparents!

Next we went to see Grandma Post. We were impressed with how quickly she guessed whose baby my mom was holding. "Is that Kendra's baby?!"

Grandma Post has 36 grandchildren (18 boys and 18 girls) and 64 great-grandchildren (32 boys and 32 girls). Jocelyn is #64 of the great-grandchildren, and #100 of her total grandkids! I think that is prize-worthy.

Four generations.

Cousin time! With Kaden and Riley.

It was so great to see Jocelyn around all of her cousins. They loved her too.

Cousin Felicity.

Cousin Faith.

Cousin Natalie.

Cousin Jackson.

Cousin Jude. Jocelyn is 2 months and Jude is 6 months...and they are about the same height.

Uncle Kyle and Cousin Kaden.

Mommy's friend Kaylee! Can't wait for her to visit us in a week!

Old and new friends. Aubrie, my friend since elementary school, and her daughter, Eila.

Eila and Jocelyn. Hanging out and having a good time.

Enjoying a Michigan autumn for the first time in 6 years. Carving pumpkins with Felicity.

Faith's finished pumpkin.

An outtake: Natalie didn't want to take a picture. Just take my word for it that the real picture turned out super cute...but this made me laugh.

A little grandpa time.

A few more outtakes. My mom wanted her Christmas card to be of all the grandkids. In a series of many pictures, this was probably the best one she had...

...And this was probably the worst. You can almost feel the chaos of babies crying, kids squirming, and most not looking at the camera. Thankfully we gathered another day and took some great pictures of all the grandkids for mom's Christmas cards.

We were able to do a lot of fun things, and see a lot of wonderful people. Leaving was harder than ever, but I am so thankful that we had this time together!

Grace and peace,

ps. Our trip back went perfectly. Thank goodness.