Monday, September 22, 2014


Must write what i can down now before i forget…..i say i don't want to forget the most horrible week ever - but it's because of God's grace and mercies shown last week….i want to remember.  My thoughts are scattered…..and probably the order is wrong….but here's what i remember….

Chase and Angie headed for Cabo for a birthday celebration for a friend of theirs.  A few couples and then one guy (Jay, the doctor - his wife was in Norway) jumped on a plane for the trip to Cabo.  DebDeb flew down to stay at the house with the kids.  Michael and i had a busy week, but on Saturday morning, i got to go to Frisco and spend some time at Hayden's soccer game with DebDeb - oh and then don't forget Target for Hayden's bat bot…..he just couldn't wait until Christmas (our suggestion was to put on his Christmas list) for that bat bot because he was "too excited and it was too YONG to wait for Tristmas!"  We talked about it on the sidelines….the two grandmas….and agreed that there was probably no way Angie was going to wait until Christmas to get it, so we thought we would surprise him and take him to Target after his game.  Oh my goodness, the smile as he made his way to the checkout!  This was Saturday - and i left shortly after 1 to get home and get ready for church.  The kids were coming back on Sunday evening and DebDeb scheduled to leave Monday morning.  All's good, right?  I get a text on Saturday or was it Sunday - that the kids flights had been cancelled because of a storm headed toward Cabo….okay…..a tropical storm….i can understand because of winds and lightening…..but as we get into Sunday, that tropical storm has turned into a hurricane…..and that hurricane goes from a 1 to a 4 overnight.  We spend Sunday night into Monday morning watching the weather channel.  I am paralyzed when i see where Cabo sits…..and where the path of that storm is going.  Cabo sits at the very end of a peninsula - 3 sides are open to water…..the hurricane heads straight up the peninsula.  We talk to Angie and Chase - Angie assures me that there is a safe place in the house - it's a laundry room, no windows.  I guess i didn't realize how BIG this house actually was.  It's over 7,000 square feet and it's high up on a hill.  Of course the first thing i think about when she tells me that it's high on a hill - away from the water and waves - the winds…..they are predicting 160 mile an hour winds….will this house withstand those winds?  She assures me she feels so safe in the house…in the room.  We talk to them late Sunday night….but power is gone now, generator has kicked in and they are going to lose connections and can't talk to us until morning.  Debbie has cancelled her flight and staying til she knows they are safe.  All night long i watch CNN - grasping for any report on Hurricane Odile.  Someone texts me it's been downgraded to a 3…..i feel a little better.  Texts are flying….FB posts everywhere….we are asking everyone we know to pray…..pray…..pray for the safety of our kids.  Even downgraded, the winds are still predicted at 135…..all night we pray….we give it all to God…lay it at His feet….take care of our babies….and then the "what if's" hit…..i cringe with fear.  All night long.  Early Monday morning i get a text from Heather.  She asked if i have heard from Chase and Angie yet….then she sends me a FB post - it's from Rob, sometime during the night - it says the house they are in has been completely demolished - that during the worst part, the guys had to push with all their might to keep the laundry door from being pushed in.  But they are OKAY.  I look at Michael and read him the post.  We both cry…..we are SO worried.  When was that posted?  We watched on CNN that the eye passed over about 3 am - and after that the worst part of the storm hit Cabo…..was Rob's post during the calm of the eye?  Were they okay NOW?  Oh God, let them call….please let us hear from them.  Michael and i pray together….please let them be okay….please let us hear.….then we get a phone call - it's a FaceTime call…'s Chase….thank GOD they are okay.  Relief sweeps over us.  We talk and make sure everyone is okay……we cry….so thankful…..then  he turns the phone around and shows us the devastation.  HUGE, heavy wooden doors in the front have blown into the house…windows blown out….furniture is blown every which way…..."there used to be a wall here" - "we've cleaned a lot of it up….there was glass everywhere"…..the house is totally destroyed.  Luckily, the owner of the house has another house that only has water damage.  He's going to take them to that house and let them stay until they decide what to do.  That house is over 10,000 Square ft….Jessica Simpson stays here when she comes to Cabo…..the thing is, he is housing folks from another house of his that was damaged and some of his employees…..later Angie tells me this was a very scary time because of the dynamic of the people there….here they are staying with all these people they don't know.  But they are thankful….and later Chase tells me so blessed.  They have a generator that runs part of the time - much of the city has nothing…no generators, no power.   Later that day, Chase lets us know they are heading to La Paz - they will catch a plane there and it will take them to Mazaltbon and from there they will head home.  Thank goodness they have a plan…..all is good.  They are safe, in a gated community in a house that is safe.  Debbie makes plans to leave Tuesday morning to head back to KC for work.  We get up at 4 in the morning Tuesday morning and head to Frisco.  Michael takes Debbie to the airport, i make lunches and Hayden, Sammie and i walk Addy to the bus stop - and then after realizing Hayden has school that day, i get him to school. I come back to the house and clean up a bit….Things are good.  We have a plan.  The kids are okay.  The kids are okay….right?  No answer to our texts… answer when we call…..NOBODY is hearing from the kids.  Late in the day on Tuesday we start to get worried.  When i pick Hayden up from school, his teacher tells me he's had an "OK" day….but Hayden needs to "learn to keep his hands to himself - no play fighting".  Hum…..she's not very sympathetic to what we are going through….i talk to Hayden.  "But Mimi, i didn't start it!"  I explain to him that no matter who starts it, he needs to walk away….no fighting even if it's play….."Hayden, we need to just tell the teacher if someone tries to start something"  "otay Mimi"  We walk to the bus stop and meet Addyboo.  Haley comes home from school "they aren't answering the phone…..and aren't answering my texts" - I try and re-assure her that it's probably downed power lines….that's all it is, right Lord?  Prayers for safety…..searching FB….any news?  NOBODY has heard from them.  We try and keep our worry from the kids…..Addy and Hayden play so well together.  It takes me longer to get everyone to bed tho…..i know they are up later than usual…...Very little sleep for me on Tuesday night….i am up searching FB, sending out prayer requests….sending emails and text to Chase's phone… answer.  Wednesday morning i am frantic.  Not hearing from them is AWFUL.  I get lunches ready and we walk Addyboo to the bus stop.  I think she's okay….she's terribly quiet but i do think we have hidden our worries.  I forgot to mention that on Tuesday morning, she tells me "mimi, i will show you where you go when you walk me to the bus stop - and where you wait for me when i come home.  They don't like you going right to where the bus comes" - Later i realize….my baby is growing up……of COURSE she doesn't want her mimi at the bus stop!!!  I get back to the house.  Haley bless her heart is up and ready to go.  I worry about this one….she is not doing well.  I can tell she's worried sick.  I take Hayden to school and this time the teacher is a little more caring….."have you heard from them?" - no, i tell her…..and we are so worried.  there are no answers to texts - worried sick.  She tells me she will pray for them….pray we hear.  Papa heads for Dallas for a doc appt and i head for Heathers.  She's been such a source of comfort during this time and i don't want to be by myself.  We visit and talk and pass the time…..i check my phone every few minutes….check FB to see if anyone has heard…..NOthING.  I leave so i have enough time to run by Tom Thumb and then drop groceries by the house and just enough time to get Hayden by 2.  In the Tom Thumb parking lot, i get a text…'s from Chase…..Call me.  That's all it says.  My hands are shaking as i fumble around to try and get to the phone screen…..i am crying….i am thanking the Lord over and over…..they are still safe.  They are okay.  I dial his number…..this mexican lady comes on speaking spanish….then in English it tells me i can't call this country.  Frantically i hang up and just as i am dialing again, a call comes in.  It's Michael…..he's talked to Chase.  They are okay.  I cry….i can tell in Michael's voice he's tearing up too.  He tells me they are in a cab, headed to LaPaz - and from there they are catching a plane.  I am light as air…..HUGE burden off my shoulder.  My babies are okay.  I head toward home with my groceries and as i am driving, my phone rings.  It's Chase.  He's talking so fast - not very much time to talk - "mom, get a pen" - Chase i don't have a pen - i am driving……"well pull over….find a pen" - I pull over to the side of Lebonon - praying i don't get hit….."digging in my purse, the car….no pen anywhere…..i get a lipstick out….and a paper.  okay, i said….go ahead.  "I got a message from AT&T….they are canceling all our coverage and i need you to call my IT guy at work….Ernie - here's his number - this CANT happen mom….it's our only way to communicate" Angie's phone died because it got wet) - he's giving me numbers - so quickly….i can't read what i am writing because it's in LIPSTICK…..i repeat the number….i try to make the number legible…."I've got to go mom….don't know how long we will have phone coverage.  I love you.  And he's gone.  And my phone dies.  I have no charger in the car.  I have only minutes to get Hayden.  But i head home, plug my phone into the charger…..and i call the number i THINK i have written down - "is the Ernie" - no, i am sorry you have the wrong number…..i hang up….i guess another number - "sorry, wrong number" - Shoot what am i going to do.  I call Michael - "you have to call AT&T…." i explain what's happened and tell him to call AT&T and explain….don't let them cancel coverage…..i hang up. Later i find out AT&T was NO help for Michael…..after a few harsh words, he hangs up on them…..Thanks AT&T.  How awesome are YOU???   i give it ONE more try for Ernie…..guessing another number.  I get Ernie!!!!  I explain to him the problem and he says not to worry…."we won't let that happen" - thank GOODNESS…….i speed to school to get Hayden - i am only 3 minutes late.  "did he have a good day today?" - "oh yes, he had a much better day….and i will let you know this, he told me he left all his weapons home today" - oh great… weapons today.  I am walking on air though because we talked to the kids.  They are headed home once they get to LaPaz and catch a plane.  I get another call from Chase when i get home.  Homework.  Call and get prices and times for flights from LaPaz to DFW - or if not DFW, another city….times, prices.  Here comes Haley…..Oh and when i talked to Chase….i immediately sent her a text…..she's a different person…..we are all SO relieved.  We are ALL smiles.  We need to get dinner……need to get baths, pi's on….lots these sweet momma's have to do and each time i keep the kids, i come home with such an admiration for Angie…..for all mommas…..what a JOB!  Then i get an email from Chase.  He's out of his heart meds…..he's found another substitute - can we call Dr. Le and see if he can take it.  I put Michael on that one.  He finally gets an answer…, don't take the meds.  Better to just not take anything.  But we are good…..we have a plan to get them home…… he will have meds soon. WRONG.  As i am getting Hayden ready for bed, i get another phone call.  It's Chase.  He can't talk long but here's what i need mom.  The airport in LaPaz is closed.  No planes coming or going.  There's a ferry that crosses the Sea of Cortez….get times, prices, where it goes….one is Maztlabon, one is another city that starts with a T but i can't remember - Chase knew…..he spells the name of the city for me.  Also need prices, times etc for flights from Mazlabon once they get there.  We hang up.  I cry.  There's still another storm headed toward them.  And they are wanting to take a ferry?  8 - 13 hours on a ferry?  Heather calls at that moment and says "what can i do" - i tell her what all Chase has asked for….she's writing it down - "you go get Hayden to bed….leave this to me" - and in 20 minutes she has all the information, has text it to Chase's phone and already heard back from Chase that he got it.  Heather is amazing.  I would still be looking for the website.  I get Hayden in bed…'s only 45 minutes late tonight.  He falls asleep immediately….and of course, holding my hand as he dozes off.  What a precious baby boy.  I can't remember exactly when he said it…..but as i said, we tried SO hard to keep the worries away from Hayden and Addy.  Haley knew….she was on FB and she could watch TV, google the storms….the coverage (which by the way was non existent as far as the devastation in Cabo OR the 30,000 tourists stranded there) but for the little ones, we tried hard to keep things from them…..but one day, might have been this day….in the car Hayden says "hey Mimi…..are my momma and dada trapped in our old house?" - NOOOO buddy……they are in Cabo on vacation….they are FINE - and they will be home so soon.  Do you miss them buddy?  "no, i don't miss nobody!" he tells me……i know better…..i think every day he's asked me "hey mimi….are momma and dada coming home THIS day?" - oh yes, he misses them!
I get a call,,,,, Chase asking for prayers.  They are all getting in a cab and going to the ferry to try and catch the 10:30 ferry to Mazlabon.  I cringe.  I don't want them on a ferry.  Polo might hit where they are.  Please God…..if they aren't suppose to be on that ferry, CLOSE THE DOOR.
In the meantime, i am texting, i am posting on FB and tagging everyone i know…..asking for prayers….asking for suggestions…..asking for ANYbody who might know someone in the military, someone who works for an airlines…..does ANYbody have suggestions to help.  The feed on these posts are LONG… many praying….so many saying "go back to Cabo…..that's where the planes are coming in" - someone posts a list of flights leaving Cabo on Thursday - i call AA - talk to them….here are all these flights….can i get 9 seats on one of these planes….."no ma'am….i am sorry they are all booked" - i see flights on United - i call - "no ma'am….i see the flights you are talking about, and i don't see that they are filled but it won't let me book seats" - do you think it's first come first serve?  "that would be my guess" Get a call from Chase… room on the Ferry….headed back to the hotel…….- heather gives me the number for the US consulate in Mexico.  I call…'s midnight….i am on hold forever… i finally get someone….tell them the problem.  Tell them Chase is out of heart meds (at some point someone told me to use that… use the medication and it might get them priority)…..what can we do?  She tells me DON"T let them go back to Cabo….it's not safe there.  They need to stay in LaPaz.  If i can get in touch with him, she will get him to a hospital for the meds.  I tell her really all i need is to get him home…..his doc said not to take the meds there.  She's going to try and find them in LaPaz.  She can do nothing as far as getting them on a plane, but gives me 5 airlines that have flights out of La Paz on Thursday……It's 1:00 now…..I call every single airline she gave me looking for seats……NOBODY has room.  It's 2:00 a.m. - here comes Hayden - "Mimi, i don't want to sleep all by myself" - i put him in bed with us…..i might as well try and get some sleep…..then i hear my phone ringing……It's like 3 in the morning….it's the consulate again…..they found the hotel Chase and Angie are in but the hotel doesn't have the room number.  They want to get in touch with him……have i talked to him or can i get in touch?  I call his number….straight to voice mail.  I call her back….sorry, no idea.  I check FB again….oh my….seems like thousands of posts.  Prayers are going up….People with suggestions….this one saw these flights are leaving Cabo….another saw the best bet is the ferry - one is leaving in the morning.  Oh my gosh, so many options.  God, which one is the right one?  God, PLEASE speak loudly to their hearts…..let them KNOW which option is YOUR plan Lord.  Help them Lord.  Keep them safe Lord…..put angels around them Lord i pray.  6 am Thursday morning…..getting frantic.  NOTHING on TV as far as the devastation and the 30,000 that can't get home.  SO frustrated.  then i read a FB post from Tracie Crocker….she worked with Brad Watson at Channel 8 - let's get the word out she says.  Call me and we will see what we can do.  I call….leave a message for her.  Shortly after, i get a message from her needing their names, info etc.  where they are…..i send everything i know.  Get a call from Chase.  We are all getting in a cab and heading to Cabo.  Seems the best bet because that's where most of the people are.  Don't want to go because it's awful there…..sewage in the streets… phone coverage so no way to communicate…..can't even imagine how bad it is there because news isn't covering it.  But it's their best option he says…..Pray momma.  I get Hayden to school…his teacher so concerned…..…Haley's alarm keeps going off, but she's not getting up.  I am not waking her up because she's mentally and physically exhausted.  The doorbell rings…..SWEET friends of Angie and Chase bringing food by…..oh my gosh, they have precious friends.  I tell Michael i am taking a quick shower…..i haven't had a shower in 3 days.  No sleep, no shower and i am pretty rank.  In the middle of the shower Michael comes in….."you better kick it in the butt……channel 4 is coming to interview everyone - we need to be at Julianne's in 20 minutes" - okay….so no shaving my legs….and michael go get Haley up……20 minutes later we are at Juliannes….Haley doesn't even have shoes on……but we are there….pour our hearts out to Channel 4….and while we are being interview, i get a call from Channel 8 news…..thank you Tracie Crocker! - they will be at Julianne's at noon……in between all this, we find out that Rob's daddy has secured a private plane to get the kids……even though we have been told that private planes are not being allowed to land in LaPaz, this pilot assures Rob's daddy that he will and he will get our kids.  Channel 8 interviews Chase on the phone….Channel 4 interviews Julianne on the phone….we get the word out….nothing is being reported about the thousands that are left there with little water, sewage in the streets, little food and looting everywhere.  Chase told me later as they were leaving they saw people boiling water to make it safe….i pray we did just a little to make people more aware of the conditions.  As we leave Julianne and Rob's, we are hopefully optimistic….there's a little spring in all of our steps….but we won't believe a plane is going to get them until they are ON that plane. I pick up Hayden from school.  His teachers tells me he's been "Prayer leader" this week - and on this day he asked everyone to pray that "God would bring his momma and his dada home safe" - as much as we have tried to keep the worry from the kids…..they know.  The plane is suppose to be in LaPaz at 4:00….we wait….no plane…..5:00 - no plane…..shortly after that they see a private plane…."we think it's for us" they tell us.  Soon, they are on the plane in the air and headed to San Diego.  Thank you Lord.  I was quite worried about the plane…..because all the other planes people had checked into were 30,000 plus…..this one was 17,000….was it safe?  was it big enough?  were the winds of the second storm too much for it?  Help my unbelief Lord.  Give me peace.  Later on Angie tells me the pilots met them and helped them up into this wonderful, beautiful, new smelling plane - "we have snacks and ice cold drinks for you" whispered the pilot… go the 7 - stinky, sweaty, no shower in 3 days….what must they have smelled and looked like?  But they were treated like royalty.  Ice cold cokes, water, and snacks…..the best cheese Angie said she's ever tasted.  And then he brings out a Fiji water - a little scream escapes Angie's mouth…."oh that's my favorite!"  Into the air they go - one last look at Mexico - a place they will never see again is what i have been told.  Then the pilot brings out a bottle of Crown.  A toast to celebrate…..and Angie said one of the guys with them toasts a FEW times….and he's feeling no pain at all as they level off for the flight.  Angie's mom calls…..Angie's sister has made reservations at the hotel…..Debbie says "what if we order snacks for their rooms?" - oh what a great idea!  "what if we have champagne waiting too?" i suggest.  Great idea says Debbie.  She's on it.  I am on the house…..i want it to look SO nice when they come home.  We all gather in the living room at Chase and Angie's to watch our debut on the news…..well, papa is in the living room, Haley, Hayden and i are piled up in Chase and Angie's bed - here we go…..there we are!  I was so hoping channel 4 would put Haley on and all that she said….she was SO precious with what she said….saying  these are only 7 of the thousands needing to get out of there….she also talked about Chase and how he's out of his heart medication…..she talked about senior activities….that her mom was in charge of that she's missing….not grand in the scheme of things she said….but important to us.  AWWWW, Haleybug…..your heart is so precious.  Just about the time we are seeing one channels interview, papa finds another.  We all laugh at our appearances….our words.  We replay and record them on our phones…..our 4 minutes of fame…..we all gather around the table this night and eat….first time we eat without feeling just a bit guilty because we have food….and what were the kids eating?  But tonight….tonight we celebrate.  "we've landed in San Diego" says the text from Chase…and Angie said when you fly in a private plane, you don't go through customs….customs comes to you.  They laughed so hard because the guy that toasted so many times with the crown isn't paying attention to the custom guys…..he's just LAUGHING….he's just so happy to be there.  The next picture i get is Chase kissing the ground.  That pretty much went viral on FB =)  Later we get a call….they arrived at the hotel…The hotel had the champagne and 7 glasses waiting at the desk.  Angie says they all toasted to families, to being home - and then they head to their rooms where baskets of goodies are waiting for them.  She said they all shared the goodies and started talking about how awesome it was how everyone of their family and friends pitched in to get them home…..and the guy with too much Crown just starts bawling his eyes out.   Bless their hearts.  I can only imagine how awesome the air conditioning, the shower, the beds.  They call to thank us for everything…..they are all headed out to dinner together - to celebrate.  As much as i wanted to get them tickets on the 6:20 flight, everything was full… one couple left at 6:30, one at 7:30 and then Chase and angie at 8:30 - they will arrive at DFW at 1:35.  Not sure i slept much that night either… excited to see them….so much i wanted to do before they got home.  Texts to Farrah to get Addy out of school early, just planning in my head the timing of things not to mention trying to get the word out to everyone that they are safe on US soil.  That was the hardest because it seemed every time i pulled out my phone or iPad, Hayden needed me….i think he just needed some extra attention - he could feel the excitement but had no idea just HOW exciting it was.   Next morning we are up bright and early - i had mentioned to Chase the night before about going to Cantina when we pick them up from the airport - so we could sit and visit and hear about the journey…..he said that would be great.  Well, when i talk to Angie, she said no on Cantina….the last thing she wanted to see was a margarita or chips and salsa…..i didn't even THINK about that.  Cantina is the place they go to celebrate so that's why i thought of it.  "well Angie, i thought of making your fav roast and potatoes but thought it would be more fun to sit around a table somewhere…." oh Mimi she says….that sounds wonderful - okay, so hurry and make lunch for Hayden, get him to school.  Back home i send Michael to the store for the things i need to make a special lunch for them…..i am washing sheets and towels, washing Hayden's clothes, cleaning the house, cleaning the kitchen…..i call papa and tell him to x off everything for mashed potatoes because there's no time to make them.  "Can you be home by 11?" he tells me no…..i am freaking out.  Have to leave to get Addy at 11:15…..Hayden at 11:30 and back home by noon to get Haley.  In the meantime, thinking it would be really cool to have a group there at the airport.  i don't have emails or names or phone numbers of their friends tho - so i call Moe - asking Moe to see if she can help and i call Debbie, because she knows their friends much better than i do…..i send Lorrena and a few others on FB to invite them…..they will try….Moe is coming for sure - i am frantically trying to get things done - it takes longer to get Addy than planned….then Addy and i get lost in the school getting Hayden because of construction - even an employee helping us gets lost…..time is running…..we are RUNNING through the corridors of the church trying to find our way out.  We get home - have to take two cars.  Papa goes with Hay Hay and Addy and Hayden with me.  The plane is landing early…..i haven't a clue how to get to DFW…..Papa has loaded instructions on my phone but it's not working.  Addy has the phone, trying to make it work and Hayden wants a "map" - "I want a map!!!" he says.  So i pull out my iPad and give it to him after hitting the "maps" ap.  He and Addy are fussing back and forth, Mimi is going crazy…..trying with everything i can to not lose papa and Hay - from the back seat Hayden says" oh Mimi…..i found the airport!  I see a plane on my map!" - and then in a minute, serious as can be "mimi, STOP THE CAR!!!" - Hayden, i can't……"MIMI WE ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!!!!!" - i tell him that papa knows the way and we are following papa…."No he doesn't mimi…..we are headed back home.  i am not kidding!!!" - Back and forth he goes with me….just as sure as he can be that we are heading in the wrong direction.  I see planes in the air…..i show him.  And thank goodness, that takes his mind off the map and he starts trying to find planes in the air.  I am praying in a whisper "Lord, please let us get there in time….please let us be there when they step off that plane….." and i hear from the back seat - Hayden says "mimi….you need to CALM down!" - Yes, i am not the one you want to be with in a crisis situation…..yes, i am high strung…..people, you are just going to have to deal with it.  We make it in plenty of time…..Moe is there with a balloon….Lorrena gets there too.  We hide behind a wall so we can surprise them.  It looks like papa is the only one there…..then we see him waving like crazy…..we can't wait any longer…..Hayden RUNS as fast as he can and i hear him yelling at his mama and dada…..we all run behind him and we grab our kids….and for just a minute we don't want to let go.  They are safe….they are home.  i can't describe the smiles among the teary eyes….happy tears…..happy smiles.  Oh Lord i can never thank You enough for bringing my babies home safely.  My heart overflows with thankfulness and love.  God you are awesome.  I thank You for the gifts of our family.  How precious these gifts!