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Choosing Joy, Even in the Midst of a Wild Travel Day!

Traveling Adventures

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we had a bit of a wild day yesterday. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had planned to head back to Kansas for Jesse’s brother’s graduation and Mother’s Day. We also had planned a surprise for Jesse’s family: his sister and her husband and two boys were going to be flying in from Colorado for the graduation. We were all excited to make a quick trip back to Kansas and to get to spend time with family!

Since we had a 7 a.m. flight to catch and since we were all flying and we’re new to the Nashville airport, we wanted to leave at 4:30 a.m. in order to allow plenty of time.

I hadn’t gotten all the packing done the night before (I was still trying to catch up on laundry since we finally have a washer & dryer again!) and needed to wash my hair, so I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. — way too early!

While getting the packing done and my hair washed, Jesse got the kids up and around, and then we were out the door and headed for the airport. When we arrived at the airport a little after 5 a.m., it was packed with people! We were glad we got there early as we ended up standing in line for quite awhile to make it through security.

Travel Adventures
While waiting to board our flight, we had fun taking pictures together. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our 7 a.m. flight got delayed by 45 minutes, which meant we were going to miss our connecting flight (we only had a 45-minute layover). Jesse went ahead and asked if they could get us on a later connecting flight, but they told us they didn’t know if they could since all the flights were full that day. The best they could do was put us on Priority Standby for a later flight to Kansas.

Well, we hadn’t even left Nashville and we weren’t off to a great start. ๐Ÿ™‚ But we decided to just roll with the punches, choose to call it an adventure, and find a way to make it to Kansas once we landed in Dallas.

After landing in Dallas, we double-checked to see if our connecting flight had already taken off. Yep, it had.

So the kids and I went to hang out at the play area and Jesse headed to the customer service to see what could be done. He called me awhile later with our options:

  • We could wait to see if we could get on the 1 p.m. flight to Kansas — they were pretty certain we wouldn’t be able to get all 5 of us on this flight nor the flight that was a few hours later.
  • We could fly to Oklahoma City — they could guarantee us four tickets on this flight and possibly a fifth. We’d then rent a car and drive to Kansas from there.
  • We could rent a car and drive from Dallas to Kansas; this would be cutting it pretty close on time but we should be able to make it.

None of these were really great options, but we decided to try the OKC flight option and see if they could all five of us on the flight. If they couldn’t, we’d drive from Dallas.

We got something to eat and headed over to the gate for the OKC flight. By the time we got there, they were almost getting ready to board.

Jesse talked to the gate agents and after a lot of re-working of things, they found a way to get all five of us on the flight — not all sitting together, but all on the flight. We were so grateful for their willingness to shuffle things around to make this work for us!

We were also blessed to have very gracious people on the flight who offered to move their seats. This way, Jesse could sit with Silas, I could sit with Kaitlynn, and Kathrynne could sit nearby us.

As soon as everyone was seated, the pilot made an announcement that there had been some issues and we’d need to wait until maintenance could come check those out. By this time, we knew there was no way we’d be making it to Kansas before late afternoon, so we called to cancel our plans we had with friends and family.

We were sad that some fun things we’d had planned weren’t going to be able to happen, but at this point, we just had to focus on getting to Kansas in time for Jesse’s brother’s graduation. I was incredibly thankful that the kids were still holding up well and attitudes were remarkably good in spite of the early morning and multiple delays.

Finally, after another 45-minute wait, we were off to OKC! We arrived there without incident, rented a car, and made the three-hour drive to Kansas.

We were supposed to pick up Jesse’s sister and her family at the airport and take them to the graduation. Their flight was also delayed, so it ended up working out that they got in right before we made it in.

Jesse dropped us off, picked them up at the airport, and we were all able to make it in time to the graduation about 15 minutes before it started — and in time to get to surprise his family! It was so worth the extra efforts and we’ve had a great time with family and friends here.

Today I Will Choose Joy

And you know what? While we were tired last night from a long day, I’m so grateful that I made the choice to just roll with the punches and enjoy the ride yesterday.

My nature is not to be spontaneous but rather to always want to stick with the plan. However, I’ve really been working on having a relaxed, cheerful, live-fully-in-the-moment attitude recently.

It was encouraging to realize that the efforts to build that character in my life are paying off! When the unexpected happened and completely derailed yesterday’s plans, choosing to embrace life with joy made it an adventure rather than a very stressful experience!

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” – Henri Nouwen

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  • Joy says:

    LOVE this!!! As an optimist I can relate to this so easily….thanks for choosing Joy. It’s kind of a motto for me….love it!

  • Jennifer says:

    Goodness gracious! What a day. Choosing joy is always the right solution though!

  • Kim says:

    I need to chose joy more often! Thank you for the inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jen says:

    Yikes, what a day! Glad to hear everyone made it together safely. I’ll bet your kids remained calm because you did. A positive attitude is catchy! I used to be a Negative Nancy and then I realized I’d be driving myself into an early grave if I kept it up. Now, I allow myself a quick vent or pity party, then get on with business. If the situation is something I can take action on, I do, and if it’s not, I try to count my blessings while I tough it out. I feel like a different person now with that outlook.

    • “If the situation is something I can take action on, I do, and if itโ€™s not, I try to count my blessings while I tough it out.”

      GREAT advice! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mary H. says:

    Oh my! I would have come all undone upon arrival at the Nashville airport. Good for you for finding the joy in it all. Happy Mother’s Day! Hope you can enjoy your trip and have and not-so-adventure-filled return.

  • Katie says:

    I have really been enjoying the content pieces you’ve been writing lately!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve found that flying these days requires a giant amount of patience and a sense of humor. Good for you for packing yours!

    Happy Mother’s Day! I’ll be spending at least a portion of the day reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode with a cup of coffee.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m so glad you shared this! What a great reminder that it IS possible to choose joy during frustrating circumstances. And yay for your kids and husband doing the same:-).

  • Britnee says:

    This is great! I love it!

  • Guest says:

    Look at you being all spontaneous and relaxed! :-). I’m impressed you were brave enough to try to fly at all. At this point with small children, we pretty much drive anything under 12-14 hours.

  • SandyH says:

    Crystal you have hit in a key point of motherhood. I WISH I could go back in time and take this attitude more. I too have learned to do this, a bit late maybe, but better late than never. When life gives you lemons, right?

  • SK Bell says:

    Phew, what a day! I love to travel, but I hate to travel. =P It’s always good to read a reminder to choose joy!

  • Melissa says:

    Always a challenge flying with kids when there are delays. FYI, I live in Dallas with family in Wichita. From DFW, it’s really only about a 6 hour drive. Might be a boring drive, but it’s basically a straight shot up the road. In case you get “stuck” here again, you might consider just driving the whole thing.

  • Kelly A. says:

    Thank you for the great reminder that we should choose joy in times when it feels easier to complain. This is wonderful advice, just for day-to-day motherhood in general. Today, I will choose joy! — I love it and will not forget it, thank you. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Stacie says:


    I got a chance to meet Renee and Ruth at SCORRE…and they were discussing your new attempts at spontaneity! It sounds like you really had quite a time though, and I’m so glad you made it!

    I ended up stuck in Orlando for an extra day because of the weather in Dallas on Thursday, so I think I was learning to be flexible, too!

  • I have a PhD in psychology and have learned a lot about how important it is to live fully in the moment. Most of the research uses the term “mindfulness.”

    I think it’s especially important for parents to practice living in the moment because our children grow up so fast! One of my favorite ways to soak up the moment with my daughters is to take a minute to focus on my fives senses and what they’re experiencing.

    It might sound weird, but even taking a minute to do that on holidays, birthdays, and the regular cuddles and play times makes me feel like I’m fully experiencing their childhood.

    Sorry for writing so much, but wanted to share something that helps me so much. Thanks for spreading optimism! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am from Oklahoma City!! I grew up flying out of there! I live in Detroit now, much bigger airport. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes, you have to roll with the punches when traveling. My hubby worries enough for the both of us!!

  • Rhonda says:

    Glad you finally made it… and made it through regardless of all the obstacles.
    But on another note, i wanted to say how much i enjoy your website, not only for your couponing, savings and recipes but mainly for your “life stories”. Letting us in on your family journeys and things that happen day to day. I follow a few others and it seems after a while, they dont give the personal side – just straight up coupon links and savings and i personally like hearing about your day! I like reading about your trips, family days and ups and downs… Thanks for taking us along…

  • Charlene E says:

    This is a great thing to learn while you are still young, before your children hit the teenage years. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tammy L says:

    Sounds like a fun adventure! Glad it all ended well. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m sure your moms were delighted to see you all as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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