THAT Baby!

THAT Baby!

I was excited when I first heard the news.  Visalus was paying for me to fly to Los Angeles, CA for the National Director experience!  As I checked the calendar, I realized it was Columbus Day weekend which meant that Milton and Maximus could join me. I instantly became nervous as I realized that it would be Maximus’ first time on a plane.  And leave it to us to make that first trip across the country to California.

As a parent, you’re always nervous that you’ll have “that baby” on a flight.  You know, the one nobody wants to sit next to? Our flight out was early on a Friday morning on Southwest.  There was a one hour flight to Chicago, then a four hour flight to LA.  And, although I was nervous.  Either my breast was Maximus’ best friend or sleep was his best friend.  He was good, I was good and Milton was good.  At the end of the flight people complimented him for being a good baby.  Life was good.

Or so we thought.  Milton had to fly back early for work, so he and Maximus flew back a day early.  Alone. Solo. By themselves. Without me.  Milton just knew that everything would be easy going again.  I said a prayer for safe and silent travel.  Um, let’s just say it was an interesting experience!

Immediately upon getting on the quiet early morning plane, Maximus took the opportunity to yell at the top of his lungs.  You know that yell when a swarm of bees are attacking you?  Yeah, that yell!  And he doesn’t stop. Nothing Milton did could calm our son down.  The flight attendant even asked the gentleman next to Milton if he wanted to change seats. Yeah, it was that bad!

Right before takeoff, the flight attendant walked up to Milton and said there were a group of ladies a few aisles ahead of him.  They wanted to know if they could take Maximus back there and they would pass him around to try to calm him down.  Milton said he thought about it for all of ten seconds and then passed our dear precious son off to the flight attendant.  He heard Maximus cry a little longer, then he calmed down and then there was silence.

After takeoff, and once the unfasten seatbelt light came on, Milton walked to the front of the plane to check on Maximus.  By this time, he was asleep.  Milton said he volunteered to take him back, but the ladies shooed him away and said they’d keep him the rest of the flight.  And they did.

Milton was extremely thankful for their helpfulness and generosity.  So often, others in that situation would have just turned up their nose.  I’m thankful that Milton got their contact information.  The women actually worked together and live in Texas.  I called them a week later, introduced myself as Maximus’ mother and shared my appreciation for their help with both my husband and my son.  We followed up by sending them a gift from Edible Arrangements. Angels come into your life at various times and Michelle, Taylor and Corrie were our angels that day.  Bless them!

Naturally Threatening


Naturally Threatening

I must come across as someone to be feared.  Or maybe my massive size intimidates people.  Maybe, just maybe, my smile exudes something that makes people want to walk on the other side of the street. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I was recently viewed as a national threat.

And of all the places it happened – I was in Las Vegas. Yes, the home of crazy people who go to blend in with other crazy people.  Yes, the birthplace of drive-through marriages and unlimited booze and gambling.  Of all the people that look suspicious, little ole me (sober and pregnant) gets picked out.

Now, I didn’t get noticed until we were leaving Vegas. As a matter of fact, we were at the airport getting ready to fly home.  Although every line was packed, Milton and I were in the line that had the state of the art security machine.  Not the one that looks like a bridge and you just walk under it. No, this was the one that is a circular device where you put your feet on the mat, hold you hands high and then the machine moves around your body taking an image to make sure you aren’t concealing anything.

Minus the fact that they probably now knew the sex of our unborn child, I passed with flying colors and was shuffled on through.  Or so I thought!  As soon as I stepped out, the TSA agent standing there said, “M’am I love your natural hair, but I’m going to have to pat it down.”  Now, of course I’m sitting here wondering what in the world could I be hiding in my hair that wasn’t visible on the security image.  My natural hair is not that long and I doubt I could smuggle any drugs in it. So I asked the lady (who was of a non-white decent) why she had to do it.  In a very apologetic voice she said, “I’m so sorry, my sister has hair just like yours and I love her hairstyle.  But I’m required to do this for my job.”

I knew the charge came down from powers much higher than her so I let it go.  All she did was place her gloved hand on top of my hand and press down once.  And I was on my way.  As we arrived at our gate, I reflected on the situation. Was I offended by what happened?  Yes, to an extent. Do I think it’s discriminatory. Yes, to an extent.  Do I blame the woman that did it?  No.  I just find it interesting that the bump on my stomach is way larger than the puff on my head, but not one person stopped to pat down my stomach.  It’s sad that we still live in a culture where certain ethnicities have certain stereotypes attached.  I understand protecting our country….. but when is the last time an African-American woman was on the news for terroristic threats?!

Our First Thanksgiving (9 weeks/6 days)

Milton was able to fly in the afternoon of Thanksgiving for our first married Thanksgiving together.  We enjoyed eating lunch with just the two of us and later went around down visiting family and friends.  On Friday, his mother and brother drove down from IN and his mother brought some amazing food (including chocolate cake!).

Milton saw many of my videos for the first time and felt a little left out so we made a video together!

Just Trying to Get Home

PuntaFootJust Trying to Get Home

After a wonderful week of our honeymoon, we were ready to return back home. Checking out of the hotel was simple, and so was checking into our flight.  It was suggested we arrive 3 hours early.  We were scheduled to leave Punta Cana at 4:45pm.    Well 4:25pm arrives and we hadn’t started boarding.  Nobody gave us any updates.  Five minutes later we see our plane pull up and after deboarding, cleaning it out and loading us up we finally left. We only had a two hour layover in Charlotte so we (and many other people) were nervous about making our connection.

As we back up from the gate, the pilot comes over the intercom and says that there is something on the runway (maybe birds) so they must come out and look into it.  Uggggh!

We finally land in Charlotte at 9:00pm (for a 10:20 flight).  This seems like plenty of time to catch a flight – however we have to go through customs.  But wait! Right when we land, everyone stands up to start getting their things.  The pilot now tells us that due to international rules, when another plane is boarding we must be on lockdown on our plane so we must sit back down until that plane finishes boarding. Are you serious?!!
Once we leave the plane we walk into the customs line which has seven rows of people waiting!  By now, I’m assuming we will be spending the night in NC.  After an HOUR, we get to the front of the line.  The guy checking our passport asks us all type of random questions and we became more frustrated.  Then we had to get all of our checked in luggage and check it back in.  The lady asked which flight we were on and said that we probably wouldn’t make it but could try.  And here’s where the challenge begins –

As we went through security, Milton took all of our carryon luggage.  I took off my shoes and let them go through.  As soon as they came out (without taking time to put them back on) I started sprinting through the airport.  And I mean sprinting full speed.  We had to go all the way to E11, which wasn’t close.  I ran the wrong way on the moving sideway and people at every gate watched me pass by.  I soon realized I wasn’t in high school anymore and I became out of breath.   I would walk and breathe for one gate and then sprint again.
As I arrived at our gate, the door had already been closed. I ran up to the flight attendant and asked if my fiance (yes I told her fiance) and I could still get on the plane.  She looked at me and all that I went through to get there and said that we could get on board if Milton came quick.  I get nervous as I wondered if he went the wrong direction but finally see him with all of our things.  He said other people pointed him the direction I was running.

We walked on the plane looking like two sweaty people that just finished a marathon – but we made it. As we pulled off, the pilot told us that a panel is lose and someone must come out and look at it.  Not again!  We finally landed after midnight.  Unfortunately, our luggage didn’t make it until the next morning so our dirty undies stayed the night in NC.  AND, I learned a very valuable lesson – don’t run without shoes on the moving sidewalk. I could not walk on my feet for a couple of hours because I had red marks looking just like the metal.  But all is now good and we are safely home!

When It Rains

When It Rains

Jun09-2My birthday was May 26.  His birthday was June 5.  We thought a trip would be the perfect way to celebrate both occasions.  We found the perfect resort, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and made plans to be there June 2-9.  I was ready to eat what my heart desired.  I was ready for continually warm weather.  I was ready to relax and worry about absolutely nothing.

And then I looked at the news!  Toward the end of April the talk of the Swine Flu, H1N1 virus, sweeping through all of Mexico was all over the airwaves.  People were wearing face masks to go everywhere and many tourist locations in Mexico were closing.  I intently watched the news and researched the path of the disease.  As the calendar progressed to May and the flu spread to the rest of the world, I realized I was just as safe in Mexico as I would be anywhere else.  Toward the middle of May, the precautions of Mexican travel were lifted and Cabo called our name.

I woke up bright and early on June 2 to head to the airport for my 6:30am flight.  With little sleep the night before, I was ready to lean over in my window seat and get some shut eye during my flight.  (I feel asleep before the plane even completed boarding.)  I woke up 50 minutes later and looked out the window.  I noticed that we were still at the gate in Louisville.  What?!  The pilot talked of a problem with a part that they were trying to fix.  About 15 minutes later he said they couldn’t fix the problem and we would have to de-plane and take another one – that wasn’t going to leave until 8:45am!

Are you serious?  My 2 hour layover in Houston was now down to about 20 minutes (maximum). Although I think I have track skills, I doubted they would get me through the Houston airport before they closed the gates for my 10:00am flight.  I called my boyfriend (who was meeting me in Houston for us then to both fly to Cabo) the news.  I asked him to beg the people to hold the plane for me.

As we fly into TX I text him to say we landed.  He responds that they closed the door five minutes ago and that we’d have to fly out on the next flight at 6:00pm. When?  6:00pm?  I’m supposed to be laying on the beaches of Cabo by then!

While waiting to de-board the plane I check my work mail.  There is an email stating that my secretary is laid up in the hospital with congestive heart failure and fluid on her lungs.  You have got to be kidding me!  I let out a large sigh to anyone that will listen and just felt like the day could only become worse!

But, with faith, I had to realize that once it gets worse, it will always get better.  I was greeted in the terminal by my boyfriend and his simple kiss let me know everything would get better.  We spent the 8 hour layover driving around and visiting some places that could have good future implications.  We arrived safely in Mexico that night.  Although it was dark, when we checked in, we were the only ones there are were given great treatment and a choice of rooms that best fit our preferences.  And, the best thing was waking up the next morning with the sun rising and the sounds of the ocean right at our balcony which all symbolized the start of a bright, and new, wonderful day!

M.Y.  June 2009

Foil Blanket

‘Foil Blanket’

I experienced something I never wanted to experience……….. sleeping overnight in an airport!  I was at conference in Philadelphia and had a 9:30pm flight back in order to make it back for a luncheon in my mother’s name the next day at noon.  My flight kept kept getting delayed…..10:15pm, 10:45pm…..At 10:45pm it started storming….DEAR GOD, PLEASE DON’T LET ME MISS MY MOTHER’S LUNCHEON!!!  I asked the checkin folks if there was a flight in the morning I could take in case my flight was canceled.  Nope.  What about Indy or Cincy? None! By now I was nervous.  I pulled out my computer to see what came up.  I somehow found a flight to Indy that left out at 7:00am.  I booked it just in case. It’s now 12:30am and the monitor says my flight is delayed until 1:15am.  Delay means there is still a possibility.  I blink, look up again and in big red letters is says CANCELED!! Everyone hurries to reschedule their flight.  I’m 2nd in line and am told the first flight to SDF, Cincy or Indy is 9:30pm the next day.  What??  I half smiled, though, as I pulled out my online reservation for 1st thing in the morning.  (Phil, thanks for your help/advice from SDF)

The next plan of action was to find my spot to sleep.  I was given a small pillow and this aluminum foil type blanket.  I put my leg through the strap of my computer case, my arm through my purse strap, my hands held on to the carry-on bag and covered myself with the foil.  With each move, the cover crunched. As tired as I was, I didn’t sleep much.  My 7:00am flight was delayed due to different reasons and I arrived in Indy at 9:45am.  The Hertz rental car line had a long line of people and I watched each minute on the clock tick praying I’d make it back by noon. (I still had to stop by my house to change and get the awards) I became nervous and tears formed in my eyes.  I continued to pray to God to help me drive safely (but fast) back to Louisville…. and where there’s a will, there’s a way.  I walked into my mother’s luncheon at 12:10pm.  Better late than never. It was a wonderful turnout and a great luncheon.

There were a million and one reasons why I shouldn’t have made it to the luncheon.   I will admit that I did worry some, but I was persistent with a plan.    My faith definitely pulled me through.  Someone was definitely watching over me that day.

M.Y.  July 2007