By: Emily Sitdikova (A VERY BRAVE YOUNG MOTHER)

image2The kids and I were so fortunate to be able to head up to my home state of Minnesota for some time in January to spend time with all our extended family. There are a couple things with this trip that question my sanity, 1) going to Minnesota in the middle of winter, and 2) traveling with two very small children 1,400 miles alone. I like to call it a business trip since I’m a stay home mom and I got to take my little subordinates with me.

Two things that really stood out this trip: with -25 wind chill, I realize why I love Albuquerque so much AND I finally heard the Midwest accent people were always accusing me of. I guess it took about 6 years of living away to wear off. Sort of like how you can’t ‘smell’ your own house, but all your friend’s homes have a distinct smell (combination of perfumes, detergents, cooking styles, and scentsy preferences)! After coming home from two straight weeks away, I could definitely smell our house as I entered…I’d like to simply call it – bachelor pad.

The flight up north was…efficient – two kids, one suitcase, one huge carry on ‘purse’, two carseats and one little blue elephant backpack with big flappy ears (filled with only snacks and trains:/) in tow! We had a mid-day flight with one quick layover, landing us at my dad’s kitchen table for supper that evening. It was the flight back home I was haunting the back of my mind for 14 days.

The trip was great and we got to enjoy all that Minnesota winters have to offer: fresh snow, cold, frosted trees, bundling up in several layers, cold and defrosting your car for 47 minutes on a daily basis. Liam woke on travel day extremely crabby, probably from too much sugar, too much attention and not enough sleep during our stay, and Olivia started breaking in her new two top teeth which of course comes with lots of wonderful side effects-ahem, diarrhea and diaper rash. In other words, it was starting out to be a great day for flying.

Halfway to the airport, I get a text that our flight is delayed and we will miss our connection. Then we proceed to find out we are rebooked, but on a MUCH later flight, which meant a 4 hour layover. With two kids. Alone. I pushed ahead, anxiety ridden, imagining the worst possible outcomes of the day.

I frequently get anxious instead of just letting God handle it all. One of my favorite songs as a child was ‘I cast all my cares upon you’, which I still frequently sing in my current season of life. Needless to say, we boarded and ALL CRASHED (no pun intended) IMMEDIATELY! It’s nearly impossible to get everyone to sleep simultaneously and us three musketeers slept the whole way home. With our much later arrival time, our dad could pick us up after work instead of arranging another driver. GOD IS GOOD and will work all things for good regardless of how many hours we waste worrying. Amen for 2016’s adventures and what he has planned for our little family.