Behind the scenes…Not only did Brandon face many challenges in pulling off proposing to Michael in DC without her discovering his surprise, but we also had many potential problems that could arise that would throw a kink in the plans. Brandon had asked us if we could be in DC in a hidden spot, along with his parents, to help celebrate the event. We were thrilled to be included, but the peak week for cherry blossom blooms also fell near Alyssa’s due date, which would merit an immediate and excited departure to Florida. We had so much going on all in the same week: Alyssa’s due date in Florida, a baby shower for Erin (for baby Carson) in Knoxville, and Michael’s surprise engagement in DC. We also had the great dilemma of keeping our travels to DC a secret from the other kids, who could easily let the cat out of the bag.
I began praying for God to work out all the details and all in His perfect timing. Erin’s baby shower was scheduled for Saturday morning on April 11, 2015. We were going to fly to DC after church on Sunday, April 12, and Brandon planned on proposing to Michael in DC on Monday, April 13. We still hadn’t figured out what to tell the kids about where we were going on Sunday and why, without spoiling the surprise. I also was still worried that Alyssa might go into labor, and I really wanted to be nearby. I told Gil Friday night that it’d probably be impossible, but would be so convenient if Alyssa went into labor on Saturday sometime after Erin’s shower, then we could fly to Orlando on Saturday and from Orlando to DC on Sunday (The kids would assume we were still in Florida, and we could be in all 3 places at each important event). I began praying for that solution, but did not think it likely.
Kelsey Jones helped host a beautiful and sentimental baby shower and brunch for Erin from 10am-12. I had placed my phone off to the side in order to help set up and serve food, but as we were walking outside to leave the shower, one of the kids brought my phone and said, “Mom, you’ve missed some calls!” What perfect timing: Alyssa was in labor!! We checked Allegiant Airline to see if we could book a flight, because their flights to Orlando are so cheap. The only draw back is that they only fly on certain days and only at one set time on those days. Miraculously, there was one Saturday flight and it was in the evening – just enough time to get home, pack, and get to the airport! What a big God we serve!
We were able to drop in that night to take a peak at our beautiful new grandbaby Allie Jane (future post to come with sweet pics of Allie Jane’s first few days). We were able to do some shopping and buy a special dinner for Alyssa and John the next day, before flying out to DC. (Two great things about Orlando: 1. cheap flights to almost any location 2. the kids would assume we were staying there, which would keep Brandon’s secret safe!)
It couldn’t have been a more perfect plan, except for one small detail…technology!! For some reason Trace, who was sitting in the living room back at the house with all of the kids, decided to look at his “Find my friends” phone app. With a puzzled look, he asked out loud, “What is Dad doing at the Reagan Airport in DC?” Next Lawson checked his phone, then our phones started ringing off the hook with a million questions and assumptions. We could hear the kids roaring with laughter in the background, so proud they had deduced the plan! Lawson began announcing they were going to load up and drive to DC to crash the party! We knew that’d be a likely prank they would love to pull off for the hilarious memories and just so they could brag about their detective skills. Needless to say, this sent us into a panic wondering if Brandon’s well thought out details were going to be unfolded to Michael prematurely! Fortunately, our threats were enough to deter our mischievous little bunch into behaving, even though they all felt like they had the upper hand for being so clever! (To be continued…)