Yesterday, I drove Max and Huck up to Carthage, Missouri so that we could take my twelve-year-old brother David hostage for the week. Carthage is basically halfway between here and Kansas City and when we meet, we usually meet at the gas station. I know, we are pretty sophisticated people. But this time? We met at the Precious Moments Chapel.
I am lazy and don't feel like plugging in my phone to grab the photographs off of it, but the Precious Moments Chapel is the most obscure place in Missouri (and, y'all, that says a lot). It is exactly what it sounds like: a chapel decorated with Precious Moments paintings and stained glass and even angel sculptures and, from the very first time Andrew and I drove past the exit, I have said I was going to take him there because it would be his favorite place on Earth. I've never made good on that promise but, yesterday, when we beat my mom to Carthage by a good half an hour, I loaded Huck up in the stroller and then took Max on his very own tour of the Precious Moments grounds. And by "tour", I mean that we threw lots of pennies in the fountains and looked at all the stained glass windows and posed for pictures by the statues that were taller than him. He loved it and as he ran in a pathway flanked by Precious Moments angels holding trumpets, he squealed "I am so excited!!" and, even though we aren't the target market Precious Moments was going for (read: a mom plus babies trio who does not collect figurines and never will but will utilize any garden available to play in), I have to say that we had an awesome time, even though my sister swears the place smells like mothballs (and it does- it totally does).
Also, as mothers do, mine showed up right as I was letting Max splash his hands in a fountain which definitely made me mom of the year AND daughter of the year because I got Max's hands out of the fountain lickety-split when I caught eye of my sister and then Maxwell went running down the path with his arms wide open to tackle David in a bear hug. Which, let's be honest, was basically the sweetest moment in the history of nephew-uncle moments.
And then we went to lunch at the best little diner down the road and Andrew cried a little bit at his desk in Fayetteville because he didn't get to go.
Totally worth the two hour drive there and also totally worth the two hour drive back (screams included).