a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: Papa and Nana (Page 1 of 2)

Papa and Nana Go Home

There was a moment about half-way home on our train ride this morning when Avery said, “Where’s Papa and Nana?” Clearly she didn’t understand what we were doing a few hours earlier when we said goodbye to them in Prague. But that’s just what we did. We said goodbye.

Goodbyes are never easy. We left pretty early today and we’re still suffering from minimal sleep with a newborn, so that’s probably why I wasn’t as emotional as I can be at times when we say goodbye (I honestly felt like I was more in survival mode). But now as I write it’s getting to me. Papa and Nana are special people and we’re so thankful they were able to with us these past few weeks. It really seems like it flew by in a flash, but that’s to be expected with all that has gone on with Karis’ birth and us traveling a little bit with them. Just a few days ago when we were with them and our friends Zach and Kara, Zach said to me, “Isn’t it cool to have family here?”

Papa and Nana Left (6/13/15)

As another missionary who lives here in Czech, Zach understands the flood of familiar that washes over you when someone you know, and know well, visits you here. It’s really cool. Finally you can show them your house which they have only seen through the periscope lens of video chat. Then you can show them your town and where your kids go to school and what you do to buy food. You can laugh as they too experience what it’s like to live in another culture, not know the language, and fumble your way around just to buy a few things at the store. Even with all the language apps on our phones and modern advances, it’s still hard. And even more than all of that, you get the opportunity to have those late night chats and catch up on life and talk about what God is teaching you and share about life here. For a moment you feel like they might understand better the things you say because they can see it happen and are experiencing it too. You know when they leave that you can talk differently with them because they actually have some point of reference for what you’re talking about and that’s just somewhat comforting.

If all has gone as planned, Papa and Nana are somewhere over the Atlantic en route to their final destination on the West Coast. And as we walked home today from the train station as a family I said something to Bethany to the effect of, “And then there were five.” It’s just us now. For the first time since Karis was born we’re back on our own. Bethany said to me, “We can do this.” We both laughed. What she means is, “We can handle this. We can be a family of five. We’ll make it.” Yes. By God’s grace, we’ll figure out how to function as a family with our newest daughter. We’ll manage to get through those sleepless nights, still get up to take Titus to school, make time for language learning, and do all that God has called us to do. But the Lord in his good grace gave us Papa and Nana to get us jump started in that process and we couldn’t be more thankful. Thank you, Papa and Nana, for your kindness to us, for sacrificing your time and energy for our family, and for loving us so well. We love you.

Nana’s Birthday

Today is Nana’s birthday! We celebrated with her in Krakow again today and it was a blast. The day started around 10:00, not because people weren’t awake, but because Bethany and I just had a bit of a rough night with Karis. Karis is doing awesome, but she just decided she wanted to be awake from about 3am on. Not too unexpected for a six day old, so no complaints on our end. But when we did make it out of our rented apartment the first thing on the agenda was a carriage ride through Krakow with the whole family! Below is a photo that Nana took of our new family of five while we were riding the carriage through the Old Town. It’s one the second photo ever taken of the five of us!

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

As you may have guessed, bringing a six day old on a mini vacation has it’s challenges–the main one being that she has to eat often. This brings challenges to trying to plan the day, so we mostly let Nana and Papa explore on their own today and enjoy the parts of the city that they wanted to see. But that wasn’t before our good man, Rick Steves, led us to a great pizza place via his tour book on Krakow. We had his book out while we grabbed fruit smoothies before lunch and found a place called “Cyklop” which serves incredible, gourmet pizza. The pizzas were being made literally in an oven next to our table and it was a great experience.

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

After the kids took naps, I told them we could go to the castle in town. Avery said, “Daddy, can we go to the castle where the princesses live?” to which Titus added quickly, “And the kings!” These kids have seen more castles in a few short years than I’ve seen in my life! As were leaving for the castle (just me, Titus, and Avery–Bethany stayed back to rest with Karis), Papa and Nana were arriving from their excursion and decided to join us. Instead of making the big walk with the kids to the castle, Papa saw a little golf cart service that would drive us up there so we did that. It saved buckets of time and definitely helped our tired legs. We made it to the castle in time to walk around, but were just a little late for tour tickets. Either way it was fun and here’s a few photos.

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

We wanted to do something special for Nana, so on our way back from the castle Bethany gave me instructions to pick up some cupcakes from a little shop we had visited before to celebrate Nana’s birthday. I was hoping to keep it a secret, but because Nana and Papa joined us I let them in on it and allowed Nana to pick a few for herself. We got a dozen cupcakes and took them back to the apartment where we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. It was a great way to end our time in Krakow before packing up and heading home. Here’s just a sampling of some of the flavors we got (in the photo below).

Nana's Birthday (6/7/15)

Since I struggled to get us to Krakow in a timely manner yesterday (e.g. we took the “scenic route”…aka: we took a LONG route), I made sure I thoroughly checked the map before leaving today. Thankfully, the route I chose was the right one and we got home in no time tonight, just around 10pm. We had a bit of a pause at the border because the Czech police were doing mandatory checks, but they checked my passport and documents and let us go. The kids had fallen asleep by the time we got home, so Bethany, Nana, Papa, and I enjoyed another cupcake together! It was a lot of fun celebrating this weekend and letting Papa and Nana see a little more of Europe since they had flown so far. We have another week with them before they head back to the States and we’ve got lots more to see even still!

But as the clock strikes midnight, I think I’ll sign off. We’re heading tomorrow to a government office to start paperwork for Karis’ birth certificate, so please be praying for that. Until then, good night!

Krakow With Family

We took a five day old on a road trip to Krakow, Poland. I know…we’re crazy.

Krakow With Family (6/6/15)

Tomorrow (Sunday) is Nana’s birthday and I guess we were having one of those “when in Europe” moments and decided kind of last minute to get everyone in the car, rent a small apartment in the Old Town and head to Krakow. It was kind of a dream last week but we just didn’t know how Bethany would be feeling and if we could make it work with a newborn. But that’s in the past now because I’m sitting here in Krakow and we’ve made quite the trip today.

Krakow is only about two hours from where we live so it’s completely in driving distance. To my knowledge there aren’t any good trains, so driving makes sense. At least it makes sense until you take the “scenic route” like we did today and added about 45 minutes to our driving time. I would rather not discuss how that happened because 1) I don’t know how it happened and 2) it’s probably still a sore subject in my heart. We did finally make it here and after getting everyone settled in to our little apartment we hit the Old Town!

It was really fun showing Nana and Papa around Krakow and to get to experience it again ourselves. This is my second time here and Bethany’s third, so we’re definitely not pros but it’s a lot easier after you’ve done it once. Europe is just overwhelming in some sense. Everywhere you look it’s old, incredible, and full of history. Today it was really warm here, especially in the town square where you the heat just kind of sat in the middle and baked us, but we made it work by finding shade and eventually grabbing dinner and dessert.

A photo posted by Shay Thomason (@shaycam) on

We left Nana and Papa after dessert and they went for a carriage ride through Krakow. Our new family of five made our way back to the apartment which was surprisingly cool thanks to the rare air conditioning units this one has. Avery and Karis did alright considering that Karis was just born on Monday! Karis slept a lot and we tried to find places to rest as we walked around and enjoy the town. Tonight I ran to the grocery store to stock up on water and juice as we just felt a little dehydrated with all the heat. We should be set for day two tomorrow and we’re excited to see what else this beautiful city has to offer.

Here’s a couple more photos from this afternoon.

Krakow With Family (6/6/15)

Krakow With Family (6/6/15)

Krakow With Family (6/6/15)

Krakow With Family (6/6/15)

Storming the Castle

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

I was up and out the door early this morning to get our car to the mechanic. Again our friend Tadek met me and drove with me to the mechanic’s shop so he could make sure everything was taken care of and that I would be able to get a ride home. It was a gamble leaving our car for the day with Bethany so clue to having the baby, so I had a “back pocket” plan of using a friend’s car should we need it. Thankfully we didn’t to go to plan B as we’re still waiting for our little girl’s arrival. I got the car back late this afternoon and it’s all fixed. This week alone we’ve put on new tires, had an oil change, brakes changed, and even some joints repaired along with a realignment. Driving the car today felt like a new experience and I’m excited to have that stuff all done and taken care of.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Before lunch Papa and I took the kids to the park while Nana and Bethany worked on the house. They are trying to get our bedroom ready for the arrival of the baby which involved some furniture being moved and getting things organized so we have a spot for the bassinet and changing table. It’s looking good! Back at the park we had the place to ourselves and I think it was mostly because it was a little cooler out this morning. Above is a photo of Papa and Titus on the little spring seat thing that goes back and forth.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Avery had begun working in the sand so the boys joined her and thus began construction on a super sand castle. I appreciate Papa’s willingness to literally get his hands dirty with the kids and just sit in the sand and play with them. As the castle grew in size they began adding flags to the top of the towers (shown below).

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

While walking back home for lunch we stopped off at a little memorial thing that I’m pretty sure was erected by the Germans at some point. Here’s Titus and Avery climbing on it and claiming it as their own.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

One of the things we’ve been wanting to do since Papa and Nana arrive is walk over to the castle ruins that are literally down the street from our place. If you’re an avid reader of the blog, you’ve seen this place before but each time we go it’s more amazing than the last. The sun broke through just as we were walking there today and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Here’s a few photos with captions beneath each one.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

This is the river the separates Czech and Poland.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Just across the river in Poland.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Just another shot of the city that sits right next to the castle ruins.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

The view from the top of the tower. It cost $1.50 for us to walk to the top. I carried Avery up all the stairs while Titus and Papa walked it. The views are incredible up there and everything just looked so peaceful. Everything to the left of the river is Poland and to the right is Czech. Our city is a little like Kansas City in the States as it sits across two countries. Pretty wild! Click the photo for a much larger view.

It was just a great time together and we’re continuing to enjoy our time as a family and having Papa and Nana in town. Until tomorrow, good night!

Papa and Nana Go To Poland

I don’t believe the sun has come out a single time since Papa and Nana arrived, but we’re doing our best to make the most of this rainy weather. Tonight we decided to make our way across the border for a little dinner out. Technically, we could’ve walked but with all the rain we decided to drive and stay dry. We took everyone to the place that Bethany have been to just a few times, a nice little restaurant on the town square in Cieszyn (photo of the outside below).

Dinner in Poland (5/26/15)

For Papa and Nana, this was really their first European meal experience and they loved it! We all ordered something different and just enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the rain coming down outside. Titus and Avery did pretty well while we all talked and just spent the evening together as a family. There’s something very nice about restaurants here that is not common in Southern California, mainly the calm and quiet. You don’t find yourself yelling over the table to have a conversation or feeling rushed by a waiter trying to get you out the door. I think Papa and Nana were very impressed with the meal and loved all the new flavors. We even had time (and room in our bellies!) for dessert which included Tiramisu, ice cream with hot raspberry sauce, and hot apple tart. Not a bad way to enjoy a meal out with Papa and Nana!

Dinner in Poland (5/26/15)

After dinner the kids wanted to run around the fountain in the town square and despite the rain we decided to let them. They had their rain boots on, so “jumping in muddy puddles” was first on the priority list. Papa and Nana had their phones out and were capturing personal photos and video and the kids were as happy as clams. I was very content just watching them play with my hood on and rain falling all around. I think for all of us it was a really great evening together as we wait for the arrival of baby #3.

Dinner in Poland (5/26/15)

Bethany is still feeling those early contraction pains, but nothing has been too intense yet. Our Czech friend Romi is coming over tomorrow afternoon to help finish up some final paperwork that we need for the hospital so that will be a huge help and load off of us. I’m really hoping we’ll have everything in place before Bethany goes in to labor because it’s already complicated enough just having a baby in a foreign country. Continue to pray for us if you think about it!

I continued to battle sinus headaches today and this afternoon it got really bad. I tried to lay down, but just couldn’t fall asleep as my head was pounding. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but this is about as bad as it’s been since I first started experiencing sinus problems back in college. I’m experiencing a little relief this evening, but am hoping that this pain will subside soon. I can handle headaches for a short time, but when they go on for hours it’s really hard on me. Again, if you think of us, pray for me and this continued health struggle.

I don’t want to end on that low note because today was a pretty fun day for all of us. We’re excited to have family here and even more excited about meeting this new addition to our family!

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