Behind the Scenes: We’re Not Just Picking Flowers Here…


When I first look at this picture, I think,

Mel, couldn’t you have at least gotten this from another angle? Really? It’s your precious girlie picking a flower!

And then I answer myself with a loud, resounding,Β NO!

Because this is not really a story about picking flowers at all…but I hope you enjoy my drama storytelling, anyway. πŸ˜‰

On Sunday afternoon we left town around 12:45 p.m. and headed to Madison, Wisconsin, for Tobin’s uncle’s birthday party.

It’s a two hour drive.

ETA with a potty break thrown in there: 3:00 p.m.

Right. On. Time.

But, no. Oh, no.

Our first mistake was getting on I-90 which was kinda like downtown Chicago after a Bulls game.

Times about a hundred gazillion.

Traffic was creeping…and I do mean creeeeeeeeeeeping.

We sat in it for a good fifteen minutes before we were able to inch our way toward the first exit we saw.

We’re poring over the GPS, trying to find an alternate route, already running super late, and have just turned onto Route 72 when we hear that little voice from the backseat.

I need to go potty!

It’s our first road trip with her being potty trained. {OF COURSE she needs to go potty…it’s Murphy’s Law at its finest and most inconvenient. ;)}

We stop at the first gas station we see and We. Make. It.


But we’re Tobin and Mel and Maelie…the fun never stops with just a potty break! πŸ˜‰

She spots a field of flowers as we’re walking back to the van. Down the hill from where we’re parked.

I’m wearing heels. (Of course…when am I not? But still.)


Knowing that the easiest thing to do in this situation is to Just. Let. Her. Pick. The. Flower…I kick off my heels and we run down the hill to find the very best one.

Realizing at this very moment that this is potentially a perfect picture for my Tuesday post, I whip out my iPhone and snap a picture as fast as I can before we run back up the hill to the van.

And, yes, I remembered to go back for my shoes. πŸ˜‰

Soon we’re off again, down or up or whichever way we were going on Route 72. (I’m thinking I need to write a song here…)

The drive is going smoothly for about six minutes, which is a record for us on this trip, friends.

Things. Are. Most. Definitely. Looking. Up.

And then we see? The brake lights.

There’s a train. It’s. Not. Moving. At. All.

People are turning around, and I just think, Can’t you wait a few measly minutes for a train?

And then Tobin points out that people on the other side have gotten OUT of their cars and are walking around. Clearly, this train is not moving anytime soon.

We sit for a few minutes, thinking that maybe our presence will bring some good luck and things will get moving again. Not a chance. Like the multitudes, we backtrack and find another route. (At this point, the GPS tells us we’re going to be about 30 minutes late.)

Finally on our way (again) we head toward Rockford. We are Just. About. There. when we pass over I-90, which I think may have a new name in my mind now. (It does not belong here.)

Traffic is moving.

We’re encouraged that perhaps we can hop back on the freeway and make up a few minutes.

Our next mistake: We get back on the freeway.

Because we’re optimistic like that.Β πŸ˜‰

No sooner had we actually entered the highway when we saw brake lights and it backed up.

We crawled.


Actually, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten out of the car and, literally, crawled faster.


At this point, I think the phrase, And WHY are we doing this?, may or may not have escaped my lips.

But by now, I just need to focus on something else, so I pull out my phone and tap out a text message to a friend. It’s all, Hope you’re having a good day, we’re stuck in traffic, haha, but she knows me well enough to know that I’m just not telling her exactly how frustrated I am.

It takes up a minute of our forever-into-eternity, long trip, and then I look up.

Still traffic.

Twenty more minutes before we hit Rockford, which is normally a 40 minute drive for us. Sunday? It took us

An. Hour. And. 40. Minutes.

Good grief, have we done something wrong?! Don’t answer that.

Thankfully the rest of the trip was uneventful except for one more little stop right before we arrived at our destination just a few minutes before 4 p.m.

Happy party, fun to catch up with people we hadn’t seen in a long time, there was cake, all is good.

Except there’s a drive home, ya know?

We planned it and got off the freeway Completely. Before. We. Even. Arrived. In. Illinois.

Take THAT, I-90.


Home in two hours and a few extra minutes. Praise Jesus.

Except I have to go through Rockford next week, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive it.

Lots of prayer?

More detours?

Please. Send. Chocolate.


Happy Tuesday, sweet friends! On Tuesdays I link up with my sweet friend, Crystal, at her space for Behind the Scenes.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

I hope you’ll take some time to hop over and read about the real and messy of life that happens behind the photos we take.