We celebrated Grammy's birthday, drove to FL for Spring break, visited Mack, Cheryl and Scott, went to Disneyworld, made it home just in time for March Madness, had a broken dryer (which meant trips to my mom and grandma's houses to use their dryer), got it fixed, took St. Patty's days pics of the kids, had a photo shoot, taught YW, and tried to get back in the regular groove a bit this week.
One of the reasons I have not blogged or really even looked at any of my pictures from our fun trip though is because my laptop was lost on the way to FL. It has since been miraculously recovered (although it is not yet in my possession) but for 1 1/2 weeks I thought the computer and everything on it that hadn't been backed up yet was gone forever. Here is the long story...
After celebrating my Grandma's birthday on Friday the 9th, we headed home to finish packing up for our FL trip. We decided to go ahead and just leave that night instead of waking up early and driving all day on Saturday. So, we got the kids ready for bed and settled in watching a movie while we packed and then loaded up the car. We wanted to sleep on the way so I was trying to keep as much as possible out of the car. We have a hitch we stick on the back of the expedition on these big trips and Mike is an expert at packing it and tying it down (remember this picture from our big CA trip over the summer?) so when he double checked with me to be sure I didn't want my laptop IN the car I told him no. Stupid. Talking later we both had the thought that it was silly to put a laptop on the back, but didn't do anything about it. It was raining a bit when we left, so he put our stuff in big garbage bags, openings towards the center and then our stroller was tied on the top. I was worried about the laptop being smashed and told him to be sure he knew where it was and we were off.
The kids slept wonderfully, I got some sleep and then I took over the driving in the early morning hours and Mike got some sleep. We stopped for lunch and gas in Tallahassee and then continued on towards St. Augustine where we were spending our first couple days with Mack and Cheryl. The kids watched movies, colored and played games. All was going perfectly. We arrived at the hotel in the early evening planning to get unloaded, get some dinner and get everyone bathed and in bed on time. I unpacked the first garbage bag, then the 2nd and then the last...and NO laptop. I told Mike and asked if he was sure he had put it in. He was 100% sure but I still asked my parents to go check in our garage to be sure it didn't get set somewhere during the organizing and forgotten. Nope.
We went back over the journey trying to figure out what could have happened. Did someone take it when we stopped for lunch? We were pretty sure you couldn't tell it was in there and even if there was a boxy shape sticking out, it was all tied tightly under the stroller and would have been hard to get out without obviously ripping the bag. Could it have fallen out? It didn't seem possible either, but obviously something had happened.
I was in a bit of shock. I was mostly upset because I took senior pictures of my 3 graduating laurels and had spent A LOT of time editing them and they were all on the laptop. I had even had the thought before we left that I should put their pictures on our desktop in case the laptop broke on the trip, but of course got busy with other things and didn't do it. 4 months of our family pictures were saved on the laptop, but they were also uploaded to flickr so I knew they weren't lost...just that it would take hours to go through and save each one again. I was trying not to be grumpy about it and focus on our fun trip ahead. Later that night though it all sunk in and I just started crying. We all know how precious our time is and to have lost all those hours of work and have to do it all over again was devastating. I texted my girls that we needed to redo the shoot and tried to focus on the positive...like the fact they like to get their pictures taken and weren't paying clients :-).
I didn't sleep well that night despite being exhausted but I did come up with ways to shorten my editing time and make a list of the few days of family pictures that I hadn't edited and saved yet that were lost so I could at least write about them. I started to feel a bit better about it all and figured I'd learned my lesson about immediately backing things up and in the end didn't lose nearly as much as I could have.
We had SUCH a blast in FL and then when we got home I was so busy catching up on laundry and watching basketball that I didn't have time to worry about the computer. We started looking for deals on a new laptop and I immediately bought a new card reader and an external hard drive.
And then a miracle happened!
Tuesday, the 20th, I had picked Addie up from school, given her and Preston a snack to eat outside and then came upstairs to check my email really quick. In my inbox was an email with the title "lost computer". Hmmm, I thought. Then I started reading:
I am the Systems Administrator for Superior Construction in Jacksonville FL. One of our surveyors, Bruce , found the laptop on the side Interstate 10 about a week ago. He brought it to me to help discover the owner which I suspect is you. If you are the rightful owner, please contact me by email or telephone.
Paul"My mouth literally FELL open and a huge grin spread across my face. WHAT?!?! Someone found it and it works and they didn't keep it and they spent days figuring out it was mine so they could contact me?!?! I mean seriously, what are the chances?!
We still have no idea how in the world it fell off the back of the car or how it ended up safely on the side of the road without being first run over by another car.
I am just so thankful that these two men were so nice and honest and helpful! Mack and Cheryl are going to pick it up and mail it to me...I can't wait to have it back :-)!
(and now I'm moving on to pictures...lost of posts coming soon!)