First it was the start of winter vacation. Then Christmas Eve and Christmas passed, as had Henry Cleary's eighth birthday.
But finally -- after 10 days away from home, with his mother and the rest of their family unaware of where they were most of that time -- Henry and his older brother, Ben, should soon be heading back to Georgia.
The two boys were found Saturday evening in Austin, Texas -- about 950 miles west of their hometown of Roswell, an Atlanta suburb -- Austin Police Lt. James Nisula told CNN.
The brothers are safe. And the man who is suspected of taking them, their father Daniel Cleary, is in police custody, according to Nisula.
He will be charged with interstate interference with custody, a felony, and extradited back to Georgia, according to Roswell Police Lt. James H. McGee.
"I'm ecstatic, I'm in shock," Theresa Nash, soon after hearing the news and getting off the phone with her boys.
Her joy was a far cry from what she was feeling a few hours earlier.
Nash said she didn't know why her estranged husband did not bring the boys home as planned Wednesday from a trip to Tennessee that began December 19. She told CNN affiliate WSB-TV that she had not heard from Daniel Cleary since December 22.
In an emotional plea on CNN Saturday, she asked for the boys to be brought home safely.
"He's trying to take care of them," she said of her estranged husband. "But I think it's a scary situation for everybody at this point."
Police first issued an Amber Alert for the suspect and his two sons on Thursday, eight days after they were last seen in Georgia.
"Suspect & children are believed to be traveling in a 2002 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee ... traveling on west side of Nashville, TN, on Interstate 40," the alert stated.
The next day, authorities released pictures of the father and his two boys taken from surveillance cameras December 23 and December 24 at a Walmart in Jackson, Tennessee.
Still, they didn't know exactly where they were.
That changed Saturday, soon after Theresa Nash went on CNN, clutching Ben's beloved teddy bear and Henry's stuffed hippo as she sat beside a picture of the two boys.
"This vacation has been overdue. It's time to come home, and we welcome you home ... safely," she said, addressing Daniel Cleary.
"Your whole family is behind this, as is my whole family. We are working together, and we really want you to come home."
A person at the Crossland Austin West hotel in Texas had been watching CNN, recognized the Cleary brothers and called 911, said Austin police Lt. Wuthipong Tantaksinanukij.
After getting that tip around 5:11 p.m. CT, officers went to the hotel and, as "they started setting up, saw the suspect coming out of one of the rooms with the two children," Tantaksinanukij said.
"He was taken into custody without further incident," said the police spokesman, noting Daniel Cleary is now at the Williamson County Jail.