Family Vacation and Being Madly in Love


Family vacation.

It's the one week each summer I look forward to most and dread with every fiber of my being. It's terrible and wonderful all at the same time.

Well, the traveling part is pretty much just terrible. Kids just require so much stuff! And most of it they are actually using up until we walk out the door, so packing ahead of time never really works out well for me. Of course, if I try to simplify and only take what they really need then I end up at Wal-Mart 17 times getting all those things we "forgot". I just can't win. 

The long hours in the car aren't all that pleasant either. Rooster usually does pretty well. He loves to watch movies and will just doze off if he's tired. Little Bear is also a pretty good traveler except that he likes to eat every 2.5-3 hours which is not at all as convenient as it sounds. However, Cupcake is not so easy. She's going through this screaming phase right now. Sometimes it's because she's tired or frustrated, but sometimes it's just because she can and she knows that her mom is all the way in the front seat and can't make her stop. It's cute, really. 

But if we can ever just get where we are going (Lord help us!), then vacations turns into the highlight of my summer. I enjoy having my whole family together, and my kids like it even more. Rooster and Cupcake are old enough to love and appreciate their Grammy and Papa. This year we stayed in a rented vacation home near Branson. It was great to be able to cook our own meals and give the kids room to play and have fun. We had plenty of room to spread out at night (as opposed to being in one hotel room!), and we were there long enough the kids slept relatively well in their new environment. Then each night after the kids went to bed, the adults gathered together to eat sugary snacks and play cards. My mom and dad will always be my parents, but as we've grown up (and become parents ourselves) it's fun to get to be friends with them too. We enjoy each others company, good-natured teasing, and a lot of laughing! 

But my favorite part of our week long getaway was spending one afternoon walking around downtown Branson with my husband.

This is only the second time we've been completely kid free in the last three months, and it was awesome.

It was nice to be able to breathe and just be ourselves. I've noticed over the last few months that it's easy to feel smothered by my kids. It's kind of like being stuck in a mini-van piled high with luggage, sippy cups, and an endless stream of the Magic School Bus for 10 hours. We're always together, and let's face it, sometimes I get tired of the Magic School Bus. Every now and then I just want to leave the diapers at home and be unencumbered for a few hours.

I know these little years are just for a short time. Soon my kids will be running off without me (well sometimes they run off without me now, but I usually manage to catch them!). I never want to wish these years away. I want to savor them, enjoying all the smothering, slobbery, closeness that comes with being a mom to babies and toddlers.

But I do look forward to these special days when I can just spend time hanging out with my best friend. So much has changed in our lives these past 5 years, but somewhere underneath all the layers of parenthood, career, and responsibility, we're still just those young kids madly in love with one another!

Well...maybe not the young kids part, but definitely still madly in love. 

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