Monday, July 1, 2013

Part Of The Glue That Holds Our Family Together

We just got back from a long weekend away at family camp...it was a mini family vacation. A tradition that we do each year. I'm not sure the words "family" and "vacation" should go together when toddlers are in tow. 

Honestly, I came home exhausted.

I tried to pack only the necessities, we're talking the bare minimal. I didn't have to cook or clean for 3 whole days. That sounds like heaven on earth right there!

but then...

The first meal in the dining hall our two year old screamed for 20 minutes and refused to eat his dinner because mommy wasn't letting him eat the cookie first. Maybe I should have re-thought that one. Or at least I was rethinking my strategy hours later when I had nothing to feed him except popcorn. That will show him.

His favorite thing to play on was the tall 8 foot high metal slide that all of the BIG kids played on...all at the same time kind of played on. The kids that threw sand and rocks up the slide as kids came down kind of played on. I was just waiting for that little guy to come tumbling off of the side or decide to jump off of the side like the ten year old that had just gone before him.

No injuries to report.


I wanted so badly to sit on the sandy shore and relax while peacefully observing my children play and laugh in the lake while two lifeguards were just feet away. No such luck here, I'm the parent with the fearless two year old who has no swimming skills and is extremely top heavy with that life vest on. At one point the water gun that he snatched from another kid was more important than keeping his head above the water. Good thing I was standing five feet away totally frustrated because all I wanted to do was sit and read a book while glancing up...and I don't even like reading.

I wish that I could enjoy moments like this more. 

Enjoy by embracing the chaos and not just being crazy tired wondering why we didn't just all stay home.

Sometimes the thought of sitting home and doing nothing sounds more peaceful than packing up the crew and going on a family vacation...ok, every time. But then I remember the memories we made and see the pictures taken along the way...I'm pretty sure I will convince myself that it was the best possible way to spend the last three days because those kids don't look like they could be any happier and we have one more healthy and helpful memory that forms part of the glue that holds our family together.

I kind of doubt that any glue would have been formed sitting at home doing nothing, no matter how peaceful it could have been. 

Now maybe if I get some rest I will believe that with my heart and not just my head. :-)

What are your thoughts on going on family vacations? Do you live for it, are you terrified of it, do you suffer through it, do you count down the days until it?


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12 comments:

  1. I look foward to family vacations, but that is because they are also with Grandma and Grandpa at least, if not other other aunties and uncles so, the adults outnumber the children or are at least even with them! Mine are also getting that little bit more independant, so there are a few moments of reading with just a glance up now and then. Soon Sarah, this will be your reality as well! And the memories made always outway the exhaustion that you return home with!

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    1. Jacki,

      Vacationing with family is so fun! I am glad that you are enjoying some moments of reading...hope for the future I'd say! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  2. I am so glad to hear u made it back alive, and in one piece. I cant wait to have kids and do family vacations
    ~Chantal~

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Chantal! You have a lot to look forward to in life! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  3. Oh my gosh, I love the way you write! The phrase "been there, done that" comes to mind -- You described your vacation with your children exactly the way all of our family vacations went! For years I felt so guilty -- thank you!

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    1. Genny,

      I'm glad that I am not the only one experiencing these crazy and fun family vacations! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  4. Sarah, Writing to you from Lewistown, Montana where my hubby, kiddos and I are on our way back to MN from a two week road trip involving the Badlands, Black HIlls, Mt. Rushmore, Glacier National Park and a week long bible camp in the Rocky Mountains! And while I LOVE (really, really LOVE) family vacations for the very same reasons you do, boy are we EXHAUSTED at this point! As I type, my husband and I are laying on our hotel bed in the dark, hoping and praying that our 5 tired and crabby kids will just FALL ASLEEP ALREADY as we prepare for a 6 a.m. wake up and 14+ hour drive tomorrow. But exhausting as trips like this might be, the laughter, the learning and exploring God's creation, the quality time together and the memories made are just so worth every bit of energy spent to make it happen. I am right with you! Here's to many more crazy-tiring but oh-wo-worth-it family travels in the future!
    Blessings!!
    Kristen

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    Replies
    1. Kristen,

      Oh my goodness...it sounds like you guys must have had a fantastic (and VERY tiring trip!) How did the rest of the way home go? Please tell me that your kiddos fell fast asleep?! :-)

      ~Sarah

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    2. Home! And the kids did great! Now onto laundry, grocery shopping and getting back into our routine. ;)

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  5. I just read this and started laughing because every time my husband says "I want to go on a vacation" my thoughts are exactly like yours! (except sometimes maybe I add that he could just take the kids and I will stay home! LOL JK!!!!) Our last vacation was very fun but also not very relaxing! We had a 7yo, 2yo, 1yo and I was (VERY) pregnant at the time. The 1yo screamed almost the entire car ride unless he was eating or sleeping. I know it is different for my husband because a vacation is really the only time that he gets to not work and spend the entire week or weekend with me and the children, but for me it is like daily life in a different place (which means more work!) with a dash of extra fun added in. I want to love it more than I do, and like you, I love creating the memories, but sometimes it is oh so much work, when I get home and see all the laundry and unpacking, I need a vacation from my vacation :) I totally agree though, that going with others, family or friends, makes it more worth it. After the kids go to bed, you can sit up talking with friends/family, you can take turns watching the kids and couples can go out and do "big people" stuff while little kids don't miss their much needed naps, and when you are doing full family activities it is easier when there are grandparents around to help with the multitudes of children! ;-)

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