Well, we’re back. And while I’m sure it will take a good part of the week to get bags unpacked, laundry sorted & washed, babies back on napping schedules and lots of motivation to get back in the routine of lessons and dinner making, I wanted to post this while the emotions were still so fresh in my mind. What an incredible time we had! If someone would have told me a few years ago that we would be driving 4 kids ages 6 and under over 10 hours to enjoy possibly the best vacation of my married life, I probably would have said, “Ha. No thank you.” But thanks to my dreamer of a husband, and some detailed planning on my end, we did it and It. Was. Awesome.
We spent the 1st couple of days adjusting to a new schedule, assessing the area, going to mass, getting some groceries (don’t worry, I didn’t do a single bit of cooking unless it involved the microwave) and sharing and planning out our desires for the week. This meant time at the park so Dean and I had a chance to talk, look over brochures and maps while the kids got plenty of exercise to make up for the long car ride.
One thing that really struck me there and over and over throughout the trip as I observed each of the kids was that as different as they are in personality and temperament, they were all so peaceful, so independent, so happy being outdoors, from morning till nighttime, being so close to Nature, to God’s Creation. It’s as if they knew that their surroundings were made just for them.
Although we were expecting to go Apple Picking, it was a short drive from there and we were having such a wonderful time, we didn’t want to pack everyone up again. Ironically, we packed some apples from home which we all enjoyed so we can just pretend we hand picked these 😉
So, since we never really recovered from our midnight arrival, our mornings usually didn’t even begin until 9-9:30 , getting everyone ready and rushing to make the 10:30 breakfast cut off for Egg White Delight McSandwiches and yogurt parfait’s. Even the scenery outside of McDonald’s was beautiful.
Another of our full-day outings was a drive through Carson City, Nevada and into Virginia City. There, we rode 1 of the oldest trains, strolled through candy stores, museums, a gorgeous Cathedral and we took a very long trek to the Chollar Mine.
Since at least 2 of the kids would nap on our drive home, after baths, a late snack (we only really ate 2 meals a day with lots of snacking in between) a show or movie and our family prayers, we didn’t pass out until 10-10:30 each night. And we all, passed out. 🙂
Probably the highlight of our trip, for me, was taking this sort of hidden, breathtaking trail as a family…It’s hard to describe what I felt. It’s like, here we were, 6 individuals, sharing this incredible new experience together, understanding the feelings and thoughts of each other without having to say a single word. On our own journey back to Him.
One of the many things the Lord showed me on this trip was how much I enjoy being around these little people. It’s easy to forget when frustration and impatience gets the best of me and when 4 different and equally important needs are hitting me all at once but they are my favorite people in the world and we have so much fun together!
And I don’t meant to brag but I felt like a real photographer after seeing this shot (unedited)…not that I did it on purpose but that’s besides the point 😉 …the lighting was stunning and now I finally understand what those pro’s mean when they say lighting is everything. Alizea, you radiate beauty and purity and I can’t even begin to tell you how proud you make me!
And this guy. I told Dean on 1 of our many car rides that I remember vividly the feeling I had of expecting a boy. I felt so unsure and uneasy of my affection for a son. Not having a brother and with 2 girls under my belt, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like. Boy, was that an understatement.
We spent our last full day at the Lake (finally). We stopped at the local grocery store, grabbed sandwiches and chips, boiled eggs asnd yogurt, donut holes and chocolate milk and feasted overlooking the water. We had the place to ourselves and it was an absolutely gorgeous day.
We came back to the swings 3 or 4 times while we were there. I think they appreciated the view as much (if not more) than us grown-ups did.
So much bonding took place on this trip. Which made every minute of the screaming and yelling on the car rides worthwhile. At least that’s what I kept telling myself 😉 Daddy with his blue-eyed blondie. The wonders of genetics 🙂
It was bitter sweet leaving Lake Tahoe. It may be wishful thinking but I sure would love to be able to give these kids more of what we experienced there. Not just once or twice a year but a childhood filled with days outdoors exploring and tapping into a hidden place in your mind and heart that thrives in such an environment filled with God’s watermark. We shall see what the Provider of all has in store…For now, I have this image to take me back to my “happy place”