Guest Blogging

When I started blogging 12 (yikes!) years ago, it was mostly for me – to tell my story, to process life, to get support. My writing has evolved over the years, and enabled me to connect, as well as reconnect. What a privilege! To have someone I respect deeply, and appreciate even more, ask me (a second time!) to write a guest post is an honor, as scary as it is. It took me a few months to work out how the prompt/topic for this year with Miracles in the Mundane, but I think it worked out. Check it out here, and while you’re over on my dear friend’s page, give her some love. She’s an amazing writer, momma, friend.

Recreate, Re-Create, and Create at Miracles in the Mundane

Happy Wednesday

 

Spring Break – a little of this, and a little of that

The Herd is back to normal routine, well, about as normal as we get. Do your kids’ schools give one or two weeks for Spring Break? We have two, which I say I don’t like, except when we’re in it. Truthfully, I’d rather they cut it to one week and we get out a week earlier for Summer, but the extended break is nice. We spent the first week hanging out around town…..We went to the beach the first day. That trip was cut way short when the Princess was stung by a bee on the bottom of her foot. It was her first sting, and she appropriately completely freaked out. It took twenty minutes of soothing and pouring ice water on her foot to get her calmed enough for us to pack up and walk back to the car. Thankfully the dance studio was closed for the week because there was no way she was going to be able to dance for a few days. Blessedly, she is not allergic to stings (yet, anyways). I was fearful this was an indicator of how our break was going to go. Cue stress.

We took the kids to a Padres’ game that week too. Little Man did great, and not so great. He’s not a sports fan. Let’s just put it that way. He has no patience for it. It was pretty cold that night too, so we ended up heading home in the middle of the 7th inning. I did get a new blanket out of the deal though. And watching a baseball game is always good for the soul.

I chaperoned my three plus two more to the movie theater another day. Big Man had planned an outing with two of his friends. He is thirteen, so the original plan was to drop them off at the theater and pick them up when the movie was over. They wanted to see Captain America, which was also on my list, so I coerced my other two into going. We let the thirteen-year-olds sit by themselves, so they still had some freedom. I’m slowly letting the reins out for Big Man. It’s not quite as scary if you do it in small measures.

Big Man shadowed a high school senior another day of break. We are beginning the process of deciding which high school he will attend. Since Spouse went to an all-boys college prep high school, he’s kinda been pushing for the same for at least Big Man. So he got up crazy early to go to school with this senior at an all-boys, private, college prep high school. He loved it. Sigh. I am wrapping my brain around the possibility he will not be at the high school just down the street, but rather commuting 45 minutes each way to school. How are we at this point? In just over six weeks, he will finish seventh grade. One more year, and he’s off to high school. This momma is sad our time with our babies is growing short.

Our second week of break, we rented an RV, loaded up, and headed to Arizona with two other families. We drove to Prescott the first day and stayed there two nights. Easter  Sunday was spent touring the hillside town of Jerome, which used to be a mining town way back when. Now, the population holds somewhere around 400 I believe. It was interesting. Crazy how it was built literally on the side of a mountain. The views were amazing. I had forgotten what it was like to walk through a high-desert rain storm. The air just feels so different, and the rain drops are huge. It took me back to my childhood and the many visits we made to see family still living in Arizona. I had to text my mom once we were safely back in the RV just to share. We skipped the wine tasting in Jerome because it’s somewhat frowned upon to haul 8 kids aged 13 and under into tasting rooms. :-0

I did get a run in on that Monday after Easter. It was the day of the Boston Marathon, and I felt I needed to run to show solidarity after the events of last year’s race. So I got up early Monday morning, put my running gear on, and headed out of the park. I put in almost five miles. It felt good. It felt right. It’s always fun to run somewhere new.

Day three, we drove to our next RV park, just outside of Sedona. The kids (and husbands) spent an afternoon walking through the creek right behind our camp sites, playing horseshoes, swimming in the pool, and riding bikes. That RV park was so beautiful. Had we known, we would have bypassed Prescott and stayed at Lo-Lo-Mai the first three nights. It was that nice. So pretty. If you’re camping or RV’ing that area of Arizona, I highly recommend staying there.

The next day, we hiked Sedona. This has to be one of my favorite places in the world. It’s just so incredibly beautiful. I haven’t been there in over twenty years, and that was a quick drive-through. I would love to go back again and spend a few days really exploring that town. As it was, we hiked, we had lunch, and then we hit the road to the Grand Canyon.

We were lucky enough to get three campsites within the Grand Canyon National Park, in the Mather Campground. I had forgotten there is a forest on the South Rim. We were appropriately awed by the Canyon. Little Man had been looking forward to this stop the most, anxiously asking each day when we would get there. We hiked the Kaibab Trail our only full day there. No, we did not go all the way down to the bottom of the Canyon. I’ve never actually been to the bottom. It’s a two-day hike to get down all the way, and then back up. And no, there was no way you were getting me on a burro on that trail. It was anxiety-inducing as it was, just walking it. The boys and I only  made it about a mile in, took some photos, and headed back up. Little Man is TERRIFIED of heights, but he toughed it out. Spouse and the Princess made it about two miles in. It was awesome. There just aren’t adequate words to describe the sight of the Canyon. Little Man just kept saying it didn’t look real. I took him to the geology museum so he could see just how the Canyon was formed, and what all the layers are. He loves that kind of stuff.

We are, as always, happy to be back home. The trip was awesome. It’s just fun to share it with friends. All eight kids got along really well. All six parents got along really well. It was just good fun, with a little history, geology, and exercise thrown in.

We have dug in for the last stretch of school. We have six-and-a-half more weeks until the kids are out for Summer. We will be busy with all the projects and festivities that seem to come with the end of the year. In the midst of all that, I have the last race in the Beach Cities Challenge, we will hold our 9th annual poker tournament to benefit the March of Dimes, Little Man will have a dermatological procedure to remove a lump on his back, and I will likely have my own procedure somewhere in there.

We did start the new medication for Little Man. It takes four-to-six weeks to get the levels built up and see the full results. He is doing okay. He’s much more calm. He had a few outbursts over the two weeks, but nothing like we’d seen previously. I am anxious to hear how his day back at school went today. More on that later.

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Solo Travel

<P – Have you ever taken a trip by yourself? Do you prefer to travel with people or alone?

I’ve never done an entire trip by myself. But just as I don’t mind being alone, I don’t mind traveling alone. 

Every year for the last 8 (9?) years, I’ve gone to a conference with the March of Dimes. It’s a long weekend away from home, with women who just get it. So, it’s not necessarily a trip alone, but I travel alone to get there. It feels very grown-up and sophisticated to go to the airport and fly somewhere all by yourself. Most days are spent in my workout clothes, cleaning up after four other people, plus three dogs and two cats. Then there’s the school carpool, homework, grocery/Costco shopping, cooking, laundry, shuttling to lessons and classes. Very suburban, very mom-ish. When I go to the conference, I feel different. For awhile, I can pretend to once again be a professional working person. I wear nice clothes. I put those heels on. I grab a vente latte, and breeze my way through the airport. I feel like a real grown-up. It’s awesome. By day two, I desperately miss my family.  When it’s time to come home, I’m exhausted but also revitalized and ready to take on the SAHM role once again.

I love driving by myself. It’s so freeing. If it’s a sunny day, with a few puffy clouds rolling across the sky and I can roll down the windows, I am in heaven. I can choose the music I want to listen to, and sing along at the top of my voice without anyone laughing at me or complaining. I’ve done so many road trips by myself, starting my sophomore year of college when I would go home for the occasional weekend. It doesn’t usually get lonely for me. I have time to think, or just time to be.

I don’t know I would ever take a full vacation by myself. New sights are more fun when you have someone to share them with. Adventures seem more adventurous when you’re with friends or family. Plus I get nervous and anxious when I’m in a new and unfamiliar place. I need someone I know along with me to keep  that in check.

Have you ever traveled alone? What’s your favorite road trip song?