Friday, August 21, 2009

We're Back!

Whew! That seemed like we were gone for a long time, but spending 68 hours in the car can do that. That is 68 hours of driving, not including stops, and we all still love each other. I will recap quickly. The first day we drove to Omaha and stopped at the Mormon Trail Visitors Center in Florence. What a great museum! A sister missionary gave us a tour and then we strolled through the cemetery and rolled down the hills at the temple. We then drove on and spent the night in Lincoln. Next day we drove to Denver to stay with Zach and Stacie. I called about an hour out to ask for directions to their house and discovered that they were expecting us the following week -- Oops! At least they didn't have to stress about our visit for more than 50 minutes. We had a really nice visit -- thanks! Next day a grueling journey over the mountains passes of Colorado with hail, hydroplaning, and vehicles sliding off the roads. Wasn't it July? We made it to Provo with an hour to spare before the family reunion dinner and loved seeing everyone there. Utah visits are always a little crazy and this was a shorter stop over than usual, but we tried to fit it all in and still relax a little. We went hiking, swimming, slept at the cabin, played games, went to Lagoon, shopping, out to eat at favorites, went to the temple... all in all successful. Then off to California stopping in Las Vegas for lunch (please remind me not to ever do that again). One day at the beach and then two oldest in surgery for wisdom teeth and more. Grandma took great care of everyone and is a marvelous smoothie maker. Then resting, a little sightseeing, temple attending then off again. On the way home a Grand Canyon drive by, some hikes at Mesa Verde, a beautiful drive though southern Colorado, Kansas (pretty clouds?), a lovely stop at Liberty Jail in Missouri, getting the stomach flu, pulling in at 3:00 a.m., trying to recover, get the kids to school, and watch as more people catch the stomach bug and drop one by one. I need a vacation from the vacation!

On the trip I noticed that I have fallen victim to some evolutionary quirk that makes nursing mothers squeamish. I think that it is so that you won't take unnecessary risks while you are primarily responsible for someone's life. I don't know, it is just a theory, but I am scared of everything! I am scared of heights on our hikes, and roller coasters at the amusement park, and water slides at the swimming pool, and waves at the beach, and steep mountain roads. Normally I am game for anything, so I am hoping that this will pass. My 75 year old mother had to go down the water slide first and tell me how fun it was -- I had even walked all the way backward through the line once I saw how high we were at the top -- lame!!! But then I did go down and it was fun once my heart stopped trying to beat right out of my chest. At the beach the kids were urging me to go out deeper, but I just couldn't for a while. Every thing my toes touched, every drop in the sand, made my stomach lurch. Each coming wave nearly sent me over the edge, but when I safely came down the other side enough times I finally got in the rhythm and had a great time. And then of course I start fantasizing about just tossing my life plans to the wind and becoming a surfer. I just love the sounds out there -- the rush of water as a wave approaches and then the hush as it passes. And it is beautiful with water all around -- enough frothy white bubbles to literally hold you aloft and push you to the shore, the closest I have ever felt to flying, and in the next moment so still and clear that you can see the ocean floor several feet down. Mmmm. Well, back in Illinois now.

School started yesterday. Summer was much, much too short. First grade girl wasn't too excited to go back to school and kept having to bite her lip to keep from crying as I dropped her off. I told her I would wait until the teacher took them to their classes, but I couldn't look at her. Every glance nearly did me in. Everyone seems happy with their teachers. Just me and the babe at home again. This seems even more problematic than last year when he was just five months old and sleeping a lot. Now he is big and is used to having everyone play with him all day (I'm used to them playing with him all day) so I am going to have to get creative. I just read him a book and he insisted on putting his foot on every image. Yep.


normal mom said...

Welcome Home! I missed you! I made my way to the mall and walked today. I did a whole 30 minutes. I think I'll keep it up during the school week. I have no choice. Miss Janet is going to kick my butt in tap exercise class if I don't build up some stamina. Talk to you soon!

Stacey said...

It seems like you have been gone foever!! I have missed your posts. All I can say is "WOW" about your travels-that was a lot of stuff but all sounds like so much fun! I have been ultra-paranoid about everything since I first gave birth to Faith although it is MUCH worse when I am solely breastfeeding and they aren't on any foods yet. I totally get it.

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