Tag Archives: holidays

Let the travel begin!

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The holidays. Such an exciting time with family and friends to all be together under one roof in a slower-paced, more relaxed environment. Although they can be crazy busy, the holidays bring out the kid in all of us, I believe. Managing the calendar of events during this season can be a part-time job, for some. It’s a time for babysitters to rake in the money, while parents spend the money! For many, the holidays kick off a busy travel season.

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While there are positives and negatives to living in close proximity to family, many of us live a fair distance away giving us the opportunity to travel. We are one of many such families. Although we are a small family: mommy, daddy, son, and small dog, the cost for us to fly is prohibitive. So, we typically load up the van with all kinds of entertainment, snacks, clothes to suit any weather condition we might encounter, along with the small dog. Yes, we travel with our dog rather than pad the wallets of boarding facilities for days upon end. As we prepare to pull out of our driveway, we pray for good traveling weather, good health, safety on our journey and then we ‘hit the road, Jack!’, as my son likes to say.

Traveling can be fun and adventurous. To the contrary, it can also be stressful and taxing on the body. Excitement generally trumps any of the negative. Given the fact that long distance is typically the map for our journey, the atypical eating out, enjoying forbidden everyday treats, watching movies, and listening to music together as a family unites us and creates a plethora of memories. Lack of sleep, routine, and diet brings on crankiness and behavioral joy; yes, I chose the word “JOY” to be sarcastic. Or, as a friend once humored me, family fireworks is our mojo!

Being a guest in someone’s home, warmly welcomed and spoiled by home-cooked meals that I don’t have to plan and prepare, entertainment, and occasional outings is such a delight. It is a rare treat to not be in charge, nor a slave to the clock, the kitchen, or the schedule for a few days. Yet with all the perks of being a guest, it’s amazing to me how tired one can feel. It’s as if being in a routine energizes a person, surprisingly!

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Astonishingly with all the excitement and anticipation of traveling to visit loved ones, even the youngest of children longs to be home for the holidays. I was quite shocked to hear my 6 yr old son excitedly proclaim how he couldn’t wait to set out cookies and milk for Santa on a particular table within OUR home on Christmas Eve. I quickly reminded him that we would be visiting with Grandma and Grandpa and would have to leave Santa’s treats out on THEIR table. Immediately my son’s countenance changed as he retorted, “but I want to be at MY house for Christmas!” I have to admit I was quite surprised to hear this from his mouth because he looks so forward¬† to visiting family with all the fun and spoil it brings.

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I realized from my son’s undeniable expressed desire to be home for Christmas that within all of us, home is a special, cherished, familiar, and safe place. Even in the midst of the busyness and stress of day to day living within the four walls we call home, it still remains the place we reserve to call Home.¬† While I’m not quite sure if and how this may or may not affect our future plans for traveling over the holidays, it brought a smile to my face to hear my son proudly proclaim his love for our home. His home.

Happy Holidays!

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You know you’re a Mom when….

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You know you’re a Mom when….

I could go a lot of different directions here; however, I’ll stick to my story….

Yesterday started out as a pretty normal Saturday. Although we parted company in the morning for a few hours, we joined back up and made our monthly pilgrimage south for haircuts. All of us were looking like sad, shaggy orphans. Our weather had turned windy and chilly and we stopped for a bite to eat, then by a local store we like to peruse.

We made it maybe 10 steps inside the store, when my little one started to cry. He wasn’t looking like he was feeling too well, so I picked him up and that’s when it happened! My right side was immediately splashed in, wait for it, vomit. Face, shoulder, torso. Poor baby continued emptying his stomach all over the floor at this point, blocking the entrance to the store. My husband summoned some help to clean up while my son and I dashed into the bathroom. What do you know??? NO PAPER TOWELS in the bathroom. Now, I’m all for saving the planet, but when you have a catastrophe (at least that’s what I call projectile vomit on the body), a blow dryer for the hands just doesn’t cut it!

We cleaned ourselves up as best we could with what we had, washing our shirts and shoes out in the bathroom sink. My husband came to our rescue with a couple t-shirts for us to change into. We picked up a mop bucket on the way to the check-out just in case we needed it on the drive home. Showering, bathing, and laundering our shoes, jeans, shirts, socks, and even my purse made us all feel better, along with a nice nap!

Thankfully, our son is feeling like eating some bland noodles this morning along with a little carbonation to sip. When, what seemed like only minutes later, the dog started heaving, his body contorting like an overloaded washing machine. I quickly tried to catch him as I knew what was coming…more vomit. Sure enough, even our family dog was throwing up! Oh goody, I thought!

I quickly realized it wouldn’t be the holidays without sickness knocking on the door. Here’s hoping the caregivers don’t come down with the “epizuti”, as I call it. Any Momma will tell you it is not a good thing when she’s sick. Consequently, I’m slurping down a nice cocktail with Airborne to hopefully stave off any germs hanging out in our home. Life certainly doesn’t stop when illness hits. My heart goes out to Mommas of multiple kiddos. I already feel like a short-order cook, maid, housekeeper, and care-giver with my one-and-only down for the count. It’s true selflessness at its best.

All “grossness” aside, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the blessing and gift of being a Momma. I believe God gives Moms (and Dads!) special grace for handling the less than glorious side of parenting. There’s nothing like caring for and nursing a little one who is totally dependent on you. After all, isn’t this what the good Lord does for each of us as His children? He comforts us when we’re sad, sick, upset, hurt, and unable to care for ourselves. He loves us when we’re unlovely. One of the greatest joys of motherhood is being a nurturer, a caregiver, a nurse maid to our children. Somehow, this truth trumps the unlovely part every. single. time.

Here’s hoping we can all enjoy an illness-free holiday season! We can start by thanking the Lord for health, for medication, for a warm bed on a chilly night, for our doctors and nursing staff. As God cares for us as His children, let us care for our family. Let us remember: God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.