I said no at first because Matt was on vacation the week before and couldn't go with us....and then decided to make the trip alone. I had spent 2 days straight in my bed crying (long story, but I never lay in my bed except to sleep, not even after Rachel died did I hide in my room to cry, but I've been in a very rough place - I guess mostly with the nonprofit stuff, but really what that equates to in my mind and heart is Rachel either being remembered - or forgotten) and I really thought I needed to just get away from everything. None of us like being anywhere fun without Matt though, it just isn't the same. And I'm not used to doing even daily stuff without his help (I'm ridiculously blessed with how helpful he is), let alone packing the van and kids up for a three day trip while 5 months pregnant. I was tired before we even hit the road. The kids did awesome helping me get everything in the van and were lifting stuff for me so I didn't have to. Isaiah took his role as 'man of the house' seriously without Daddy around. It was so cute.
The trip was a complicated thing.... she has a boy and 4 girls - one being a little girl who is the same age Rachel would be and she just had another baby 5 months ago that they asked me if it was okay if they named Rachel. At times both are fine and at other times, both are.... well, complicated. I wouldn't say it hurts necessarily.... I don't know. I am able to be open with her about it all which makes a huge difference. But I guess being around little girls will always just sting a little.
The trip was nice, it was raining there and back at home we got over a foot of snow. The kids had fun and I survived the city driving and potty breaks alone. They got to swim and stay up late, watch movies, relax in the jacuzzi tub.... they had it made. My "vacation" was a lot more work than that! I did get a half hour of quiet time on Tuesday which never happens here. I sat and read and ate a yummy salad...uninterrupted. If I have to drive 3 hours for a half hour of quiet, I guess it's worth it cause it felt awesome.
The hardest part was Asa's relentless desire and strong will to destroy everything in his path. I could hardly keep up with him. That, and his very unusual insistence on hugging the little girl who is the same age as Rachel.... he usually hits, but he wanted to hug her and he forced himself on her, squeezing her from behind - until she screamed for help. I also caught him bouncing his belly into her and also trying to climb on her lap. Partly I think he was just being annoying on purpose....but I think he might also have really been intrigued by her since she was the closest in age to him - he just doesn't know his own strength... or care that if someone is running away from you, it might mean they don't want a hug (but hey, there are adults who don't get that!) And then I would watch them and know that that is how far apart he & Rachel would have been and feel sad for all we're missing.
|He handed me both pairs of goggles and asked me to put them on him|
and then went to the door yelling "Go!" over and over. He wanted to go swimming!
Des & her oldest girl have been writing to each other so it was cool for them to see each other again (they came to Rachel's Race this past year and came to church with us the day after, which is when we all first met in person) but at one point, I heard them talking about how having little sisters is so much more fun than little brothers because you can do their hair - and I felt sad for Des. She always tries to put headbands and stuff on Asa and we joke about what a cute girl he would make.... but she would love to be doing Rachel's hair right now, I'm sure. The second night we were there, the girls put all the boys hair up. It was amusing...
|my sweet Isaiah|
|This kid cracks me up.|
I was prepared for the emotions that might arise being around the little girls.... but they weren't as hard as I thought. Or maybe I was just so distracted by my crazy boys that I didn't have much time to think about it. Matt & I also had some long phone conversations each night which was fun. We haven't talked on the phone that long since back before I had Des. Of course, it's always a bonus that I didn't have to call collect :)
On Wednesday before we left, we went down to the beach. It was so sunny, but pretty cold still. Yet again, would have been an amazing walk on the beach if Asa wasn't determined to get into the water! I spent the whole time chasing him down and picking him up out of his tantrums on the ground. He is very difficult right now. (especially with me being pregnant) But there's just something about him you gotta love.... just like Isaiah. I know the work now is hard, but one day this boy is going to make his mama proud. I never thought I'd say it about Isaiah, but every day I do. It only took 5 1/2 years of insanity to get there, but I know he's going to be an amazing godly man, just like his Daddy. And so I have hope that this season with Asa will all turn out fine..... *deep breath*
|This was cute until he figured out that the nozzle turned all the way around and he could spray the water OUTSIDE the tub!|
|I'm gonna guess that is a seagull skeleton Isaiah is proudly showing off....? Whatever it is, it's on my counter waiting to be discovered....|
|getting ready to go :(|
We came home to a clean house and a crockpot meal ready for us. And as usual, time away just reminded me how much I love our home and family. I did definitely feel a sense of accomplishment and was glad I didn't miss the opportunity, but I was so glad to be home and I was exhausted. I had to go to a meeting at work that night after driving all day and then pick the kids up at Awana after. It was 9pm by the time I sat down. The next day, I put Asa down for nap and I crashed for 2 hours. I was so worn out.
I brought food and so the entire trip only cost us gas money, which we had half of in our Memories Money and so for $25 out of our regular budget, we had a 3 day getaway. We are so blessed.
Today was the first time I opened my computer since Sunday - and I didn't even want to. Unfortunately, the problems that I had before I left didn't disappear while I was gone... but my kids wouldn't know that and I guess that was the whole point of getting away.
I love you guys and would do anything for you.... all six of you... you will always come first - right after God and Daddy....But always before me.