Our family drove cross country for Christmas: 42 Hours, 4 hotels, 4 kids and 3,000 miles of Awesomeness! We took pictures along the way, posting fabulous shots of our adventures on Facebook. From ice fishing in North Dakota, shopping in Chicago to Skiing in Minnesota, we had an amazing trip, meeting up with friends and family all along the way.
Facebook Friends commented: You guys are the most adventurous people I know. One said: ADOPT ME!.
I had to giggle: It made me think, while the pictures portrayed the fabulous side, the glamour, I have to admit, Facebook did not give you the behind the scenes, “clear picture” of what really happened. The cropped pics, the car fights, endless pee breaks, the number of pictures we took before all the kids looked at the camera.
We stayed in great hotels along the way; though nothing was mentioned about having to sleep in a room with 4 kids: children sleeping sideways, digging their toes into your back. My husband slept so soundly, he wouldn’t have heard a tornado if it ripped the roof off, yet I laid there all night, hearing all the sounds of each child: sucking thumbs, tooting in their sleep, kids whimpering as they re-lived fights, earlier in the day, with their siblings over a toy or an ipad.
We had a ton of fun ice fishing. Ok, not really. I’m going to have to side with my Mother-in-law on this one. It was fun to say we did it once. It was so cold, the bait froze. My 4 year old finally stopped crying , after bribing her with a bag of doritos. Thank you Doritos. You’re a lifesaver.
On the 22 hour journey back, the kids had to stop every 30 minutes to pee. In a last ditch effort, we gave them a 7-11 Big Gulp Cup to pass around. We trusted the kids to pass it up from the back of the mini van to the front, making it’s way through 4 sets of little hands. That didn’t work so-well last time, when they dropped it in my purse, but hey, it’s a new day, so we thought we’d try it again. And it worked! Woo hoo. We labeled it “Hazardous Material” and guarded it with our lives.
Someone who shall remain nameless, forgot to bring the bag full of DVD’s for the road trip, so the kids watched “Mall Cops” and We Bought a Zoo – 9 times each. Every 2 hours, I heard: Mom – Push & Play.
So when we smiled for the camera to give you THE SHOT of us Ice Fishing, we may have forgotten to mention or display the fact that one of the kids stepped a little too close to the Propane Heater inside the Fish Tent, caught their backside on fire; jacket went up in flames, smoke billowing out the door. I unzipped the tent, grabbed “said” child and threw them into the snow. It felt like watching Uncle Lewis from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when he caught Himself & the Christmas tree on fire with his stogie!
Looks like snow on his jacket, but it’s not. It’s the inside stuffing from where he caught on fire.
After 12 hours of driving through Snow and negative degree temperatures, we pulled over on the side of the road, next to the Arches in St. Louis, rolled down our dirty, snow-covered window and snapped a picture for the Bucket List. Did we go inside, catch the awe-inspiring sunset view from the top? Uh, let me think . . . . NO! We were too tired, too hungry and too crazy-looking to be let in.
But hey, that’s part of making memories. If the journey wasn’t colorful, it wouldn’t be remembered as such.
“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between.” Norton Juster.
It’s the Journey that matters most. The destination is but for a moment. The journey from beginning to end is the gooey awesomeness in the middle; the best part of life. So, if my friend still wants us to Adopt her, we’ll take her, but thought she deserved to hear all the Facts that she didn’t see on Facebook, before a decision was made. Life is What you make it!
Here’s to Living the Best Version of You!