Monday, October 03, 2005

Preparing for a vacation is always trying. I anticipate the worst and hope for the best. This trip, however, I tried so hard to not worry and to prepare as well as I could (or was willing to) and to let go of the rest. I had plenty of time to pack for this trip to Moab, but still managed to forget some critical items – Ella’s asthma medications, her still-not-completely-potty-trained-nighttime-diapers, and the crayons. Medications can be skipped for a couple days, diapers can be borrowed from your more prepared traveling partner, but the crayons! Being without crayons during a semi-long car ride can become tortuous. Both of the kids have become art fiends lately, so the absence of their creative outlet was painful. Since I took away their kinesthetic tools, they substituted. Their instrument of choice was their voices. Screaming, whining, singing and arguing were heard from the back seat for over 8 hours this past weekend.

By the time we got home, we were back to square one – not wanting to ever travel with the kids again! We go through these stages. We’ll have a hard time with the kids and vow never to do again whatever it is that bugged us so much in the first place. Of course we’ll forget soon and do it again anyway.

Actually, the trip went really well while we were in Moab. I feel so fortunate to live so close to such beautiful scenery. We stayed in a great condo with Beth and family. My kids were so thrilled to have their favorite playmates sleeping in the next room. The big boys gravitated to the Legos and Tonka trucks, while the three year olds enjoyed playing “family”. The secret favorite toys of the weekend, however, were the Barbies. It was pretty cute to see different kids playing alone with them, off and on, throughout the weekend.

Highlights of the trip were the hikes, of course. Our first hike was along a stream that had flooded recently. It was definitely one of the more lush places in this part of the country. There are times, when walking in areas of Moab, that make you feel like you’re on the moon. That was how it felt on the second hike. Slick rock is prevalent in this part of the state. It is easy to get lost when hiking on it because there is no path to follow. Piles of rocks, called cairns, are placed along these types of trails to help you find your way back similar to the bread crumbs left by Hansel and Gretel.

I went to work happier today. Harrison and Ella seem happier, too. Tonight, Harry kept hugging Chris and I. He loves family togetherness. We certainly had a lot of that the past few days. Looking back at the photos helps fade the memories of the arduous car travel and relentless packing, unpacking and planning. I’m so glad we do these kind of things. There’s nothing quite like hearing your children ask if they can go back to Moab soon.

House update: Tuesday at midnight is our last deadline with Buyer C. We have to agree to pay to "repair" a number of items around the house. If we can afford everything, we will. We sign an agreement to do that and then the deal is all but done. Hard to believe, so I won't quite yet.

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