— 1 —
Well, good morning! I feel like I’ve just emerged from a tunnel, blinking at the bright light of the great outdoors. I’m worn out, bleary-eyed, and trying to get a handle on the long, long list of things I need to do so our family can function normally again. All because… we just got back from vacation. (A tad dramatic sometimes, Julie?)
It wasn’t even a very stressful vacation, it’s just that I’m coming off a few weeks’ worth of constant logistical planning, two flights with toddlers and all their associated gear, a week with my two rolling, wrestling lion cubs in a house filled with breakable things, and about four times the number of outings we’re used to having per week. Not to mention the fact that we had a houseguest with us for the two weeks prior to our own trip.
So, I’m tired. And a little loopy. Consider this fair warning, friends: Do not expect much of me for the next week or so. (Except for blogging – see number 5, below.) Talk about Recovery Mondays… I think I’m in for a good recovery week, at least.
— 2 —
Still, the stress of this year’s vacation was nothing compared to last year’s. Then, the trip itself (to Minnesota, like this year’s) was more complicated. The boys were a year younger and required, accordingly, more gear than they do now. The trip was longer, and it included a trip-within-a-trip: We started and ended the visit in the Twin Cities, but also fit in a visit to a lake “up north,” where Brennan’s family had a little mini-reunion.
But the real kicker is that, at the last-minute, we decided to put our house on the market the very day we left for our trip. So not only did we have to plan for our vacation and our vacation-within-a-vacation, but we had to clean our house from top-to-bottom, purge nearly half of our things from it, stage our furniture, etc. for photos and viewings, and conduct negotiations with our realtors and the people whose home we were trying to buy. And we did all of this in about two weeks – possibly the most stressful weeks of my life. Only those leading up to our wedding came anywhere close. Quite literally, we had our first prospective buyer walk into the house as we were marshaling our luggage and boys out of it.
— 3 —
But back to Minnesota Visit 2013. We had a very nice time, and for all my bleary-eyed exhaustion, it really was a low-key, relaxing kind of a vacation. We stayed with Brennan’s (very kind) aunt and uncle, whom our littlest guy dubbed “Mama” (Grandma) and “Dat-Dat.” We got to see Brennan’s mother and stepfather, every single one of Brennan’s eight siblings, many of their spouses, one of our boys’ cousins, a couple of Brennan’s cousins, and several of his aunts and uncles. We spent one afternoon at the Como Zoo and another at Minnehaha Falls – just a few hours at each: long enough to have a good time, short enough to avoid toddler/parent exhaustion. And we even took a break from it all in the middle of the week: I did laundry and unpacked/repacked our suitcases while the boys watched a couple of movies. I made a big ol’ mental note to repeat this little mid-week break in all future vacations. It was great to be able to relax the second half of our vacation, knowing that our stuff was under control and we’d all had a bit of rest.
— 4 —
I’ll probably write more about our trip later, but for now, here are a couple of my favorite photos:
— 5 —
A week away from my computer left me with something of a traffic jam of ideas in my mind. Normally when I have an idea for something I’d like to write about, I type up a few thoughts on a Word document, to be revisited later. And I try to capitalize on the times when the words flow freely. Without my computer, this week was a little frustrating in that respect. As great as smartphones are for keeping up with Facebook and peeking in on my favorite blogs, they are not good outlets for the creative juices, as far as I’m concerned. So I picked up an old-fashioned pad of yellow legal paper and started to jot down some ideas. By the time we got home I had more than a dozen posts lined up. (Lined up – not written.) Which is great, except – When will I get the time to do all that writing?
Enter Jen Fulwiler’s “7 Posts in 7 Days: An Epic Blogging Challenge.” There’s still the whole “When will I get the time to do all that writing?” thing, but hey, the gauntlet has been thrown down and (surprisingly enough) I’m feeling up for a challenge right now. Sooo… check back in tomorrow! And the next day! And so forth – until next Monday, when I’ll finally be released from the bonds of Jen’s challenge. Or rather, from my own stubborn personality.
— 6 —
As a post-script of sorts, here’s an explanation of my “Monday Morning Miscellany” idea. I missed a few weeks of it due to the aforementioned houseguest and out-of-town trip, but now that we’re past those things, I’m going to try to get back into it. So I suppose I should amend my ending to number 5, above. I’m committing myself to posting through next Monday. And each Monday morning thereafter. (Cringe.) Happy week to all of you!