About 4 weeks ago we returned home from vacation.   I started this blog from a motel in Thermopolis Wyoming. 

What I wrote: I am tired.  I have a huge pile of laundry that is going to be spinning right round at the laundry mat tomorrow.  The boys shoes are covered with dark red clay and deer poo.  But with all that said I am having a great time. A much needed reprieve from having to be someplace, having to clean my house, and having to say goodbye to Chris and the kids as life insists…Less than two weeks ago Chris had to go into work on his days off.  A week went by and he only had one day off.  We needed time away from E.  Of course we could’ve done things.  I could have painted my bedroom.  I could’ve set up numerous playdates for the boys during spring break.  Chris could’ve worked the Barack Obama rally.  But we didn’t.  We packed up Mini-Van Mega Fun and we headed down the road. 

Today:  Being on this trip was so needed, and I can’t even put into sentences all of the things we did.  But I’ll give you a condensed version through all the colorful emotions I felt…there are quite a few.

Relief on a Holy Thursday.  Chris wanted to leave at 4am. I wanted to leave a 6.  We left at 6:30, and the kids still did fine.  There was a Starbucks in Bend. Yahoo.

Blessed was how I felt spending two days with some of our close friends in Jerome Idaho. I enjoyed fabulous conversation, good wine, and since we only had two days together not enough sleep.  Our friends Katie Jo and Eric are the most hospitable people I’ve ever known. I also got to see my other very good friend Lish who was back from the East coast.  Lish and Katie time and time again love me, even when I show my ugly side. 

It was a thin line for me between happy to near hysterical standing in the barn at the Crozier’s farm in Jerome Idaho.  I was a bit transfixed watching Jonah ride his first horse and hearing his laugh, clear and loud echoing in the wind.  I could understand why Daniel wanted nothing to do with the big horse, even though he almost got trampled by it from not watching where he was walking.  And I almost peed my pants when Micah was placed up on the horse, but I didn’t show my fears…too much*. 

Forgiven was all I felt while standing in a church on Good Friday, and praying with my Husband, and three boys. 

I felt regretful in a moment of pettiness, while making a big deal out of a pants that my husband was wearing. They are his favorite jeans, and happen to be the bane of wardrobe existence.  I hurt him, and embarrassed myself.  I will never make an issue of his jeans again.  I love him, regardless of what stinkin’ jeans he wears.  

I felt scared driving through four big icy passes.  Praying the rosary and kicking myself because we didn’t have chains.  The boys kept asking if it was icy, and Chris and I just kept praying. 

I felt fancy driving through Jackson Hole Wyoming where all the movie stars go to ski.  Watching out the window, pretending that I wasn’t in a dirty white mini-van, surrounded by very cute, but very stinky boys.  Putting on my movie star sunglasses, just in case anyone recognized me. 

Driving through the Grand Teetons…One of the Most Majestic places I’ve ever seen, I felt Small.

I was just elated arriving at my Dad’s grocery store and seeing him and my brother Jer.  I felt my heart swell up, I have really missed them so much. 

It was pure joy spending time with Uncle’s, Aunt’s, Cousin’s, and going to Karaoke with My Dad, Jer, Messina, Vicki, and Jamie.  We were the loudest ones there. We all gave fake names in case the paparazzi was around, and I laughed harder than I had in a long time.  Before I left three guys offered to buy me drinks**. 

It was all awe going to a church on Easter where I didn’t know any of the faces, but pleased to know all the songs, and seeing the boys recognize that even in Wyoming you have to be quiet at church. That in it self was a small Easter Miracle.  

I felt more educated going to the Dinosaur Museum with the family, watching my boys read about all kinds of amazing stuff.  As usual I am grateful for such a good God, bigger and mightier than anything we can conjure up.  I felt the same when we stood close to Buffalo, Deer, Elk. 

I watched my Daniel throw a little fit with his brothers because, “They aren’t playing it right,” at one of the many local parks in Thermopolis.  My Dad, always with the most impeccable timing turned to me and said, “When you were growing up, you were the most ornery kid I’d ever met.” So how did I feel right then?  Just a bit Ornery. 

It felt fantastic to see my Grandparents in Butte Montana.  My Grandma brought out some toys I used to play with my I was little and the boys buzzed around them happily.  Micah was enamored with their little dog Guinness. My Grandma Nor and I are very close and we talked until we were both out of breath.  

Hope was what I was left with after seeing my very brave Uncle’s Pat and Lee, both fighting cancer.  They, along with my Aunt’s Karen and Vicki, are some of the most brave people I know.  Faith filled, brave, hopeful, and tough as nails.  Cancer’s got nothing on them! 

It was with great disappointment after I left a full plate of beautiful Mexican food and my barely sipped margarita Chris and I were sharing with my Grandparents when Micah choked on a chip and threw up his entire meal. My Gram Nor and Boldy informed me after they joined me and the sticky stinky Micah in the car, that there were no worries, they had finished our pitcher and my drink too…

There was nothing harder than saying goodbye to my Dad and my Brother, driving away from them, as Chris held my hand.  I held my breath until we reached the end of the respective blocks we were on, and exhaled as I dissolved in grief filled tears.  I love them so much and I was heartbroken to leave them. 

We arrived home safe and sound.  Our car smelled of four boys and a mom, and we put more miles on our van than either of us want to admit.  We spent more money than we anticipated, thank you gas companies, but we arrived home together.  I couldn’t have conjured up a better trip.  The kids were great.  Chris was great.  And it left me with a great appreciation for the family I was brought up knowing and the family I’m raising.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.  Oh wait I did…but I’ll tell you about that later. 

A few extras if you noticed the *:

*On the farm in Jerome whenever I’d try to tell Reed I was a bit nervous about the horse, especially when mini Micah was on it, he’d say, “You’re on the Farm now Kristin. No worries, get used to it.” Definitely a quote to share after I finished almost peeing my pants.

**At the bar where I sang duets with my cousins Jamie and Messina, like I wrote above I was offered drinks by three guys. This was noteworthy because for starters, I have never been offered drinks in my whole life except by family and Chris being that I have been with Chris since before I was at a drinking age.  But the real significance is that one of them was sporting a real sweet mullet.  Yep, business on top, party in the back.  When I returned after turning the “Mullet” down, my brother instead of coming to my aid as the valiant overprotective brother said, “Okay the next time someone offers to buy you a drink, you say yes, make it a white russian, and bring it to the guy with the goatee.”