I was hoping for relaxing, renewing, and getting a fresh perspective. Maybe get a few things organized around the house (like that closet in the boys' room that I can't even see the floor!), then hang out in the pool in the afternoons, roast marshmallows with the kids in the evenings, and have long talks with my husband. Oh, and sewing...I was sure I'd have time to sew some things for the kids. What a laugh!
Instead, May and June were INSANELY busy.
I'm not just talking about busy like, "I missed my favorite tv show" busy...I'm talking nonstop, inhale meals, everybody pee and get in the van NOW! kind of busy...
Caleb and Elijah played baseball All-Stars and we literally had practice or game(s) EVERY. SINGLE. DAY - except Sunday - throughout June. Sundays were filled from waking until afternoon, then we would feed a late lunch to our very hungry kids, and then Gregg and I would beg for a nap - which did NOT happen a single Sunday. Someone always called, came by, or demanded our attention otherwise. A couple of weeks we needed to travel to see extended family.
I like being busy. In fact, I think I might actually thrive on it. But, after a while...
Well, July came in like a heat wave, and for some reason our family has been plagued with sickness. For the first time ever, this summer (in late June, actually) strep throat reared it's ugly head at our house. Our pharmacist said she had never mixed so much amoxicillin in her life! All 10 of us had to take it...
As soon as we felt safe from that, several of the little ones endured a stomach bug. It seemed as soon as that was over, the kids and I were running fever again...we passed a cold/flu-like virus around to everybody, except Gregg - despite my best attempts to sanitize. When you have babies and toddlers and teenagers all living in close quarters - well, what can you really do?
July also brought with it...
...major surgery for Gregg's mom, an extended hospital stay for my dad, and the shingles for my mom. Really?? I don't do well with germs...or illness...or hospitals...or general neediness from adults.
So, anyway...to stop my whining and to get on to the real point of this post...Gregg and I decided that our family REALLY needed to just get away - even if it was just for the day! We set the date for Wednesday, July 18th, and Gregg scheduled to take the day off work.
Several things attempted to steal our day away, but we held to it like a lifeboat. A couple of times I even felt flat-out rude when I simply had to say "No, we can't do that. We will be out of town that day."
Just us and the kids - just for fun - we couldn't wait...
So we loaded up our 15 passenger van with water, gatorade, fruit, snacks, and sandwich stuff. Then tossed in the kids and headed to Pisgah National Forest's Sliding Rock.
Basically, it's a big rock in the middle of a river in the mountains. People like to come from all-over to climb to the top and slide down the rock. The water is between 50 and 60 degrees. So it's quite a chill - I mean, thrill!
Gregg went when he was a boy, but he hadn't been since. He had told the kids all about it, and they have been wanting to go for years, but we had never taken the time to go.
I'm not sure if my kids were more excited about sliding down into icy water themselves, or watching their Momma do it! I don't even jump in the swimming pool until the water reaches 90! (They normally watch the pool thermometer, and they don't even ask me to swim with them until the red hits the magic mommy mark!)
So, the thought of Momma sliding AND freezing, was something pretty exciting!!
We left a little later than we anticipated. What's new?
But, we were all still in a great mood. Middle of the week, Daddy's home, and we're taking a road trip? Woohoo!
Our first stop...
The "HOT NOW" sign was on and we just couldn't resist (even though we had already eaten a big breakfast, AND it was almost lunchtime) - and we ate the whole box in less than 10 minutes. Granted, in a family of 10, that's pretty easy to do. :) I really wanted a second one, but I have growing teenage boys. Enough said... :)
Kedesh wasn't hungry, so she took in the scenery at the picnic area and enjoyed getting pictures of her toes taken while we ate. Have I mentioned that I LOVE little baby feet?
Our next stop...Sliding Rock! We got there and the sign said -
CLOSED DUE TO WEATHER
Ummm....please, NO! So, the park ranger told us they had heard thunder and if there wasn't another rumble in the next 22 minutes, they would give the okay for people to slide again. So, we paid and parked and prayed that they wouldn't hear anymore thunder...
And, they didn't! So, off to the rock we went! We had the best time. Gregg and I traded off watching and caring for the littlest ones while the other went sliding. I went twice - it really was a blast!
All the kids went sliding at least once - except baby Kedesh - and the lifeguards commented on how they were all such strong swimmers. Loved it. We played for about an hour and a half before another storm cloud started brewing. They blew the whistle for stopping due to weather, and we made it back to the van just as it started pouring rain! The kids thought it was great fun!
Here are a few pics...
It was really good to just GET AWAY for the day...we all needed that.
One of the kids said, "Momma, you look young!"
Does that mean I normally look OLD? hahaha!
Maybe it means, when you can just get away from the day-to-day busyness, laugh, and have fun, you tend to smile a little differently...or maybe it was the cut-off blue jean shorts I wore that they were talking about...haven't worn those in years. :)
I think it's time we did a little more purposeful planning for some "get away" days...IT DOES A FAMILY GOOD!!