We didn't go anywhere exotic or even far away for Spring Break. In fact, we only took one day off from work. (I'm hording vacation time for when we move into the house we're building.) But here's the kicker - none of that mattered. We had the best family trip ever. And here's why...
It was all because of me.
I know that sounds a tad bit (or A WHOLE LOT) self absorbed, but hear me out.
I am a cautious mom. A hold-tight-to-the-rail-when-on-the-stairs-reminding mom. I have a hard time "being chill" when my kids aren't quietly tucked in their beds. I'm also a scheduling mom and one that follows the rules. Needless to say, when kids are just being kids, it goes against every grain in my body. My first reaction is always to stop [insert whatever less than desired behavior]. In my kids' eyes, I'm pretty sure this makes me a drag to be around.
For whatever reason, unbeknownst to me, something in me changed on this trip.
I didn't set out to be the fun mom on this trip. I didn't give myself a pep talk beforehand or mentally decide to take chill pill. I started off just like I tackle everything else - making detailed lists of what to pack and where to go, researching which days would be less crowded at which locations. Trying to figure out where the St. Patty's Day traffic would be and take my family the opposite way to avoid unruly crowd behavior.
But somewhere between Thursday night packing and stepping out of the car to go to the aquarium on Friday, my mentality changed. And it made all the difference. For me. For all of us.
I didn't even freak out when my husband, Marc, decided to take the two oldest across the swinging bridge.
I didn't even scream across the way for them to hold tight!
I would venture out to even call this family time away a vacation. Normally I'm of the mindset of going out of town with your kids is a trip - not a vacation. But this time was so different. It didn't fell like work at all!
Here are some more photo highlights.
I pray this vacation-mode Chantel will last beyond Spring Break... It sure felt good. Life is crazy busy enough to not add another layer of worry into it.
P.S. Just to keep it authentic - we did have some whiny times and a few hiccups along the way. When you have a 2-year-old, 4-year-old and (almost) 6-year-old, there will be some meltdowns. But they were few and far between - and a relaxed mama is way more equipped to handle those than a stressed out one!
Chantel, you are one of the most awesome Moms I have ever known. I SO admire the way you organize everything down to the smallest detail, you are so patient with your li kids, so aware of their every need. AND your house is always so clean, I do not know how you do it! You and Marc are great parents! I love all of you.
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Wife, mom and full-time marketing pro. Diet coke addict. Auburn fan (and alumn). Christian - striving to comprehend grace.