Have you ever been so tired that you don’t want to get up in the morning or do things that you would normally love to do? That has been my life the last few months. The kids have had so many activities, so close together, that we just didn’t have time to be.
As I keep blogging about how important it is to not compare yourselves to others and to live your purpose with margin, I was feeling very hypocritical! I knew that if I didn’t get my act together soon I would end up sick from exhaustion and anxiety, the kids would be back in school with a sad mom at home, realizing another summer of their childhood was gone. It was time to break free of the chaos! We chose to do just that through our family vacation. A perfect solution? Not even close! However, it was one way to make some time for our family that was intentional and I’m very thankful that we did it!
Normally when we go on a family vacation, my “have to get things done, no matter where we are” self brings along my laptop to work on the blog, my IPad to read ebooks with, and about every other electronic gadget I can fit into my bag. It’s not something I’m proud of, I’m just being honest. Then while on vacation, I try to get ahead on blog posts, paying online bills, catch up on my reading and whatever else I can think to do. Guess what, after all of that I almost always go home feeling tired, and wishing for a few days at home with no interruptions. Also known as a stayvacation??
I really wanted to do it different this year. I wanted to live in the present moment, without the kids remembering how I was on the computer when we were back at the hotel, and just focusing on our family. Now before I can pat myself on the back and say I went technology free, I did take my phone along on this vacation and so did Jason. With our phones we had internet access to about anything we needed and we did use them occasionally.
Jason still had some business to do while we were gone that he needed to be available to do. He also can run many of our pivots to irrigate our crops by the phone using GPS. Farming has came a long way in the last few years with technology! I had mine that I used while traveling but other than that, it was kept in my purse.
We started our vacation by visiting Fort Robinson by Crawford, Nebraska. After we were finished with a jeep tour viewing buffalo, various wildlife and horses, the kids and I were hooked on the park, learning it’s history, and taking in it’s beauty. We all decided that we would like to visit for a long weekend sometime and stay in their cabins, do some horseback riding, fishing, and camping. If you are looking for somewhere that is beautiful and off the beaten path, I’d highly recommend it! This was our first vacation picture taken in a teepee at the entrance at the park.
We then headed north for South Dakota. We spent the majority of our vacation around the Rapid City are and had the best family vacation we’ve ever had. We thoroughly enjoyed Bear Country U.S.A. (especially Babyland), loved Storybook Island (what an amazing place that costs NOTHING but a suggested donation for visiting), splashed around at Watiki Water Park (which is where our oldest skinned up her nose performing tricks in the tube on the Lazy River!), visited the Mammoth Site at Hot Springs, took in the historic Mount Rushmore, and relived Jason and my childhood at Flintstone’s Bedrock City. We were fortunate to stay at one of the hotels that adjoins Watiki Water Park so the kids had ample water park fun. They absolutely loved the water slides, lazy river, and lily pads. On our way home, we also checked out Carhenge and took in the beautiful Nebraska sandhills and Lake McConaughy.
By leaving the other stuff at home I was able to really focus on my family and I was also able to read some of the books on my list! It was wonderful. I asked the kids today what they thought of our vacation and I heard all great comments and a few that were so true they stung a bit! These included:
- “Mom, it was so awesome that you weren’t on the computer AT ALL during our whole trip!”
- “Mom, can we go back to Bear Country tomorrow?”
- “BEST VACATION EVER!”
- “I loved the mammoths!”
- That one article on Facebook that I want to read can wait until bedtime
- The kids are watching me ALL the time. They aren’t missing a beat when I put other non=important tasks above spending time with them
- My kids are growing up before my eyes. Each summer is one less they will be home.
- I really enjoy my family when I put the rest of my to-do’s away. I need to let go of my need to always have something on my to-do list and simply be
- My husband rocks. He is not so focused on making a living that he forgets to make a life of memories for our family. I’m very thankful we have similar goals on how we want to raise our kids. (And he can travel 10+ hours in the car with 6 other people and not go completely insane!)
- Our family is a crazy bunch, but they’re my crazy bunch. I get asked all the time if they are ALL mine. I’m learning to not be annoyed, embarrassed, or angered by this and can proudly say yes…at least most of the time. When they’re fighting I still like to pretend that I don’t know them… just kidding!
- If you don’t take time to enjoy one another, time goes by and you don’t get it back!