It’s so good to be home. I took my kids to Oklahoma for the past 5 days for our family reunion and some extra time with my parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, cousins kids, third cousins, great aunts…you get it, our family is gigantic. We have a spot in Oklahoma about 45 min from Ft. Smith, Ar in the base of the Ozark’s called Lake Tenkiller. It’s been our family’s lake spot since my dad was a kid. Some of my best memories growing up were at this lake. So, taking my own kids there is such a fun thing to do…and it also makes me feel really old.
I’m going to break my little recap into two parts. Aren’t you pumped?! I’m taking a little departure from fitness to talk about something I’ve been learning this summer as a mommy and hopefully it encourages all my parents out there. I’m doing this because well…I’m a mom before I’m a runner.
My hubby had to go to Toronto for work so I had to decide wether or not I was going to brave the lake without him. I’m a pretty independent person. Always have been. It’s not a big thing for me to jump in the car and take off on a road trip. However, add 3 kids by myself and it can be a little daunting. Can I just pause a sec for all you single momma’s out there. Every time I take a trip alone with my kids I think of you. You are amazing. I have mad respect for all your hard work and 24/7 parenting with little to no breaks. So, I have taken a lot of trips with my kids over the years without my husband. Not because he isn’t involved. He’s AMAZING. He just has a job that requires a lot of travel, especially in the summer. So, it’s stay home because I don’t have his help, or go and enjoy some new experiences.
I want to encourage my parents today(especially my mommy’s or single parents) to get out and do some stuff with your kids. It’s hard ok. I get that. I stayed two nights in a cabin in the woods alone with my kids. I then packed up two days later and moved all our stuff to another spot. I’m so thankful we had a place to stay but it was a lot of work. There was a pack n play, bedding, fans, blankies, pillows, bears, monkeys, penguins(Josh is OBSESSED with penguins…ask anyone who knows him), snacks…oh my word the snacks, paci’s, diapers, wipes, bathing suites, swimmy diapers, towels, pool bags, water bottles, phone chargers, sound machines, flip flops, crocs, running gear, my GIANT Sam’s coffee, sippy cups and more. I decided it’s worth it.
It’s worth the work for my kids to have memories with each other, with me. I think it can be easy sometimes to play it safe and stay close to home. We let things like fear, pride and laziness stand in the way. What if we lose control? What if it’s too much to handle? What if I can’t juggle all the kids and a trip? What if someone jumps off the boat? What if they fight the whole time and I can’t take it? What if they get sunburned and it’s totally my fault? What if I am exhausted and have NO fun? What if. Can I just tell you that all of that will probably happen and more. I listened to talking tom for 3 hours….3. HOURS. I applied sunscreen constantly and put out sibling fires left and right. I held onto Lila like my life depended on it because she is the kid who would take a flying leap off the boat just so she could go “simming.”
She actually kinda hated the boat. It big time cramped her swimming style. But I digress. I’m not telling you all I did because I’m some exceptional parent. I’m not. I’m just like you. I’m fairly certain at 3 or 4 points on the trip I threatened to leave at ungodly hours and drive everyone home. I didn’t. I’m SO glad I didn’t. Yes, it’s hard to travel or do anything on your own with your kids, or even with your spouse. It’s hard and it takes work. Do the work ya’ll. I’m thankful my parents took us to the lake every summer. I learned how to ski as early as I could walk(not really, but close). I had closeness with extended family that I know is rare. Now, I’m getting to do the same things with my kids and can I just tell you, even through the crazy pull my hair out moments, it’s FUN. It’s fun to see my kids having a blast. I know not everyone has access to lakes or boats or beaches. I’m not telling you to take your kids on luxury vacations. If you have the means to do so, awesome. If not, that’s ok too. It doesn’t take much with kids. They are so easy to please. My kids just wanted to swim and enjoy the lake.
I’m learning that these moments are here one minute and gone the next. My kids will never be 8, 5 and 2 again. This is it. I have one starting Kindergarten and one starting 3rd grade this fall. I would love to curl up in the fetal position and cry like a baby. But instead I’m having to make a choice. Enjoy the here and now or let it pass me by. I have a few regrets from the past 5 days. I lost my cool once or twice. I let one kid get a sunburn. I spent too much money on ice cream. I ate too many french fries….and only ran once. I convinced my boys it was ok to pee in the lake(cool points). But, we made so many good memories to make up for my failures as a mom. It’s worth the work. I’ll end with a quote from one of my all time favorite books that you may be tired of hearing from….Restless, by Jennie Allen…
“Personal fulfillment is fullest when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves, something for the good of others.”
I love this reminder that I can receive such fulfillment from doing for someone else. This applies to my kids as well. I said already and I’ll say it again..this is NOT because I’m awesome and have it all together. I’m simply in a season where God is teaching me to enjoy the moments even if they aren’t perfect moments. So today it was something I needed to share with you. I didn’t blog the whole time I was there. I missed my Must have Monday’s post. It’s ok. I let emails slip and FB messages go. It was awesome to unplug for a few days. I hope you get some time today or this week to do something fun with your kids and enjoy them. It’ll be over before we know it ya’ll. I’ll leave you with a few…ok a ton…of pics from our week. Stay tuned for the very minimal exercise recap from the trip tomorrow. Ha! Happy Wednesday!!!
he got up on the wake surf…so fun
my sweet Josh
I need to get a hammock
our amazing lake views
worn out…mission accomplished
our last night…we were all completely spent
I learned how to wake surf after years of skiing…LOVED it
me and my babes
I need one of these too
this boy was in heaven