Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Random Roadtrip Thoughts...

I drove the kids up to Utah this last weekend to go to my nephew Seth's baptism, and to drop Emie off at EFY for the week.  Todd needed to work, plus this week he is gone to scout camp with the deacons--so I was on my own for this trip.  When Emie found out Todd wasn't going she immediately says, "What?  Dad isn't going?"  I'm like, "Nope."  She says, "WE'RE GONNA DIE!"  Thanks for that vote of confidence sweetheart!  Appreciate that.  It's not that I've never taken them anywhere by myself, but usually it's to Thatcher, or somewhere closer to home.  I've never been the type of mom that likes to take the kids & do things myself.  I'm not really that adventurous for one, and for two--a vacation with me and my kids is not really a vacation for me!  I like to have Todd there with me to share in the joys (and the misery) that are a family vacation with young children.  I don't think it's fair to keep that all to myself!  Nevertheless, it was up to me to get Emie and her friend McKessa there, so I set off on my way early Thursday morning.

First revelation...GPS is AWESOME!  You type where you want to go into that thing and BOOM--they tell you how to get there!  Isn't technology amazing?  I remember taking trips with Todd and trying to find the road we were supposed to take on a  map that was too small, and stopping at gas stations to ask for directions when we were hopelessly lost only to find out that we had gone 40 miles out of our way.  That GPS was amazing--it's gave me so much confidence that if I just followed the directions, I would end up where I needed to go.  I kept thinking of metaphors for life--and gospel lessons, and the next time I have to give a relief society lesson or a talk I'm sure that some of it will come from my road trip with my best friend GPS! 

Next revelation...America is the greatest country on earth!  I love to take road trips, the scenery is so breathtaking, and our country is so amazingly beautiful.  Our Father in Heaven loves us so much to give us such an amazing place to live!  I am so incredibly blessed to be born in this country where we enjoy so much freedom, and where we can truly be anything we want to be.  Next time I go on a road trip I want to stop 100 times to take pictures of the interesting businesses and sites along the way.  Only in America can you see some of this stuff!  People make a living off of the most interesting things!  We saw a rock store that the people actually built in the shape of a rock.  We saw a place in the middle of pretty much nowhere at the base of a big mountain called Big Rock Candy Mountain.  We saw little towns where you would think that there was no way to draw people in and make money, but they come up with a catchy name for their cafe, or set up a cute curio or trinket shop that makes you want to stop and see what they could possibly be selling.  It's capitalism at work--and I pray that people realize that there is genius in the way that the founders set up this great country.  It runs because of mom and pop shops like that all over the United States.  It works because of the entrepreneurial spirit of the people that keep the economy going.  It is truly a place like no other on earth!  I love this country--and I love that you can be anything you want to be, and you can make money doing what you love to do--even in the middle of nowhere!

Next, I learned that if you stay awake on a whole 14 hour drive to Utah there is SO much to see!  I've never really done that before!  In fact, usually I am asleep for half of that trip!  I don't stay awake very well on road trips, because I am spoiled enough to have a husband who doesn't make me drive.  This is for many reasons--but mostly because he is a control freak, and doesn't like the way I drive.  It makes him much more nervous to have me at the wheel, so he can't sleep anyway, so he always drives.  Trust me, we will continue this tradition--because even though I enjoyed seeing more of the country, I did NOT enjoy the driving part--(especially at night)!  Oh, and if everyone is sleeping and you are in the middle of a reservation--Sirius Satellite Radio will be your best friend (don't get jealous GPS--you are my first BFF)!  Another thing--if you are sleepy while you are driving, all you have to do is look at your sleeping children right next to you, and behind you, and it wakes you right up to know that these sweet faces want to live to see another day, and so do YOU!  There is nothing that makes my heart swell with pride than looking at the faces of my sleeping children--(because let's face it, they are much sweeter when they are asleep, and nothing rude is coming from their mouth at that moment!).  I sure love those kids--all of them!  I don't know what I would do without them!

Next, I learned that I am not cut out to be a single parent!  Boy do I love Todd!  I do NOT have the patience to deal with all of these children day in and day out by myself!  There were times I was literally praying for strength not to KILL them!  Luckily, Emie's friend McKessa was there, so I had to be the kinder, gentler version of me for her sake!  I didn't want her calling home and crying because she was stuck with the  crazy mean me!  Seriously should've seen the tantrum Jack threw in the mall at Provo on the last day we were there!  I mean kicking, screaming at the top of his lungs, freak out tantrum.  Over what?  He was mad because I took away a ketchup packet because he had already squirted 12 of them onto his fries, and I wanted him to actually eat them.  People were looking at me like I was so horrible.  He screamed at the top of his lungs for a full 10 minutes while I tried to get the kids to ignore him and finish eating their lunch so we could go!  Talk about a freak show!  You would think after 6 children I would be good at this parenting stuff--but here's the thing:  I still don't have a clue!  Not only that, but I am dealing with 2 year old tantrums and 14 year old drama all at the same time!  I really wouldn't want to juggle that all by myself!  I am so grateful for a husband who loves my children and will do anything for us!  I love him so much--and it's never more evident than when he's not there!  I missed you babe!

I was so glad the kids got to spend some time with my sister, and their Utah cousins!  They love them so much!  Our kids get along so well, and sure have a great time together!  I won't tell you about how badly they kicked our butt in laser tag though--it's embarrassing!  Where were you Todd?  You needed to defend our family's honor!  We want a rematch!

Finally, I LOVE Utah--and I really LOVE BYU!  The campus is amazing and beautiful, the people are so great, and there is a spirit in that place that I really don't think exists anywhere else!  It's a long drive, but SO worth it!  I am SO excited for Emie to get to go to EFY.  My friends went in high school, and I was so jealous every year to hear them go on and on about it.  I am so excited for Emie to have this experience!  Just another way for me to live vicariously through my children!  I will post pictures later, since we took them on Emie's camera and she kept it with her.  I'm sure it will have like 1000 pics on it for me to go through when she gets back!  I hope she has a great time!'s good to be HOME!  (Even though my house looks like a BOMB went off...but that's for another post--another day)!

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