Cumberland Falls

I never thought I would ever reach the point in my life where I started admitting that I was too old for things, but alas, that time has come. On vacation, I spent a week sleeping on a pull-out couch with CJ and paid for it. I am officially too old to sleep in a cruddy bed.

My parents wanted to revisit the place they went to for their honeymoon and decided to take the whole family. There was 12 of us in all. It was crazy and chaotic and fun. My babies don’t see their grandparents very often, so they absolutely loved spending time with them.

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EM and my dad on a train ride

One of the days, my parents took the six grandkids so my sister, her husband, CJ, and I could go whitewater rafting. I was terrified. I’m not so good in water as I’m not the strongest swimmer. They had arranged for us to go on  guided tour of the Cumberland River with the Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort. The guide was able to put me at ease when she tackled me out of our boat at the first swimming hole. I know that some people might think that sounds awful or crazy, but thanks to her, I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the tour. Well, relax as much as I could while praying I didn’t get tipped out of the boat into any rapids. It was unbelievably fun and also led me to facing a fear. One of the stops along the trip was at a cliff to climb and jump off of. I wasn’t sure if I would really do it, even when standing at the top as I don’t like heights at all. CJ had already jumped and was supposed to wait at the bottom for me, but he was so jazzed about jumping, he was already out of the water and climbing up to go again when I jumped. I earned lots of hugs from CJ and my sister because they honestly didn’t think I would do it. But I did 🙂

Last but not least, the day before we left we decided to go for a hike. We didn’t realize that the signs posted at the beginning of the path gave the difficulty of the trail. We really should have read it before we started. Turns out the trail was labeled “strenuous” and we had all six kids with us. It was exhausting and terrifying. The trail ended at a waterfall with a swimming hole which was gorgeous, but would have been more fun if you didn’t have to think about the walk back.

img_3012Overall, it was a nice vacation and I just wish I had taken more pictures.

Munchos and Milk

Last weekend, my father was passing through town on his way to a week-long fishing trip with my uncle. Since I was working the day he was picking up my uncle, he decided to stop in and visit on my break. He was super proud of himself because he brought a drink and snack. And I mean: giant grin on his face, holding up the food, excited.

He brought a bag of Munchos and a half gallon of 2% milk. So why was he so excited about these two seemingly mundane things? They are his favorite, go-to snack and he believes they are mine too.

I’ve never been a big fan of Munchos. They are far too salty, if you ask me. Growing up, I drank a lot of skim milk and that kind of ruined all other dairy for me. Everything else is just too thick.

Dad worked a lot while I was younger. One of the few times you could hang out with him was while he was grabbing a snack between projects. He always shared, because that is just the kind of guy he is. For years, I choked down chips and milk I didn’t really care for because it meant more time with my dad. So, last Sunday night, I once again choked them down since apparently they are my favorites.

I had a great time with my dad and would gladly suffer through more Munchos and 2%milk for similar, fun visits.  🙂

 

 

The Boy Who Lived

I know the kids may still be a little young for this, but last night I began reading them Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time. We only read one chapter, but CJ and I were really impressed with how long they were able to sit and listen before getting distracted. What I would really like to get is this illustrated edition. It is the entire, originally published story, yet there are gorgeous illustrations on every page to keep a younger audience interested longer.

I really hope to share my love of this series with my kids (besides just my love of reading). CJ may not be as big of a fan as I am, but at least he doesn’t think I’m crazy. He has supported my habit a bit by taking me to midnight showings when we were dating and by taking me to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as part of our honeymoon. (And it was only part. We went other places, too.)  🙂

I am anxious to read more with them, but I know I shouldn’t overwhelm them with the current version I have if I really want them to pay attention to the whole chapter. Then again, MJ just had a birthday last weekend, so maybe I can convince him to buy the illustrated edition with his birthday money so the whole family can enjoy it.

This afternoon, I overheard the tell-tale giggles of a tickle war happening without me. CJ was in the playroom with the two older kids and they were having obvious fun.

We ended up in a massive pile on the floor; even the dog got involved by licking any exposed faces. CJ hates his feet being tickled, but I somehow managed to pin his feet between my legs. He was going to lose! MJ had CJ’s underarms, Q has his ribs and belly. Poor Daddy.

Our downfall came when Q decided to stop what she was doing to pick up one of the toy phones. She starting yelling “hello” into it and I informed her that “Now is not the time to make a phone call.” She took this to mean I also wanted to talk on the phone, so she began holding it up to my ear so I would talk as well. With this distraction, CJ was able to shift the tide in his favor.

Needless to say, CJ won. Another tickle battle lost in our eight years together. One of these days, I swear I’ll win one. Oh, who am I kidding? I probably won’t. But it sure won’t stop me from trying.  🙂

Things I Used to Take for Granted before Having Children

Peeing without an audience

Finishing a meal in one sitting

Eating/drinking something at the desired temperature

Not having to take my boobs out in public

Leaving the house in under thirty minutes

Watching an “adult” movie (be it raunchy or scary) before 8pm

Staying up past midnight without being a monster the next day

Driving past McDonald’s without screams from the backseat

Uneventful and quick trips to the grocery store

Singing along with the radio without a backseat critic – who made him Simon Cowell anyway?

Shaving my legs more than once every few weeks

Keeping my glasses fingerprint free all day

Getting 5+ hours of sleep during two or more consecutive evenings

Sleeping in on Saturdays

Using an alarm clock

Being addressed by my first name

Cleaning the house and having more than two seconds to admire the handiwork

Date night

Personal hygiene (some days are better than others)

Quiet

But I still wouldn’t trade my munchkins for anything.  🙂

Today, after lunch, we had two very angry little girls I had to take care of so CJ took MJ outside to help him mow the lawn. Shortly after I heard the lawnmower stop, I went into the kitchen to get some water. CJ was showing MJ how to swing a bat and they were having a great time with each other. They had no idea I was watching and I’m glad I was able to catch such a moment. It made my heart melt. I am blessed to have those wonderful boys and my beautiful girls.