It Wasn’t All Rainbows and Smiles

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Lest anyone think our life is some picture perfect world where everyone always gets along and the sun is always shining…

It isn’t.

We had some moments like this.


And truthfully our vacation didn’t start at all like I had planned.  We were supposed to leave early on Friday and drive to Latrobe to see the Steelers Friday Night Lights practice.  One practice per training camp the Steelers play a scrimmage practice under the lights at the local high school.  We went last year and had planned to go this year.  My oldest has been planning since last year the exact spot he was going to stand in order to maximize his chance of getting Ben’s autograph. 

I busted my butt all morning on Friday to get everything packed and ready for training camp, camping, and my Mom’s 60th Birthday party.  Around noon on Friday I called to check in on our van which had been in the shop since Wednesday night and was supposed to be ready…  it wasn’t ready!  Ack!  I asked if we could just take it without the repair b/c we really needed to get on the road to make it in time for the game.  Our van was in parts, not drivable, and I was powerless to do anything about it.  It would be a few more hours, too many more hours, and we weren’t going to make it.

Tears started to flow and I got off the phone as quickly as possible.  I called Scott at work and was full out sobbing.  I guess it was the straw that broke my back after a crazy long week of Scott working overtime. The kids had woken up early and put on the Steelers jerseys and “Here We Go Steelers” had been blaring in our stereo all morning while they packed.   How was I going to break it to them?  I was frustrated and disappointed and mad.  I am not usually a crier, but I was full on crying when I called Scott.   He listened and then called my mom and then called me back with Plan B.  We’d skip Latrobe and go straight to my brothers once the car was ready.  We’d still do my mom’s party on Saturday as originally planned but instead of going to our campsite directly after church on Sunday, we’d go to the Steelers practice Sunday afternoon.  It wasn’t our plan, but it would allow us to get a Latrobe training camp practice experience. 

It was a good plan B and we all rolled with it.  We had an awesome time at training camp (more to come in future post) and it was so so nice to have AC in our van again after a summer without it (that was the pivotal repair).

That wasn't our only hiccup.  Our second camping night it rained.  IMG_1882Not a little but 3 separate thunderstorms rolled through from about 1-3am.  The floor on half the tent was SOAKED… and huge drops of rain dripped through the ceiling.  We grabbed kids, scooted to dry spots and slept as best we could.  We woke Tuesday morning with our one unaware child remarking, “MY PILLOW IS SOAKED!”  She had no clue it had rained till she woke around 6 with a sopping wet pillow.   During the night I assumed the day would be wasted with a tired trip to the laundry mat to dry everything out.  Thankfully, the sun came out on Tuesday and we were able to lay everything out (pillows, ground pads, sleeping bags, sheets) and let it dry naturally before bed that night. 


IMG_1881Contrary to how some posts may make it sound, circus life doesn’t always go the way we want.  Plans fall through.  Chores still need to happen.  Kids argue. Parents are tired.  And life can be boring.

One thing I do greatly appreciate about my family is their ability to roll with the unplanned.  Flexibility makes vacations, and life in general, so much more enjoyable.  That said, I think it may have been the super LONG week with crazy work hours, and the busy weekend with scrambled plans, that’s helped me find our few days of ‘nothing’ such the perfect remedy for this circus mom.


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