Sabbatical- The End of the Line

We’ve been home for a week.  I’ve been so lazy about writing.  Of course, upon returning, we had items that needed immediate attention- a birthday party, a green swimming pool, dust thick enough to write your name in.  But once all of those matters were dealt with, I still didn’t feel like writing.  To be honest, I still don’t.  But last night, I started putting a photo album together while the memories are fresh, and I began to think “if you don’t write them down, you’ll forget them.”

Maybe it is difficult to put into words because SO much happened.  To eat up some of the hours in the car, I began compiling a list of all the things we had seen and done. The list rambled on for over four pages.  Thirty days on the road is a long time.  Since I’ve gotten home, people keep asking “how was your trip?”

“Amazing,” I answer.  The trip was amazing.  But then I struggle with how much detail to go into.  I’ve already bombarded friends with photos on Facebook and blog posts.  It was an unbelievable opportunity and adventure.  When I look back at the photos, I’m dumbstruck that this is my life.  How do I deserve all this goodness?

I could ramble on and on about all the beautiful sites we saw- Kartchner Caverns, Yellowstone, the giant redwoods, fields of wildflowers outside of Steamboat Springs, the hidden Strawberry Reservoir.  I could go into detail about all the fun activities we engaged in- taking photos at Alien Zone, riding bikes in CO and WA, paddleboarding for the first time, bouncing on a tube behind a motorboat, countless hikes, a play, concerts.

The things I really don’t want to forget might seem small by comparison.  But they are the memories I want to hold on to the most- the ones that can’t be captured in photographs.

Liam was holding my hand one day and said “We should tape our hands together, so that everything you do, I do.”

Kellen running EVERYWHERE- how many hundreds of races I and everyone else must have ran with him because he couldn’t get enough.

The boys snuggled in their sleeping bags with just their faces peeking out.

Kellen still pronouncing Liam with a W.  I dread the day when he no longer ways “Wiam.”

Talking with Ben in the hot tub at the last hotel we stayed at.  Reliving the trip and feeling connected in our good fortune.

Arriving at our campsite at the Red Woods and being over come with how beautiful it was.  I was being a complete bitch that day and needed the beauty of that site to get me back on track.

Seeing the boys jumping on the trampoline at the “farm house”- Kellen’s favorite.

Being woken up in the morning with Liam asking “can I go see the baby chicks?”  Man, he loved those chicks- Metal, Gray, Blackie, Bat Chick, Goldie, and Bat Girl.

Looking at all the drawings the boys did whenever I gave them new stickers to get their imaginations going.  We must have spent $20 on stickers.

Reliving a great night in Seattle from the first sabbatical with Ben.

So many great meals with people we hold dear.  There is nothing that makes you feel more loved than when people prepare a special meal for you to share.

Listening to the boys reading books.  They can read!

Kellen collecting rocks and sticks everywhere he went.  It drove Ben crazy, haha.  But I knew those trinkets were important to Kellen.

Liam making masks and costumes out of pipe cleaners.  Who knew a $1 bag of pipe cleaners could entertain him for hours on end.

The boys riding the airplane ride over and over again at Silverwood, holding hands as they walked to get in line.

My grandma.  Just seeing her again.  Seeing she’s still the lady I know.

Sharing pieces of the adventure with friends and family and people we love.  It felt like taking them along for the ride.

I know there is more.  How can there not be?  But real life is calling.  I can’t stay on vacation forever.  Thank you- whoever or whatever is responsible for this time we enjoyed, thank you.  I will do my best to cherish every minute we had.

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