3 Days, 2 Little Ones, & 15 Lessons I Learned on the Road

Once people found out we were driving across the country their first question was usually  “How long do you think it will take?” I honestly didn’t have an answer, but I knew we needed to remain flexible while traveling with our little ones. The route was planned, but the number of stops and overnight stays was yet to be determined. I questioned my own sanity a few times, while coming to the conclusion that this was a rare opportunity and adventure! :D

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Right before we hit the road!

We left CA at around 12:30pm on Sunday the 11th, and arrived in GA just past 9pm on Wednesday the 14th.  We’d made it in just 3 and a half days, and it was relatively uneventful (a good thing!).  I thank the Lord and all of our praying family and friends for our safe arrival, and here are some tidbits I learned along the way:

1. Rain or shine, night or day, keep driving as long as the children are sleeping! Sure we passed on a few sights, but that gives us more travel ideas to look forward to when they’re older. We started off with ideas of grandeur, but in the end we just wanted to get there expeditiously and make things comfortable for our girls.

2.  As many times as she tells her sister to “stop cryin’!”, Alexandra can definitely sleep through piercing baby cries at close quarters.

3.  Lily, my chill baby, CAN cry. A lot. But for a teething 4 month old who sprouted a tooth during our trip, she was an absolute champ! She even started self-soothing during the last day and a half. Woohoo! Now if only she’ll do that at night…😉

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She turned 4 months old on the day we left!

3.  Trying to sensibly pack for a trip like this doesn’t make any sense. But I kept trying. 

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The one thing I think I mastered: the toddler/baby survival kit!

4.  I have no shame using ice cream, fruit snacks, chocolate and an IPad for bribery. None.

5.  Remembering the portable DVD player and DVD’s but  accidentally shipping its charger was not as catastrophic as I thought it’d be. Books, an Etcha Sketch, & toy cars still have magical powers.

6.  2 and a half days in, a new DVD charger was purchased.  It was very necessary, lol, but we lasted longer than I thought we would!

7.  In times of sheer desperation you might hear my husband singing along to that one catchy 80s pop song you really don’t want stuck in your head.

8.  K-Love is a sanity-saver!

9.  Being asked to be part of an imaginary band makes you feel like a kid again, and no, you don’t get to choose your instrument.

10. Having your toddler tell you that the clouds are going home to take a nap after Christmas, will absolutely force you to stop and appreciate the beauty of a child’s imagination.

11.  Sometimes the best views are the ones seen in a Subway/gas station/Dairy Queen.

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12.  A nursing mom with a baby who thinks sleep is overrated is the perfect candidate to tackle some night driving.

13.  Driving at night on an extremely dark and unfamiliar highway with  bonus patches of fog, sleet, and snow, is not for the faint of heart. Where’s my gold star? I earned it! 😜

14. Your car will remain dirty if you try to get it washed in 28 degree weather.  At least that’s true in Little Rock!

15.  I am guilty at times of doubting the resilience of my children and the fortitude of my husband.  The strength of my family continues to amaze me, and I know that wherever we are, we’re stronger together!

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It snowed in Flagstaff, and I have a very sweet husband!

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YOUR TURN! DO YOU ENJOY ROAD TRIPS WITH YOUR FAMILY? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED?

BE BLESSED!!

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Some places are so special that they leave a lasting impression on you no matter where you go. Lake Tahoe, CA has become such a place for my family and I, and we were so blessed to be able to visit one last time (for now), before we made our move to Georgia. I took this photo while enjoying a lazy day and a cool breeze, from the front porch of my favorite place. Serenity to me…

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For more serene photo entries, click here.

BE BLESSED!!!

2015: A Truly New Beginning

I don’t have any specific resolutions for tonight.  Some years I do, other times I don’t, but in general I strive to be a better version of myself, do more for the glory of God, and make it a point to learn from the various experiences, good and bad, of the year before.

With or without a bullet point list, this new year marks a significant change for my family as we have 11 days before we move across the country from California to Georgia.

We are not the first family in the history of the world to make such a transition, but for us it’s a big deal.  We are leaving a solid community and a church home we are incredibly active in, and just six months ago we knew we were in the right place.  But oh how things can change in an instant, especially when God steps in!

At the beginning of October we received a phone call asking if we’d be interested in being part of a church plant in the same city where my family currently resides.  Although my husband and I were diligent about praying and seeking the Lord over every facet of this monumental decision, we both knew in our hearts that this new development was a game changer.

Neither of us have been part of such a process, and we are thrilled at what an opportunity it will be!  But that excitement has not come without incredibly bittersweet feelings.

Once our decision was made, I cried every day for a week.  I was grieving everything I thought we would lose.  Losing our friends and the childhood I envisioned for our girls (even though I’m thrilled to be close to my mommy!).  I feared we’d lose the connection and closeness we’ve established with so many, and was desperately searching for something to make me feel confident that this decision was going to be best for our family.

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With a powerful word from the Lord, and a necessary nudge from my faith-filled husband, I was finally able to hone in on the peace I was desperately searching for. Of course it came from none other than our Mighty Father!

Once I determined to banish the fear, and push past my comfort zone, everything became so clear.

Yes, we are leaving so much behind, but everything that is real and true will remain no matter where we are.

Yes, we are sacrificing but obedience is better than sacrifice.

No, we can’t say what will happen or how this will ultimately affect our future, but we do know that it is always better to err on the side of God, and He will remain constant no matter where we go.

Our husband and I’s heart desire is to be good and faithful servants, and for all he has done for us, we are willing to go wherever He leads us!

Dear blogging friends, and whoever else takes a moment to read this, please pray for us as we embark upon a brand new journey.  There is immeasurable comfort in the arms of Jesus, and we look forward to the blessings that await!

1 Peter 1: 10-11 (NKJV)

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Where is the Lord taking you in 2015?

HAVE A BLESSED JOURNEY IN HIM!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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