Friday, February 25, 2011

Family Adventures

Last year I was reading the blog of a friend who was posting about a short day trip she had taken with her children.  I thought to myself, "My kids and I would have loved that--why didn't they invite us along?"

Living in the smack dab middle of the country with the closest family members being a 16 hour drive has not always been easy.  We've taken the opportunity to form great friendships with other people who are also far removed from immediate family--becoming each others support system.  We've become each others sources for companionship and also unending hours of entertainment. 

The idea that has been working on me lately--slowly over the last year or so--is that my little family is growing and maturing and we need to start turning more inwards to each other for companionship and entertainment and whatever else we need.  This is it--this is "the family" that we wanted to have.  This is "the family" I imagined when I looked out from the top of the Eiffel Tower and thought to myself "This is your city Jeremy" and when running up to the gates of Disneyland Paris thought, "We would totally have fun with our kids!"

So this is our time to start living that way. That is part of why I set the goal to do more day trips with the boys. And maybe sometimes we can have friends come along. But other times we need to be content with just us. We need to form happy memories and build strong family bonds.

At the beginning of the month we took the boys up to Omaha to visit the Mormon Trail Center

The boys were able to sleep in the bunks of a steamer boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

They lived in a log cabin at Winter Quarters.

And pulled all their belongings in a handcart across the prairie and mountains to Salt Lake City.

Mom and dad took turns across the street visiting the Winter Quarters Temple.

The trip was worth it, and a lot of fun.  Which doesn't mean that it wasn't hard.  Owen was up that morning at 5:50 with what the doctor would later call (once the office opened at 9:00am)  a flaming red nearly hemorrhagic ear infection.  And then it was a long trip and a bit difficult to keep the boys entertained the whole time.  And Jonas had some trouble on the big toilets at the visitor center and his shirt got wet.  So in our last picture of the evening Jonas is wearing Owen's shirt and Owen has got his coat on and zipped up to protect his bare chest.  But really--Jeremy and I are adults--we can handle it.  It won't always be perfect but it will be us.  And we will be a stronger family because of it.

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