All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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Family Trip!

We took a family trip this past week and it was terrific!  We rented a cabin at Mahoney State Park in Nebraska and it was like being at summer camp.  I can’t wait to go back next summer!

Here is my photo collection from 4 days with limited TV, hot weather, and an abundance of activities with the kids!  They’re in reverse order, but it doesn’t matter  🙂

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Travel, Travel, TRAVEL

(Please do not feel compelled to read all of this or view all photos.  I don’t keep baby books or any albums, so I tend to over-share here and on FB so that things get documented properly!)

We have spent a lot of time traveling lately, both together and apart.

Hottie seems to always be coming or going from somewhere with work, and we’re lucky the trips are shorter in duration than they could be.  He’s on the road, or in the air, at least once a week right now and next week is insane with three trips in 1.5 weeks, all requiring flights far, far away from home.  It doesn’t bother me too much, because he’s usually gone for just two nights a week, but next week and the following week will be tough.  I wish he was going to be traveling a bit closer to home so that the boys and I could drive up and meet him, wherever he may be, for the weekend.

I can’t believe I wrote that – that I’d love to meet him, WITH THE BOYS, for a weekend away.  A year ago at this time, hell – 3 months ago, I would never have said that.  But something has changed lately… our boys have become good travelers.

What the what?

They’ve become such great travelers that we have spent the last THREE weekends traveling.  Three weekends IN.A.ROW of hotels and road trips.  Flights don’t scare me one bit, and the boys handle them great and they’ve never been an issue, but car travel and hotel sleeping has been a nightmare for years now.  The only time hotel sleeping was *good* was when we went to Disn.eyw.orld with Matthew before he turned 2 (and prior to Bryson joining us – I was 7 months pregnant when we went).  We had a condo and he had his own room and he went to bed on time and we sat up and drank wine on the deck (not really – I had Diet Pep.si).  It was awesome.  We thought that it was always going to be that great.  But um… no… that was a one-time thing.

Until now!

Three weeks ago, we decided on a whim to head to Kans.as City to see a bunch of our friends and some family.  We stayed at “the Wolf Pool” (as the kids call it) and the kids had a super time at the water park, and dinosaur museum, and out about with the people we love.  Bryson slept in his OWN BED both nights until at least 4:30 AM (and once until 6:20 holy SHIT!) and Matthew slept in his own bed both nights well into the next morning.  It was awesome!  We came home from that little trip feeling like we’d conquered something pretty remarkable.

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The following weekend was my family reunion on my mom’s side.  My grandpa, who I loved dearly (I had fabulous relationships with both grandpas and one of my grandmas – I was lucky!), would have been 100 on the 28th of September and right before he died at the age of 89, my aunts promised him that we would all gather for his 100th birthday because turning 100 was always a dream of his.  So… we did it.  I have a HUGE family and of the 22 grandkids, 17 came and the 5 that didn’t were all very far out of state.  All of the immediate siblings were there (my mom and her 5 sisters and 1 brother, and their foreign brother (exchange student) from Kuwait) and the grandkids all brought the great-grands, and our first and only great-great-grand was there as well – 74 people in total.  It was super fun!

My aunts had the party in the town my grandparents lived in which was 2.75 hours from our house and instead of drive up and back that same day, we decided to drive 30 miles from the party to an indoor waterpark hotel (yes, again!) for the night.  After the previous weekend at Great Wo.lf Lod.ge, both boys were feeling brave and rode the BIG adult waterslide on their own!  It was a very big deal (but there are no pictures because, you know, water and nerves).  We could not keep them off of the sides and even after a pretty serious forehead injury for Matthew, he kept wanting to slide.  It’s hard to say no to such bravery… so we shut the pool down that night and opened it the next morning.  There was a pretty fantastic park right next door, and the entire campus was right on a nice lake so it was quite picturesque and enjoyable.  The boys are begging to go back.  The night didn’t go quite as well as it did in KC, but we got 6 hours of sleep without a bed companion, so that’s a win in my book.  Hottie’s parents’ town was on our way home and they messaged us about getting together, so we stopped there for 2 hours on the way home and that was a really nice way to end the weekend!

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And that brings us to this past weekend – the trip to Omaha that we planned with Steph that we booked different weekends for.  HA HA HA!  We had a GREAT time and everything worked out in the end.  Omaha is where I grew up and I really like it there.  There is so much to do, the private education system is STELLAR, and the local restaurant scene is amazing.  If my parents had lived in central Iowa when I moved back from Chicago, I would have moved to Omaha (I didn’t want to live too close to them for good reason), but because they lived in Omaha, I chose the next best thing.  Ha!

We did something that we’ve never done before… we didn’t tell my parents we were coming this time.  We just didn’t want to make it about them because it was about us, our kids, and our friends.  And…. we had a GREAT time!  We spent Saturday at the Children’s Museum and the Old Market farmers’ market and Sunday at the most incredible pumpkin patch.  It’s not really a pumpkin patch – it’s an insane fall festival that they run for 6 weeks straight, 7 days a week.  We had a hotel suite with a separate bedroom and the kids went to bed and we got to stay up and talk.  Matthew slept in his own bed both nights and until 8:00 this morning, and Bryson slept in his crib until 4:00 on Saturday and 6:07 this morning (he wakes up at 6:07 most days of the week – it.is.weird).  It was just so… EASY.  It was so easy and fun that there were lots of tears on the way home that we’re not going to a hotel again for a long time.

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It was a great weekend, and a great way to wrap up a trifecta of travel weekends!  We’re ready to be home for a bit now… but just a bit!

I think we may have arrived at easy travel.


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That One Time….

… When you planned a weekend trip with your blog friend, but you didn’t confirm the dates and you ended up booking (and going!!!) different weekends?

No, that’s never happened to you?

It’s nice that we’re already laughing about it, and better yet, we’re able to still meet up! Lesson learned (confirm everything!) and funny story added to my mental memoir. 😁


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Last Night of…

… Hell. This trip has been so hard on us, as we knew it would be. Traveling for 7-8 nights, in three different hotels, is hard enough. But add in two young kids and it takes everything in you just to survive.

I checked out my sister’s cabins today. They each have two separate bedrooms, two separate bathrooms, and a living room. We have… One room and one bathroom half the size of their small bathrooms. I’m not complaining because, “it’s not fair.” I’m complaining because we have no space to even walk, and we have the two youngest kids and one who requires a nap. We’ve had no place to escape to, and that is HARD. The kids get riled up and my dad has literally told us, “to wind them down,” or, “take them somewhere else.” But where am I supposed to do that when I don’t even have a room to go to to calm them down? There is literally no place to even stand since the kids air mats are on the floor, between the foot of our bed and then up against the fireplace (truly). If we go to our room, we all have to sit on the bed together. Ummm…. not relaxing or helpful.

There have been issues with my parents and we both say this will not happen again. We are DONE with the family trips. We can’t take it. That all is for another post, but I have to say that it feels good knowing that we both agree that this in not happening again. My dad has said we won’t do this for a few years. In my head, I think, “I’m done doing this forever, asswipe.”

The kids are asleep and I took a quick picture because they looked cute. I’m trying to capture the good moments. This is one of them.

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It’s a Shit Show

Night one of the family trip, and my dad scheduled the big, fancy, 6-course restaurant for the night of arrival. In his defense, it’s the only night it’s open while we’re on property, but in my defense, I told him my 2 and 4 year old couldn’t handle a 2+ hour dinner.

No one cares what I say. So we went.

My boys were all over the dance floor and I was told by the staff they couldn’t go out there anymore. Ok. I get it. Fair enough. Then my dad told me to get Bryson under control once, then twice.

So I left with both boys. I told Hottie to stay so that we don’t hear about the money we wasted by leaving. He knew I was right, that was best. He went back to drink my wine and eat his dinner (my dad said they’d box mine up. Ummm… No thank you.)

The boys and I are in the suite, eating 5 star cookies for dinner. I told them it was a “fuck it dinner,” and they obliged. Ha! 😉 I even had Matthew say, “it’s a fuck it dinner!”

Honestly…. I think we’re the winners.

All tension gone. The fine clothing is hung back up, and we’re being real.

How’s that for getting my kids under control? 😉

Added bonus, this way of traveling and eating is totally keeping my calories in line. 6 course meal starting with pork belly (yuck!) or one cookie?