Friday, May 25, 2012

Lessons Learned Thus Far: Epic Road Trip

I have unintentionally abandoned my blogging duties in exchange for sleep. Because sleep on the road has been few and far between. Yet there have been many lessons learned as a mom of five, five and under, on the road. I'd love to share a few of these with you!
Living in one room hotel rooms I have learned how to:
- Clean bottles with shampoo and Q-Tips
- Have planning meetings after lights out in the bathroom as we whisper and quietly surf the internet planning out our next days activities.
- Silently eat entire quarts (because hotel mini-fridge/freezers aren't big enough to save any;) of Ben and Jerry's ice cream in the dark, after the kids have all fallen asleep around us.
- And I have learned how to entertain friends and family in a hotel lobby with take out food, styrafoam cups, and bottles of wine, while the children swim in the pool.

While driving I have successfully mastered the following:
- Pumping and driving... trust me the truckers love it. especially when you wave.
- Still having all five kids nap at the same time each day for two hours while driving.
- Teaching boys how to pee in Starbucks cups and empty them through back windows without getting dirty.
- The careful line between dehydrating children and not having to stop every thirty minutes for one of them to have to use the restroom.
- The carfeul line between dehydrating yourslef, and therefore yor newborn baby and still having enough milk, but not having to stop every thirty minutes for yourself to use the restroom.
- And maybe most importantly, the skill of "angry driving", as David and I have affectionately called the survival methods used to drive through the east coast, especially northern VA and DC area! You MUST be angry, you must find anger within  you and use it if you want to survive.

Some things that have happened while on this epic road trip that I would like to blame on the sleep deprivation:
- Forgetting Laila's third birthday (sort of intentionally) and celebrating it four days later
- eating entire quarts of Ben and Jerrys, nearly every night.
- Possibly dehydrating my children on numerous occassions
- buying teal acid washed cut off shorts (for myself)
- wearing said shorts throughout the country
- jumping out of my van full of children and yelling at the man who rear ended us when I heard him start to blame my husband for the accident, sorry about that sir.

With all this in mind, as the weeks have progressed I have become more and more grateful for this time as a family. Because over the last 18 months our lives have drastically changed! We have gone from a family of three to a family of seven in less than two years. And as a result this time away, together, has been precious. It's been a chance to breathe, to settle in to what it means to be us. A family of seven. Three adopted kiddos (2 who are not officially adopted yet), one kid with birth defects, a new born surprise, and some pretty overwhelmed and blessed parents. The quote that is continually ringing in my head is one from Maya Angelou "Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it." That is the kind of God we serve. And I am overwhelmed with this truth. Two years ago I could be found crying in the back of worship, or in my room begging God to give me more.
My heart longed to become a family in which hurt chidlren found refuge and healing admist our hearts and arms.
My spirit longed to be grown and challenged through experienes greater than I could fathom.
And I've always dreamt of travelling and watching my children discover the world.
And this trip has given me the chance to sit back and realize that God has given these things to me. And so much more than I could ever have dreamt. And what is so exciting, is that this is just the beginning!

As we wind down, knowing we will be home in a week. I can't help but feel so totally blessed.


  1. Thank GOD you are going to be home.... because I miss you a bunch. But Thank GOD for adventures and safe travels. xo

  2. I love your commentary. I'm guilty of pumping and driving too.