Change of Scenery

Before embarking on our latest adventure, I foolishly called it a vacation. A few days into the "vacation", my opinion changed. I decided to call it my "change of scenery" instead. My everyday life in a new location. Dirty diapers, temper tantrums, entertaining the kids, making sure no one fell down the stairs, feeding, clothing, and all of the other little things that make up the average mom's day. The thing about the mommy gig is you never get to turn it off.

Still, I can't complain. This is where our change of scenery took us...

Not a bad view to see each morning. Our cabin was located just outside of Gatlinburg, TN. We shared the cabin with my parents, sister, brother, sister in law, niece and nephew. It was a spacious cabin, with each family having their own bedroom.

Big One and Little One handled most of the car ride very well. But the last leg from Paducah, Kentucky to Gatlinburg was rough. And it was on Father's Day. Happy Father's Day, Hubs! I got you a relaxing day of driving with two screaming kids. I even threw in a mental breakdown just for you. Did you like it?

We were all happy to arrive at the cabin.

Except that the first night at the cabin was almost as rough as that day's car ride. The kids didn't sleep well. Little One kept waking up. Big One flopped around in the bed we shared. Hubs tried to sleep in the van until I begged him to come in so he wouldn't be eaten by a bear. None of us slept well.

Monday morning we all decided to take a hike in the mountains. Little One was whiny. Big One was whiny. I was on edge and exhausted. We finally made it to the beginning of the trail to find all of the parking spots were full.

But wait, someone was backing out. We were going to park in the spot and my brother was going to drive a quarter mile back down the hill to park his car. Hubs moved forward slightly to let the other car out of the spot. Out of no where, another car speeds up and slips right into the spot.

That was the straw.

I got out of the van with Little One and Hubs drove down the hill with my brother. I lost it. Tears. Cursing. Threats of packing up and heading home that day. I made sure to throw out a comment about rude people stealing parking spots as I stood right next to the car that had taken the spot. And yes, they were out of the car. Passive-aggressive tendencies at their finest. I needed to make my point. It took a little of the edge off.

My dad took Little One and I paced the parking lot crying.

We finally started up the trail. A nice woman who was pushing a stroller down the trail stopped us. There was a tree down over the trail about 100 yards from the end. A stroller could be lifted over it. Don't stop. It's worth it to go on.

I know she could see how psycho I was that day. My face said it all. "Psycho out of control mommy on the verge of a complete mental breakdown right here. Everyone stand back."

I wanted to throw myself in her arms and cry. She would understand. She's a mom. But I resisted for fear she would pull out some pepper spray or try to push me over the edge of the trail.

Instead we forged ahead. I stifled the tears, but the raw emotions still lurked near the surface.

Half way up the mountain, Big One got tired. Little One was sound asleep in the stroller. And it started pouring down rain. Drenching rain. I picked up my muddy, soaking, 43 pound son. I carried him up the mountain. I forced myself to keep taking steps. Put one foot in front of the other. Don't think about your burning arms. Keep going.

We made it to the tree across the trail. Stroller went over, despite warnings from every single party coming down the mountain (except the first mom) that we would not be able to make it through. Tell me I can't and I will. (OK, so technically it was Hubs and my brother that lifted the stroller over the giant tree.)

The kind mother at the bottom of the hill was correct. It was worth it.

Little One woke up half way down the trail so we stopped for a family picture.

We're all soaked, muddy and tired but not defeated. I was even able to muster a smile. More to come on our change of scenery...


Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Now, aren't you glad you made that trek? I'm excited for your next installment--I'm sure the rest of your "change of scenery" went much smoother!

Mama Bigs said...

Aww mama!!! I'm so glad that you guys made it home in piece and that it certainly looks like the end of the trail was worth it!!! You're awesome!

Donna said...

Thank you for sharing your adventure. It is nice to know that I am not alone with my emotions. I have done the same thing about parking lot thieves and the people that think a parking lot is a speed way and try to run us down. I hope the rest of your "vacation" went much smoother.

AnastasiaSpeaks said...

Shelley - Thank you for sharing that story. My husband and I always joke about how it's not technically a "vacation" when we're just the kids' sherpa! Carrying them, feeding them, doing whatever it takes to make them happy. The older the kids get the better it gets.

I'm always jealous of parents that talk about all the great family vacations they take with their kids and they make it sound so easy. Like their kids are perfect vacationers. I look at my kids and wonder when that will happen to us?

Maybe when they don't nap anymore, can feed themselves, can change themselves and most importantly entertain themselves!

With all the hard stuff, they're still the best part of our lives and when we're not with them we miss them to bits.

I love the pictures!


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