Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Our family has become a road trip family, and I love it.

Every month we get away for five days or so with just our two boys. Some months we stay in town at a small house that is available to the house parents in our company. But more and more, we have been finding excuses to drive someplace new and get out of the familiar.

There is something about being far removed from what I do and see and hear every day, that helps me “check out.” My mind more easily turns off the business-chatter and switches into play and rest mode. In a small way, I feel released from our daily routine and free to let days fit our whims, rather than keep our routine ridged.

This month we decided to drive to Texas to visit Andy’s mom. She rented us a little bungalow with an adorable loft for the boys to sleep in and a perfect little club house with a pool and park for the boys to burn energy at. 

The trouble with vacations, is that so often they are a beautiful mix of “perfect” and “awful.” 

The freedom of being away from the familiar also translates to some inconveniences. 

It would be more than easy to construct a post about the sweet moments we have experienced, and there have been many (don’t worry, I will tell you about those too), but I’ve been suffering from a growing need to celebrate (catalogue? Share? Not sure of the right word here...) “real” life. 

The trouble with blogs, and don’t get me wrong, I am a blog junkie, is that it is so, so easy to make your life what you want it to be. Or at least give others the impression that your life is what they want theirs to be.

If my word diet is too full of happy-go-I’m-perfect posts and how-to’s about simplifying and beautifying and strongifying, I get out of balance. I start to think that everyone cleans their house with one perfect product and that every mom plays with her children endlessly and cheerfully all day long and that every crossfit woman’s goal is to make it to the games and it should be mine too.

I’ve gone back and forth in my mind for many months about blogging. When I first had Jack, blogging was an outlet for me. A chance to say what was on my mind, when it was sometimes hard to find faces to talk to. 

My enthusiasm for blogging has ebbed and flowed and sometimes I have had a lot to say, and sometimes not much. And sometimes I have had a lot to say and haven’t said it, because, well, some things just shouldn’t be available to everyone.

But in the last six months or so, as I have found beautiful blogs that distract me from my daily duties and that inspire me and make me feel like it is good to be alive, I have wondered if I would like to have a pretty blog. 

As I wrestle with wondering if I should or could or would ever have a “real” blog, I remember that whatever my answer. Real life has to be shared. Too much perfect makes everyone feel out of balance.

So, in the midst of our cheerful vacation, here are the places were I completely and utterly failed:

  • I scheduled events the entire day prior to and day of leaving, so that instead of getting out of town early we didn’t leave the city until 7:00pm.
  • I didn’t pack enough underwear for myself or enough pajamas for the boys.
  • I forgot to tell Jack’s teacher he wouldn’t be in class for a week (she probably hates me now and will take out her frustration on Jack, equating to an inferior preschool experience for him, leading to his dislike of school and more significant educational struggles down the road. This is ridiculous of course, but not to far from how I think sometimes.)
  • I was brutally grumpy to Andy the second day of driving, which happened to be his birthday, which I did nothing to celebrate, except to sit at a restaurant with our family (that Andy didn’t want to go to anyway) and storm out with both boys as the service took far too long to produce food and the boys, and I, melted down. (Probably the worst scene I have ever made)
  • I forgot the camera, which means that I won’t have pictures of Jack’s first big boy roller coaster ride, Joey’s adorable face painting at Sea World, the boys feeding ducks or riding a train, or playing in their loft beds, or any of the sweet moments that I want to remember the trip for. 

Sometimes I just plain mess up. Sometimes in spectacular fashion. Sometimes, in small annoying ways. Regardless of the magnitude of the mistakes, it happens. And that is my life. I will always have small disasters neighboring my triumphs. 

That’s the thing about blogging. Some people love to harp on their failures. Some share only their successes. I hope, that whether I blog a bunch, or keep this random pace, my life is always a celebration of... life... Wonderfully up and down life. 


hootenannie said...

I'm so glad that you share the imperfections, the mishaps, the meltdowns, and the brokenness. "Pretty blogs" are nice and all - but I don't always want to be friends with the authors - mostly because I would feel like a disaster next to them.

Your words walk that fragile line between mundane reality and gorgeous hope. You are the most whimsical matter-of-facter I know - which kind of makes you my hero. You are one of my favorite writers, I always look forward to your updates, and I am so, so lucky to call you "friend."


Brian and Janette said...

Alright! You caught me. Red handed. I was totally reading through your blog and thinking to myself, "If I could just be a little more like Emily..."

So, if you're trying to make me think any less of you, this post did nothing to help your cause. It only reinforced my admiration. Because not only are you one of the kindest individuals I know, you can also admit when you are wrong.

In all seriousness...thank you for keeping it real. And for being the REAL deal. The whole package. Imperfections and all. You make me want to be better and everyone needs a friend like that!

Emily said...

Oh man guys! Why are you so sweet to me?!

I'm convinced that we all just need a way to say, "geez I'm lame sometimes" and still have people love us. An ugly meltdown and unkindness certainly doesn't deserve an applause, but it sure helps repair the aftermath when friends know that I'm bound to flop a unending number of times and still manage to send warm words my way.

Thanks ladies!