We're back from our family vacation and this is what I've learned. We should not call family vacations . . . vacations. We should call them family . . . experiences. The word vacation brings to mind rest and relaxation which family vacations do not provide.

Family experiences, on the other hand, include such events as:

Teenagers who drastically change their mood every two seconds.
Wanting to go on a 4-wheel ride SO BAD you ignore the fact that it has been raining all night.
Trying to figure out what to do with an entire family covered to the kazoo with mud.
Children who need to go to the bathroom in the wilderness when you told them to go before you left civilization.
Ground squirrels who get to the food before you do.
Sudden thunder storms that strike just as you get 33 zillion miles away from the cabin.
Children who want to go swimming SO BAD they don't care if the pool is heated and their teeth chatter.
Windy canyon roads that make you want to barf and your ears pop.
Bodily smells from the back seat when you are trapped inside your car for hours going there or coming home.

Yet, family experiences also include:
Laughing in the jetted tub filled with bubbles . . . and all the children.
Eating a succulent dutch oven meal cooked by your favorite chef (your husband).
Watching the clouds roll through the pines, listening to the river rushing over rocks while you fall asleep and feeling your child slip her hands into yours.
Telling scary stories in the dark.
Being presented with a wild flower bouquet.
Reading scriptures or saying prayers by firelight.

. . . And walking back through your own front door knowing home never looked so good.

Whether the experiences are frustrating or fabulous, challenging or cherished, family vacations release us from our usual routines and give us the opportunity to make memories that last a life time.


Becky said...

Family "experiences" are my FAVORITE! I was just thinking how 'small' your family looked knowing that you have 10 children. I'm glad that you had fun. :)

April said...

That made me laugh and cry, and miss the times when I was on those experience with you. Love you mom.

Arianne said...

Talk about crazy. A family photo with only two kids in it! And everybody is looking at the camera. Hope you guys had fun.

Aubrey Baadsgaard Poffenberger said...

I am jealous! I miss family vacations.

Aubrey Baadsgaard Poffenberger said...

Sounds like lots of muddy fun!