I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

6 Jul

glamourous train ride?

Who thought it would be a good idea to take an overnight train ride to Paris?  Not quite as glamourous as I remembered!

We were a tad crowded with all our luggage and carry-on bags.  Wynter was supposed to sleep with Dad, but she wanted nothing to do with him, instead wanting to sleep with Tay-Tay in the cool cabin.  So we switched it up and Wynter slept with me {Hunter with Dad}.  We kept the door between our cabins open, so we could see each other and do a little rendition of good-night John-boy.

We had gone to dinner in the dining car … we were talking that up big time to the girls … it turned out to not be as cool as I remembered.  But then as I saw younger passengers {students most likely} coming through to buy a “snack” to bring back to their cabins, I remembered what it was like to do that and look with envy amongst the people that got to dine in the dining car.  We need to remember to be thankful, right?

So after a loud, obnoxious dinner {my kids}, we went back to our cabin to get pj’s on and settle in for bed.  After a movie {thank God for ipods}, we said good-night.

I felt every stop, every turn, every slow down, every bump and woke up with a train-ride hangover!  Only to find out we were delayed for some reason and would be getting in almost two hours later than planned.

When we finally arrived in Paris, it was raining … and cold.  It’s about 30 degrees colder here than in Rome.

Just before we got in to Paris, Hunter was complaining of a stomach ache and started to throw up … after I did the mom hands “I’ll catch it” move, nothing came out.  Just then Wynter started complaining she needed to throw up.  By then we found a plastic bag, so gave it to her and yeah, she did.

When we got in, we all piled into this “thing” they use as an SUV {stroller was between the driver and Curt in the front seat}.  Wynter was on Odinn’s lap in the back seat.  We’re almost to our hotel and Odinn’s yelling that Wynter is throwing up … everywhere!  We pull over to the side of the road, I change her clothes, give her my sweater, hop in the back seat to sit in the puke and off we go … ahhh, the joys of motherhood {brotherhood} and travel!

We’re having a good time though and I’ll write more later.

Posted in europe, vacation

3 Jul

holding hands

Do you ever get an overwhelming feeling of love when you hold someone’s hand?  Especially when it’s a chubby, dimpled baby hand that feels so fragile and small in your much larger {wrinkled} adult hand?

Wynter grabbed my hand today as we were walking to the elevator in our hotel.  She wasn’t particularly happy about something and came to grab my hand for reassurance.  I held tight to that little hand {that still is babyish with the dimples and all} … and felt the need to protect it.

I love when I put Hunter to bed at night and I ask, “Mama love?” and she throws her baby arms around me and squeezes me tight.

When we arrived in Rome and took our nap first thing, I had Wynter and Piper sleeping with me.  Wynter kept putting her arm around and over my back and it was the most precious feeling to me.

Taylor and I have taken a few walks together, or even as we’re just touring the sights and are walking next to each other, we instinctively take each other’s hands … it feels so good to me … that connection we have through holding hands.

And why is it that my heart fills with joy when I see my children holding each other’s hands?

I finally have our photos ready … click here to see.  I am running out of space on my computer, so not sure if I will be able to post anything from Paris.  We leave tomorrow night and will be taking the overnight train to arrive Paris in the morning.  The girls are too excited!

Posted in europe, family thoughts, vacation

2 Jul

day four of our italy tour

Let’s see … where did I leave off?  Did I mention the serious jet lag our kids suffered?  I think it was Monday night they would not go to sleep.  Time outs in a dark room, threatened removal of all next-day ice cream, nothing worked!  They finally went to sleep around midnight.  Taylor couldn’t sleep in her room and came in around 12:30.  I finally got to sleep and the baby woke up around 1:00!  It was 2:30 before she got down again …

Needless to say we were VERY late for our tour yesterday.  Once we got on the road, we had a really nice time.  We toured the Vatican museums {including the Sistine Chapel} … so awesome to think about all the history there.  It was a little cooler being inside, so the kids were not as crabby either.  When we were done with the museums, it led into the Vatican {St. Peter’s} … how awesome the sight!

When I visited Rome in an earlier life, I didn’t have the appropriate attire on {I think I had shorts on, or a sleeveless shirt?}, so never got to go in.  The second time I visited with Frank & Taylor, it was closing … so Frank quickly ran Taylor in to get one picture and they ran out.  So I missed it again.  This time I saw it and it was awesome!  Beautiful!  Amazing!

It’s a completely different trip this time … I remember walking all over Rome when we were here previously.  Taylor in her stroller, napping when she needed to and such a good little girl.  This time, the girls are cranky, we’re driving to see the sights, missing a lot that you would see on foot, but I don’t dare try and walk!  I see lovers kissing, holding hands, strolling.  I see us hurrying, sweating, wiping noses {2 sick kids}, getting back for nap time.  I remember the recent women’s conference I went to, and one of the women speakers asked how many of us had one child.  She joked and said “one is an accessory … a handbag!”  She was joking of course …

But as I was watching lovers love, I reflected on this comment and remembered how different that trip was that we took with Taylor.  This time we’re dragging around 4 kids, one with a nervous stomach.  And Odinn & Skye are with us too … 8 total … a much different trip.  And that’s okay, we are having a great time in the way that we know how to do it.  We’re creating memories that our kids will remember and cherish … and I think that’s just fine.

Yesterday afternoon we took the girls swimming {a must!} and then to Piazza Navona for dinner and a walk around the square.  {No ice cream for the naughty girls … and you better believe they went right to bed last night!!}

This morning, we met our tour guide and hopped in the bus … ready to go?  Yep!  Crash!  Our driver missed the large poles that separated the hotel drive from the street and thought he could exit.  So we hopped in taxi’s and headed to the Catacombs …

Taylor hadn’t been feeling well {she has nervous stomach … especially when we travel … and especially when we travel overseas}, and it got pretty bad with a long, hot taxi ride.  So by the time we got to the catacombs, she was done.  She and I ended up sitting in the foyer part of the museum.  It was a neat place and there were still some things I could look at.  She started feeling a little better and we were able to go to lunch.  Then back to the hotel for swimming.

For dinner we went to the Pantheon area … toured the Pantheon {amazing!}, had dinner right outside of it, the girls all went on a carriage ride after dinner, and then some ice cream before we headed back to the hotel.  It’s 10:45 pm and I’m exhausted.

I’d love to publish some photos for you … maybe tomorrow …

{This photo was taken tonight inside the Pantheon.}

Ciao!  :)

Posted in europe, vacation

30 Jun


So we made it to Italy!  Yikes!!  The most kid {un}friendly flight crew in history!  My fault for not flying the friendly skies … although we do have United on the way home, and also my advocate husband who told me he would’ve kicked some stewardess {booty}!!

After an hour or so delay on the runway, and a “can’t you keep those kids quiet” remark from large, tourist lady with inflatable pillow around her neck {okay, I just cracked myself up at that remark, but it’s true!}, and a baby that would NOT go to sleep … “no sleep, no sleep” is all she’s saying as she looks like a drunken sailor ready to pass out.  Mama needs her sleep baby … please go to sleep!!!  She finally fell asleep with 2 hours of the flight left.  Giving me a total of 6 hours of sleep 2 nights running!  We finally made it into Rome.

Awesome hotel!  Awesome weather {if you like it hot and you like hot, sweaty, crabby kids!}.  But seriously, you can’t go wrong in Rome.

Skye, the girls and I headed to our room, ordered some lunch and took a much needed nap.  When we woke up, we headed to the pool and Curt and Odinn arrived shortly after that.

We headed to the Spanish Steps area for dinner and a look around … the weather had cooled down enough to enjoy.

This morning we overslept and ended up delaying our scheduled tour by an hour or so.  Then we headed to the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain.  If I get some time, I’ll try to put some photos up within the next few days.  I’ve added a post to my Broadway Paper blog, it’s got a crazy photo on it.  The kids were pretty hot and crabby and so done with touring.  We spent the afternoon at the pool and had a really nice dinner.

Tomorrow we’re visiting the Vatican and the day after that we’re looking at some Catacombs … not sure what to expect there, but Curt’s all over it!

Posted in europe, vacation