Reservation for Crazy: Part Three

So I’ve spent the last two weeks chronicling our crazy month long vacation. If you missed the first two parts and want to catch up, they are on my website or on my Facebook page.

Today’s post will summarize our Disney World experience!

Days One and Two we spent at Magic Kingdom. Most of the rides and restaurants were open and even with the social distancing the wait times were hardly ever longer than thirty minutes. I was worried that my kids were all going to be “stick-in-the-muds” since we have not really ever rode rides before, but they did great!! Capri and Ella even fell in love with the Thunder Mountain Railroad and rode it a couple of times.

Days Three and Four we spent at Hollywood Studios. Other than Toy Story Land and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway there was not much at this park for us. I’ve seen almost all of the Star Wars movies, and we did ride the simulation rides, but we only did a couple of hours each day and spent the rest of the day swimming at our AirBnB or exploring the town.

Days Five and Six we spent at Animal Kingdom. The kids definitely had the most fun at this park. We did not start on the Wilderness Explorers activities until the second day we were there, but were able to find all the badges and finish the book. Colton was very proud of our accomplishment.

Days Seven and Eight were spent at EPCOT. This park was definitely the most entertaining to just walk around. The rides were fun, but definitely not the main point of the park at all. The kids enjoyed picking up the “postcards” in each country and trying to guess which country was next without reading any signs.

Overall, we had a blast! My only complaint would be the constant “need” to have a mask. I’m very glad we stayed in an AirBnB not affiliated with Disney so we could get a break from what will always be known as the “Mask Nazis.”

Next up on the agenda is Okeechobee to visit family, then on to the Florida Keys!!

Reservation for Crazy: Part Two

Hello again! Let me start with a quick recap. My family decided to spend a month away from work and snow. So a couple of days ago we all boarded a plane bound for Florida.

I’ve done quite a few road trips with my kids and what I have learned is to never pack my own snacks. Now maybe your kids, or even you yourself, are happy with what you’ve so thoughtfully picked out for them before you hit the road, but mine are not. I could have the most delicious chocolates and delicacies in my diaper bag, but when we stop for gas all they want to do is go inside and pick out something that we don’t have. Can I blame them? I’m the same way, sometimes.

What does this have to do with flying? Well, my husband and I went down a “minimalist packing” path. Knowing we would be in rentals for a month with limited space, I knew I didn’t want the stress of loads of luggage. So, everybody only gets 4 outfits, a pair of pajamas and a swimsuit. Following this line of thought we decided to not bring any toys. NO TOYS?!?!?! ARE YOU CRAZY?!??! Maybe. But we knew we would have limited space AND that we would be spending 8 days at Disney World. You cannot spend 8 days at Disney World and 3 weeks road tripping around Florida without accumulating toys. So really all they had to do was make it one full day without conventional toys.

Now, I’ll tell you what we DID bring. Each of the older three had their own MP3, a digital camera, and a kindle for books. I also had packets of schoolwork in case they got bored.

For my youngest, I brought snacks and his special blanket. He ended up being fascinated looking at the window, eating his snacks, and wiping everything down with the sanitizing wipe the flight attendants gave him. He also fell asleep for an hour, so bonus!!

Once we got to our final destination airport I was very grateful for our light packing. Four kids, two adults, six backpacks, a stroller, and three car seats sure made for a fun parade from baggage claim to the car rental location.

Also, I had rented a large SUV (because they were cheaper than minivans) thinking we’d have loads of space. I, myself, drive a Ford Expedition. Nope, we have the tiniest GMC Yukon known to man. With zero storage space. We have to fold down seats to keep our stroller in the back. I’m so glad we have very minimal baggage.

As of right now, we are two days into our eight days of Disney. Next week, I’ll give you all an update of how that went.

Reservation for Crazy?!? Part One

So flying with children has always been this dreaded, stress-inducing ordeal for me. I think most moms can relate. They get so excited about the plane and the adrenaline from that makes it impossible for them to sit still. Not that sitting still is in their wheelhouse anyway.

We, as moms, read through articles and scroll through Pinterest looking for traveling hacks and tips. Sometimes those tips and hacks are lifesavers but most of the time, they remind us that all children are 100% different and what works like gangbusters for one or two does not even come close for another.

Now enter stage left CoVid 19! Now on top of being trapped in a flying tin can with upset, antsy children and 100 other people, we have to wear masks and “social distance.” Not even sure how thats supposed to happen with airline seats the way they are. You’d be crazy to want to fly now, right? Right!

Guess who is flying across the country with her husband and four kids ages 9 and under?? You guessed it! It’s crazy old me.

My husband and I originally planned to do a missions trip overseas in celebration of our 10th anniversary, but obviously thats near impossible right now. Instead, we decided to take the kids to Disney World! Great idea, right? I certainly hope so.

Want to know something even crazier? After Disney World we are planning on just exploring the coast line of Florida, Louisiana, and maybe Texas for a few weeks. After which we will drive home to Wyoming. Crazy, Party of Six?!?! *I raise my hand* Here we are!

So over the next few weeks, if I survive, I’ll be updating you all on our trip. Wish me luck!!

Why You Doing So Much?

Well, I am officially 89% done putting the Christmas decorations away! Yay, me, right?

I cannot help but think, “Why do I do this to myself every year?” I don’t know how much decor you have, but I feel like I have a lot of little Knick-knacks that get set out and about the house, two large christmas trees with all of their lights and ornaments and tree skirts, etc. I don’t believe the work comes from the amount of decorations, necessarily. I think that it’s more the amount of time I mentally allot to put and take down said decorations.

I without fail strive to put everything up in one day. I usually do it sometime the weekend after Thanksgiving, and no matter how often my husband says, “We’ll finish the rest tomorrow.” My whole body fights that notion!

It’s the same, but in reverse every mid-January. I finally decide I’m ready to have my house back, and start furiously packing everything up. So I’m covered in fake pine needles and flocking, with ornament hook scratches all over my arms and hands. My hair is frizzed from static electricity, and I’m needlessly stressed out about not finishing it all in one day, like I planned.

This year, I realized how often I do this to myself. I set ridiculously high expectations and feel dejected, disappointed, and distractedly stressed out when I don’t accomplish what I set out to do. I understand there should be an element of “shooting for the moon.” But it would be great to be able to sit back and read a book for fun, without feeling guilty about all the other things I need to be doing.

So, what do I do? I make a list of things I NEED to do everyday. This list is full of things I enjoy, but when they’re mandated it takes a tiny bit of the fun out of it. So now I have a list of things I NEED to do everyday to keep the house, school and work going smoothly, AND a list of things I NEED to do everyday to feel accomplished and fulfilled.

So, I ask again, “Why You Doing SO MUCH?!?!”

Going for the Goal!

Are you a goal-setter? This time of year is always full of the question, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” I have always been bad at setting goals. I know that makes me sound like a lazy bum who will never amount to anything, and maybe that’s true. I’ve just always been better at helping others shoot for the stars, rather than aiming and taking the shot myself.

I’m now in a time in my life where I desperately need to set goals and accomplish dreams. Of course, that begs the question, “What are your dreams, Amanda?” The response to which is simply…Crickets.

Don’t get me wrong I have dreams. I’d love to finish writing and publish stories that I have been writing since I was in high school. I want to be fluent in another language. I’d love to travel the world, go on a cruise, hike all the long, crazy trails that take months to complete.

I even have goals that I’m working toward. For instance, I’m training for a Spartan Race in May with my sister-in-law.

The odd thing is this. Most of these dreams and goals did not originate from my own mind or longings. A lot of them started with just trying something someone else was trying and learning to love it. So are they really my dreams? King Solomon wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.” So I’m most likely never going to find a dream that nobody else has tried. I’m simply not that creative. I’m finding the line between dreams and to-dos is fine.

When someone asks what my goals are for the next six months, my first thought is of all the things I want to get done. Refinish my four antique school desks, get better at piano, learn the violin, practice my Spanish for 5 minutes a day, get my children through whatever grade they are in school without strangling them, etc.

Are dreams and goals simply things you need to accomplish? Or should they be so much more? I’ve always thought they were some passionate motivation for getting out of bed every morning. That vision of what could happen if you push through this last set of reps or that last mile on the treadmill.