First Family Trip with Five


Last weekend we took our first family trip as a family of five! We rented a two-bedroom house from Air BnB, and drove the few hours north to Tulsa for a four-day weekend.

I know Tulsa, Oklahoma, is not going to be anyone's first thought of grand vacation destination, but it was actually a really fun time! We visited the Oklahoma Aquarium, a super neat park called The Gathering Place, and a local business called Adventure Avenue that offers indoor play areas with costumes, a play kitchen room, fire engine, and other fun toys.

F was born last February right before the pandemic hit, so that plus the fact that it's difficult to eat out with kids meant that we had never gone to a restaurant with all five of us, and then we did it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the same day! And it actually went as well as I could have hoped.

The kids had a great time, and so did we, but I won't lie. We. were. tired. It takes approximately 800 times longer to do anything with little kids. Exhausting.

We had trouble getting them to bed at night, everyone refused naps during the day, and we ate McDonald's for dinner on Saturday night instead of the local Italian place that Jordan and I wanted to go to because the kids were freaking out about getting chicken nuggets. It wasn't a perfect trip by any means. 

But I'm so happy we were able to make this happen and get away for a couple of days. R and J still talk about our trip to Arkansas (the same trip as that poop story Jordan likes to remind me of LOL), and they were super excited to go on another family trip... this time we really leveled up the cool factor in our minivan ;)

I did feel a little bad for F. He's not quite old enough to play with the big kids, especially because he can't walk yet. But he's 14 months old, which is old enough to have opinions but not old enough to understand why he can't do what he wants. But he seemed to have a good time for the most part. He loved the aquarium and the fish, even more than the big kids did!

Just a reminder, in case you needed one, that you don't have to plan an expensive, extravagant vacation. A long weekend in a town a short drive away can do the trick just fine!

On Seasons


All week long I've been saying it's the wrong day. On Wednesday I kept thinking tomorrow was Saturday. On Friday I thought tomorrow was Sunday. I don't know why I'm so confused, but I feel like lately every week has felt like one of "those" weeks.

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I was 5 years ago. R was 8 months old, we were just a few months into full-time daycare, full-time me working at the office five days a week, and I was crying. A lot. I don't think I fully realized at the time how traumatic that year was for me because I was just trying so hard to keep one foot in front of the other.

Being away from R for so much of the day was heartbreaking for me, emotionally exhausting, and I was so sensitive to and aware of messages and phrases that I perceived to shaming my ability to be a good mom because I wasn't with her during the weekdays. 

I wasn't a "full-time mom."
I was "letting someone else raise her."
I was not doing The One Thing that Makes The Most Impact in all the world.

The voice was talking to me constantly, telling me that I'd miss her first everything, that she wouldn't be able to bond with me, that I wasn't really a very good mother or I would have found a way to quit my job and stay at home with her.

I won't say the voice is gone completely. But I realize now that it's not telling me the full story, or even part of the story. Or, honestly, any story at all. At least not any story worth listening to.

A few years ago, I was thinking about that first year going back to work after having R, thinking about the angsty blog posts I wrote and the dramatic Instagram captions and the long text messages I sent my friends full of crying faces. I felt a little embarrassed about being so vulnerable, online and in private. And I felt embarrassed about how completely I viewed nearly everything in my life at that point through the lens of "working mom."

It's been 5 and a half years since I dropped R off at daycare for the first time, and now my three kids go to that same daycare five days a week while I work (at home! A pandemic adjustment). I consider myself both a "full-time mom" and an "employed mom," but neither of those phrases hold the weight they used to.

Sometimes, I'll just be honest, I do wish I didn't have a job that required my time, focus, and effort. There's a stressful situation at work that I keep thinking about in the evenings the last week. If I didn't have a job, I could concentrate completely on my family all the time and not also worry about being a good employee, sick leave, vacation days, and fitting in errands and housekeeping somewhere in there too. I would be able to spend more time with my kids. That's just a fact.

But just because it's a fact doesn't mean it's not also true that I'm a good mom. I'm a present mom. I'm an involved mom.

These two things are true at the same time: 
My kids are in daycare five days a week because I work a full-time office job. 
I am a full-time mom. I love them, and they love me.

I think about that me from 5 years ago and want to tell her this, but I don't think she would believe me even if I could. I'm not embarrassed anymore about what I wrote and shared during that time. It was a helpful way for me to process some of my feelings, and I've heard from several people that reading my blog was an encouragement to them during a similar transition.

I don't know quite how to end this post. This wasn't actually what I came on here to write about, but I guess I've just been thinking about that time in my life and wanted to write some closure to that season. R will be starting Kindergarten this fall, and to be honest I'm feeling anxious about that big change coming up for all of our routines.

But if I've learned anything in my 5.5 years of motherhood, it's that everything is a phase, a season. I'm anxious but also excited to see what our new season will look like!