Friday, August 21, 2009

I Leveled Up!

This is what my boys call it if you've gained a new skill, learned to do something hard, or otherwise acquired experience points.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I used to be the wimpiest mom in the world. I wouldn't even take my boys grocery shopping by myself. For good reason. Little by little, I've gained confidence. Two years ago, I took my oldest three boys on an adventure to attend General Conference- that was huge for me. This week I did something that totally tops that: I took all 5 boys on a beach vacation adventure. All by myself. Monday, I got a wild hair. I thought to myself, "This has been a really lame summer for the boys. They should be able to have some fun." So I did some internet research, reserved a hotel room (camping is out of the question!) loaded up all the kids, and away we went! It was a solid 6 hour drive, and I only got lost once. At that point, I pulled into a Geico office and begged for directions. It worked, and we made it the rest of the way just fine.

I learned a few things. First, I have the coolest, funniest kids in the world. Sorry, but I took all the most interesting boys.

Second, I will never again try to fit 6 people on two queen beds. Ever. I thought I was saving money. No, I just purchased a terrible nights' sleep.

Third, I can do this. I can take the kids places overnight and still have so, so, so, so much fun.

Take a look!

We just happened to be at the best tide pools in northern Oregon at low tide. The boys climbed all over rocks, hunted crabs, played with starfish for hours.

Insert your own sound effects here: shrieks, screams, frantic calls for the brothers to come see the biggest crab of all time.

This was his first experience with the ocean since he was four.

This guy was fascinated by the sea. He had to explore every wave, every nook and cranny of every rock.

This guy had to test his nerve, out there in the freezing waves. How far out there could he go? I think he went under a couple of times. The big boys were wild men in the waves.

What's a boy outing without fire?

This is proof that I was actually there.

The scenery was amazing. We were at Ecola State Park. We're going back. We have to.

I begged, pleaded and commanded them to all get together for a group shot. This was all I got.

Logan buried himself in the sand, and Dainon came up and asked, "Does it hurt if I punch you right there?" As I recall, the answer was yes.

Doesn't the scenery just make you swoon?

Liam had a ball sticking his fingers into the little sea creatures. They're sticky and close around your finger. Are they anemone? Maybe.

The first day at the beach, I was pretty nervous, and lectured the boys on never turning their backs on the waves, and what to do if they got caught in a rip tide. I was sure someone would get nabbed by some freak wave and I wouldn't be paying attention and I wouldn't realize it until that night at dinner. If you know me, you know that could happen.

The next day, I just relaxed and enjoyed being with them. Like I said before, they were crawling all over some really sharp boulders. Even Liam, who the day before was nervous to get his toes wet, was leaping around like a mountain goat. I was with them the whole time, though. A couple who looked like they were in their 50s made their way over the rocks to me, and asked me if all those boys were mine. I smiled and told them yes, they were. They congratulated me on letting them play and really be boys. They told me they had figured they were brothers because of the way they interacted. That made me feel really good. There are so many things about mothering that I'm pretty terrible at. Letting my boys have adventures is something I really get. Having that noticed made me feel all bubbly inside.


Jana said...

You, my dear, are my American Idol!

Allison said...

Leveled up for sure! And you are such a great boy example to lots of us! It sounds like such a dreamy trip.

Michelle said...

I'm so proud of you! I need to try more adventures with my kids. I'm okay with the driving, but the keeping everyone in one place once we get there-- that's a different story. The Oregon coast is so fun for kids.

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

Way to go! You are a true inspiration to me. Maybe, someday, I may leave my house too.

shannon said...

What a good looking family you have! Looks like you all had a blast but what in the world did your husband do alone at home?

Michelle Stott said...

That is awesome! It looks like you guys had a great time!

Jenn said...

That looks like so much fun! Good for you!

Kimberly said...


fivekidsandsomechocolate said...

I think this is why God sent me to live by you.

lovecat said...

I love it! The beach is the all time coolest place to explore. I am sure your boys will remember this trip forever! Congratulations on your level up. :)