Vacation 2015 Top Ten

It’s Sunday night, and I’ve just had 10 days off. Not surprisingly, they whooshed by and vacation is more or less over now. I learned last year that it makes a world of difference to take a full week off of work, to put the worries and cares of the workplace out of my mind.

Last year we built a patio; this year our plans were less ambitious. We stayed up late(r), slept in, spent countless hours crafting and playing with the kids, and took a weekend trip to Bismarck.

This is a list of moments or events that made my 10 days off awesome!

10. Family Get Togethers: I love every single person in my whole family, far and near. But there is a swath of them that I consider “My People,” because God made a whole bunch of kind, generous, grateful people who know how to laugh and love unconditionally and decided to lump us all together in one family. My People got together on the 4th of July and had a perfectly lovely potluck. It was the kind of day I wanted to last forever.

9. Potty Training: My perfectly-content-to-wear-diapers, almost 3 year old son decided he was ready to poop on the potty. It never ceases to amaze me how emotional poop makes me.

8. Good Neighbors: We live in an amazing neighborhood. All of our neighbors up and down the whole street are really friendly, helpful people. We really hit the jackpot. We attended a block party with a handful of our neighbors and it was another one of those moments I wanted to last forever. There are so many good people on this earth and it’s a real pleasure to know so many of them.

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7. The $1 Pool Noodle Project: The pool noodle as sprinkler was the brain child of my husband. We made a stop at a very classy dollar store with the sole purpose of buying a pool noodle and somehow walked out $6 poorer. Not to be deterred by our lack of impulse control, my husband got right into making the sprinkler almost the second we got home. One drill and four minutes later, we had ourselves a nifty new water toy.

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6. Lindenwood Park: We took the kids to Lindenwood Park one day. We had a nice picnic, the kids played on the playground, then we wandered around the park. It’s always fun to discover a new activity that the kids enjoy, so it made my heart happy to see the kids playing in the rocks, watching the river, climbing hills, squatting down to smell the flowers, running, laughing, not fighting.

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5. A New Parental Milestone: My seven year old rode a big kid ride at the fair. I looked away the whole time and prayed she’d come out alright. It was the longest 3 minutes of my life, but she lived and did not barf. Then just a couple days later, she announced that she’d be riding the speed slides at the water park. And she did. And she lived. And I lived.

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4. Pizza Corner: The best pizza in the world, according to our family is Pizza Corner out of Valley City, ND. I feel a little silly at my age doing certain things for the first time ever, even though it’s been there all along (the Jamestown buffalo comes to mind), but the Pizza Corner Restaurant didn’t disappoint this long-time fan. The best part: it only cost our family of five $17.50.

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3. Baseball: My nephew is going to be a great athlete someday. He plays hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer, and I’m sure will be playing other sports along the way as he gets older. He is nine years old and it’s so delightful to watch him play baseball. He is the catcher most of the time, but we got a real treat this weekend when he pitched a few innings. He runs fast and steals a lot of bases, too. I think he likes to slide.

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2. Blue Skies: On our trip to Bismarck, I was struck by how wide-open it is there, with hills and great expanses of sky visible from almost anywhere. North Dakota is so beautiful.

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1. The Family: Circling back to the topic of My People, I had a wonderful weekend with my mom and dad and sister’s family in Bismarck. We ate, drank and were merry. I laughed a little when we were all crammed into a tiny hotel room, eating pizza, laughing and teasing each other, because it was exactly like being in my parent’s tiny living room back in Fargo. And that, other activities aside, we could have saved ourselves 400 miles of driving.

Bonus: No one barfed!!

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