This past weekend we squeezed every ounce of productivity and fun with the moments we had. Friday morning began with some yard work at a friend’s home of the best kind: friends, cool weather, and heavy lifting. It would have been the highlight of our weekend but things just kept happening.
Grandpa Moose arrived just after dinner Friday night. Emily was still awake and we talked and cleaned together before calling it a night. Saturday morning we started slow. Nathan woke up early and was ready to go down for a morning nap around 8:30, so Emily, Dad, and I went on a long run together. We went out to lunch after Nathan woke up (he took an unusually LOOOOOONG nap that morning) and then came home for naps. We squeezed in a game of rummikub before dinner, made stir fry, and then went to clean the church together. We said our goodbye’s to grandpa about 6:30pm feeling super grateful he made the time to come out and join us. It was a perfect day.
We had a little bit slower of a Sunday after church. A number of times Emily called out to me, “Mom, come watch” and I would find Andrew doing some sort of activity with the kids stacked on top of each other. Emily loved it. Nathan sometimes loved it and sometimes really didn’t love it, depending if he was on top or bottom.
In case it isn’t obvious, there were playing airplane and horsey.
Monday morning we got an early start and headed to Turkey Run State Park with some friends of ours. We somehow ended up on the very rugged trail, which was incredibly beautiful, with six kids 9 and under, and three of those kids 3 and under. We crossed streams on logs, climbed up and down muddy river banks, explored some incredible rocks, looked at a frog, fish, spiders, and drips from the rock wall, and grabbed a snack. We were trying to figure out how far we had come and how long we had left to go when we reached a waterfall that we would have to climb up and the trail turned into a stream to walk through. We figured we had gone pretty far down the trail but that forging ahead wouldn’t be our best option with the three younger kids. It turned out however that what took us 45 minutes on the way out only took about 10 minutes (or less) on the way back, so we hadn’t actually gone very far at all. On our return trip Emily tripped on a rock and bashed her face really really really hard on the corner of it. Her teeth went into the top of her lip so there was a little blood and she had a really purple bruise on her cheek within 10 minutes, but she brushed it off and was ready to keep going pretty quick. We grabbed lunch near a park and played for a little bit before heading home.
This was a really long suspension bridge that waved back and forth as large crowds of people walked on it. Emily said it best, “This is very scary.” But we all made it.
The hiking crew:
Monday had been so great we decided to make the weekend last just a little bit longer. We hopped in the car early on Tuesday morning and drove the hour to Indianapolis to pick up our newest addition: a bike trailer. I’m still a little stunned with how everything came together. I’ve been looking for bike trailers for months on craigslist in many cities, trying to find a good option for our family. We brainstormed all sorts of scenarios: buy the base model new for around $320, buy a used model that is normally $600 for $300, or buy a cheap one to get buy for $30, etc. The more we looked at options the more we realized that we wanted to have a stroller attachment, an infant insert, and two hitches so we can easily switch between both bikes. There were a few that popped up last week that were potentials and great sales at REI for memorial day, but nothing really came together. Then on Sunday night I saw the burley base model made in 2013 ($300) with a stroller attachment, infant insert, and two hitches in Indy for $180. I emailed the guy and we arranged to come look on Tuesday. When we showed up it turned out that it wasn’t the base model, but two versions up ($480), with all of the bonus features that comes with it. Sold.
But really, this is a story about tender mercies. A few weeks ago Andrew and I had a conversation about how when you make less money, it helps you to rely on the Lord. I hadn’t ever really thought about this concept in our own lives, and so my prayers changed and became more purposeful. I began praying for the right bike trailer for our family; the right price with the right quality and features we needed. This bike trailer was a gift, truly. And I’m still amazed and grateful.
Bonus: Emily threw up twice on the way down. For the first time. Thank goodness Andrew was there and could coach her through it while I was driving because she didn’t know how to open her mouth and let it come out and we thought she was choking. We were able to pull over on the side of the highway and be rocked by semis for five minutes while we cleaned her up, and then next time we found an Arby’s to be a little more thorough.
We got the trailer set up last night and took it on a four mile test ride as a family. Oh it is awesome. As Andrew said, “I think we found a new family hobby.” Emily loved it and has two rocks she is dying to take on the next ride. Nathan smiled the entire time (except when I was taking the picture).