Saturday, July 2, 2011

Goodbye, For Now

Montana or bust!

And since I am clearing the camera in preparation for Epic Family Vacation Photo Extravaganza 2011, look at some cute kids (and one half naked grown man) enjoying this week's it's-really-finally-summer weather.

Our neighbors got a Slip and Slide and I happen to be married to the guy who will rip off his shirt and enthusiastically demonstrate the new Slip and Slide to an excited gaggle of kids who are totally confused about just how this crazy new toy is supposed to work.

Sawyer was more interested in baby Norah. He is fascinated by babies and uses this silly little high pitch voice whenever he's around one. I don't know, maybe he needs a baby sister.

Slip and Slides also make great drinking fountains, in case you've ever wondered.

And then there's the robe I made for Jack, who was less than enthusiastic about modeling it for you all.

And so I snuck up on him while he was helping me make oatmeal.

A robe in June? I know. But I had to get that project cleared off my sewing roster so that I can focus on my dress (!!).

In addition to water sports and sewing projects, we've spent the last week packing and laundering and list-making and snack prepping and gear buying and planning and now it's time to go. Tomorrow we load the kids, the dog, about fifty library books, and approximately half of the contents of our entire house and drive hundreds of miles in the car. The car, I might add, that has air conditioning. Yes, that's right, we'll be traveling in the comfort of an air conditioned vehicle, gas mileage be damned. (If you want to know why an air conditioned car is so important to me, look here. Or here. Or just trust me that being stuck in an sizzling Volvo with two grouchy little baked potatoes just isn't my thing.)

We'll be staying in a cabin on Flathead Lake and then camping a few nights in Glacier National Park.

Now before you go rounding up a posse so that you can come and rob us blind in our absence, let me remind you that we're taking half of our possessions and the rest is just a bunch of junk. In fact, come and get it. Please.

This might also be goodbye to the blog for a while. Our computer is rapidly reaching its geriatric phase and has crashed more times in the past few days than usual. I think this might be the beginning of the end. Exhausted from packing and answering questions from Jack like "What does Montana smell like?" and "Why is Montana a state?" and "Why do there have to be states?" and "Why do we live in Oregon?" Brent struggled to finish up a freelance project last night. As the computer shut down on him yet again, I couldn't contain the realization that we could scrap the trip, drain our savings, and just go buy that new laptop he's been coveting for the past few years.

But we can't do that.

Family roadtrips are definitely different from the roadtrips you took with friends in your twenties. And I took a lot of roadtrips with my friends back in the day. (Amberlee? Are you there? I miss our roadtrips. Even if between the two of us we never mastered the art of pumping our own gas. Sigh.) Anyway, family roadtrips are a lot of work, plenty of crying, more potty stops than you could have imagined, and require an insanity producing amount of preparation. But loading your gear and hitting the open road is a feeling that I want our kids to know. I want us to be that family, you know, the one that piles into the car and seeks adventure. I want to have the kids who know geography intuitively because they've actually seen the world. I want to be the kind of people who just go ahead and do the things that everybody talks about wanting to do. And so it is with this optimism that we charge up the camera, pack EVERY SINGLE pair of pants that Sawyer owns, fork over 60 bucks at Trader Joe's for an unprecedented amount of car snacks and mentally prepare to hit that open road. Because no matter what happens, it will be worth it.

One note about the bear situation. I was half joking earlier this week when I expressed some mild anxiety about the possibility of a bear encounter. Brent's internet research has led me to a full on panic MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO BE EATEN ALIVE! mode that I feel most strongly when remember that I will have to GET UP and PEE in the MIDDLE of the NIGHT in the WOODS with the BEARS! REI sells "bear spray" and they even offer 100% satisfaction guaranteed, but I wondered how many people who were unsatisfied with the product actually LIVED TO TELL! Much less get their money back. My paranoia has fueled some precautionary measures that I'm not going to tell you about until after we get back because I think it might cause you some mild anxiety or perhaps full on panic because right about now I am FREAKING OUT more about Brent's bear attack prevention devices than an actual bear attack itself.


Back to the traveling with kids thing. I've done plenty of traveling and many of my most memorable journeys were with my friend Emily. You remember Emily? The one who remembers my pants? Anyway, Emily and I spent a lot of time on trains together. A LOT. We once spent 30 hours on a Portuguese regional train. That was a long trip. Portugal is really a small country and I think we were traveling at about 10 miles per hour. Emily and I share a mutual love for journaling and we passed countless hours on trains chronicling our adventures, sketching the sights we'd seen, gluing ticket stubs and making up silly lists and questionnaires and some other stuff that sounds really dorky as I am typing, but let me assure you, those travel journals are totally awesome. And looking back, I think that journaling was a precursor to my blogging, so there you go. Anyway. In addition to journaling, traveling, and running, Emily and I also share a passion for snacking. Yes, that's right, I said a passion for snacking. She and I pretty much snacked our way throughout Europe and during one of our lengthy train rides we came up with the ideal snack pack recipe. And here it is:


I am telling you, if you follow this snack packing guide, you can't go wrong. Now you, too, can be an expert snack packer. (That is easily the dorkiest thing I have ever typed on this blog. And I've geeked out quite a bit over the years. On a really nerdy side note, Blogger's spell check does not recognize dorkiest, dorked, or geeked. How lame.)

Clearly I am doing some task avoiding here. I still have some packing to do and some snacks to inventory, so enjoy your week and if you don't hear from us again for awhile it's probably because the computer finally kicked the bucket.

(Or maybe we were eaten by bears...)


  1. Sound awesome!!! Have lots of fun!!:)

  2. Hope you have a great trip! I was laughing reading about the snack pack! oddly enough I told Brant about the whole thing this last week when we road tripped down to Smith Rock, The three sisters' wilderness and crater lake! He laughed when I said that sweet and chocolate were two separate categories :) good memories !!

  3. Sounds like fun! Can't wait to hear about it. Garrett lived in Glacier Nat. Park for a while and has some bear stories...