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We are in what feels like the forever middle of a Pandemic. If you have anything related to internet or a TV, you can’t get through the day without hearing “Covid-19” or “Coronavirus”… It’s literally insane.

I keep telling myself we are literally in the middle of history in the making and trying to make myself feel better with “This too shall pass”, but it’s been 4 months, with no end in sight. Schools, for the most part are going online in the fall; parents are scrambling to figure out how they will manage, while I’m sitting here realizing that the loss of my daughters senior year due to this shit almost pales in comparison, as we get to move on, so to speak.

My youngest is entering college in the fall, but it’s the local junior college, so she will still be home. My older daughter who will be a Junior at University of Oregon will be moving back to the area in an house with her friends. They will both be distance learning. And honestly…at this point, I’m almost at peace with it all, because at least they are adults, and can get on with their lives.

My concern is for the k-12 families who are trying to navigate their way through these unprecedented times. My heart goes out to all who are affected. There is no easy answer and it breaks my heart.

With all the heaviness in the world, it has definitely taken it’s toll on our family. There has been a lot of grieving a lot of readjusting, and a lot of fear and uncertainty. None of us saw this coming and navigating has been tricky at best.

I have watched the fallout on each of my kids and to say the least…it has sucked. How do you help your kids through something you have never been through?

A few weeks ago, I decided we needed a getaway. All while the girls were growing up, we used to travel around a bit whether it be dance competitions, or off to Norway (or Europe) to visit my sister and her family. There is something magical about getting away with family.

In recent months, with isolation the most dominant in our lives, and the walls closing in on us (only visiting limited friends), we decided to get away. I won’t lie, it was kind of like pulling teeth. If you have teenagers, you know their varying opinions can kill any vacation. It almost didn’t happen.

But at the last minute, we pulled something together for a quick two night stay in Arrowhead.

If you know anything about me, you know I am not really a planner. One of my favorite trips was with Avery last year where we just jumped in the car for a “you call it” vacation. We ended up at various locations up and down the state, no reservations anywhere, and it.was.AWESOME!!!

Given the current circumstances, we couldn’t do the same, so we settled in on a VRBO on the back side of Arrowhead lake and called it a day.

When we got up here, the cabin wasn’t ready. But my sister in law happened to be renting a place nearby and told us to come on over.

Now before I go into detail about that, I have to tell you this…

My girls are like oil and water. They have moments where they mesh, and moments where I’m taking bets on which one will survive. As we left the house, the girls were at each other, and as I just wanted solace, I told them both to ZIP IT!!

We decided to get food for the ride up. It was morning and we were hungry. We decided to go crap food and get McDonalds breakfast because it sounded good to all. Mind you, it was after 11:30am. And they didn’t serve all day breakfast anymore… So Avery and I ordered food and we told Aspen to find someplace near that offered vegetarian options. She found her place and we were off and running…

I swear to you all… as soon as we hit the road…I had my girls back. Hamilton was playing, we were singing and peace abounded… It’s like we were all who we used to be back in the day.

Now, when we got up here and realized our place wasn’t ready, my sis in law went out of her way to come and meet us and take us back to her cabin. She offered dinner for us and I felt bad, but she assured me she had enough.

Now… My girls and their cousins haven’t had an abundant amount of contact over the years. We have had plenty of gatherings, but it’s not like they reached out to each other over much, even though they had no issues with each other. It was long overdue for them all to spend time together.

Though I knew they would all be fine, what I wasn’t expecting was the overwhelming connection they had playing games. My sis in law and I were eating dinner on the patio after feeding the kids, and out of nowhere, we heard yelling and slamming and laughter! They were playing a card game called Anomia (or something) and they were going to TOWN!!! I had never heard them interact like that. Soon, they pulled me and sis in law in to play and needless to say, I sucked at it so bad because it called for quick recollection and my brain does.not.work.that.fast!!! They laughed at me, and I was okay with it.

After all the gaming and clean up we left and the girls said this time was the highlight of their day. My heart was full!!!

My sis in law was leaving the next morning, but she said they were going to do a quick hike before they left and we decided to join them. It was a short hike, but not a flat hike, there were lots of rocks and a few falls along the way. That said, we all walked as one unit and as soon as we reached the end of the hike, we lingered for a good hour or so, just wandering the falls and the different pools.

Y’all… I can’t tell you how happy I was watching all these adult kids just hanging together, making sure we wouldn’t fall, helping each other up, and just BEING!!! I could have stayed there all day!

Getting out of your house is MAGIC, I swear!

There is NO doubt that this time is trying for all of us. But I’m going to say that the proof is in the pudding. My girls have giggled so much together. I have been told THANK YOU by both my girls for various things, and our guards are LET DOWWNNN!!!

My sister lives in Norway, and it’s customary that most families have cabins somewhere that are away from their homes. These cabins are modest at best, but have the creature comforts (minus internet and TVs). My sister said their is a term that means, “changing living rooms” or something like that. It’s the process of going to a place that is not your home and living life without all the “stuff” that comes with it. When you come back you are renewed!!!

Our trip has been short, but the memories will be long. We didn’t need much time to be together, and I’m so grateful. It didn’t take long for my babies to reappear and for them to remember who they were and who they are. My girls have a connection that hasn’t been easy, but is deep. I’m so grateful for this short time and the memories we will carry forward!

Take a trip. Get away. Just be… Remember who you are… just do it…