**This is an archived blog post from July 8, 2012**
I just got back from a family vacation, and although the 25 hour car drive each way (crammed in a mini-van with my husband, my squirmy 6 year old, my teething and nursing 5 month old, AND my parents PLUS all our luggage) was rather trying, the trip was great. We were visiting my grandparents whom I hadn’t seen in years, so it was wonderful for them to see J.J. a little more grown up and to meet Ava for the first time.
I expected troubled times with J.J. considering the stress of travelling and how negatively stress and change can affect him and manifest itself in behavioral problems…but he really did an amazing job with everything. We had some troubles getting him to eat without a lot of his comfort foods around (like Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage which I made tonight as our first dinner back home), but other than that he seemed at home.
The biggest trouble we had with the trip was coming back to a garden decimated from the drought and unusually high temperatures we’ve had in our area of central Indiana lately. Even though we had a friend watering the garden for us while we were gone, the heat was too much to handle for many of our plants – including the 34 new Arborvitae trees we planted in the spring as a privacy hedge to replace a broken fence. Even though a good portion of our plants seem to have lost the will to live, we came home to newly bloomed sunflowers which, in the face of heat and drought, have given us something beautiful to lift our spirits. My husband lovingly collected some for a bouquet for me:
Now that I have to get back into the groove of daily life full of cooking, laundry, cleaning house, and all the tasks of caring for my children, I thought I would feel weighed down with stress but instead I feel sort of renewed and recharged. I don’t know if it was the vacation or if it is my own realization that I should set weekly and monthly goals for myself to better manage and accomplish things I want to do and not just things I have to do… but in any case I feel like I can take on all that fulfills my life with a new vigor. So, like the sunflowers in our garden of despair, I will stand tall and bright in spite of any drought that surrounds me.