What a Weekend!
Thank you for all of your encouragement. I read every comment, as I always do, and am so grateful for this community of friends and supporters. It means so much to me, honestly. I do have faith in myself and Travis as a couple, and all of us as a family, that we’ll get through this year and the insanity it’s going to bring. We’ll get to the other side and it’ll all be worth it. A 4th baby is also really exciting; plus, I’m not good with odd numbers anyway.
We had an incredible weekend, one of the best ever. There’s nothing like some Colorado sunshine to cure my woes! And the great part was we just stayed local and explored some places nearby (hikes, nature centers, fountains, the Butterfly Pavilion, etc). One of Denver’s greatest features is all its open space, family-centered fun, and urban hikes (and of course the awesome weather year round that allows us to enjoy that stuff). One of our recent favorites is a place our friends, Jerry & Rebecca, told us about: Star K Ranch / Morrison Nature Center. There are lots of bugs, so be prepared, but there’s also tons of wildlife and an awesome nature center. And NO ONE goes there (shhh!) so we get a ranger to ourselves plus all the trails. The ranger let the kids hold a 5’ bullsnake the same day we ran into a 7’ wild one on the trail (and my moronic courageous husband proceeded to grab it by the tail as it attempted to slither off into the tall grass…we’re just lucky it got away before it was able to bite any of us).
I’ve been earning my calories, since it’s been beautiful enough to do the walk to one of our favorite spots, which is ~4 miles each way on a really nice trail we can access from our neighborhood. [Note: don’t take that to mean I haven’t gained any weight! Despite my better efforts, I’m on the trajectory to overtake Travis in the weight category by ~30 weeks if my projects are correct. I will SQUASH the little man who did this to me! Bwahahaha! Just kidding…and he’s not really little either, I’m just saying that to make myself feel better when my weight eclipses his.] Anyway, I genuinely love Colorado year round, but spring/early summertime is SO fun.
[On a side note, Jack went into the haircutters with a rockstar mullet do. We thought we’d “clean it up” just a bit, but somehow, I must’ve blinked and missed the bowl that was obviously involved. Oh well, it’ll grow back, right? I did miss seeing his gorgeous features, so from that perspective I love his haircut!"]
I have the most FIERCE travel bug lately, but seeing as our bank account is (again) overdrawn as we await student loans and my paychecks to start coming in, I think we’ll continue exploring all the beauty right here in our backyard for the days I have remaining before intern year starts. We are lucky that it doesn’t even take a drive to see incredible scenery from our house (we can literally watch a mountain sunset from our bedroom window). I’m going to miss this place, although after the year I’m in for, I have a feeling we’ll be ready for any change come next June. Even if where we’re going doesn’t involve mountains.
I think the travel bug is about the impending lack of flexibility in my life. I know I’m not going to have weekends off this year, except on rare occasions, and that just sucks to think about after having so much flexibility and control over my schedule for the past few years. It’s probably also related, at least in part, to having another baby. Not that having babies has kept us from traveling, but I highly doubt we’ll be going anywhere by plane for awhile (now that our 3 kids are > 2 and require their own tickets). The only cure for my disease is to actually travel, which isn’t happening anytime soon. In the meantime though, I’ve been planning all sorts of unrealistic vacations, which Travis is sick of hearing about, but a girl can dream, right? Bhutan is my new one. Wouldn’t it be awesome to measure wealth and success in terms of “gross national happiness?” Not money, not image, not car, not house size. Not GNP but GNH? So yeah, I’m dying to see what Bhutan is all about.
But on that note, I’m pretty sure the person who first said “money doesn’t buy happiness” didn’t live underneath hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. <sigh> I know these are temporary issues, but they suck nonetheless. Anyway, Bhutan seems like a dream right now. It’s a small enough country that no one starves to death, and they limit tourism and impose a government-mandated charge of $200/ person per day just to see their country’s beauty (because they can, and because they don’t want it totally changed by too many tourists). It’s a country rich enough in culture and values that people are able to live simply and happily off the land they have. Buuuuuuutt they probably don’t have 3G, which was part of our Match ranking criteria (I’m not even kidding – Travis bumped Geisinger way down because the iphone service was on “E” there)! Anyway, Mongolia by horseback & jeep is still up there, as are New Zealand in an RV and Madagascar from North to South. Someday…
I have lots in my life to be thankful for. So, so much. I wish this travel bug would stop itching for awhile, but I think my symptoms begin when I need a little something to dream about. Travel symbolizes freedom & adventure, and I am CRAVING that since I know it’s about to be taken from me. Travis and I tend to come down with nearly debilitating cases of the bug every now and then, and that’s probably why we’ll never stay in one place. I wonder if we’ll pass our wanderlust on to our kids, or if they’ll hate us for dragging them all over the place;) At least they’re not going to be alone; 4 kids within 4ish years means a pretty good playgroup no matter how remote a place we may venture!
Anyway, some of our best friends in the world are right here in town with us. Dominique, Kevin, and their kids should be on their way over soon, so we’ve got another fun day ahead!