My family recently took a super fun trip to Helen, GA for a little Christmas Vacation, National Lampoon's style.
Poor Bert was sick before we even left on Thursday, fever and aching all over. I have very little patience for the sick. I will pray for you, I will smile as I walk by, but I do not want to baby anyone who is sick, except those who came from my uterus. Harsh? A little, but there's a reason I did not go into the Nursing field. I just don't have that natural instinct. I'm happy to hand you a cold drink and the bottle of Motrin, but the whole, "Let me lay here and breathe your sick air as I rub your back" part of my brain is cold. I admit it, Bert got the raw end of the deal here. Sorry, Babe. I love you, I really do.
So, we left Thursday to head to the beautiful Georgia mountains... in the pouring rain. Lucy and Jack are now to the rightful old ages of five and four, which means every 10 minutes someone is asking, "How much longer?" "I see some hotels! Are we there?!" Literally, every 10 minutes. I swore to myself long ago that I would never be one of those parents who constantly bores their children with stories of their youth to guilt them into appreciating how spoiled their generation has become; however, these type parents seem to conveniently forget that it is impart their laziness that has contributed to this over indulged generation. ie: "Lucy! Just be glad that you have a portable DVD player! Do you know what your Daddy and I did in the car when we were little? Got pinched for asking a million times, are we there yet?! Plus, we also had to walk to school barefoot... in the snow... up hill... both ways! Now hush and watch your movie!" Which then sparks a new conversation for Bert and me. "Seriously, we used to play 'baby head' and then 'who can hit the softest' which I always lost on purpose. Yeah, Kelly fell for it every time. Kate had more common sense..." "Man, I got whipped so many times on car trips, all because we were so bored! These kids just don't know how good they have it." We did finally get there, and got to answer YES to "Are we there yet?"
Helen, GA is a beautiful place. There is a Christmas festival this time of year. The whole town looks just like a gingerbread city. Super cute and fun to visit... but not so much with nine children ages five and under. That's right, I said NINE. My parents had five kids... we all grew up and got married. Some of us still act very much like children, then wonder why the real children of the group are acting out... Bert and I started the baby boom back in 2003. Lucy and Jack were born 17 months apart. During our break from over-populating the world, three more males were born nearly every six months. (Enter Noah, Charlie and Ty) After those three grandsons, we all took a good long break, and waited a whole 13 months before grandchild #6 yet another male, Xander, would arrive. Two months later, we got #7, Hank. Finally, after all these stinky boys, our precious second girl, Lily arrived, three months after Hank. Getting dizzy yet? Colson, another boy, came four months after Lily. So, there you have it. These are the precious, darling, mild-mannered, too cute for words children with whom we spent our Christmas Vacation. Sarcasm? Snicker. We stayed in a cabin with the name "Serenity." Oh, the irony.
We love the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Perhaps a little too much. Any one of the blood siblings, and now the in-laws are getting close, can burst into a quote and literally finish the scene without missing a single line. We're horrible to watch the movie with, if you actually want to hear anything Chevy himself is saying. We can also do this with "White Christmas" but we're more likely to be heard saying, "Oh, Dear! Did I break wind? Geez! Did the room clear out Bethany? No, she meant presents! You shouldn't have brought presents!" Over, "Sisters. Sisters. There were never such devoted sisters..." Though we do sing that one quite often. (Even Matt.) After vacationing with this group, and loving the movie as we do, I had to ask myself this question... Does art imitate life? Or does life imitate art? If you've seen the movie, take a look at these pictures, and you tell me.
We spent three nights, had tons of laughs, cleaned up tons of spilled drinks, apologized to a number of waitresses, spanked tons of temper-tantrum bottoms, and over all, had a great time. Memories were made, to say the very least. I love my family. We are corny, and cheesy, but we are very much a family who loves and supports one another, no matter what. Thanks to Mom and Dad for making us be that way. For boring us into appreciation for all you've given us. It's cliche, but you really are the best. I also want to keep being sappy just a moment and say thank-you to my crazy siblings, Matt, Nick, Kate & Kelly who were super fun to grow up with, and super to poke fun at now. I love you all so very much. I'm looking forward to driving to The Grand Canyon with you all on a coach bus this summer. What memories will be made then. Totally joking. I love them, but the sappy part is behind me, and if I were forced to ride with that group all the way to the Grand Canyon and back, the last memory of mine would be the bottom of the Grand Canyon as I plummeted to it. I'm sure they feel the same.
To end our wonderful National Lampoon's Maynard Christmas Reunion Vacation... Bert got his payback. I began vomiting around 2 am. Only, instead of passing me a cold drink and the bottle of Motrin, Bert took care of me. He brought me a wash rag, carried me back to the bed, then back to the toilet... you get the point. He packed the car the next morning, dressed the children, (not matching, but they were dressed) loaded them up, carried me to the car, drove me home and moved me to our bed where I slept the whole rest of the day and night. I could hear screams of, "But that's not how Momma does it!" He remained calm, most of the time. He forced me to drink plenty of fluids so I would not dehydrate, then actually laid and breathed my sick air while rubbing my back. Bert, I'm so glad "that part of your brain" is not as cold as mine. I love you, Babe, I really do.