Holiday-ee! Celebray-eet!*

We left our home last Friday with a giant exhale. Our car carefully packed with just enough space for the four people and one dog to fill our slivers of space at the last moment. Snacks within reach, we headed east to Bozeman.

stretching our legs at the Rocker truck stop

The reason for our trip was for me to talk at a writing conference but we hauled the whole fam to make a weekend of it. For some reason I continue to think something like a few nights away will be cake, that we'll effortlessly float out of town with sunglasses, a change of underwear and excitement. You know, like we used to. But it isn't that way for our family. Two days is the same as four weeks with the stuff we shoehorn into our car.


Plus, road trips kind of suck right now. Our kids take turns feigning torture by car seat. Mostly, it's my Ruby who wishes so desperately to be cartwheeling around in the way back with Alice. It's hard, even for me and my It Always Works Out! personality. Thankfully, the destination is wonderfully redemptive.


The conference was great (a cool challenge for me; I've never done anything like it before) and we spent the rest of our time rolling around with old, dear friends until the girls and I split of from the dad. Andy headed home while Alice, Margot, Ruby and me kept the subaru pointed east to Red Lodge where tulips are on fire and lilacs are just showing their creamy selves. The familiar valley smells of cottonwood,  earth and mint.

The second half of the trip was only slightly less agitating than the first. I found that I had to just keep going because there was no husband to navigate the road while I navigated Operation Locate Pacifier. I explained to Ruby that I would hold her and play with her all night if we could just plow through 2 1/2 hours of the most beautiful country on the planet.

Parenthood is so much about changing course, letting go and pushing through. We couldn't change course so I let go and Ruby pushed through all the way to comfortable Red Lodge. Read how I roll (tumble) in this week's mama digs: getting better at it.

We are on holiday for a few days. Nuggets from the RL on Wednesday!


*title intended to be sung like Madonna. Was it obvious or was it a fail?


ps Randomly selected winner of $50 at Tiny Prints:

#47, Jennifer said...Texas needs the water badly! We are in drought. :o( Watering every other day our hibiscuses and roses. And our house foundation. Don't need busted pipes! Loved the read today, so green with envy over your garden. So lush, and just beautiful. Some day, I will have one. Water, yes very common, very needed and it seems to either go all at once to one place and not where it needs to.

pps Winner of ErgoBaby didn't claim it! (I know!). New winner, #34: recipesforcake.

Congrats, Jennifer and recipesforcake! Email me at digthischick at gmail dot com to claim your stash.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


5happyapples said...

I often solo road-trip with my 3 young girls and it IS quite the adventure. They always do better than I think they will, but still...looking forward to the day a few years from now when carseats aren't so restricting for them, pitstops aren't always including a slimy playplace, and the roadtrip part can (maybe) be a fun part of the experience again. Good for you for trying!

mrs boo radley said...

I totally sang your title just like that. ;)

clove's corner said...

Totally obvious.

Melissa said...

Totally got the title. And I'm loving Margot's purse in the last picture. Looks like she's taking some time to celebrate, oh yeah, oh yeah.

Tina said...

Don't worry - the title was definitely obvious... that is, unless you lived under a rock in the 80s.

Uhhh CAN'T BELIEVE the Ergo winner didn't claim it... seriously!

My 16 month old is known to do the car seat shriek. Sometimes getting her in it alone is more than I can bear... trying ruthlessly to get her to stop doing the stiff-baby stance so I can fold her body in half and quickly wrestle her arms through the harness and buckle it before she stiffens up again and slides right down to the floor... ohhh I know it all too well. So frustrating!

I'm dying to hear more about this conference you spoke at!!!

MW said...

I find, oddly, that car trips (ok, 2 hours and under - haven't tried the epic 8 hour trips solo) are easier with just one parent, even though I dread them more. Somehow the little boys (2 and 4) in the back seat are more likely to groove to the music and enjoy the stuff they have than if there is a desperate parent in the passenger seat. There are only so many times I can say sorry honey, I have to drive, before they get it. (touch wood. And usually we're the dual-parent road trip, and I always always always have a sore back after passengering. Like a friend says, Moms should have a swivel at their spine).

Christi said...

Oh Man!!! It was me that won. I never win and I have been in mad chaos mode packing to move (after having my home for sale for almost 2 years - woohoo) But I haven't checked blogs for awhile. Super Bummed, but congrats to the new winner. Things always happen for a reason and I am sure the new winner needs it more than me. Enjoy!! Sorry don't think I am a big flake. Just a crazy, busy mom!! Love this blog!!!

Daniele said...

road trips for us suck lately too...same reason, a 22 month old who does not appreciate her britax. It'll get better soon. Like, in a year :)

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Totally obvious. I was dancing around in leg warmers in my mind before I even hit the Mickey D's pic.

Minnesotagal said...

Totally got it! Didn't even have to scroll down for the note.

I love this post and Mamadigs this week. I will be forwarding both to my husband so he knows we're not the only crazy (crazed) traveling family in the world. A friend of mine once said "there's no such thing as a family vacation only a family trip" which has become our traveling mantra. But we wouldn't trade those "trips" for the world!

Dana said...

love the pictures! {as always!} Counting down the days until we are back in Montana {6} Traveling with kids is crazy. My 3 get better each year, thank god. Mine are 6, 4 and 2. the 2 year old screamed in the car until 5 months ago. Im really hoping the trip home to MT this month will be much better! Kootenai Valley here we come!Watch out!

CB said...

Your post makes me smile as we are yet again planing an overseas treck - I kid mysef into thinking that a planeride is "easier" 'cause once we leave for the airport there is no room for "I-forgot-the.....!"
But then again everyone can hear the "no nooooo no no no" of my almost two-year-old being buckled in for many hours! Only to be followed up by an amazingly long raodtrip to the cabin - oh joy! smiles to you, and long live summer "vacations" CB - we will one day bask in the light of the memories of our children

Jeanne said...

Wow, you have given me inspiration to drive me and my three small kids alone down to Portland in a few days. I wanted to be able to support DAd in an event he is taking place in over the weekend but was thinking it might be too hard... Anyway, that's for the subtle push.

The title...I love me some Madonna, but I just can't seem to get that music flow...however my brain is filled with Wonder Pets theme songs and Word World anthems. I know once I hear the riff from the song it will be a slap you in the head moment.

Rhett said...

Oh yeah, way obvious!

pintsizepredator said...

I look back on those road trips that are so intense, overly intense, in the moment and even the parts that sucked are somehow precious in memory--enjoy rocking it in beautiful MT!

Bikini By 30 said...

I totally got the Madonna reference.

I adore that Margot made sure to have her gold evening bag with her on your walk. I am definitely going to take mine next time I hike :)

Jennifer said...

A) I love Red Lodge so much. Thanks for posting pictures.
B) I am a hippy dippy, extended breast-feeding, Dr. Sears-reading mamma and yet I will readily admit this frailty: I can't drive out of town with my children without a portable DVD player and about 16 hours of Disney/Pixar. I'm not proud of it, but it works.

Stunningly Sweet said...

I'd love to have your go with the flow attitude! You are one cool mommy!

Jennifer said...

"ps Randomly selected winner of $50 at Tiny Prints:

#47, Jennifer said...Texas needs the water badly! We are in drought. :o( Watering every other day our hibiscuses and roses. And our house foundation. Don't need busted pipes! Loved the read today, so green with envy over your garden. So lush, and just beautiful. Some day, I will have one. Water, yes very common, very needed and it seems to either go all at once to one place and not where it needs to."

I'd like to thank the Academy and my family and friends for their continued support, and mostly God! :o)

I just had to write a speech for my winning! YAY ME!

Thanks Nici.


P.S. Thanks for letting us all live vicariously via your blog. Montana is just as adventurous as Texas! I have never been to Montana and hope to some day!

Jill said...

This is one of my fav mama digs! I can really relate...someday it won't take us 4 hours to pack up the car, right??!!

For what it is worth, I knew the Madonna reference right away!

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

rebecca said...

,,,have to say (and had to giggle) at the fashionable gold purse Margot is wearing,,,what a hoot!

Cate said...

I admit I didn't get the Madonna reference, but only because once I read it, I couldn't get the song "Holiday" by Vampire Weekend out of my head.

My husband, son, and I went for a three-night beach trip recently. After we finally got everything packed in our van (we only live 45 mins. away from our vacation spot)I told my husband I felt like I would pack the same amount of stuff for three days as I would for two weeks because of all of the everyday items, comforts, contraptions, toys, etc.

TRB Holt said...

Most definitely got it; was humming through the read....xoxo!

You can turn this world around
And bring back all of those happy days
Put your troubles down
It's time to celebrate
Let love shine
And we will find
A way to come together
And make things better
We need a holiday..
Holiday Celebrate
Holiday Celebrate
Holiday Celebrate
Holiday Celebrate

trbholt said...

via mamalode.com:

You are SO good at it!

I remember when you & Trav were little & I had some crazy moments…I would think of my mother, 4 kids…two of us only 18 months apart, my dad traveled M-F, she worked as a RN part-time and I don’t remember her not ever being there for us…those thoughts of her got me through the crazies & still do!


Clove's Corner said...

via mamalode.com:

Lively and messy, indeed. But I won’t stop. Hopefully, I’ll have the same mind-set when this second kid is born! Fun to read what I have to look forward to.

Happiness is... said...

via mamalode.com:

Oh, in the midst of getting ready for a trip today. Oiy! House is a mess, everything I need is peppered around our 4 flights. So here I sit and work and drink coffee. And did I mention that I want to hem a skirt for this trip in time? Fray stop may be the solution for now. Or maybe believing I have an extra hour somewhere.

My phrase on days like these is “fake it until you make it.”

You’re right – you won’t remember the craziness and turning around and Ruby screaming. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Welcome home.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

dig this chick said...

via mamalode.com:

Ha! I also decided I needed a cardigan for my presentation on Saturday. So, in between filling water bottles and packing snacks, I hunted through my closet (while Andy was packing the car…he had no idea of my additional ‘to do’) and found an old sweater that I really quickly cut apart and refashioned into a cardigan.

Good luck with your skirt hemming and 4 flights!

Melissa W. said...

via mamalode.com:

Great post today, Digs! Hope your talk went well.
I, too, cried for the last few miles of my first 1/2 marathon. I was so glad that it was raining so no one could see what a mess I was!

When my oldest was just three months old, we were headed out of town for a wedding when I realized I had forgotten to put on deodorant. Luckily they sell Secret at Ole’s Country Store and Beer Depot.

Dana said...

via mamalode.com:

This sounds oh-so-familiar. I have 3 1/2 yr. and 15 month old girls, also, and on long road trips I feel like I am practicing gymnastics trying to keep everyone happy as our packed Subaru rolls along. I especially liked “…pass her books, snacks and pretty much anything that isn’t fatal her way in hopes for 17 seconds of contentment” I keep a large bag full of such things jammed in front of my chair for just that reason – my endless bag of tricks. My husband is bewildered that I squander my small allotment of leg room for this, but the relative peace makes up for legs that are tingling asleep for much of the trip.
Also loved: “I wish a martini would materialize in my hand.”
I can so relate. Great piece – thanks!

Kate said...

via mamalode.com:

You are brave and intrepid souls! Travel literally feels essential for life, to me. Blowing past the city limits sign at the start of a road trip used to signal a big exhale and letting go. Now we have a toddler (just one so far), and prospective road trips have us up nights weighing pros and cons. The big con being – kid restrained against her will for hours on a trip she didn’t really plan or consent to. And that con has been outweighing the hell out of any pros. I’m itching to go, anywhere, just go. So this summer we will throw caution to the wind and hit the road. The in October – flying out of the country. The thought makes my spirit soar (and my bowels clench).

Angelika said...

via mamalode.com:

Are you opposed to a portable DVD player? I SO was…I thought, “We did not have a portable DVD player for road trips when I was a kid – we will NOT have one for our kid!” My parents live 7 hours away from us and we pack our 4 year old, dogs (and sometimes our 2 cats) in for the ride and finally (when he was 2 and a half – after four hours of screaming) we stopped in some podunk town at a Walmart and bought one and a copy of 101 Dalmatians. Sweet relief!!!!!

We have to be in the car at least an hour for the “movie machine” to “charge.” That way he still actually experiences a road trip before we melt his brains with Disney magic!

Ellie said...

via mamalode.com:

Hilarious post, Nici, though I am sure it didn’t feel that way on the two-hour drive and back. Don’t kids have just the craziest hang-ups about stuff? Our 20-month old also does not like the car a lot, but at least she loves singing, and Wheels on the Bus is always guaranteed to make her happy. Maybe Jingle Bells?

Tonya Richard said...

via mamalode.com:

Traveling with babies that don’t like their car seats has been one of the hardest things about parenting for me. Yes, I am serious! I hate to hear my baby screaming and there isn’t anything I can do. We just took a trip to the beach and had to be in the car for almost 5 hours. Sophia did ok, but I am investing in a portable DVD player and Yo Gabba Gabba video for the next trip. Of course, now I have teenagers that fight and yell that so and so is touching them. That is even more aggravating, because I don’t feel sorry for them, I just want to smack them lol

Amanda said...

via mamalode.com:

We spent 12 tortuous hours driving from CA to UT in December. I sooooo, know where you’ve been. I can’t wait for the day my baby is old enough to bribe!

Deb Bratton said...

via mamalode.com:

It takes your Uncle Skip and me hours after our estimated time of departure to actually leave and there are only 2 of us! And we are grownups!! So don’t feel bad and make any excuses!

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