We're heading to Carlsbad Caverns, Colorado Springs, and Estes Park for a week and half. We rent an amazing house in Estes Park within view of the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. I'll confess that while I love to hike, my favorite thing of all to do is sit in the living room with the balcony door open and the mountains right there and read. Reading during the day is a luxury I don't usually indulge in, and reading for hours is something I don't often get to do because I fall asleep at night. In the past, my sister and her family have gone with us, and we are sorely going to miss them this time. I loved having other grown-ups (or people who pretended to be grown-ups during the day) to play cards and games with. I loved being able to see her kids for extended periods of times. For any who don't know, she and I have the exact same family. My kids are 14, 12, 10, and 10. Hers are 13, 11, 11, and 9. We both and 2 boys and 2 girls, including b/g twins. Crazy, right? Oh, and my sister is only 15 months older than I. Tailor made for family vacations, right? We would have much more fun if they were going to be with us, but at least we get to go at all. We haven't been on vacation in four years, unless you count debate tournaments. And I most emphatically DON'T.
It's no secret that I have been having a bit of trouble accustoming myself to the idea that Therese is getting older. To me, she still looks like this, despite a ton of evidence to the contrary.
On the plus side, because of her hamstring ills, I have had the opportunity to spend a ton of time with her this summer, so I'm taking it and loving it. Something no one ever tells you about having kids is that it gets harder every year. When people saw me with 4 under 4, they always said it would get easier. They lied. The more they grow away from you, the harder it gets for a whole host of reasons. How did I get from beautiful Bear Lake to this sad subject? To end on a positive note, seeing the wonderful people your kids become is truly a blessing all its own (yay, me! I didn't think I'd be able to pull that one off!).