Nurture Her Nature

On Top of Old Smoky

Well, our annual NHN vacation has come to an end. This year, we visited the Great Smoky Mountains. We felt on top of the world in every way. And now, well, we’ve come back down. I should have written this before we left, because now all Ali and I can think about are our to-do lists, prepping the girls for summer camp, and the pile of work that is waiting for us in the morning. The mountains seem but a dream, but it was a darn good one! A few highlights:

  • Ali actually gave us permission to eat breakfast food for dinner, but all the pancake places (and there were a lot!) closed at 2:00 p.m.
  • I faced my fear of heights way too many times.
  • For the first time ever, we vacationed without lists. The jury is still out.
  • The girls had very few fights and played together very well, even during the car rides.
  • We visited a swimming hole; this was Story’s favorite part of the vacation.
  • We climbed (well, walked, but it felt like climbing) to the highest point of the Smoky Mountains.
  • There were roosters everywhere.
  • Ali yelled, “Give her the muffin!” and it became the quote of the day.
  • I yelled, “Children are dumb!” in a tram car full of people. I was under a lot of stress.
  • Our navigational guide tried to kill us.
  • We rode bumper cars on ice.
  • We did not get eaten by a bear; this was Maddie’s greatest fear.
  • We took a ghost walking tour, and Ali’s EMF reader went nuts.
  • Ali finally understands why I think spiders are aliens.
  • Maddie learned about moonshine and CPS.
  • Riley perfected her gorilla walk and had the girls in giggles.
  • We visited a place that served ice cream on donuts. Need I say more?

Let It Begin!

It has been a rough month. But, the storm that was May 2019 is finally over, and this weekend marks the start of summer. My favorite season. The pools are open, Riley and Story are out of school, and the warm weather is upon us! This summer brings particular excitement as it will mark the end of my hour-long drop-off commutes (provided no more roads close) and will see the last daycare payment. I say, let it begin!

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The Storm Before the Calm

Ali and I will be taking the girls to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, next week to indulge in a relaxing vacation in the mountains. We’ve both been daydreaming about coffee on the cabin’s porch overlooking the famous mists of the Smoky Mountains. But first we have to get through the storm.

The last couple of weeks have been simply maddening — in all senses. We’ve been so busy, I don’t know how we’ve kept our wits about us. Managing schedules has been a magic trick, and regular chores have been sacrificed for sleep. Our houses have been a wreck, not least of which because we both have had home improvement projects going on top of the chaos.

Then we both got sick during a full moon, causing our tempers to flare with anything and everything we encountered — except each other, for some odd reason. Typically, arguing is just a matter of daily life for the two of us, but we were united in our anger this time. We hated the world but provided the encouragement and support each needed to survive without doing serious damage.

We have one week left: of school, of work, of extracurricular activities, of household chores, of responsibility, of the storm. We will weather it together. I know our struggles are not uncommon in the parenting world, so take a moment and look around. Can you be a calming force in anyone’s storm?