spontaneous can be fun (occasionally)

It’s been crazy rainy and cloudy this May.  Like, record-breaking rainfall in many areas around where we live!  This weekend was no different, only on Sunday there was a miraculous break in the weather and the sun decided to peep its face out for a good chunk of the day.  It was glorious.  The glorious feelings that accompanied the sun gave me a thought… why NOT drive five hours to spend the night, and then visit my sister’s family???  And so, we did.  After about an hour and a half of running around, packing pjs, a set of clothes for Monday, and putting extra food in the guinea pig cage we loaded the four kiddies, ourselves and a sense of adventure up in the Suburban and took off.

We got lost.

And then we made it… very late… to our hotel.

The next day, the weather was NOT gloriously sunshine-y, but it was okay, because we got to see our cousins!  I got to hug my sister’s neck, and snuggle with the niece that just turned one and I have NEVER met before!  True, I had to bribe her by letting her chew on my phone, but whatever.


We went to a park to play where I took ZERO pictures.  Y’all, I didn’t even BRING my “big” camera with me on the trip at all!! As we drove up, Matt asked if I remembered the park where we took Julianne in Guangzhou.  You know, the one she didn’t want to leave, and so she screamed while we tried to get her back into the stroller?  While hot chocolate spilled everywhere?  While a random Chinese person took a video of us and I stood up and waved maniacally and yelled, “Hi!!!”?  Umm… Yes.  I do remember that park.  Let’s hope this experience is better. 😉

And, it was.

No pictures, but lots of memories stored in my mind and in my heart.  I watched children run around, kept my eye on Miss Adventurous (that would be J) to make sure she didn’t try something she thought she could do but I knew wasn’t wise (example:  merry-go-round… the swing makes her dizzy, I knew the merry-go-round would be mega vestibular input that she just couldn’t handle).  AND, I talked to my sister.  It was great.

The wind started to pick up, the kids started to get tired and hungry, and so we went to eat.  And there, outside of the restaurant is where I snapped this picture with my phone.

They say a picture is worth one thousand words, and that holds true for this one.

Please do not share without permission!  Thank you!
Please do not share without permission! Thank you!

Here are the numbers for this picture…

10 children

5 different birth moms represented

5 girls

5 boys

2 families

1 extended family

2 countries

4 NICU stays

1 roadtrip

2 adopted through US foster care

1 adopted internationally

1 kid age 1

2 kids age 4

2 kids age 5

2 kids age 7

3 kids age 8

There are so many things I love about this picture, but the thing I love most is that it signifies so many firsts for Julianne.

First road trip

First time meeting these cousins

First time sleeping in a hotel outside of China

First time she asked “home?” and knew what it meant

First time she enjoyed Sour Patch Kids

First time she ate at a restaurant

First time she drove through multiple tornado warnings and flash flood warnings

First time she experienced one of Mama’s random spontaneous trip ideas

Lots of beautiful firsts.

And that, can be tiring, you know…


Today there is lots of recovery going on… but for the most part, it’s worth it. Let’s be honest.  I hate recovery time.  There are moments I wish with all my heart that this post-new-experience junk wasn’t a part of my life right now, but… it is!  More than I am frustrated by the ramping up of behaviors, I love that (for now) my sister and her family are close enough to drive to visit for a short trip like this.  Hoping this is the first of many.


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