I’m so excited to be back! Warning: This in not a fashion post, it’s a “deep thoughts” by Carly Lee post- ha! I promise my next post will be all my vacation outfits, so stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to read my “deep thoughts” or not -ha!
I have a new appreciation for all the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies! You guys, this is hilarious, and I swear this wasn’t planned… In this picture, Clark Griswold is trying to keep his family’s spirits high as they drive to their big destination by singing. They’re still at the beginning of the trip….
And now here is the Lee family… (I swear I didn’t plan this!).
Guess what I’m trying to do in this picture? Yup, I’m trying to keep my family’s spirits high as we drive to our big destination by taking a picture with my new selfie stick -ha! We are also at the beginning of the trip…
Do you know why we all love the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies so much? It’s because they are so true! Since I got home from vacation, my friends have been asking me how it was. I’ve been saying something along the lines of, “Oh man, it was a lot of work”, or “It was a trip, not a vacation”! They are all shocked, because the pictures I posted on Instagram make it look like I had the best time. I just laugh, because our family vacation went about as well as a National Lampoon’s Vacation. On the night we all got home, my husband and I were trying to figure out why we were completely exhausted and a little bummed by this trip. So we started recapping the trip. Our recap just made me laugh, so I have to share! As we were talking, I realized why this trip looks a lot like a National Lampoon’s Vacation. It was complete with all the usual marital spats about directions (no I said left!…that’s not what Google says!), and whether someone remembered my son’s earplugs (did you grab them? I didn’t grab them, did you?!?!), etc. There was an ant infestation in our rental car (no seriously, they were swarming). On the first day we had to take the car seats out of the car and bang them on the cement to get the ants off before the boys could sit in them… we returned it. Our car got egged twice (we were unwelcome renters in a “neighborhood for neighbors, not for renters”, as the sign in our next door neighbors lawn reminded us). I understand both sides of the story, but being egged?! Our rental house didn’t have a/c (not usually a problem in California, unless you go during the hottest two weeks -eek!). We were terribly disappointed by the reaction from our sons when we told them we were going to Disneyland (the reaction so didn’t look like the commercials. It was more like- “cool, can we go the hotel now?”… what did we expect? -ha!). My youngest son was scared of most of the rides, because they were too dark (he’s 4, sweet boy). Oh, and don’t even get me started on my terrible decision to try and look cute at Disney by wearing a dress (more on that later)!
After being home and talking and laughing with my friends about the hilarity of my family vacation gone awry, I’ve had some time to think and I’ve learned a few things…
I’m going to try really hard to learn that commercials are advertisements… they are advertisements, Carly! If my children don’t have the same reaction to going to Disney as the kids on the commercial, that’s ok! Because they will have an unbelievable reaction the next day to a dinky $3 dollar water gun that comes with gum balls!
I’m also going to learn to tell myself in the absurdly ridiculous, crazy frustrating moments to laugh a little. It’s not that bad. It’s just not. Plus, it’s those super frustrating moments that make even better memories! I’ll never forget the time my dad and stepmom got in the biggest fight going through Gettysburg. My dad was driving the suburban faster than the tour cassette tape was guiding him, and it was making my stepmom so mad. It’s so funny to think about now (sorry Dad and Barbara)! Or the time when my siblings and I couldn’t stop laughing while driving to the Grand Canyon in the suburban. We were having one of those eye watering giggling fits! Well, we got yelled at, so we all started laughing into our pillows! We must have driven my dad and stepmom nuts! You see what I’m saying? Those are great memories, too!
And I learned that just like everyday life at home with young kids, you have to cling to the “transcendent” moments you have with your kids (the ones when you are staring at them with overwhelming love and joy because of something they did or said, or heck they may just be sitting there), so that you can get through the minutiae of everyday (I learned this from Glennon Doyle at Momastery, article here).
I will also learn that just because I’m on vacation, it doesn’t mean that the inconveniences of life aren’t going to happen. In fact, they may happen more -ha! But it’s ok, because as my friend says, “inconveniences build character”. And well, they may cause some really great, hilarious memories to happen too -ha!
Next time I go on a vacation, I’m going to come back to this post to try and adjust my expectations, and to try to remember the things I learned. I know a little perspective adjustment from me will make for a much more pleasant vacation.
So as you look at my pictures on Instagram and on the coming blog posts about my vacation, just remember that they may look perfect-ish, but that’s just the best representation of the best moments. And don’t get me wrong, there were some amazing “transcendent” moments!
I have to say a special thanks to my friends. As I came home trying to figure out my emotions around this vacation and why it was such a completely different experience than what I had envisioned, not a single one of them gave me that blank, I have no idea what your talking about, look. Instead, telling my vacation story started being one of my favorite things to do, because it was just so darn funny. My friends laughed with me. They felt my pain, and they told me their hilarious vacation stories back. They told me I was not alone and that I was heard. Thank you friends, thank you.