Whew, this week has been busy. I kept a little secert from you all, which I have to say felt weird. All last week we were on vacation in Beach Haven NJ. I wanted to tell you all, I really did. With my whole house being on the internet, we figured it would be better not to advertise that we will be gone. I mean, I am kind of a big deal and needed to be sure our house was safe while we were gone from all of the crazy Our house now a home fans. I am also obviously a big fan of sarcasm.
We went to New Jersey for a family reunion. My step-Mom’s family was getting together. We all stayed in one ginormous Victorian home. There was 23 people in this house and we all fit comfrtorably. It was that big. I will be sharing some pictures of it next week. It seemed like a recipe for distaster. I was prepared to live-tweet the family drama that was sure to come up with that many people being together in one house for 7 days. You know, “When people stop being polite and start getting real.” There was no mad dash for bedroom’s like on The Real World, it was all civilized and organized. Much like the rest of the trip. Everyone had a glorious time, ate too much food, and stayed up way too late. The kids in the house put it size to use by playing hide and seek constantly over the week.
|This is the house, with its huge wrap around porch. Gorgeous!|
The reason I am telling you all this is to explain away my lack of projects. I have shared few, but this vacation knocked us into reality. Hard. We drove out to New Jersey from our home in Wisconsin. It was 14 hours. Seems like a lot, but the drive was not too bad. Did I mention that we have a DVD player in our car, and the kids watched the triligoy that is Shrek on this drive? Also snacks, when in doubt give the cranky and car bound kids food.
We were three hours outside of New Jersey, feeling really good about ourselves. We were using our phones for the GPS, and in the middle of some crazy winding mountains in Pennsylvania, we lost our signal. Not only lost our signal, but the map dissapeared from our phone. Dale was trying to fix it. He was driving and decied to unplug it and hand it to me so that I could desipher what to do. He dropped his phone. In trying to pick it up he was not handeling the car as well. A curve came up and he did not turn enough. We hit the center concrete divider, hard. It was loud, terrifying, and hard.
The kid’s who were sleeping woke up crying. We are swerving across the two lane freeway. I do not think I need to tell you what was going on in my mind. I had my three little ones in the back seat. I just wanted the car to stop so I would know that the assurance I gave them quickly of it being ok was actually true. Because we were going 65 on the freeway (the actual speed limit) the car was going fast enough to hit the wall and bounce us directly over the two lanes and onto the right shoulder.
This was the life saver here. Our frame was twisted and shot. We would not have been able to move the car. It turned on but the steering wheel and tires did nothing. I have thought far too much of what would have happened if we had ended up stranded in the middle of the lanes. That was so close to happening and would have been a far diffferent outcome. It was also 6am. There was no cars on the freeway. If it had been a more congested road there would have been other cars involved in the accident. So many ways this should have gone even worse.
|The damage to the car, this picture does not show all of it. But gives you idea.|
I am happy and relieved to report that the only injuries for us was me with a banged up knee, and a scraped leg. Dale and I’s necks hurt for a few days. The kids were blissfully un-hurt in this. In fact, once we eneded up in the shoulder each child had a different response. Nora said “What happened?” Caleb said “Is our car ok.” This boy is obsessed with cars, and assumes they are actually alive similar to the Pixar Car’s movie. Gavin, my little one said “Oh, the sun is up! Is it breakfast time?”
Dale and I had a lot of work to do to get us off the side of the road. We had no cell phone signal. Luckily his work had sent him a hot spot phone in case they needed him and we did not have internet at the beach house. We were able to call a tow truck. I was not able to text anyone with the phone. Our phones never worked for it completly. Weirdly enough, my phones Facebook worked. I was able to message a relative through Facebook to tell them what was going on. Facebook saved the day!
We ended up not being able to rent a car, because it was a Sunday. My Uncle came and got us, our night-in-shining-mini-van. We were shaken up, scared beyond belief with thoughts of what could have been. And so relieved to all be here, healthy, and eating chocolate chip pancakes down the road from the tow place. Once we got to the beach house (leaving our car to get handled in Pennsylvania) we had a wonderful group of family who reassured us and drove us around all week.
We ended up finding out the our car was officially totaled. We expected it with the amount of damage. The frame of the car was messed up. Once that is messed up it is too costly and dangerous to repair it. We were still able to enjoy our vacation. Maybe even more so, we got hit with a big reminder of anything can happen at anytime. We need to enjoy here and now.
The amount of hugs and love given to my kids have multiplied. I was a hugger before. Now, if they are in my proximity they get pulled into my hug gravitational pull and I never want to let go. I am relishing their tiny voices, their questions, their statements, playing with them, taking them in. Letting them know without a doubt that today was a good day and I love them. Dale and I realized that a car, money, or plans is not important. Our family is. That was our worry throughout this ordeal. Only thinking about the car intitially because we needed to get it and us off of the side of the road. From there is was the relief and thankful feelings of having all 5 of us here, alive, healthy, and unharmed. We got to splash in the water, build sand castles, kiss our kids goodnight.. we got to love them more. We knew this before, to enjoy it. But I had always been focusing on enjoying it because one day my kids will be grown. I need to enjoy it, because as incomfortable as it is to say. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I need to enjoy today, for the sake of enjoying today. That is it. Pure and simple. There are so many scenerio’s of what could have been with this accident. The one we ended up with is somehow the best case scenerio. I try not to attach a religion, or faith to this blog. I have my beliefs, which are mine alone. Letting this blog work for anyone. But someone, somewhere was watching out for us that day. We hug a little harder, laugh a little more, stress a little less.
|Getting in some beach cuddles with Nora|
Once at the beach house, we spent our day’s on the beach. Going into little shops, seeing a beautiful light house on Long Beach Island. We ate at yummy local resturaunts, sat around and talked, laughed and played games. The 9 kids in the house organized a Foosball tournament. Aparently my sweet husband Dale, with absolutly no athletic ability can kill it on the Foosball table. They should have offered that in his gym class.
|“Welcome to the Afishole tournament.” They mean official. So cute!|
We left with a rental car, and played the game of looking at the cars and discussing which one we want. We are oficially mini-van done. It was wonderful with babies. Press a button and the door opened. Magic. Especially when carrying those bulky baby seats. But, our kids are a little older. And Mama wants a trailer hitch so I can hook up a small flat trailer and haul furniture and building supplies. So we are graduating to a SUV. Not sure what yet. There is still some things to handle with insurance. Another blessing was that we owed very little on the car, so actually come out better here financially, with enough after the loan is paid for a down payment.
We are being very picky with car’s. We want to get any and all safety feature and accident prevention possible. There is actually cars that will break for you if there is something coming. A lane change detection. If you vear too much without a blinker it will make sure that you are actually wanting to change lanes. Crash monitering, so if we get in a crash there will be a notification sent to a third party who will get us help. Which would have been amazing in this situation because of our no cell service. Also, when in a accident the last thing you have is a clear mind. Figuring out a way off of the side of the road when shaking and terrified is not easy. It was time to man-up and get it done. We did, but having someone holding our hand through the process would have been nice.
That is our vacation, and a little hiccup. Big hiccup really. HUGE. But we have come out better, taking life seriously, enjoying every moment, and trying to get back into the swing of things. I am also housebound while Dale is at work with the one car we currently have. So, my sanity is gone. Just knowing I cannot go anywhere but for a walk with the kids is making me feel like a caged bird. I do not go many places during the day, but right now there is no option to. We are also dealing with the normal chaos of coming back from vacation. Unpacking is horrible. It is so much work, and I am the one who has to do it. Boring!
I hope to get back into things with my blog, projects, and sharing here. But, we need to get this car situation handled. Bare with me if the new projects are a little slow coming. I will try to entertain you. Maybe I should just post random puppy video’s, babies laughing, or Tony Hawk skateboarding. Those are the winners in my house if I need to change direction with the kids. YouTube and random videos for 20 minutes does wonders. If you see a puppy, on a skateboard with a baby laughing on here you will know things are not back in order yet. Or, I just had to post it!
Be safe, have a wonderful 4th of July for all you fellow Americans. Remember to enjoy the small things, hug the ones you love, and make sure you have a good GPS when traveling.