No, I Am Not in the Loony Bin

Have you ever wondered what the recipient must feel like that gets a Nobel Peace Prize or an Academy Award placed into their hands?

I have an inkling what this must feel like.

No, I don’t have a shiny trophy to place on my mantel but I do have my sanity.

I survived a 3 week cross-country driving trip, clocking over 3,500 miles, with my husband and 3 children. In my eyes, accomplishing this and maintaining a semi-normal mental health status ranks right up there with having a prestigious award bestowed upon me.

Don’t get me wrong; things weren’t always ideal. Thoughts of leaving a child or two along the side of the highway did take up fleeting moments in my mind. Overall though, things went smooth and most importantly we all lived to tell our version of our family’s 1st major vacation together.

I wish I could say this is what the whole car ride looked like but it didn't!

I wish I could say this is what the whole car ride looked like but it didn’t!

Two weeks of our trip was spent at my mother-in-law’s house in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We also attended a family reunion in Las Vegas (not the glitzy, casino-flooded city but a small town in New Mexico). There had to be around 600 people in attendance at this 3 day affair. I think it’s safe to assume my husband’s side of the family is very fertile! The other week of our trip revolved around traveling from our home in Wisconsin to New Mexico and back again. We made many stops at various landmarks and did a lot of really cool things.

Despite all of the sight-seeing, my family all agreed that the best part of the trip was spending time with our kinfolk in Albuquerque. I come from a small family compared to my husband, so the chance to have my husband’s 7 other sisters and brothers, their spouses and tons of kids of various ages running around is like having a party all of the time.

This is only my husband's immediate family in attendance at the reunion. There was about 7 more groups there this same size or bigger!

This is only my husband’s immediate family in attendance at the reunion. There was about 7 more groups there this same size or bigger! My family and I are on the far right.

We took over 3,000 pictures on this vacation so in the coming weeks I’m sure I will be sharing more highlights. Right now, I have to get back to unpacking, laundry and all of the other stuff that goes along with being away from your home for 3 weeks. I just wanted to say hi to everyone, let you know you were all missed and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things in the blogging world!

Lots of love,


53 responses

  1. W E L C O M E Back Melissa! You were most definitely missed. I’m glad the trip, time spent with family and friends went well with God’s Grace and Mercy. Hope you all get some rest. I look forward to more pics. Continue to Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar

      • You’re always most welcome Melissa! It is really nice to have you back posting. I look forward to your creative post soon. Greetings to the children and hubby. Continue to Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar

    • Thanks Larry! It’s nice having that perspective of what a big family feels like. There was one day when we decided to go to a restaurant for lunch at the last minute and there was 18 of us. It’s seriously like a party all of the time!

  2. Yay!!! Happy to hear you survived, Melissa. Three weeks away from home probably produced enough laundry for an entire month.
    I’m supposed to be on a blogging break till August 1st. But I had to drop a line to wish a Happy 4th of July and let you know that I’ll miss ya!! 🙂

    • It’s so good to hear from you Anka! I missed you! Good for you for taking a blogging break. I have to say I really missed blogging and thought about everyone constantly and wondered what I was missing but I don’t think I would have enjoyed my vacation as much if I would have been on the computer all of the time! I hope you have a great July!

    • Thank you Colleen! Each of the kids at different times would get cranky, whiny and drive me totally bonkers. When I would think I was certain they were the one that was going to be left on the side of the road they would mellow out and another kid would step in to be the cranky one! It was almost like they had a pact to keep me a little bit crazy all of the time! It was good though and I’m glad we did it! I missed you and can’t wait to see what I missed on your end!

      • 🙂 thank you! And hopefully we might read a story or two about the close calls the kids had and didn’t even know how close they came to being left on the road. 😉

  3. YAY! Welcome back Melissa and really happy you survived 3500 miles 🙂 very happy to hear from you and your trip! & WOW! that’s a lot of people in that picture! 🙂
    missed you very much and very happy to know you are back to share your stories with us! 🙂

    • Oh, thank you so much Ingrid! I missed you too and I’m itching to see what you have been doing. If you ever have creativity block, go on a long road trip. The more I sat in that car the more ideas I got about projects I wanted to do and try! Hopefully I have time this summer to do a bunch of stuff!

      • Hey Ingrid! I just wanted to let you know that I just read through all of your old posts that I missed while I was gone and I still can not comment! It’s so frustrating because I wrote a huge old comment to you and then when I hit submit it brings me to another page! I have no idea what is going on!! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I love everything and your perfectionism and indecision always makes me laugh but keep it up because it sure keeps me entertained with all of your new projects and updates!!

  4. Sounds like a memorable and wonderful trip–though of course any parent knows the challenges of traveling with young ones. We’ve been in our new house (rental, till we find a more permanent settling place) for the past two weeks. This has also brought challenges!! I look forward to reading your upcoming posts! –Alison

    • Thank you Alison! I can only imagine what it must be like to be in a transition stage with the kids. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you find your dream home soon and maintain your sanity along the way!!

    • I have never been to Iowa before and I was surprised by how pretty it is. It actually looks a lot like Wisconsin and smells like it too! After such a long drive when we hit Iowa on the way back we were like, “Yeah, the smell of cows and corn fields…we are almost home!” Also, we saw a bunch of Kum and Go gas stations and my husband was laughing. I said, “Oh yeah, Sarah always talks about her Kum and Go coffee!!”

    • Thank you Paula! When I was writing that down that I maintained sanity I was wondering to myself if I would actually know if I had lost my mind. Hmmm…I will just take it as a positive sign that I am up and walking and talking in complete sentences!!

    • Thank you Joan….I still have to unload those backpacks! We left as soon as the kids got home from school so yesterday I just kept staring at those backpacks dreading the job of unloading them….maybe today I will get around to it!

    • It’s funny you should say that! Quite a few of the kids looked exactly alike. My middle son has a cousin that could be his twin but luckily his cousin is quite a bit taller so we were able to tell them apart!

  5. I thought of you a couple of times over the last few weeks and wondered how your trip to New Mexico was going. I’m sure you all had a wonderful time. Visiting with family is always the best! Glad you are all back safe and sound and can’t wait to hear more of what must have been one fabulous trip!

    • Thank you Lidia!! I thought of you too when I was eating some magnificent food! One of my husband’s cousins was an amazing cook and taught me some really cool cooking tips. I might have to share them here on the blog if I perfect them!

  6. Brought back a memory of Brooke and Jared about thirty years ago. We were going camping and let them ride in the camper. I happened to look back at them just when Brooke was beating the snot out of her little brother. Caught her red handed. I will never forget the look on her scared face!

  7. We considered doing a driving holiday like that last Christmas … but changed our minds. Waaaay too big an exercise for us! Congratulations on making it, and good to have you back. Cheers, Alison

    • Thank you so much Alison! A trip like this truly takes a lot more brain power and patience than I expected. There was a challenge around every corner it seemed! My husband said that we may attempt it again in a few years after we have fully recuperated!! I’m off to see what you have been up to. I have to figure out a way to get your blog updates since you changed over. I don’t get on Bloglovin or Facebook enough!

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