Every night we lay in bed and talk about stuff. Sometimes it's guilt laced rants, sometimes it's about comforts we miss, sometimes it's planning and sometimes it's reminiscing about days that we didn't want to end. This was one of those days. We started off venting about how our kids never listen, about how they are so spoiled and complain about everything, then our frustrations melted as we laughed about Ryder doing the splits on the swings, about how the only thing Jayden was assigned to carry was the bag of bread and somehow he managed to drop every single roll in there at one time or another, about how that rocky little beach that we worked so hard to get to was our own little piece of paradise, about how the kids found a dead washed up jelly fish and named it Bob, about how this was the second time we had to race against the tide to find a way up the cliffs, about how we almost called it quits after each kid had a meltdown at the park but we're so glad we stayed, about how this was the first time the kids willingly got in the water and enjoyed it, about how Ryder is no longer a baby but runs with the big kids now and how if this is any indication of what summer holds, then we are in for the best one yet. Before long I was wishing the sun had never set on our day trip to the little french town of Akaroa. Sometimes when we're in the middle of it, it doesn't always seem so fun, but without fail whenever we look back at the pictures all we remember is the good. And there was so much good in this day that it made me smile from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.
The kids would disagree, but this was my favorite part of the day. Our short little jaunt down to the beach turned into a trail that never ended. For every down there was always an up. Jayden claimed he just wasn't a nature boy, Kylie sobbed that she was weak because we haven't put her back in dance, Maddox said this was the worst day of his life, Ryder kept crying for granola bars, I discovered that roll-on deodorant works just about as well as can be expected and Jason forgot he needed to teach the Elder's Quorum lesson the next morning. And then we made it. The scenery took your breath away. There was a calm, quiet peacefulness that was heavy in the air and as the kids went about their business of collecting snails and skipping rocks and Jason went about his business of planning his lesson, I was left to my own thoughts. And they were deep. I thought about how with any thing in life, the harder you work for it the greater the reward. I thought about when we first walked off that plane, Jason's boss was at the airport to meet us and his first impression was that we hadn't showered, brushed our teeth or slept in the past 24 hrs. I've never seen The Walking Dead, but I'm pretty sure we fit the part. I thought about when we were homeless that first week here and were steaming up the windows as we huddled inside the car at a school parking lot eating fish and chips and before long we got a knock on the window. I think the security was relieved that the only thing hot and heavy was the deep fried fish. I thought about the first night we spent in our house, everyone had a bed except Jason and I so we slept cuddled up on the floor in front of the heat pump with only a thin fleece blanket. It was the worst nights sleep ever. I thought about how all those hard moments that have gotten us to this point have made me appreciate the good ones so much more.
Let's pause for a moment and direct your attention to: my hair. I haven't seen it this red in years. I've also never had to trim it myself until now, but, ya know. Before you judge my skills (or lack there of), keep in mind that we just trekked to the ends of the earth and back.