We opted for a stay-cation this year, instead of taking the kids somewhere more exciting like the beach. Mostly because our air conditioner died this spring and we had to replace the whole compressor unit, which used up our vacation fund. But also because at 4 and 6, the kids can have just as much fun at home with activities from the dollar store, as an expensive vacation they probably won’t remember years from now. Since I’m not usually at home with the kids, I was nervous about what we’d do, how many fights would break out, how we’d survive a week at home together. So, I scoured Pinterest looking for ideas of at-home activities and made a list of local venues we could visit. I had grand ideas of writing a couple of Pinterest-worthy posts about this great vacation week. Posts like “5 Fun Backyard Activities for Under $5” or “5 Splurge-Worthy Activities in the Dallas-area for Kids”. Only our reality has been more like something from those Pinterest-failure posts! I tried an afternoon of bubble fun in the backyard. Tried to make bubble liquid in a baby pool, but ended up issuing an SOS to friends for better bubble recipes that would actually hold together a bubble.
Tried a cool-looking milk-painting project, but the kids just stirred up the colors into a brown muck. (It was a good use for old milk, though.)
We went to the Perot Museum in Dallas, but spent way too much money ($50 for pizza and sandwiches in the museum cafe!) and I think our kids were really too young for most of it. The 3D movie about Monarch butterflies was a huge hit, though! It is a fantastic museum, but not sure it was worth the $80 I spent on tickets.
What they loved even better was the playground at Klyde Warren Park. And they thought it was the most fun to ride home naked after playing in the water features (since I didn’t think to bring swim suits, extra clothes or even a towel).
So, what is our vacation reality? It’s real – moments of fun and learning, squeals of laughter, lots of playing in the water to cool off in this Texas summer, but also a fair share of tears, fighting, complaining… The usual fare in a household of 4 and 6 year olds. Mostly, it’s a week out of school, camp and work. A rare week where all four of us are home and not overly-structured. A week to just chill out and make memories of time together as a family. (Not to say I won’t be wishing for my own vacation after this week!) We’re just half-way through our stay-cation week, so still more projects to try, more activities to explore, more fun and laughter to share and probably more tears to be cried. Maybe I’ll write those posts after all – or maybe I’ll have better stories about how I learned to manage my vacation expectations and love our time together, even when it didn’t measure up to my expectations. What are you doing this summer? How are you managing your vacation expectations and learning to love the reality of real-life this summer?
[callout class=”callout”]Subscribe today and receive these posts via email. Also give my new Facebook page a “Like”!
NOW AVAILABLE! “Surrender Your Heart” A 21-day devotional to draw closer to the Holy Spirit. Subscribe today to receive your FREE copy!