Beauty in Chaos…

A lot has happened since my last blog post. Things are going really great! We are making friends, getting comfortable in our new home, and traveling more than ever. That does not mean it’s been smooth sailing, but life is pretty boring without a few bumps in the road, am I right? I mean can you imagine riding a roller coaster that just went straight, without any twist, turns or loops. I would not stand in line for that. It’s those turns that show us something different, twists that grab our attention, and loops that make us think and remember to stay grounded.

We have just entered Z’s fourth year around the sun and let me just say four is not my favorite. Talk about the twist, turns, and loops. I have a very independent strong-willed kid. I know, I know when he is older those are great traits to have. For now though can you come to get him out of the door in the morning?  This independence and strong will seem to make everything a little more difficult. Especially traveling.

We have dubbed this our “Twelve countries in a year tour.”  So far we have visited four and it has only been three months so we are off to a good start. October we went to England. We were so excited for many reasons. London is somewhere I have always dreamed about visiting and even considered moving there. I have to say, while we liked London,  after visiting it’s not really for us.

I had such high hopes for London. Don’t get me wrong, It is beautiful, there is amazing art and the markets are incredible. one of my favorites was Camden street. A place I would like to go back maybe on a holiday with just Rob and I. We found while there were so many families walking around there were several restaurants that were not kids friendly.

London is a bit hectic and something I am learning about my family is we do not deal with high stress, or chaotic situations well at all. It was a twist in our story for sure.  In the past at least one of us has been able to keep it together. Maybe it’s because Z was younger, maybe because our stress was a different kind of stress.   Whatever the reason we are definitely not the calm, cool, and collected family I once thought we were.

Maybe big, bustling cities are not where we should spend our time in this season of our life. That being said London has a lot to offer families like the London Eye, Princess Diana Memorial Playground, and Shrek’s Adventure (which I have to admit Rob and I had just as much fun as Z)  We will definitely go back when Z is a little older.

London was so exhausting, we were so so excited to head to Liverpool.  Let me tell you something if you have not been to Liverpool, do yourself a favor and go! I want to live there. I loved everything about it. Everyone is so very nice.

Rob actually had to work during the days while we were there. I felt like in London all we did was fight with Z. So I was looking forward to some much needed time alone with him. The first day we were going to go check out the Aquarium which is one of our favorite things to do together.  When we got downtown the line for the aquarium was practically down the street.  I should mention it was raining and cold and the aquarium is FREE. So I wasn’t surprised.

Instead of waiting in that line I decided we should grab lunch and circle back. While having lunch a trailer for a movie called “Little Foot” came on one of the TVs. Z’s eyes lit up and ask if we could watch it. I am never one to turn down a good movie, It’s one of my favorite things to do and Z is finally old enough to go, maybe him being four wasn’t all frustrating, After looking up the movie I found it was playing at a theater 10 min from where we were. We finished lunch and headed to the theater, on the way we heard music and Z said we should go dance, So I followed him and the music. I am glad I did.

There in the middle of the square was a band playing called Key West. They were incredible. Z and I danced along with everyone else. It didn’t matter that is was cold. I bought a cd, the band was signing them so Z cautiously walked up to the lead singer and got his autograph on the cd, then with big smiles the other guys called him over so they could sign it as well. They were not doing that for everyone else. He felt so special and the look of awe in his eyes is something I will remember forever. The movie was so good Z and I laughed, I saw Z cry because the humans were chasing Bigfoot. “Why are they so mean to him,” he asks.

Seriously take your kids to see Smallfoot . It is such a cute movie about how being different from each other is a good thing and how we can learn from each other and treat each other with kindness.  It touched my heart so much because a few days before in London I was convinced my sweet boy was gone and this new kid with a bad attitude had taken his place.

This day took a turn and showed me that Z is so compassionate and caring and his attitude right now is because he is in a season where he is trying to find himself a little, to establish some independence while still feeling a bit like a scared boy who needs his mommy.

Liverpool was a much slower pace than London. It gave us a chance to really spend time together strolling through the park, to talk and appreciate the beauty around us. If you’re ever there definitely take the ferry around the Mersey it’s great for everyone. Rob and I even got a night out which was much more needed than we realized.

The journey home from Liverpool through us for a loop. It was the longest journey we have experienced yet.  We missed the train heading back to London. Which meant we missed our flight. Great. I mean if Z didn’t have to get back to school I would have just stayed.

Alas, real life called us back. So we rented a car to make the four-hour drive from Liverpool to London. The perk? We got to see little towns that we would have never even gone to for holidays. We got to see the beautiful English countryside.

The downside unpredictable traffic that led to us missing our second flight. We finally got to the airport and the lady told me that we were too late. I was ready to cry at this point. I went to the KLM counter prepared to pay for yet another flight and possibly a hotel room for the night since it was already Five in the evening,  but we got on a flight that evening and they did not charge us for it. Whew!

KLM love the kids who fly with them. They really make them feel welcome. This flight Z got a passport holder so he asks if he could hold it his passport. We were exhausted and promised him in one of the talks that we would trust him more with certain things. So we agreed after trying to explain why his dad should hold on to it. When we got to passport control I realized Z did not have his jacket or… his passport!!! After an hour of being escorted back up through security, we went to the stand where we stopped to get water and an apple and thank GOD they had it. We were finally heading home.

Life is funny, it has a unique sense of humor. Everything is not going to go as planned, my kid is not always going to cooperate and I am not going to always keep my cool. I am far from perfect, so is my family. That’s ok though. As long as we learn from the turns, twist, and loops we will be ok. I am learning so much about myself, my husband and son with every trip we go on. I am also learning from them. Which is beautiful even when it’s chaotic.

Stay tuned for more Adventures of Rob, Z and I.

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