Thankful for a Craptastic Vacation

I haven’t blogged in awhile but this story has to be told.

We recently went on our annual family vacation.  It was nothing short of craptastic.  And I couldn’t be more thankful….


We weren’t supposed to go to the beach.  At first, I had a great trip planned to Yellowstone but Parker informed me that riding in the car to look at “stuff” did not sound like a relaxing vacation to him.  Then I decided we should go to Disney World.  I did all the research and gently told Blake how much it was going cost (roughly an arm and a leg), then one night the kids were talking about how they really wanted to go to the beach.  We took a vote of who wanted to go to Disney World and who wanted to go to the beach and, I was the only one who voted for Disney World, so I planned a beach vacation.

Usually, I’m so excited to get to the beach.  I plan and make lists for weeks, preparing a meal plan, shopping for everything I need off of my many different categories of lists.  This year, I wasn’t into it.  I couldn’t tell you why but the night before we left, I started packing haphazardly.  I had a few ideas for meals and was just sort of excited to go.  I would describe myself as being in a funk.

Our trip to the beach was pretty uneventful.  It included me threatening to throw things out the window if children didn’t stop arguing, stopped traffic, closed exits, confused map apps, all the regular things that happen our family vacations.

Our condo was wonderful.  Much larger than we had stayed in before with lots of great amenities.  We got to the beach and thought it was pretty great too.

On Sunday, we planned to have a beach day because the forecast for the rest of the week didn’t look great.  We were excited to see a parasail company just a short walk down the beach so we planned to hit that up as well.  We played in the ocean, dug holes and got a little sunburned.  I walked down the beach and paid for our parasailing ride.  We were to come back in one hour.  An hour later, we marched down the beach and were told that the Gulf had gotten too rough and we couldn’t get out to the boat.  They refunded our money and sent us on our way…disappointed.

Sunday night Parker mentioned that his foot hurt.  We looked at it and it pretty much looked like he had a small blister right under his big toe.  We didn’t think much about it.

Monday came and it was a pretty rainy day.  We ventured to lunch and to an alligator farm.  We had quite a bit of fun and were able to mostly dodge the rain.  Monday night Parker’s toe was still bothering him.  I noticed it was getting pretty red and we decided we would probably head to urgent care the next day just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday morning we woke up thinking we would head to see the Blue Angels perform.  On our way, we saw an urgent care so we decided to stop.  Turns out Parker had a shell in his foot.  The doctor had to numb it and dig it out.  He was put on antibiotics and told to stay off the beach and out of the hot tub.  That will be easy, right?  (We got the bill for that procedure today.  Apparently, it was an outpatient surgery, who knew? $$)

So what do you do with a kid who can’t go to the beach on vacation?  Oh yeah, and it stormed so we didn’t go see the Blue Angels.  The kids and Blake spent most of the day in the pool and had quite a bit of fun.  Parker’s foot was bandaged but not slowing him down much.  We were disappointed we couldn’t go to the beach but the weather still hadn’t been too good.

On Wednesday, we headed to the Blue Angels.   We went through security at the naval base gates, made our way to the Navy museum and were all the way inside before we heard that the Blue Angels were grounded that day.  Of course, they were.  We were noticing a pattern here.  We still enjoyed the museum but didn’t have a day like we had planned.  We had a great lunch (in the rain) where we sat and watched boats come in and out.  Probably the highlight of the whole trip for me.  We went back to the condo and Blake and the kids headed back to the pool.  I wasn’t feeling too good. I thought maybe I had some bad seafood or something so I napped and took it easy.  We had a relaxing afternoon/evening in the condo but were starting to go stir crazy.

I’m the kind of person who is always ready to come home at the end of vacation but I’ve never been the kind of person who wants to cut the trip short to get home.  We live in a small town without a beach.  Most of the time you have to drag me to the car.  On Wednesday night, I was ready to come home.  I wasn’t feeling terrible, just a little upset stomach but I just was ready to be done.  We had a family meeting and decided if it was raining Thursday morning, we would probably just head home a couple days early.  It was supposed to rain the next two days.

We woke up Thursday morning, and it was raining so much you couldn’t tell the sky from the water.  We had a nice breakfast (I felt fine) and packed up the condo.  The first hour and a half of our trip were fine.  About twelve hours from home, my stomach started hurting.  I thought it might still be from the seafood, or maybe I had a stomach bug.  We stopped to visit several bathrooms, we stopped for ginger ale but nothing was making it better.  At one point, I talked Blake into letting me drive so I could focus on something besides my hurting stomach.  As the day progressed, I felt worse and worse.  The only comparison I have is the worst contraction I had in labor that never stopped for twelves hours.  I kept telling Blake I thought I was pretty tough but I really hurt.  My mom called and I had to hang up because I couldn’t talk to her.  I would shut my eyes for what seemed like an hour and look at the clock to see a minute had passed.  It was the longest twelve hours of my life.  In Conway, AR, I thought about stopping at an urgent care but what if there was something wrong?  We would be stuck in the middle of Arkansas with our kids and me sick…so we kept driving.  I think around Fayetteville, Blake started speeding.  I remember wondering if we were dumb to drive through Joplin and not stop but MAYBE if I got to my own bathroom and my own bed I would feel better.

As we pulled into town, I started throwing up.  I NEVER throw up.  As we got closer to the house and this had gone on for several minutes, Parker took off his headphones and said, “Hey, what exactly is going on up there?”  You can count on Parker to bring some comic relief to the situation.

I think I was home exactly 10 minutes when I told Blake I thought we better head to the ER.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me but I knew it wasn’t getting better.

It didn’t take them long to figure out that my appendix was the problem.  By the time they got me to surgery I had almost a 104 temperature and was a pretty sick girl.  Thankfully, I had great doctors and nurses (several former students) who took great care of me.

I’m thankful for our craptastic vacation because if Parker hadn’t hurt his foot and I had been in the ocean and a wave had hit me wrong, it could have burst my appendix even before I was hurting.

I’m thankful for our craptastic vacation because if we would have been having tons of fun, we would have been in Alabama when I started hurting.  Blake would have had to juggle me and two kids without any help.

I remember on Wednesday telling Blake that I felt like God was keeping us out of the ocean for a reason and it was kind of creeping me out.  I’ve always said the ocean is like church to me but I couldn’t find peace there this time.

The thing is that in the hustle and bustle of life, I kind of forgot that God has a plan and He takes care of us even when we don’t realize it.  Usually, I try to keep that in mind when I get behind a slow car or things don’t go my way.  I could fill a book with the times He has protected me from myself or danger and I can’t wait to get to heaven to hear about all the other times He protected me.

My appendix is out, I’m finally feeling better and I’ve had a little shake from the Maker of the universe that there’s no need to worry.  He’s got all this under control.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matthew 6:26



2 thoughts on “Thankful for a Craptastic Vacation

  1. dawnlizjones says:

    “The thing is that in the hustle and bustle of life, I kind of forgot that God has a plan and He takes care of us even when we don’t realize it. ” Oh, this is JUST SO GOOD!!!!!!!!! (Glad you made it home….I left mine in Utah.)

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