I knew I'd taken a "vacation" before, I just had to think long and hard about when exactly that last happened. I had to flip all the way back to May of 2002 to find that memory. Upon my completion of graduate school, we headed to the West Coast to spend some days visiting family and resting and relaxing in our old honeymoon spot, a little house situated right on the rocky edge of the western side of the United States. It's a gorgeous getaway spot where we woke up each morning with the ocean at our feet just outside the large glass patio doors, where we ate our breakfast and lounged in front of a wall of picture windows overlooking the breathless, rugged, rocky coastline in Yachats, Oregon. Where the ocean was literally our backyard. Where we watched the sun set over the endless expanse of sea. It was a time and place in life that ended one chapter and began another. That is the last vacation I can remember that was really a vacation. I believe all other "vacations" in my entire married life were arranged around such tasks as moving, remodeling, having a baby, building a deck, having another baby, moving again, etc.
This week has been great. With all my paperwork caught up and nearly 11 solid days before me to do anything BUT tasks related to my career, I have enjoyed the family time and the down time. I've enjoyed not blogging. I've enjoyed catching up the scrapbooks, even though the work is so slow on it. I question whether all this creative expression will really stand the test of time despite the glue, the pens, the papers, the stickers, etc. all being labeled as archival quality. I have no time for real hobbies anymore. My work has become my hobby. There is no time for scrapbooking amidst my parenting and homeschooling duties and requirements of my "career-by-a-thread." And so, despite my hours of work over the past several days, I still find myself nearly 14 months in arrears on documentation in the photo albums.
We had a great Christmas and spent lots of time as a family relaxing, playing with the kids new toys, and just hanging out. Husband and I even got to go out alone to a local Japanese steakhouse tonight and leave the kids with a friend. This is an evening to mark in history, firstly because Husband and I only seem to make it out alone (sans kids) a couple times per year, and secondly, this is the first time we've been able to leave Dear Son successfully with a babysitter that is not my mother.
I know the last picture posted in this blog entry is bit disturbing. Son has a new chainsaw in honor of all the work Dear Husband has both begun and has yet to do in the woods since the previous owners appear to have done nothing to clean up the mess of last winter's apocalypse of an ice storm. Here Dear Son is sporting Dear Husband's new ear warmers, worn around his cheeks, while he works the chainsaw. I think he's giving "Jason" a run for his money.