Everything from the check-in, to the security, to the train ride to the terminal, to boarding the plane was an adventure as it was the first time in several years since the big kids had flown. It was fun and I was very proud of them for being such good travelers. I was a bit of a flake myself as I had too many kids and too many bags to worry about. (when I didn't need to because they were keeping track of it themselves!) This resulted in me leaving behind my DSLR camera and lenses on the plane in LA. Needless to say I was freaked out about it and there was absolutely nothing I could do before our flight left LA. My heart had sunk as I was very excited about getting some great family photos and playing around with my camera on this trip. But Karly had her camera and we all had our phones so I had to decide if I was going to move on or sulk the entire trip and there was no way I was going to not enjoy this as much as I could. I was very lucky to even get the camera back in the end but that's when persistence pays off and it showed up Friday. Whew!
Enough about my screwup, which turned out to save another screwup...and then to nearly be trumped by an even bigger screwup that we were spared by the skin of our teeth. Anyway! The trip was a blast. I actually made a couple other mistakes, too, but they were fixed and we were able to enjoy a luau, a dinner cruise, waterfalls, some beautiful sunsets and a lot of sun, sand and pool time. I don't think there was much else we could have asked for and we can't stop talking about "next time" we go back.
I was a little emotional as the trip neared. This was a trip we had longed for (especially me) ever since I was pregnant with Emma and had visited the resort we had booked for the first time. As bad as I wanted to take the kids to this awesome place, I was sad that we were doing it without Chase. I remember thinking after Chase died that there would always be at least a little sadness in anything we did, no matter how wonderful, fun, beautiful, or amazing it was. Because we would be missing a member of our family. And that feeling surfaced as the trip got closer. But I am used to having this perspective now. Just as I am with having our rainbow baby, too. The resort had some really neat pools and play areas for babies/toddlers and I loved using them. I couldn't help but think if we didn't have Owen how heavy my heart would feel just walking past these pools....with no reason to be there. Owen was a lot of work and had to be watched closely in the water but I cherished every moment with him. I loved that I had to figure out how and where to get him to sleep and had a reason to play in the beach pool made for toddlers. I loved chasing after him and watching him roll in the sand and run from the ocean waves and trying to teach him to not throw sand and watching him crush the sand castles we built and point out airplanes and the fish.....the list goes on. I loved every second of it. Because as much as I loved all that, I missed doing all of that with Chase. I couldn't help but think how much fun Owen and Chase would be having playing together....but I was so thankful to at least have Owen. Just as thankful that I am to have Emma, Karly and Reese. Being surrounded by so much beauty and the vastness of the ocean makes me feel so appreciative.
The kids were awesome and they had so much fun. It was definitely a dream come true being able to share this with them and do this trip as a family. I told Patric I don't think I could have enjoyed myself at this resort if the kids weren't with us. He felt the same way. It's something we will be talking about for a long time. I'm already working on a scrap book for the trip. yes, I have plenty of pictures even without my DSLR. And we are slowly getting back into the grove of things....and remembering that flip-flop season is over!