October Break in Billings

A friend of mine wanted to go to the temple but was nervous to go alone so we planned a trip to Billings together during October Break. I booked our nonrefundable hotel and then learned that my friend could no longer come. It was really sad and I wish we could have changed plans and gone to South Dakota, but we headed to Billings anyway. Normally we leave for trips after Sam gets off work or in the afternoon. This time, we left in the morning on Thursday. Billings is just five hours away and is in the Mountain Time Zone so we got there at 2pm. We hung out in our hotel room for a while and then headed out for activities.

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Our first stop was The Reef. It is an indoor water park. It was really fun. The water was a little chilly for the boys, mainly Declan.

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 After a few hours, the boys were ready to go. We changed and then went to Cafe Rio for dinner.

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The next morning, I went to the temple. It was fabulous, as usual, and a great start to my Friday.

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We went to The Maize at Grandpa's Farm. It was a little cold but it was sunny and there were a lot of things to do.

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After the boys played for a while, we decided to go through the corn maze. We should have turned around right after going in. I am not sure why, but the maze was super muddy. It was sticky mud; the type of mud that takes off a shoe. After Edison fell the first time, he was devastated. We pulled out a few wipes and tried to clean him up. Not even a minute later, he was back down. Then Alex was, too. The stroller was caked in mud so we just kept going.

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After that, we were all laughing so hard that we could barely stand up. It was honestly just so ridiculous and we were all covered in mud. Alex and Edison loved every bit of it. Declan got bored and fell asleep.

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The boys took really long naps while we showered and I cleaned my shoes. Then we went and bought Sam new shoes. The boys wanted to play so we went to a park and they stole an old lady's bread and fed the ducks.

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Once the bread was gone, Alex tried chasing all of the ducks into the water. Edison was very sad because "I want to swim like the rubber duckies." His horribly mean parents wouldn't let him.

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Sam went to the temple that night and then went to the gym so he wasn't back to the hotel until midnight. We were putting the boys in bed together. Edison still sleeps in his crib so he hasn't figured out that he can't roll all over the place in a big bed.

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On Saturday, we went to Pictograph Cave State Park. My shoes were still wet from the day before and I was getting blisters from my dress shoes I had brought to wear to the temple so I wore Sam's old tennis shoes instead. They were covered in mud and too big. But more comfortable than wet shoes.

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The pictographs have faded a lot and many of them we couldn't see even though we knew exactly where to look because of the chart they had.

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Alex took a picture! I handed him my big camera and he actually pointed it in the right direction. He loves taking pictures.

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It was a really nice day. Warm enough that the boys didn't want their jackets. The box elder bugs were out in hordes and Alex and Edison were carrying a few around in their hands almost the whole two hours we were hiking around.

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We went to lunch in town and then started the drive home. We got home at 6:30pm and I made dinner then we had hot chocolate.

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This trip was fun because we had no itinerary and there was really no point in going except that Sam has a lot of vacation days to use before the end of the year. I wanted to go to the temple but we didn't have anything else we needed to do. I considered sending Sam, Alex, and Edison on this trip without me and Declan. I thought I needed alone time but I decided to go and I am glad I did. I needed away time. It ended up being really good for me. I need to get away from my to do list more often and focus on my family. I have started getting very competitive with everything and it isn't good for my mental and emotional well-being. There is no way I can be everything I want to be and do everything I want to do. I just have to keep rearing my kids and trying. Every day is more trying, and usually not succeeding. But I can't quit, no matter how tired I feel; it's too important. 


Jershelly said...

You guys have so many fun adventures! And I think you're a great mom/cook/friend.

Geevz said...

I'm learning to schedule days without an itinerary. Normally my happiness level is directly related to my daily accomplishments but I'm really trying to change it. I appreciate hearing your struggles with similar things.

Now I need to schedule some away time :) You inspire me with your willingness to road trip with kids. Mine are hit or miss in the car and 5 hours one way terrifies me.

Janelle said...

I love seeing your boys running around and climbing on rocks feeding ducks and even getting muddy. The things they learn from nature are the best.

Paxton said...

I love the picture of Sam holding Declan in the back pack under his sweater! Those cheeks! And those little toys poking out under!
Looks like it was a fun time anyway!

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