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Road trip Day 7: Michigan City, Indiana – Rest Day

A quick introduction for those just joining us…

Sharing our Road Trip, Day by Day

From the day we arrived here and settling down, I’ve dreamed about sharing the daily logs from our road trip (which I shared only on my private Facebook page), photos and videos, as well as some funny adventure stories and practical tips/lessons for anyone planning to travel long distances in a very full car with very busy babies and/or toddlers. I wrote these daily updates as a way to keep our family in the loop and let them know, every night, that we had arrived at our next destination point safe and sound. Little did I know that we would get such a following of friends and relatives who were interested in following our trip! I am so grateful that God gave me the perseverance to keep them up because they are such treasures to our family now, and an online journal we can always look back on.

Note: I have put the updates I wrote last year in italics so you easily differentiate what I wrote last year and what I’m adding today.

I hope you join us for the next 15 days as we relive this forever epic #peitocaliforniaroadtrip! Below are the links in case you missed them.
Day 1 Summerside,PE to Bangor, ME
Day 2 Bangor, ME to Rochelle Park, NJ
Day 3 Rochelle Park, NJ to Pittsburgh, PA
Day 4 Pittsburgh,PA to Louisville, KY
Day 5 Louisville, KY rest day
Day 6 Louisville, KY to Michigan City, IN

 

Day 7: July 11, 2016

Michigan City, IN Rest Day

Today was another rest day and oh how much we savour them! We had a fun-filled day with Alex and Amber and their boys, spending the day doing what kids do best: playing! After breakfast we explored the creek right by the house and spent time riding around on everything the boys could find that had wheels: scooters, bikes, and that hot rod Dominic was riding. 😉 After exploring the city for a bit, everyone went over to their Grandma’s house to have lunch and go swimming. I never thought it would end up turning into a 4 hour swim session but they said the kids just keep swimming. A few sunburns and very cranky, tired kiddos later, we called it a day with a delicious bbq meal: chicken, coconut rice, and grilled veggies, and cold craft beers for the adults. Perfect!

Audrey and I missed out on the bulk of the swim session as she had a very rough night which left both of us exhausted. So we stayed back at the Hassett’s home and had some quiet playtime, a snack, and finally when she finally gave in, a good hour+ long nap. We both needed it and when she woke up beside me and saw me, she crawled over with a huge smile on her face. Yay for naps! I also got the opportunity to Facetime with parents which was really nice as I haven’t done so for almost 2 weeks now with the busyness of our trip. Amber and her mom came to pick us up shortly afterwards so we could join everyone for dinner.

Sleeping Beauty

Brendon shared with me how proud he was of Dominic for conquering his fear of swimming around with a puddle jumper. Dominic is quite the fish when it comes to water but has not swam without one of us holding him up to this point. When Audrey and I arrived, he proudly showed off his new skill to me by jumping into the pool again and again! What happened to my baby boy?! How did he grow up so much in just the few hours I was away?! He absolutely had a blast today. Oh how it’s very bittersweet watching your babies grow!

What an amazing and generous, fun and loving family the Hassetts are! We’ve felt so comfortable here, loved seeing Dominic become friends with their spunky and awesome kids, and thoroughly enjoyed our nightly grown-up conversations. Thank you for having us! It has been an absolute pleasure getting to meet you!

Exhausted after a full day at the pool.

We’ll hit the road again tomorrow with patches of thunderstorms forecasted here and there but we’re hoping we can make it mostly, if not entirely, dry to our next stop: Iowa!

Here’s to hoping Audrey has a better night and that whatever bug is bothering her will go away soon! Please continue to pray for safe travels. We are almost at the 1/2 mark of our journey! xoxo #peitocaliforniaroadtrip #day7_michigancityrestday

Practical Tips & Funny Stories of the Day

By this point, although we were unaware of it at the time, we had made it to the half way point of our trip!

As I re-live these days through preparing these blog posts, I can see so clearly how much our children grew and changed through it all. They even soared through some milestones without giving us as much as a pause to process it. I suppose we, too, were growing and changing with each new challenge, adventure and decision.

While adversity and change are never comfortable, they do often times serve as a catalyst to growth because despite all odds, the human spirit has the ability to rise up like a Phoenix when faced with a challenge.

 
Little Audrey was only 9 months old when we set out. By the end of this road trip, our poor girl was terrified of her carseat, which brought memories of being tightly held down for long hours. I don’t blame her. Besides, rear facing was probably pretty darn boring for her. Nevertheless, Audrey pretty much learned all the basics to walking and it was only a few days after we arrived to our new home that she started trying it for herself. I don’t think she even gave it a week until she was running and climbing up and down stairs. That crazy awesome girl!

Audrey and Dominic at a family photo shoot right before our road trip. How much they’ve grown!

Not only did Dominic’s swimming skills increase, but so did his vocabulary. He also had to adjust to many new social environments and situations, as he hadn’t had much interaction with new kids and older kids to date. He also did well at adjusting to a new “home” almost every day. Without the security of what he knew, as well as boundaries that were clear, I do believe he had some internal struggles that often spilled out as fits of stinker-ish behavior, crying and testing boundaries, but for the most part, he was such a good boy during our trip and contributed so many moments of comic relief and sweetness.
I had to be brave even when inside I felt insecure and concerned. I had to let go of my desire for perfection and having everything organized, and sometimes just go with the flow, trusting my motherly instincts and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Although we did find that every time I did my due diligence in researching places to eat, sleep, and stop for a rest break, it did pay off. I think it really is finding the balance and knowing when to fight and when to let go. In facing my own weakness I found strength in my spouse and the generosity of the people around us. Through this trip I learned that I am capable of more than I imagined.
Brendon, an introvert, had to put himself out there everyday, and just like Dominic had to make do with a new “home” in a new location and with new faces. He wasn’t just our chauffeur but also Super-Dad, Super-Hubby, and Super-Man carrying in loads of luggage every night because I “needed everything, just in case”. My respect, love and admiration for my husband grew through every challenge, and I think our love grew too because we worked as a team through each hardship and laughed through those moments which seemed so miserable!
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