The Macs » Blog


We’ve been on vacation. Well, I’m not really sure if I would call it a vacation…but that was the plan. We left for Colorado last Sunday and were so excited to get away for a week and escape the Kansas heat. But this year our vacation was definitely a bust. Total bummer. This is how it went down.
After five hours of driving and one hour of little brother screaming the car was finally peaceful. We were beginning to wonder if the long drive was worth it. Maybe we should have just stayed home. But eight hours later we were hanging out with our dear friends and we decided it was totally worth it…screaming and all.
I didn’t take any pictures except on my phone but Laura sent me this sweet picture of our boys. They played hard. The weather was so beautiful in Colorado…trampoline jumping, swinging, running, swimming, talking on the porch, snacking, and s’mores making…all day long. Levi had so much fun. And I think Griffin was really wishing he knew how to walk so he could chase after these boys. I was trying to talk Joel into moving the farm to Colorado. He said it wasn’t possible. Bummer.

(Laura just sent me a few more…proof that I was actually on this trip too!)

We left Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon to head up to my grandparents cabin in the mountains.

It was just as I remembered. Beautiful and peaceful. I love going to the cabin with my family and I was so looking forward to spending time there. We spent the evening laying in the hammock and playing tractors in the wood chips. No internet and no phone service. Perfect.
Shortly after we put Levi to bed that night he threw up. Ugh. The rest of the trip pretty much went down hill from there. Just think…lying on the bed watching movies (I have way to many Boz and Veggie Tales songs running through my head right now), high fever, not eating, waking up all night…everything that shouldn’t happen on vacation. My sweet grandma took Griffin on lots of walks to keep him happy. He started running a fever the next day.
There were times when we thought they were getting better and squeezed in a few fun moments. We really needed to get out of the house.
We even decided to go into the national park one day and give it a try. Everyone was feeling a little better. This was the part of the trip I was really looking forward to. Hiking on the trails and picnicking in the mountains. I have such good memories of doing both of those things with Cora and Levi. We drove just a little way into the national park for our picnic and by the time we got there Levi was asleep.

ย Griffin wasn’t too thrilled with the whole picnic idea either.
Levi slept through our picnic and when he woke up this is what we were dealing with. Definitely not a good day to try hiking. Back to the cabin to watch more movies.
The most adventurous we got was hauling pine cones on the deck. We kept thinking maybe Levi was getting better but on Thursday night he was running a really high fever again. He was miserable. We decided it was time to go home. Goodbye hiking. Goodbye cute family picture in the mountains. Goodbye trip to IKEA. Goodbye going back to Colorado Springs to hang out with friends some more. Hello twelve hour car ride with sick kids. And to make things worse, Joel threw up as we were getting ready to leave Friday morning. I was the last one standing.
I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that the trip home was one of the longest days ever. I was feeling sorry for myself. We really needed a break from our everyday and this sickness stuff was really messing up my plans. But as we were leaving Friday morning the news of the Aurora movie theatre shooting was all over the TV and radio. Such heartache. I can’t imagine what so many families and friends were dealing with that morning and for many more days and months to come. And then I remembered a time when Joel and I were driving back from the cabin all alone, in a quiet car right after Cora died. I would have done anything to have a crying little girl in the back seat. It gave me some much needed perspective. I was thankful that I was going home with my family…we were a little sick but we were together. I needed that reminder.
Saturday morning we took Levi into immediate care. It was a little traumatizing but after being checked by the doctor, blood work, and a chest xray they figured out he had pneumonia. What?! How in the world do you get pneumonia in the summer? Crazy.
The rest of our “vacation” looked a lot like this. We realized this weekend that this was the first time since we moved here eight years ago that we were all home all weekend without anything to do (except a trip to the doctor). We don’t have true “weekends” here on the farm. For some reason the cattle think they need to eat two times a day. Sheesh. That really breaks into a girl’s weekend (actually it really breaks into my hubby’s weekend…but I really like to have him around!). I’ve tried to argue with Joel that they could probably miss just one meal, but apparently that’s not the case. So spending the weekend together at home just hanging out was a really nice change…and a good end to our vacation even if it really was a bust this year.
  • Anonymous - Oh Jess! I am sorry your vacation didn’t go as planned but your perspective on the way home was so encouraging and right on the money! Made me tear up. I hope everyone is feeling better now!ReplyCancel

  • Rich and Carolyn Dewey - So sorry it was such a bummer! The night we started out for our 11-month USA trip in 1975, after an hour of driving we had two boys throwing up in the back of the station wagon, on sleeping bags! YUCK!!! Then a couple of hours later it was Rich and another little boy!! I was the only one standing. Was this how our year was going to go??? No, actually after a night’s sleep and a day later everyone was fine. Sure was a heck of a way to begin! Guess it happens to families!

    Hope everyone is better now!!ReplyCancel

  • Chey-Anne Smart - I just had to tell you about our vacation three weeks ago. We haven’t been able to go anywhere in two years. My husband is a landscaper and we can’t leave in the summers because he is so busy. Well, we pack up and drive 6 hrs with our three kids. The one year old is a terrible rider. After we get there, my daughter complains of her stomach hurting the entire trip and the fourth night there, we spent it in the steam in the hotel bathroom with the baby who has croup. We get ready to leave and head back home that morning since we were up anyways and my husband stomach starts hurting and he’s sick with the stomach bug! Then we spend the next two weeks at home with all five of us either having the stomach bug, croup, or sinus infections! I really wasn’t too rested on the family vacation! I have to laugh about it or I’d cry!!!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - Bummer. ๐Ÿ™ Pneumonia is going around like crazy this summer. My two littlest girls have it. Hopefully they’re feeling better soon.ReplyCancel

  • Auntie EM - Sorry your vaca was a bust but you are right….when we think of others who are suffering such a terrible loss in Colorado, it makes us grateful to be where we are and with the people we love. My heart was sad when you spoke of those lonely moments after your daughter passed away – you know what it is like to be in those shoes where something awful has happened. I must say I missed your posts and figured you were on a vacation or something like that. Glad you and your family are home safe and sound even, if you did have a quiet weekend with time on your hands. Hope everyone is doing better today.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea {kerubo mama} - That is definitely rough!! You are seriously incredible though when it comes to finding the right perspective. Love that. Your kiddos are such handsome little men. Griffin’s chubby rolls remind me of my son’s chubbiness…I love it! Hope everyone gets well soon! xoxoReplyCancel

  • The Schilling's from Cimarron - Awwww sorry your boys were not feeling well:( Glad you got to see Laura and her family!
    Hope Levi is feeling much better! Miss u guys lots!:)ReplyCancel

  • Melinda - I’m sorry that your vacation didn’t turn out as you had hoped. I’m glad to hear that you all got to spend a weekend together though. I hope that everyone is feeling better!ReplyCancel

  • Toni :O) - Sorry about the bummer vacation. Ours three weeks ago were spent boiling in Wisconsin, camping in 100 degree weather is ZERO fun, I got sick with a migraine, my hubby had to go to urgent care as his swimmers ear went from bad to worse, my daughter banged up her toe and it got bloody….um yeah, should of had a staycation this year ourselves…ugh! Here’s to next year right?! Hope everyone is on the mend soon!ReplyCancel

  • lifewiththebs - That stinks! We had a trip like that once….no fun for anyone. Hope everyone is feeling better. Also, I can’t believe how blond Levi is! I barely recognized him in the first picture.ReplyCancel

  • The Sweet Life - My little Levi has pneumonia too! It must be going around like crazy this summer! Hope your boys feel better soon!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tina - Oh your poor boys…Levi just looks so sad, such sad eyes. I hope he heals quickly, sorry your trip was so hard.ReplyCancel

  • The Mershawn's - Aw…that’s so sad:(. Poor guys. And, I know how much it stinks when everyone gets sick, & on vacation, double yuck. But, perspective…the holy spirit’s way of reminding us what really matters. Praying for your little sickies…especially that Levi. He looks so sad sick:(.ReplyCancel

  • mommy26baybas - This made me tear up too ๐Ÿ™ By the way..Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ I am Mindy.I tried starting a blog but,I have 6 kids and I just stay so busy so it was a bust but,I do continue to follow you.I forget exactly how I found your blog but,I did.And,I have gone ALL the way back and read them.You truly inspire me.I get excited to read your perspective on things .My daughter,Brooklyn is 12 months and will be having surgery Sep.6th.She was born with a cleft Palate.I must say that I am panicking.This is the 1st time I have had to send one of my babies in for surgery and my heart is literally hurting.Any advice you can offer.I pray and I have been clinging to scripture.Any really good verses that might help.Thanks Jess !! You touch my soul and I am thankful for your blog .ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Oh this sounds like our vacation a few weeks ago.

    We went to Sauble Beach up here in Canada with our family (me, hubby and twin 4 year old boys). The first night there (Monday) hubby and I both got violently ill out of nowhere. I felt awful for most of the week we were there – thankfully hubby felt well enough to care for the boys even though he wasn’t feel well either.We thought we were in the clear by Thursday when neither of the boys had been sick. Thursday night one of them threw up all over the place in the middle of the night. Knowing that it was just a matter of time before our other son got sick, we decided to cut our losses and end this horrible vacation.

    We packed up our van and drove home at 1:15am because I was just done. We got home at 4:30am and although it was crazy to drive most of the night I was so glad to be going home.

    We are all entitled to one crappy vacation, right? So we have had it now. Hopefully that will be it for us! (Knock on wood)


  • EricaG - Oh no…sorry vacation wasn’t what you hoped. I hope your family is on the mend.ReplyCancel

  • Creole Wisdom - Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your trip gone awry. That’s just no fun, and I’m sure you weren’t getting the rest and relaxation you wanted and deserve! Of course despite all of this, your photos are lovely. Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Judy - Oh I have so been there! boo!!! We drove from Pa to Fl last fall and ended up in Urgent Care there four times with 3 sick kids (one of whom was only 9 months old). Two kids with pneumonia. So awful. We were at the beach and we couldn’t even go outside and we didn’t get to go to Disney. Ugh. I still feel sad thinking about it.
    But there’s not place like home. I hope you never got sick!!! And i hope the boys are feeling much better by now!!!ReplyCancel

  • DianeTaylor - I’m so sorry jess – what is it they say? Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans? I hope your next vacation is much better than how this one ended. Hope everyone is feeling better very soon!


  • Kimberly - I feel so badly that your family vacation was a bust! I know those down times away are much needed, but your positive perspective on the situation brought tears to my eyes. God has given you have such wisdom and a sweet spirit and that helps keep eveything in perspective. Love your blog!!ReplyCancel

  • Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! - Great pictures, but I’m so sorry you had to deal with so much illness!
    We just went our first vacation in two years, and the baby was sick the entire time, so I know how you feel!
    Way to put it into perspective though. I hope Levi feels better soon!ReplyCancel

  • Hollie - Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear everyone got so sick, although it looks like you had a few fun moments on your trip. I always love reading your posts and checking in on your sweet little family. I hope your little guy is feeling much better! Enjoy you week Jess.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie in UK - so sorry. bummer. maybe you should call this ‘colorado or bust {busted}’ mom said joel is now sick, too. hope you don’t get it!!ReplyCancel

  • Jess - Jess, I’m so sorry things didn’t go as planned. But, I’m really glad you gained that perspective you needed. I think it’s in those times when we think things aren’t going the way WE want them, God speaks the loudest. I’ve been there one too many times. And, those times when the entire family’s sick, it kinda brings you a bit closer. Just means it’s time for some peace and quiet, that’s how I see it. I think maybe I try to find the silver lining when everyone’s throwing up-the worst ever! Seriously, I do think God gives us those times because we just need to be still for a bit. Get well and take care of those boys of yours ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Meg - We just arrived home from a very similar “vacation” ourselves. Both my husband and I got sick, the baby is teething, and it was far too many hours in the car with iffy stomachs… I thought back to your post and tried to maintain some semblance of perspective though. It was tempting to just feel sorry for me, but I was grateful for the help we had while on vacation, for the good moments, for getting to see my aging grandmother hold my son, for having that fussy, teething baby boy with me at all! So thank you for a much needed dose of perspective! And I pray you all are feeling much better now!ReplyCancel

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