from south dakota to florida - a road trip story

Day 1

Hour 1 (somewhere outside Watertown, SD)
Spirits are high as we embark on our journey. We have known we would be moving since December, so it feels good to actually be doing it! I want to say the most stressful part is behind us, which is packing and cleaning the house in Stillwater. We’ll see what I’m feeling by Day 3 of driving with a toddler and a dog.

5 minutes later
Strike that, sprits are not high. Pippa is already screaming in the back seat. We’re praying the Sand Man comes soon and makes her nap.
I already want snacks. 

Hour 6 (somewhere between Stillwater, MN and Milwaukee, WI)
About an hour ago we passed through Stillwater for the last time to pick up our canine family member, Pablo. It was strange and bittersweet to drive those highways and pass the familiar landmarks for the last time. Something so average takes on new significance when you know you won’t be seeing it again in the near future. 

The goal for this road trip was to pack healthy foods and snacks  to avoid fast food as much as possible. Today was kind of an exception, since we had the wedding rehearsal and the wedding itself the past 2 days, with no chance to shop for and prepare things like fruits and vegetables. We got away with some IsaLean shakes, IsaLean bars, and one fast food stop so far. We’re planning on making a late night stop at the grocery store for tomorrow’s meals! 

I’ve been so thirsty and chugging water like crazy - slightly inconvenient in light of the almost full-term baby nestled up to my bladder.

Pippa is halfway through her Curious George movie for the second time already today. 

Day 2
Hour 1 (Oak Creek, WI)

After a stop at Hotel Rasmussen (my parents’ house), we feel somewhat refreshed - at least showered. We even had the chance to pick up some fruits and veggies from the grocery story, make some PB&J sandwiches, and fill up our water bottles. We are stocked up for the open road! Devices are charged, Curious George and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are downloaded, and we’re read for Day 2!

Pippa is in a fairly good mood, even considering the long day yesterday and lack of naps. She got to see Auntie Abby and Maggie (Abbys and May-May), so that helped! 

It’s Father’s Day, so we thought we would treat ourselves to some Starbucks to kick off our 8.5 hour day of driving. 

Hour 5 (Somewhere in Indiana, approaching Louisville)

We are somehow all still sane. Pippa finally fell asleep in the middle of eating her apple slices, and I even got a nap in while watching Bridesmaids. There was an incident with Pablo eating Pippa’s sucker, but I think she actually fed it to him in an effort to share? She didn’t seem too upset about it. Justin won’t stop singing the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, so I just keep reminding myself it’s Father’s Day and I have to be nice. I really have to use the restroom (thanks Baby), but Pippa’s sleeping and I don’t want to wake her up. 

Day 3

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, folks. Day 3 was tough. We had a wonderful overnight stay with some very hospitable and kind friends in Nashville, TN. We woke up refreshed and ready to hit the road. 

However, by midday, temperatures were high, and tempers were short. The 2 year old was fed up with her carseat, and not even Curious George could coax her out of a screaming fit. The pregnant woman was uncomfortable and crabby. Justin spilled a bottle of water all over himself and the driver’s seat. It was a perfect storm of humidity, exhaustion, back aches, and dehydration. We all yelled a little bit. We all said things we didn’t mean. Pippa yelled for chicken a lot. I melted a fast food worker’s face off with my laser beam glare after she asked me if I was having twins. At one point there was a meltdown because we had to change Pippa’s diaper and buy some cold bottled water, but when we pulled into the gas station, we failed to notice the MegaBus in the parking lot. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to wait 10 minutes in line to get in the bathroom to change Pippa’s diaper, and I wasn’t going to wait 10 more minutes in line to buy bottled water. We thought we would try pulling over to the “grassy” area to let Pablo out and change her diaper, but instead of grass, there was mostly rusty cans and garbage. More regretful words were exchanged. (This all seems hilarious in hindsight, and we now refer to that whole horrible hour as the Rusty Can Incident). 

But we made it. We’re about 30 miles outside of our new city, and we’re all still alive and well. There are palm trees outside our window. 

As good as it feels to have arrived in our new home, I would never wish moving across the country with a toddler while 9 months pregnant on my worst enemy. It’s...not fun. 

A few days later

Currently we’re settling into our new home, counting our blessings, and still marveling that there are palm trees in front of Target, and that we’re 10 miles from the ocean. Change is good. Life is good. God is good. 


philippa's second year

Happy 2nd Birthday, Philippa Florence!

Philippa Florence
completes her second year of life today.
When did the switch happen?
When did she stop being a baby and 
become a little girl? 
With opinions and preferences?

The parents spend baby's second year of life
guiding, teaching, 
and putting out (figurative) fires.
But also laughing deep belly laughs
because suddenly their baby tells jokes.
And pronounces some words...

things get easier.
is a beautiful thing.
We get to watch as their vocabularies explode,
they pour their own bowls of cereal,
and they love you back.
You're so proud you could burst
(or post way too much on Facebook).

But also.
It's not always easy.
There's the chasing.
The temper tantrums, the hitting,
the throwing, and the pouting.
The constant questioning...
are we doing this right? 
do we ignore it or correct it?
Are we bad parents for letting her listen to
"All About That Bass"?

She's soaking it all in.
She's learning 
about the world around her.
Words. Numbers. Colors. Songs.
She's showing us she's a big girl.
But she's also still our baby who needs a snuggle and a kiss. 
She's mimicking Mommy's every move.
She's Daddy's little girl.

That second year. There is nothing like it.
I feel like the best 5 words to sum up this past year:
Uh Oh. It's too quiet.

Philippa Florence

you have traveled to:

South Dakota
Iceland (a layover...but still)

you're awesome because you:

can count to 14 in English and Spanish
still sleep from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
put together full sentences
exclaim, "Jesus!" every time you see a church or a cross
love to dance, and ask for "mookie" when you want music
listen to podcasts with me, and say, "One mo' podcast?" at the end of each one
love to "read" your books to yourself
talk about Baby Brother's heartbeat, which you heard at the doctor: "Buh-bum"
sing Jesus Loves Me in English and Spanish
remind us to pray before meals
chant "Da-ddy's home! Da-ddy's home!" every time you see Dad's car in the driveway
ask to brush your teeth in the morning by saying, "Dientes?"
ask to pet every dog you see
slide down the stairs on your stomach at lightning speed
still eat almost every food
straddle Pablo like a horse, and tell him, "Sit. Down. Good boy."
say, "Oh Mommy! Cute!" when you like what I'm wearing
smile coyly and whisper "Mommy, cookie?"

favorite foods:
cheese, broccoli, cereal, apples with dip-dip (peanut butter), any kind of berries

favorite songs:
Jesus Loves Me / Cristo Me Ama
The Alphabet
Que Llueva
Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
I'm Ready (AJR)

favorite shows/movies:
Curious George
Winnie the Pooh
Mickey Mouse Club House Road Rally
Daniel Tiger

It has been a year of learning and changing for you, Philippa! It's so much fun to hear the thoughts, phrases, and sentences you put together. We can't imagine life without you, and can't wait to see you grow into your role of big sister!