5 Things I Learned During My Spring Break In Nebraska

This Spring Break I took a week long road trip with my mom and my son from here in San Antonio, TX all the way to the teeny tiny town of West Point, Nebraska to visit with some of our extended family. Even though this was a leisure trip there were some teachable moments. Other than the limits of a 4 year old riding in a car, I did learn a thing or two about a thing or two.

1. Boys Don’t Have Long Hair

Gender stereotypes are not only biased towards girls. Apparently once you pass Austin, TX all boys are expected to have nicely groomed crew cuts that are June Cleaver approved.

 

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Matthias James, my long-haired love

I kid you not, every state north of TX someone assumed that Matthias was a girl just because of his hair, which is barely shoulder length (I’m guessing his full eyelashes didn’t help his case much either).

jesus hair

On our first day in West Point I was hauling a truck carrying, dirt covered, skin kneed boy home from the park (how stereotypically male, right?) and someone asked if “she” was exhausted from dance class. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

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2. Ice Machines

You will regret not going trigger happy on hotel ice machines. As a kid, my dad would compete out of state in power-lifting meets pretty frequently and my sister and I liked to tag along. Our on the road traditions were Gatorade and all the hotel ice we could muster. On this trip I passed the ice machines on the way to our hotel room (at both hotels we stayed at) with that look of longing in my eyes, but I didn’t take advantage of their frozen magic. I won’t be making that mistake again.

huge mistake

3. All The Freebies

You will go klepto on all things complimentary. If you think you won’t, you are only fooling yourself. In fact, you will end up using double extra hotel shampoo, conditioner, and soap to try and make yourself believe that you won’t go Gollum on the cute little toiletries. I have been home for over a week and I am still using the adorable paper coffee cups that were in our room. Awww.

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4. Hugs & Kisses & Pie {Oh My!}

On a more serious note, this trip did teach me some real life lessons. My grandfather passed away this past Christmas Eve unexpectedly in a work related accident. I was not able to come up for the funeral and hadn’t really gotten closure (not that you really can when you lose someone you love). But one of the things that my Grandma kept saying when we were spending time together remembering my Grandpa was how she would give anything for just one more hug, one more kiss.

hug kiss

When my Grandpa would leave for work, hugs and kisses were their morning departure ritual. On the morning of the accident she said that he was going to leave for work and then came back in the house because he forgot something. There was a moment where he looked back before he left where my Grandmother recalls and just wishes she could go back and get that one last kiss.

On my visit I found out that my Grandma is a bit of a stockpiler as far as couponing and groceries go. It’s a small town so you have to get the deals when they are hot. In her pantry sat a can of apricot pie filling. She said that she bought it with Grandpa in mind since apricot was right up there with rhubarb as his favorites.

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She never did get to make him that pie.
We ate the pie in his memory.

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The lesson here is that you need to hug and kiss the one you love at every opportunity and when in doubt, eat dessert first and often (and you can’t go wrong with pie).

5. The “Good Old Days” Are Overrated

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Everyone likes to reminisce and think back to the “good old days” at least every once in a while. Especially in a relationship when things start to get stagnant sometimes we get tempted to compare ourselves to other couples and resign to the “grass is greener” mentality.

grassisgreener
The grass is greenest where it is watered. -Robert Fulghum

It’s undeniable that my grandma married an exceptional man. Even so, no one is perfect, no relationship is either. In our visit she was talking about how it was actually their more recent years before his passing that were their best years.

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People always want to glorify what once was and revel in memories past, but all my Grandma wanted was more of the present.

Live Free.
Live for today and don’t look back.
Love and hold nothing back.

♥ MM

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