Mesquite and Justin, Cave Explorers, Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas Nevada
Twelve years of parenting has taught me that bringing the dog along is one of the best ways to get kids hiking. My friends and neighbors thought I was crazy to bring the dog on our last vacation, but Mesquite had an awesome time and provided the kids with motivation to keep moving.
Sniff Stop, Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas Nevada
My sweet eight year old puppy scaled rocks and hiked to the petrified forest at Valley of Fire State Park. She reminded us to stop and rest in the shade from time to time.
Even back at the swanky Oasis RV park, she motivated us to walk several blocks to get the the Doggy Park which provided an hour of kid friendly entertainment as the kids happily through ball and bones for the Doggy Park visitors while Mequite hung out in the shade and enjoyed being petted.
The great thing about Nevada State Parks is that they let dogs on almost all the trails as long as they are on a leash. Because of this liberal policy Mesquite was able to join us for most of our adventures. Something to keep in mind when planning a dog and kid friendly trip.
My journey to motherhood, was not a flat country road. It was more like the treacherous path up to a Yosemite waterfall. Justin was conceived without much effort, but as the years passed no little brothers or sisters followed.
Deep down we knew that God had a plan for our family. After much reflection Ken and I decided to start the adoption process. Four months after we completed our home study, we found ourselves the parents of a beautiful baby girl.
Since the process was unexpectedly quick, a newborn Destiny enjoyed several adventures that had been planned before she joined our family. When Destiny was just a few weeks old, we headed up to the Bear Valley to go skiing and sledding with friends. The grownups took turns staying home to cuddle the baby while the others hit the slopes.
A few months later, the Smith Family headed to Disneyland. By the Disneyland trip, I had discovered that I was pregnant with Jared. It was before my first ultrasound, however, so we didn’t tell Ken’s family. I hid out in my room at my brother and sister in law’s house and snuck crackers to keep the morning sickness at bay.
That spring we joined my brother and sister in law and their friends for a camping trip to Yosemite. It was quite a time. Several families had multiple little ones. My brother in law got the brillant idea to hike up to Vernal Falls. Most of the adults were carrying babies on their backs. Justin, age 5 was doing an amazing job hiking on his own. I was several months pregnant and trying to keep up with the steep climb. By the time we reached Vernal Falls, I was absolutely exhausted. At the top, I decided to fess up about my pregnancy. I wanted to make sure that my brother in law didn’t make us climb any higher! I think that this was the first time Justin learned he was having a new sibling. We didn’t want him to share the secret before we were ready. The climb down was a bit of a nightmare. We got very lost.
As you look at the picture above, note that there are actually five people plus one crazy puppy. We were all having a wonderful time!
Like all best stories, this one continued to be filled with suspense. After I returned from Yosemite, an ultrasound suggested that the baby was not a baby, but rather a molar pregnancy. A few weeks later, as the doctor prepared to perform an operation to resolve this issue, she discovered that I was indeed pregnant. Apparently that was the moment Dr. Muir started believing in a higher power! Six months later our third little adventurer was born.
I share this story with you to remind you that motherhood is an adventure. It is filled with tears, laughter, surprises…and yes even miracles. Enjoy every minute of it!
Our Happy Ending!
PS Hugs and prayers going out to my friend Deana who is fighting Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Please join me in praying that next Mother’s Day will be all about breakfast in bed with her boyz.
If you are planning to visit the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, California, this book contains all the information you need to make the most of your family adventure. The book also includes information about other area attractions, local restaurants and hotels.
Bridget Smith, mom of three, loves to blog about everyday adventures. Her mission is to change the world; one kid, one destination, one effortless trip, one overworked mom, one frazzled dad... one day at a time! Come and join her.