We made it back from our Yellowstone vacation Saturday night at 10:30pm. After an awesome, but long week, three separate flights home, a 3 hour drive from Indy, church and small group yesterday ... I feel like I could use another vacation today. :) Definately tired, but glad to be home. Here is how Ezra described Yellowstone .... "Lotta trees!" He likes to point out the obvious. :)
Here are a few of the highlights from the trip:
I had an amazing time with my family. It was so nice to have 7 solid days with them and I tried to enjoy every minute of it. I loved the time with Carol. I loved the time with Ezra and Mercy. One of my prayers throughout the week was that I would really be able to connect with them deeply during the vacation and I really feel like that happened. Having two young children in Yellowstone definately had it's challenges. There were times when we were driving and the scenery outside was amazing and surreal, but inside the car both kids were screaming! Probably a picture of our lives sometimes. Things look good on the outside, but on the inside were are screaming! But, overall, Ezra and Mercy did amazingly well. I can't imagine them traveling any better than they did.
We got to go for a 2 hour horseback ride DEEP into the mountains. It was INCREDIBLE! Just to get to the stables was a 20 minute drive uphill the entire way. I seriously was thinking to myself, "What in the world are people doing living up here!" When we talked to the horse owner and got directions to his place, he told us that we'll know we are going the right way when we pass a bus ... yes a bus ... that someone lives in. Sure enough ... in the middle of the mountains ... was a school bus that someone lived in even equipped with a piano! That will give you a bit of an idea of how deep in to the mountains we were. But, when we finally got there, the place was amazing! For two hours we rode horses in the mountains on trails that were so steep at times I felt as if I was going to fall off the mountain. I'd still be rolling today if that happened! The scenery was just amazing and I just felt so at peace on that horse in the middle of nowhere. It was also so much fun to ride with Ezra the entire time. It was 2 straight hours of father/son time and, believe me, Ezra literally talked for ALL of the 120 minutes that we were on that horse pointing out everything he saw and just talking like a 2 year old talks. I loved it!
Ezra and I climbed up a pretty steep hill together. It was our first mountain top experience together and he did most of the walking himself ... with a little bit of help from dad when I'd hold his hand. I was really impressed with the little guy and he was just so proud of himself when we made it to the top. As soon as we made it to the top, he just wanted to throw rocks over the edge. So, he did that and he also stepped on every large rock and jumped off of it saying, "Ezra jumped off the candle stick." Funny, funny boy. :) The other side of that mountain was even more steep than the side we climbed up. When Ezra saw it he said, "EZ go down there." And, I said, "No, Ezra, we're not going to go down that way." Then he said, "EZ try." Well, of course, I couldn't say, "You're not going to try it." So, we went down the other side. As soon as we started he fell down, so I picked him up and started walking down with him. When we got to the bottom he, of course, started throwing more rocks. I love seeing boys be boys!
The scenery and landscape we "Montacular!" This vacation was right up my alley. I love the outdoors and love being in the mountains. I felt like a sponge trying to soak up every single bit of the wilderness that I could. This particular place was one of my favorites. It was right by a river and the sound of the waters combined with the mountains on every side of us just brought such a sense of peace to my soul.
This picture of Mercy pretty much sums up the trip ... and how I feel now. :) I honestly feel like we took advantage of every day we had in the park. By the end of the week EVERYONE was tired and I feel like I could use about 3 days to recover from the vacation, but I'm so glad that we did as much as we could in the time that we had. I felt so blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to be there and really have many worshipful experiences as I so how incredible our God is and just got another taste of His greatness. This vacation came at a great time, especially teamed up with the Refuel series we are doing now on Sunday mornings. I felt like I was able to STOP, Get QUIET, and Make a CONNECTION with God.