We bring the fun. (our vacation)

 Last week we had the hottest, sink into your skin sunshine, kind of weather.  We even pulled out the sprinkler and went wild.  It was fantastic and had me wishing for a pool!  

And then along came our vacation time.  And with it-rain and cold weather.  Had we been planning an indoor escape this might not have thrown us a bit.  Seeing as our trip was centered around taking the boat out on the lake and swimming in our resorts many pools.......
let's just say we had to work a little harder to find the rosy in the routine.  
 Brett and I put our heads together and decided to make this the most fun vacation EVER for the girls, regardless of the weather.  We refused to let our disappointed attitudes show and guess what?! IT WORKED.  The girls had such a wonderful time with each and every thing we did, whether it was big or small.  I doubt they ever even noticed the rain and cold.  We sure don't let silly things rain on our parade.  

We decided to visit Springfield's Discovery Center, which was the most fun choice EVER! It is located in downtown Springfield in the cutest brick building.  The people there were super kind and accommodating, even going out of their way to help us find a place to park the boat which we'd hauled all that way.  
 My heart beat a little bit faster once we got inside because everything was over the top colorful and creative.  You know how this speaks to me.  Even the pipes in the top of the bathroom had been painted!  I'm super proud to say Anna Ruth noticed that little detail without me even pointing it out. My job has been done well folks, well done indeed.  

 I liked this museum because it reminded me of a really great toy for kids, it can grow with them.  There were certainly a lot of things to read and interact with my girls were just too little for.  But, the museum was at least 3 or 4 stories tall which left plenty for them to do and touch and play with!  

If you have older kiddos, I recommend going! 
 It's no secret that at home lately it's been challenging keeping Anna Ruth and Betsy Grace happy together instead of pestering or getting into each other's things. They are both SO independent and confident and strong-willed.  All good things.  But this vacation was extra special because the change of atmosphere seemed to bind their little hearts together.  They played and chatted together more here than at home lately.  It was the sweetest thing and such a nice change of pace.  They are becoming friends, I'm watching it happen right before my eyes.  

 When many people hear the word vacation they probably conjure up images of laying on a beach or relaxing and doing nothing.  Unless you're like us and realize that being a parent means the vacation is all about the kiddos.  At least that's the view we take on it.  Brett and I were happy, making the girls happy.  It was fun for us to leave our chores and work behind and be able to interact and PLAY with the girls.  
 Little treats like candy sticks at Bass Pro go a long, long way with two sweet girls...
 *Just visiting my dream boat*

 We had originally planned to take our bass boat out on Table Rock Lake, which was going to be a highlight of the trip for us.  I was proposed to on this boat, on our lake (Beaver Lake).  Brett and I honeymooned at Big Cedar Lodge and took the boat out on Table Rock Lake a lot during our stay.  We have sweet, sentimental memories of this gorgeous, sparking lake.  

Unfortunately this time around, it was just too cold.  But we did find this magical, colorful trail that led right down to the water.

 Standing among these waving yellow flowers with my favorite people beside me, I was reminded once again how much people matter; that our attitudes determine so much; that putting the girls and Brett first matters more to me than anything else; that we are richly, richly blessed beyond what earthly treasures could ever amount to. 

On the way home we decided to eat at a cafe at Big Cedar Lodge, for old times sake.  Not only did we honeymoon here, but we visited when I was pregnant with Anna Ruth also.  As we drove away Brett and I looked at each other in wonder at all the memories hidden in this establishment, the sacred ground we walk on as we remember our past and how strong God has made us.  He's been with us each step of the way, every. single. step. 

I'm so glad our heavenly Father took us by the hand and helped us BRING THE FUN for this vacation!  I have the sweetest bundle of memories from our trip. 

(Art Update: I'm in the process of working on a blog just for my art! You can check it out here!)