There are many things that will test your marriage. Your children being sick, flat tires on a road trip, traveling with children and learning a new skill are all things that we experienced and witnessed over the past week a few more than once. As the old adage goes: “what doesn’t kill you or gets your spouse killed, makes you stronger,” something like that anyways.
We were all sick a few weeks ago with the exception of my husband. The girls all had fevers, congestion and a poor appetite. We pumped up on all the supplements and made every soup. The baby and I just dealt with coughing and congestion. I didn’t get much sleep that week and of course became grouchier than usual. I become very annoyed with Ryan when he gets off work and tries to help me but becomes quickly impatient trying to give medicine and food to Norah when I’ve had to be patient all day. With so many others dealing with illness for several weeks, we were thankful for just a week of discomfort.
Marriage test number 2: We made a short trip just northwest of Houston to Jellystone Park in Waller. Even though we didn’t need it, we loaded our new generator to see how it towed behind the trailer. God is definitely in all the details. We picked up the camper the night before we were to leave on our trip per the usual. Not even a mile from the RV storage, we blew out a tire. We have been told on numerous occasions that we need to change out all four of our camper tires because they will blow out. They are referred by those in the RV world as China bombs. They don’t just leak, they blow. I told Ryan that we should change all of them after our first tire blew when we went to Kerrville. It was around 8:30 at night when our second tire blew, but thankfully we were right in front of a fire station. We pulled in and Ryan started changing the tire immediately. Not even a few minutes later the fire station crew came out to help. They brought out a light and pretty much took over the task of changing our tire. One of the firemen was a father of six and expert RVer. He gave us some tips to add to our building camper knowledge. Watch video here.
We always underestimate the amount of time it takes us to get on the road. I feel as if we pack the whole house most times. It is very daunting to pack for six and make sure you have all the necessities. I still managed to forget diapers. The time that I put the kids on the car to the time we actually drove out of the neighborhood was about an hour. While our destination was only 35 miles away, it took us four hours to get there. Why you may ask….. cue another blow out twelve miles from the house on the very busy parkway. The kids are a bit restless at this point. Marriage test number 3, plus another tire change, this time I did helped since we didn’t have firemen around. Thank God we got a new tire earlier in the day but now we needed to make sure we had another new spare. The tire store we went to didn’t have the tire we needed but another one a few miles away and near my husbands brothers house did have it.
Three hours, two bags of chips and a walk to find a restroom later we discover that the generator we were carrying on the cargo rack that was attached the the camper’s bumper was too heavy and starting to break the weld off. We got our tire fixed and made a stop at my brother in law’s house to drop off the generator and cargo rack. My kids know better than to ask, “are we there yet?” So their questions were: What time is it? How long does it take to get there? What time is it now? How much longer? I failed to mention that we had two extra kiddos on our trip, which had been marriage workout number 3. We brought another set of sisters which the girls enjoyed thoroughly. It also gave us opportunities for some one on one time with Norah.
Just a little bit before 6pm we pulled into the Jellystone park. We had one hour to enjoy the water activities before everything closed. It was definitely a relaxing reward to end the day with water fun. The next day the girls had all day to swim and run around the park. They played mini golf, arcade games, painted ceramics and of course enjoyed the water park. This park is great because it is not too big allowing for the kids to have a bit more independence.
Final marriage test: learning new tricks. Ryan has been asking me to drive so that I can get a feel for pulling the RV. I’ve been low key avoiding it for various reasons. I could not get away from it learning how to back that thing up. Towing seems scarier that it actually was but backing up made me break out in hives. Also getting gas. Praise Jesus I got to practice at Buc-ees which was the easiest place to maneuver with an RV but it was a Sunday and was incredibly busy. We got in more than a few arguments looking for a pump I could pull through. You totally underestimate your ability to communicate and my ability to listen while I am under pressure. We made it home without a scratch. I am still working on backing up the camper but I need a lot of practice.
We did have a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave. I am also happy to report Ryan and I went to bed happy and he didn’t sleep on the couch.