This past weekend my husband and I packed up our three kids and headed over the mountain for the annual Washington State Holstein Convention. This year’s event was held at the Bellevue Hyatt, a gorgeous hotel, located in the midst of a tonne of amazing places to dine and shop. Anyone who knows which hotel I’m talking about, knows that it’s a place frequented by people in fancy cars, holding fancy job titles, who live fancy lifestyles. So basically not really people like us. Had we made the trip without our darling little bambinos we might have stood a chance at blending in! But then again I wouldn’t have a story to tell either.
This Holstein Convention is just a day and a half event, consisting of board meetings, Chris serves on the board as VP, a banquet and silent auction followed by an AGM the next day. We woke up extra early on Friday morning so that we could get our chores done and be on the road by 8AM with the kids fed, dressed and diapers changed and potty visits out of the way. About the time we reached Ellensburg – about 80 miles from home – Chris and I were in desperate need of a caffeine boost so a quick stop at the nearest Starbucks was in order. But when you have three small children “a quick stop” does not exist, little people needed to be unbuckled out of carseats, let out to stretch legs and snacks and drinks distributed, another potty visit turns into a meltdown because why do we need to wash our hands, then buckled back into carseats, tablets need to be reprogrammed because little people who are too little to be playing with tablets have done things to the older little people’s tablet games and then many minutes later we are back on the road.
About a half hour out from our destination, Chris gets a text to please hurry up because he’s supposed to be chairing the meeting, so we try to come up with a game plan so that once we arrive he can get to where he needs to be as quickly as possible. Another 80 miles later, we arrive at the Hyatt. We’ve never been here before and of course the first question is “Where do we park?” “Do we do valet” “No, we aren’t doing valet, we can’t afford valet” At which time, three little people all start screaming and crying, one smells like something unheard of and another “Where are you” text message comes beeping in. “Ok, lets just do valet” We pull up next to a fancy red corvette and step out of what is supposed to be a white enclave but is in fact painted in bird poop, salt and mud on the outside and I can’t even explain the smell or mess on the inside. Awesome. So for $46 and a $5 tip we leave our fancy salted-mud-pie car with the valet guy.
As we get ourselves checked in, we’ve got an infant screaming in anger, a toddler crushing his fruit loops onto the fancy marble floors and a four year old using the gold railings along a water fountain as a jungle gym. Oh boy! So we finally make it to our room, Chris is off at his meeting and we’re on a mission to find the Disney Chanel. For ONLY $24.99 we can order Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! Seriously?! But, what’s a mom in desperate times supposed to do?
Hours later, we got to attend the banquet and auction. On the far end of the room, at the end of a rather long lineup of silent auction items was some John Deere toys. Whether Chris found an opportunity to bribe Nate into good behavior or maybe it was the other way around, the Baginski name found it’s way onto the bidding sheet and Nate stood on guard, daring to make a scene should anyone even try to pick up the pen sitting on top of that sheet! By 8PM the auction closed and Nate was the proud owner of a new $30 toy silage wagon and an XL JD sweatshirt. By 8:30PM we were headed to our room after an all-out war on sharing broke out between Nate and Eli. So much for enjoying our fancy banquet!
The next day was more of the same, toddlers wanting to play in fancy water fountains, Nate “chopping silage” in the middle of the busy hotel lobby, fruit loops being thrown down from the top of balcony’s and anything else that two little boys could come up with in such a fun and exciting place. As soon as we were done with meetings be were out of there and back on the road to get these crazy little creatures back to a world in which they could safely be themselves and it really not seem so over-whelming to their momma!
As we were driving the Trace Adkins song “Your Gunna Miss This” came on the radio. As I was listening to the lyrics I thought, what a sweet reminder. Our trip to Bellevue, in the moment, certainly wasn’t ideal. It would have been nice to take advantage of being away from our small town and off of the farm, especially since this winter has been hard on us, and do some shopping and going out on the town. However, reflecting on the last couple of days, watching our kids take in a world that is so different from what they are used to and finding harmless trouble, getting to be curious and testing mom and dad’s patience. We can laugh about it because we did survive the trip. It didn’t matter that we weren’t another one of the white collared families with the fancy car who’s kids were perfectly behaved. We are who we are, we got to make memories together and we got to come back to our home with a new appreciation for a life that is simpler but for us just as fulfilling!
Our littlest baby has reached four months young, she loves to laugh at her older brothers, she’s already rolling over and is always ready to smile and chat with anyone with a listening ear! The boys adore her and it just melts my heart seeing them interact with one another. I didn’t take the time to photograph anything during our trip but just the day before we left we got some fun photos! Enjoy 🙂