The kids and I left for Nashville for Christmas via car the week before Christmas. I have done this in the past and have really struggled to push through the drive from San Antonio with kids by myself. This year was a little different since we only had a ten hour drive (give or take) at least a one day drive. As I have in the past, I had new crayons, markers, coloring books, a new game for each child for his ds/dsi, basically entertainment for the road along with snacks of all shapes, sizes and flavors that are not normally something we keep in the house. I never tell them what I have bought... I load up the car and get it all ready and when they get in it takes a while for them to discover all the new fun stuff. It was no different this trip. It was however different in that this trip, Mason was big enough to hang with me in the front seat and keep me company or help me out with the other kids by reaching something they might want or need. He didn't stay too long up front with me. He stayed in the back with Cooper and they enjoyed vs. each other with their games. The kids traveled really well. They had lots to entertain them and were thankful each time I pulled out something new. I loved hearing them laugh and color and share. My heart was full each time I looked in the back seat and saw their little faces. It did take more than 10 hours and as it got dark they fell asleep at the time that they would have if we had been home. Except Mason, he crawled back up into the front seat and chatted with me and laughed and sang and spoke of how he was feeling more settled and happy. Music to this mommy's ears I tell you. Today I shared with someone that from the moment I knew what babies were I loved loved loved them. I began to pray that God would allow me to know the joy of having children and as I have said He did not let me down. While it is not always easy, I have challenged myself to take a breath and as I have said before be like Mary and charish all of these things in my heart. These things are moments with Mason in the car when we talk, or shopping (because I am teaching him the fine art of grocery shopping). These things are teaching Zoe how to make a salad for lunch (which she loves and requests often), or listening to her sing, dance and tell a story as she is playing with her toys. These things are watching Cooper's entire body change when he comes into contact with any animal or baby. These things are that Jaxon is going through a fear stage and doesn't want to sleep in his bead but will fall asleep in 2sec. in my bed and when I crawl in he is all warm and snuggly. I am loving my kids right now and spent a lot of my time driving to Nashville thanking God for the blessing that comes through parenting my kids!