Quite some time ago my brother asked me "Hey, you want to go to Cabela's in February with the boys?"
"Sure...if it all works out", was my reply, I believe.
So he got to work finding out when our mid winter break was, what hotel we should stay at and perfectly arranged the details of our weekend away.
He's good like that. Excellent, really. I would have had the best of intentions and never gotten to it.
And then, as the time came closer, we realized with glee that my husband had the time free to go with us. That we could, in fact, go on our first EVER vacation as a family together.
Of course, there is camping - but there he meets us and leaves us - this we would all be together for the whole weekend for the first time in a hotel.
Jake and I made the fun decision to not tell the boys. My brother and his wife worked diligently to keep it a secret. We schemed and planned it all out, we could not wait to surprise the boys with the news.
If you have followed the blog at all, you know fully that Cabela's is about the most wonderful place our boys could imagine being. Hello? Hunting? Camping? Camo? They have studied the Cabela's catalog for hours of their young lives, carefully marking dream items and becoming well versed on what page certain hunting items were to be found.
Years ago, my brother took our two oldest boys there for an afternoon and they talk of that day as one of the highlights of their lives. But the rest of us had never been there before.
The day we were to leave arrived, sunny and fifty but very windy. I kept finding excuses to get the boys outside (honestly, it wasn't too difficult, they were off of school for the day and it was warm enough to play football outside) and every time they would go outside I would pack something.
I folded laundry and pulled aside outfits for the boys to wear.
I snuck suitcases into our bedroom.
I dug through dressers for their carefully guarded cash so they could purchase new treasures of their own.
I even brought along their A.R. books the two oldest were engrossed in.
All my episodes of 24 were working in my favor as I would dash through the rooms for favorite stuffed animals and pack them away with no one catching on to Moma's strange acting behavior.
And I pulled it off, amazingly enough.
As we tried to get our times coordinated, I would hide in my soundproof (thanks to the packed racks of clothes) closet to work out the wrinkles. Jake wasn't home, but he was meeting us at home where we would all drive down together. My brother and sister in law were at an ultrasound to see if they should start picking girl or boy names for Jr's new sibling and I was in charge of getting us all on the road together. At the same time.
We had one dog staying home with our great neighbors to care for it and keep an eye on the stove for us (it heats our house and water and is our one and only source of heat) but our other dog, Sadie, was headed to Jake's buddy's house (one day I'll introduce you to him, he is a true dog whisper...I am not even slightly exaggerating. Sadie was at a literal doggie spa and school when she stayed with him and his wife.). And as it would happen, we had a bit of a glitch with the dog drop off so my brother headed off without us.
I waited for Jake to arrive home, we dropped the news on the boys.
This is how they took the news.......
Think they were excited?
So within five minutes of this, the packed suitcases were thrown in the suburban, we were headed in the complete opposite direction to drop of our Sadie girl, my brother ended up getting an hour head start ahead of us and we drove into the night to begin our Cabela's Adventure...........