Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

I can’t remember if I told you how much I love Scott’s family.  Did I do that?  I meant to.  Scott has jolly parents, two brothers and a sister.  Scott is the oldest child.

In the family I grew up in, we are all huggy, and I love you and let’s talk this thing out.  Scott’s family is not like that.  Scott’s family is all let’s show up for each other, like all the same things,  and  have a great laugh.  Both kinds of families make me happy.

We just had our 16th annual Smith Family Summer Vacation.  Wow. What a wild party.  And by wild I mean most of the guests were 7 and under.

Scott's family

We went to Galena, IL.  Galena is a beautiful place.  Rolling farmland and a quaint and historic downtown area.  Scott and I went to Galena for a romantic getaway when Eddie was a baby, 16 years ago.  That was the first time we left Eddie over night.

Galena 2

Scott’s parents watched Eddie.  I remember that leaving our baby over night was very, very hard for me.  I was nervous and scared.

As we were driving away from Scott’s parent’s house, Scott reminded me that he was pretty sure his parents knew how to take care of a baby.  They’d done so successfully four times.  I wasn’t easily convinced.  I mean, let’s be honest.  Scott has issues.

Scott’s parents still have the double-sided, single spaced, hour by hour instructions I typed up for them before we left their house on that first trip to Galena.   For some reason, that  precious piece of memorabilia is still alive today. Maybe to  keep me humble.

At this very moment that piece of paper is lying  between the pages of my in-law’s 10 pound Catholic Bible.  The Bible sits on a special chair in my in-law’s formal dining room. I’m not exactly sure how my instructions ended up there, or how they survived all these years, but they have.

Maybe Scott’s parents  shut the door behind my young mom self and thought to themselves, “We got this, little lady. We respect your wishes.  To show you just how much, we’re going to place this lengthy list of instructions in the Bible.  Just don’t expect us to follow all of them. Or, read them.”

Who knows for sure?

When Scott and I went to Galena as young parents, we took a tour of the home of Ulysses S. Grant.  Grant used to live in Galena with his family. Just a little history lesson for you.  I’m surprised you didn’t know that.  I’m a bit of a history buff.  So,  that’s not really fair to you.

You and I are friends, so I can tell you the truth. I’m not actually very smart.  Maybe you have suspected that about me.  You are right.  You would totally slay me in a game of trivial pursuit.

I might not be that smart, but I sort of  do like going to museums. I am mildly interested in history and what not.  I just think I would appreciate a condensed version of most museums better than the full version.

When I visit museums, I don’t   hold on to what I have learned much beyond the time it takes me to walk to the car.  So that kind of stinks. I want my kids to be better.

Scott and I had pleasant memories of our Grant Home Tour.  We wanted to do it again with the kids. Our family was the first of the Smith clan to arrive in Galena,   we decided to take the kids to see Grant’s home..

I wish I could tell you that our kids were like, “Wow.  Thanks Mom and Dad.  You’re so cool the way you always give us opportunities for cultural enrichment!”  I wish I could say that.

Our kids actually asked us if we were kidding.  They totally didn’t believe us when we told them we were going on a historical tour.

Our kids are used to us playing basketball, ping pong and bad mitten with them.  Museums, theater and opera have been off our radar.  And, I think we all know we can blame Scott for that.  Mostly, because he doesn’t read my blog, and can’t defend himself.

Our kids’  upbringing has been kind of lopsided; more physical and  less cerebral.   But, don’t you think I should at least get a few points for using the word cerebral?

I assured the kids that learning something new would be fun.  I said, I remembered enjoying the tour when their Dad and I visited the first time.  I didn’t tell the kids that I actually couldn’t remember one single thing I was told on the first tour.  (Really, what IS the point?  We should just play bad mitten.)

Scott made me stuff this in my purse before we went into the home for our tour.  You know, just in case.

Grant 4

If there’s one thing the State of Illinois Historical Society encourages, it’s throwing a football through their 160-year-old, priceless, perfectly preserved museum.  They’d be silly not to, really.

I asked my family to show some class.  Stand by this picture of Ulysses and Julia Grant, and act like you appreciate their hospitality!

Grant 2

I’m sorry for my family, Ulysses and Julia.


You can see the disgust written all over Ulysses and Julia’s faces.  It’s this generation, Mr. and Mrs. Grant.  You just can’t do anything with them.

On this visit, I promised myself I’d remember some stuff:

1. Ulysses and Julia held hands, and were affectionate in public.  This was uncommon for that time period.

2. Julia’s feet were size four.

3. Women in that time had to wear black for two years after their husband died.  The black clothes would often dye the women’s skin black.  Meanwhile, men only had to wear a black band around their arm.  The main reason for that is because men back then were stupid.   It’s true.  Look it up.

That’s all I got.

I know there was something else in there about presidents and wars and blah, blah, blah.  I just remember the interesting stuff.


Comments on: "Vacation in Galena and a History Lesson" (4)

  1. even this, we have in common! too funny. I’ve been to tons of museums and remember nothing after exiting…or maybe after turning my eyes from the particular exhibit even.

    I like history….alot more than when i was young anyway. I just prefer it in movie form over a book or exhibit; is that so wrong? I watched “lincoln” but I’d fall asleep at a museum dedicated to him…not that I’ve ever done that(shh, don’t tell my hubby)

    We went to Italy on our honeymoon and saw tons of cool stuff but that’s how i see it as cool…my hubby likes to learn about it all. In Florence, I sent him to some famous art museum by himself while i wandered the leather markets, not cause i wanted to shop but rather I didn’t want to annoy my husband with my habit of laughing at the ironically obvious names they give paintings(I got kicked out of a section of the smithsonian as a teen for that…and i’m a good kid. i just couldnt quit laughing at the picture of the girl sitting on a chair brushing her hair. It was probably beautifully painted, but I couldn’t get past the fact that its formal name was “girl sitting on chair brushing her hair” hello-captain obvious! really? nothin better than that came to mind?

    and while in Paris, my friend and I took a bus tour before committing to specific things we wanted to do and see. we drove thru the parking lot of The Louvre; it was neat; that was enough, on to the next site! we toured versailles though…took pictures of us doing silly things though so probalby not a good example of our interest in history. I was supposed to be an adult then, but apparently 28 wasnt really mature yet…hmm, 38 might not be either…luckily my history buff husband is still likely to be seen pretending to be picking the nose of a statue while reading the detailed description of EVERY exhibit…

    hmm, somehow I always get all chatty and rambly on your blog. wierd.

    • You are totally hilarious!!!!

      • ok, this weekend, I went to Circus World with a friend and our daughters(4 & 5 yr olds)…I thought of you! we went thru a building with all sorts of old exhibits. the girls wanted me to read every single sign to them that described what they were looking at…almost did me in. I want them to continue to desire to learn but I soooo wanted to say, “really? you want me to read the whole thing? Ooh, ooh, look at all the pink sparkly stuff over there!!!”

      • Ah, that’s kind of your fault. For reading to them when they were little. You opened up that can of worms.


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