Since the beginning of January I have gotten strep 4 times and a stomach virus. This has meant a lot of time stuck in bed while my husband takes care of the kids. At first I'm not going to lie, being trapped in bed watching tv and sleeping whenever I felt like it was kind of nice. Weird, but nice. Then the days wore on and it happened again and again. As I am sure you can guess the "nice" wore off really quickly. My baby decided his Dad was his world, the girls learned to use the microwave, pack their own lunches, and even put themselves to bed. (insert my heart litterally breaking) The next huge change was not nursing Wyatt anymore. After going to the hospital once and almost landing there again it was very clear to us that nursing just wasn't an option anymore. It was r.o.u.g.h
BUT a surprising blessing came from it all.
I was blessed with the testimony that I love being a mother. I love being surrounded by my children no matter how messy, loud and overbearing they can be. I love that my life right now is spent raising them, loving them, and being immersed in their spirits. I love that I get to wake up every day and help them learn and grow. They teach me to be more patient, care free, flexible, protective, compassionate, and confident. Through teaching them I am learning to be the best version of myself that I can be.
Honestly, what an amazing and divine calling it is to be a mother. We are raising the next generation of adults. It is just amazing to me. I hope if you have lost that flame of excitement for motherhood you can take a step back for a moment and see the reality of your calling in life right now. I hope you can see those sweet faces of your children and remember that you are not just mom, you are their rock, they comfort, their support, and their haven. YOU are there to catch them when they fall, lift them when they struggle, and celebrate with them when they soar. You are not just mom, you are their world.
If you are a mom you probably know that a key component to finding a good hotel is whether or not they have a pool. My kids go NUTS over a pool. Maybe that is just because we live in Alaska, or many it is a universal kid fascination. This past weekend we went on a stay-cation to Seward and stayed at the Harbor 360 Hotel. We passed so many cool things on the drive, endless mountains, the ocean, wildlife, etc. but what did we hear the entire drive? "Can we go to the hotel now?!" "I want to swim" "Where is the hotel?!" Lucky for these kids they had a pool AND a hot tub. Basically everything we needed for a good weekend.
With our "big" family we have decided to start getting joining rooms instead of all cramming into one room. Perk for the parents is getting to watch tv or talk easily after the kids go to bed and perk for the kids is they feel awesome having their own room. Right when we got to our rooms the great freaked out because there was a dresser with "three drawers just like there are three of us!". I love that it is the little things about hotel living that kids get excited about.
In the past when we have gone to hotels we let the kids stay up late, eat snacks and watch a movie. This always sounds like such a great idea before-hand but by 11:00pm my husband and I are frustrated that the kids haven't "peacefully fallen asleep while cuddling each other".
We finally wised up, brought books with us and decided to treat bedtime like we do every night. Honestly, it made more of a difference than I was expecting. We all cuddled on the queen beds, read books, said a family prayer, tucked each of the kids in then my husband and I crept into the other room to have some adult time. When morning came the kids were refreshed, excited for the day and my husband and I had the energy we needed to be good parents.
Something else that I love about the Harbor 360 hotel is it's location, it is right on the water so when the kids get a little wild we can go out for a walk along the harbor and look at all the cool boats. The last time we were here we lucked out and got to watch an otter playing in the water about 20 feet in front of us.
The Harbor 360 isn't in "downtown" Seward which is something I really like. There are still plenty of things to do and places to eat but it feels a little more connected to nature. Not far from the hotel is a really great beach you can play at and find all kinds of cool sea life. Things like this are wonderful for families because it is free and you don't have to worry about your kids are being too crazy. Really it's a win win. If you are more into shops and indoor activites it is just a short drive to the heart of Seward where there are plenty of stores to walk around and a really nice Sea Life Center.
If you are planning a trip to Alaska or live in the area I would highly recommend planning a weekend trip to Seward and the Harbor 360 Hotel is a wonderful place to call home on your stay-cation.
Also, I am a sucker for murals and looks how amazing these two are on the outside of the hotel. Swoon!!
This post and our hotel stay was compensated by Harbor 360 Hotel but all opinions are mine.