Okay, you'll probably really think I'm peculiar after reading this post, but I wanted to nod toward my husband when it comes to a certain type of leadership in our family, that of "wholesome recreation" as written in the The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Before I met and married Ken, I was a really nose-to-the-grindstone kind of person. I was focused on paying bills, working a second job in addition to teaching school, and depriving myself of many things in order to become debt free. I was raised in a family that didn't do things like take us to Disneyland. We had picnics with cheese, crackers, and watermelon. If I needed something in high school like a dental appointment, a prom dress, or senior pictures, I had to arrange all those things by myself. I kept getting my dad's vet bills for his dog, Duke, after Dad moved out and continually called the vet after each notice explaining to them that this was not my dog and that I was not an adult and they could reach my dad at such-and-such a phone number and address. After graduation at seventeen, I moved out and was on my own for the duration. My parents never gave me a car. I struggled through college and gave every last cent I had for my mission. It takes a long time to pay for these things and manage to clothe yourself. I constantly compared myself to roommates whose parents gave them cars (or they could just move back in with their parents if they had to) and clothes and other gifts, parents who payed or helped pay for their college expenses or their missions or their cell phones. So, not complaining, because I learned a TON through the struggle and am a better person for it, but what I'm trying to say is...I wasn't having as much fun as some of those around me. They had gone on study abroad or would just go buy something or felt entitled to trips or other luxuries like clothing...and I wondered how they balanced all of that. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere or do anything because I was still playing catch up from not having any of those safety nets that a lot of people provide for their children.
And then I met this ranger. He grew up in a stable family with no history of divorce. His parents paid for his college and made sure his needs were met. They provided a financial and emotional scaffold for him throughout his childhood and young adult years. They didn't take him to Disneyland either, but they took him on lots of trips, including the "let's go check out some colleges" trip. Unheard of in my family (my parents never went to college). I announced to my parents that I was planning to attend the University of Montana. My mom said, "Someone was raped there last week." My dad said, "Don't expect me to pay for it." But I digress.
TR majored in RECREATION! It seemed a bit frivolous to me at first. But he pointed out that it's written in the family proclamation. And I am so grateful I married someone who believes in this stuff. We have had an absolute blast together. We've done things I've never dreamed of. Been to Hawai'i twice. Visited big cities such as: Washington D.C, San Antonio, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego. We've been to so many NPS sites. Hello, we went to Japan in April. We've seen Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Hamilton. He knows how to pack it in!
On Wednesday evening, we did our finances. Afterward, he surprised me with this. "Hamilton is playing in Vegas. There are two seats left together. Wanna go?" YES!!! So he bought the tickets, booked our hotel, and we left the next day when he got off work. Spontaneous! We swam. We ate. We attended the Las Vegas Temple and did sealings for ancestors on my side of the family. And I FINALLY GOT TO SEE HAMILTON!!! It was amazing. And he loved it too! And we keep bringing up pieces of the show in our conversations. And on the way home we visited three of his cousins and their families. And then we started packing for Yellowstone.
We are off this morning for our sixth summer in the park. Oh the adventures we have had and the adventures that are in store! It's a crazy life, but you know what, it's all a gift and I'm glad I'm a part of it. I could stay home and paint the bedroom, but nah...I enjoy volunteering and engaging with park visitors. Most of all, I love cohabitating with my husband and sharing life together with him. I love that he has brought so much fun and recreation to my life. It was something that was missing. And yes, I have brought debt-free living to his life and now he can see the benefits of that. Together, we are Team Kyburz.
And that's how we manage to do things like wake up in Las Vegas on Saturday morning and go to bed in Yellowstone National Park on Sunday evening--6 Western States in 2 days, Baby!
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