Our First Family Vacation

I had been trying to prepare A for vacation about a week or so before we left. He was pretty unsure about seeing things being set out of place and watching suitcases being packed. I explained that vacation means that we have to drive for a long time and then we get to the farm. When it came time to actually packing up the car, A was definitely stressing out… and then we strapped him to his car seat for 18 hours!

For the most part, I think he did great in the car. He didn’t sleep quite as much as we thought he would, but since it was dark he was at least quiet or talking to himself when he wasn’t sleeping. It seems like driving at night was the best choice as the roads were empty and it’s the only way he could have sat for that long straight. We’ll just have to see if we can be rested enough to do it when we leave.

We stopped for a picnic dinner that didn’t turn out as fun as planned. It was super windy and A was covered in millions of bugs. It was hard to do anything but laugh as I pictured what we looked like as we tried to keep our food from blowing away, swat bugs off of A, and eat as fast as possible. We are always telling A to eat slowly so it was pretty funny to see his reaction to being told eat quickly.


A woke up several times in the night and it was impossible not to laugh at his comments in his grouchy, over-tired state. Things like “I don’t want seat anymore!” or “I want grass now” meaning he wanted to run at another rest area. The funniest thing might have been when he was confused about getting his pajamas on. We tried to do his whole bed time routine and told him to go to sleep and he said in a crying voice “I no shoes anymore, I no shoes on.” He was very concerned that he wasn’t wearing shoes in the car. I kept trying to assure him that he would have fun once we got to the farm, but at that point I think we was pretty much convinced that he hated vacation.


Now that we’re here he is doing great! I wasn’t sure how he would react to having his entire environment changed after only being with us for a couple of months. He has been sleeping fine and is already completely comfortable with Grandpa and Grandma Sipes. He loves walking down to the barn and getting to sit in Grandpa’s big tractors. It’s pretty funny to see him take the lead and tell us where to take him after he’s only been here for a day. He’s also enjoying getting to play with some fun, old toys. He spotted toys around the house right away and has actually been playing by himself some, which he rarely does at home.


Today we got him to help with the “chore” of picking up fallen apples. He thought that was pretty great. He carried the big bucket around randomly deciding which apples were good enough to bring inside. We filled the entire bucket and then he dumped them out and wanted to start over. So funny! We had to explain to him that Grandma wanted to keep them in the bucket this time to bring them inside.


So we are having lots of fun so far. We can’t wait to see what other new experiences we get to share together!

Traveling with Cystic Fibrosis

Remembering everything you need to bring when traveling can be challenging for anyone. As you can imagine, it gets even more difficult when you have an arsenal of Cystic Fibrosis medications and equipment to bring along. For years Jesse chose to ignore CF and skip most (or all) treatments when traveling so we’re just now getting the hang of how to pack everything he needs. After a couple of successful trips this year, I thought I’d share some tips we’ve learned for our CF friends who are traveling for Christmas…

  • We try to pack all medications and related supplies in one suitcase. It just makes sense that this is the best way to make sure we have everything and it makes it easier to unpack when we get to our destination. When we travel by air we keep this as our carry-on bag so that there is no risk of it not arriving when we do. When we travel by car we want to make sure that none of the meds get left in the car if we don’t bring everything into the hotel room, and risk them overheating.

Meds bag

  • Also when traveling by air… we like to get a letter from clinic stating that all of the medications, supplies, and equipment are necessary for Jesse to travel with. The meds bag usually gets flagged and checked out pretty carefully (understandable) and we like to make sure we will get through with the needles and all the liquid vials. We also like to make sure we will be allowed to keep the Vest machine and CPAP machine with us as extra carry-ons since they are too expensive to replace if they were to get lost somehow.
  • Since the last two trips were road trips, I just brought the entire container of weekly vitamins. We were gone for more than two weeks both times and it was much easier to fill the pills container like usual instead of trying to count them all out ahead of time. And of course… it never hurts to bring extra Zenpep!

Vitamin container

  • We like to have a separate cooler, other than our food cooler, for the refrigerated meds so that it isn’t getting opened and closed all day. When get to our hotel I empty the meds into the fridge and refreeze the ice packs for the next day.

Cold meds

  • Lastly, Jesse has gotten used to finding a treatment chair to unload all of his stuff when we get where we’re going. The most important part is making sure the treatments actually get done. It’s hard when you’re busy being on vacation, but he feels so much better during the activities of the day when he has done them.

Treatment chair

That’s what works for us. Anyone else have some helpful tips to share?

Farm Favorites

Fall trees

We’ve had a nice visit here with Grandpa and Grandma Sipes. The farm is so peaceful and quiet, I think it’s almost impossible not to feel rested after spending any amount of time here. I sure do love being here each time we come. Even though we are ready to be back home, it’s always hard to leave. We plan to be on the road early tomorrow morning. In between packing up what we can today, I was looking through some of my favorite pictures from the last week.

Red leavesYellow woodsSoy beansDandilionLady bug on tirePear tree

Jesse has really enjoyed the few small projects he got to work on in the barn with his dad and his grandpa. Grandpa completely returns to his old self when he’s out there working with his hands.

Working on tractorJesse driving tractorGpa in barnGpa with tractor

Jesse has taken hundreds of amazing sunset pictures. Several nights this week he was out after dinner taking pictures of the sky.

SunsetsSunsetSunset 3

One of our most favorite meals is Grandma’s beef and noodles. We got to open up some of the beef we canned the day before for lunch yesterday. I brought my own noodles to make with my portion. We just couldn’t leave without having that meal.

Beef and noodles

Jesse earned his keep by doing one of his favorite chores: trash burning. I’m not sure it qualifies as a chore for him… he has too much fun doing it.

Jesse making fireJesse burning trash

It’s been below freezing when we wake up the last couple of mornings. Jesse got some pretty neat pictures of the frost covering the farm before the sun had a chance to warm things up.

Frost on grassFrost by the barnFrost on wind vane

Possibly my favorite picture of the week is one of Grandpa and Grandma. Jesse and I have plenty of great marriage examples to aspire to, but theirs is definitely at the top of the list as it is one of the longest. Jesse and I just have to giggle when all Grandpa has to do is look over at Grandma for her to know what he wants, and she’ll get up and get it for him. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been together as long as they have. They’re amazing!

Gpa and Gma in chairs