Goal 2013: Vacation {How to Count Down}

by Cate on January 3, 2013

WPIR - passport renewal-001
I have a running list of things I want to do this year.

But goals, rather than resolutions.

Because sometimes it’s harder to say “I will never …” or “I promise to …”

How about “I want to …” or “I will try…”

It feels like it’s just filled to the brim with positivity.

Which is something we all need infinite amounts of.

One of my goals for this year was to take a vacation with the kids.

Like an honest-to-goodness vacation.

Sure, we did a few road trips last year. And the year before. And the year before. And even the year before that.

Tacking on a day here and there to make a long weekend.

Which was ten shades of awesome.

But just not the same.

And so I wanted to be able to take a real vacation. When we go away this Spring, it will have been 4-and-a-half years since the last time we took a proper vacation.

And 4-and-a-half-years since I took more than two consecutive days off from work.

Between being a single mom, tackling debt, juggling, work, schedules, and the like, there has been a long list of why we couldn’t go.

But no more.

It’s booked. Paid for. And the countdown is seriously on.

And while I worry that when we get back, I will say “wow, that went fast,” I intend to enjoy every single second of it.

Because we so need it.

Madeline’s passport is still good (from the vacation we took when she was 11 months old), but Nick’s needed renewing. So that was the first step.

And that will be, of course, the first picture to go in the Spring Break 2013 photo album.


But how to combat the “…how many days until we go” questions?

A paper chain, of course.


I used a super cute fishy scrapbook paper I found at Michael’s. Which means this fun idea cost me less than $1.50 to make.

And since we will be visiting some very blue oceans and fishies, it was even more appropriate.

There is a link for each day between now and when we leave. And we, of course, remove one piece every day.

And eventually there will be way less.

On the inside of the links, I numbered each piece, so we would know the exact number of days until we go.

And while we are beyond excited to know that we are going on a vacation this Spring.

And while it is super fun to count down the days until we leave.

And while it was necessary (necessary!) to shop the bathing suit section of Target for a new suit for Madeline (because we’re going away!).

When our mornings start at 23 degrees (today!), it is supremely satisfying to know exactly how many days there are left until Spring starts.

Vacation or not.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

patsy January 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I always have to have a trip to look forward to while I “suffer” through the cold! So excited for you guys and your spring break trip! You will have a ton of fun and will come back with thousands of fabulous pictures!
patsy recently posted..Healthy Grains {Recipe: Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Barley} #EatLiveBe


Joanne January 4, 2013 at 7:17 am

How fun!! I can’t wait to hear about where you’re going. :) I’m counting down to spring with you…I can’t take this cold!
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: {Healthy} Curry-Spiced Sweet Potato Samosas with a Persimmon-Tomato Marmalade {eat.live.be}


paula January 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

Let’s see, Nick will be 9 next week and the last time I took an entire week off was the summer before he was born. With only 15 vacation days each year (after almost 13 years with my company – this is the max, pretty typical these days), it’s hard to set aside 5 days when I have two kids that get sick, take field trips, have doctor’s appointments, etc. all through the year. Last year we spent 2 nights at Great Wolf and we’re going back this year thanks to my family buying us gift certificates again. It’s fun, the kids LOVE it, but it’s not what I would consider a real vacation.
paula recently posted..Christmas Baking 2012


Cate O'Malley January 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

I hear you, loud and clear, and that’s been a huge stumbling block for me too. I ended this year with 1.5 days of vacation time, which I used during the last week of the year, to get through the kids’ holiday break. Like you, being the one responsible for sick kids, school schedules (and two different ones at that), and general life, it’s definitely a challenge. Will be taking four days for our Spring vacation, so will have to be r-e-a-l-l-y careful throughout the rest of the year. We went to Great Wolf a little over a year ago and the kids loved it. We happened to go during the great Snowtober, so it ended up being a perfect little escape before we came home to a house with no power.
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Goal 2013: Vacation {How to Count Down}


Monica January 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

What a super cute idea! Cate, you are so incredibly creative!! I love it! :) One of the most exciting parts of a vacation (outside of actually being on it) is the anticipation and the day dreaming that comes with it. Let the fun begin! Yay!


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