Well, I wish I could say that I just had the best vacation ever and today woke up perfectly rested, full of energy and with kids that were grateful to have their mommy back.

I can't say that.

Like at all.

I am exhausted.

Totally and utterly exhausted.

I may have just now gotten dressed. It's 1:30.

And lets not even talk about my hair and face.

If you came over to my house right now, you would probably assume that I was making the sequel for Zombieland.

And no. I would not be playing the grown up version of Emma Stone.

Unless it was the zombie version....

Even then.

I mean, seriously. Lets compare zombie Emma Stone to the zombie Rachel Higginson and I just lost a zombie beauty contest.

Unless.... the zombie beauty contest was for the ugliest zombie.... Then I would win hands down.

Hands down.

Like I would win against a Courtney Love zombie.



Where was I?

So, not only am I so tired these eyes of mine won't even open all the way, but my children are so sleepy Scarlett asked for a nap today and Stella woke up once this morning at normal time and then fell back asleep on my bed for another two hours.

Even Zach is tired. And he can do anything.

Like survive vacation.

And I can't say that my kids are all that happy to be home, not on vacation and away from the family they love and stuck with a mother that makes them mind....

But I CAN say that I had the best vacation ever. And somehow came out of it loving my husband more than ever and not wanting to tear his head off like sometimes happens when a couple goes on a vacation with literally the tightest budget ever.

So, I totally meant to blog BEFORE we left to give you a heads up on what the last week of my life would look like.

But I somehow didn't find the time between preparing a house to be gone for an entire week, packing the entire family for two separate vacations and getting my children ready to leave them behind for the first part of it.

Anyways, our week was split up into two parts. The first part, the part away from the kids was spent (mostly on the road) in Rugby, North Dakota. Zach was the Honorary Best Man in a wedding to his childhood best friend and so we took the eleven hour drive up to the Geographical Center of North America to celebrate the Festivities and Pending Marital Bliss of the Happy Couple.

Oh. If you want the definition of an "Honorary Best Man," it's the guy you would normally choose, hands down to be your Regular Best Man, but you have three other brothers and so one of them has got to come first. Naturally, family always comes first.

Ok. So I dropped the kids off Thursday afternoon, and by four pm, Zach and I had loaded the car, mapped out a route AROUND the flooding and were on the road. We had planned on making the trip over two days because geesh, it's a long drive.

We stopped the first night in Yankton, South Dakota which really is not that far away, and stayed in a KOA cabin.

Have you ever stayed in a KOA cabin?

It is a fantastic experience that I think everyone. I mean, everyone(Even my dear Miriah :)), should try.

I know you think I'm crazy. But they are SUPER nice for what they are. And that is a $50/night one room cabin, with a double bed, a bunk bed, a desk and chair, and a front porch with a swing.

Oh. And a firepit.

But seriously. They are clean, absolutely clean, and they have air conditioning. The bathrooms that are located.... across the grounds.... are very nice and clean and always have hot water and are cleaned every single day. They also have heated pools, playgrounds, basketball courts and the most amazing thing I have ever seen for children.

It's called a Giant Pillow. It's basically like a bounce house, only firmer and in the shape of a pillow and you jump on it like a trampoline.

It was amazing.

Ok, so I forgot to get pictures of our first night, which is a tragedy!!!! But, lets sum up our night away from kids like this, margaritas, hot dogs and doritos, a game of Horse, margaritas, smores, midnight swimming, margaritas, jumping on the pillow, some porch swinging action and that's as far as I can go before things become rated for adult viewers only.

Just kidding....

It was seriously the best night. And I just love my hubby.

So. The next day was a forever long drive through what I had expected to be the most boring drive ever.

It was not though. The drive on rural highways through South Dakota and North Dakota is surprisingly beautiful.

Says the Midwest Girl, who thinks rolling hills and farmland should be labeled one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

But that's just me.

And Zach.

We think alike.

Also though, the Flooding is outrageous. And heartbreaking. Zach and I played this game on the drive up, Is it a Lake or Flooding?

Usually, the houses covered to their roofs in water were the tell tale signs that what was once dry land was now Ark-worthy.

We even had to drive over a built up road a couple times. Like the original road was covered in water, so they were actually in the process of building another one on top.

When we were in Rugby, a town only an hour away was completely flooded and four thousand people were displaced.

It's mayhem!!!

Ok. So.

We rolled into town like thirty minutes before we had to be at the Rehearsal. And once we survived the craziness of that, and the Pizza Hut Rehearsal Dinner.... (Don't hate on that. Zach Yelped Rugby Restaurants and four different places came up. All pizza. Two were in Gas Stations. Pizza Hut is high class my friends, high class.)

We did a little sight seeing.

Have I told you that Rugby, North Dakota is the Geographical Center of North America???? It's a pretty big deal.

Although, they apparently don't think so. There is only like one billboard. Believe me, if I was the mayor I would advertise the Shiz out of that.

Oh. And there is a monument.

This is it.

I have a better picture of it. But that one has the mailbox. I kind of LOVED that the monument had a mailbox. Who is writing letters to the structure representing the Geographical Center of North America?

Well. I am now. I'll tell you that much.

Dear, Geographical Center of North America,
I had a fantastic time in your little town and thoroughly enjoyed visiting you. I think you could use some maintenance and maybe some new carpet. But you looked great for your age. Stay healthy. See you again one day.

Yours truly,
Rachel Higginson

Or something like that.

This is Zach and me at the Monument. Or our series of pictures.

The first one he was making me laugh, because he thought it was ridiculous how big of a deal I was making the whole thing.

This one is my favorite. But dang it, if I wasn't wearing sun glasses!!!!

So I made him take another one and this is how he feels about it....

See how irritated he looks???? Butthead.

Finally a good one! But... I still like the one in sunglasses better.

After visiting the monument, we looked around for something else to do.

See anything to do Zach? Lol....

No. There was nothing to do in that one horse town. That look on Zach's face is his worried look. What are we going to do for two days???

Oh my.

We had a fantastic time though!

And before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the wedding!

Zach, was not a fan of the tux.

But I think he is just the most handsome thing ever.

Besides I had never, ever, ever, ever seen him in lavender before!

It might be a one time experience, lol...

Aren't we the cutest?

It was the sweetest little wedding!

Here is Zach walking down the aisle with his bridesmaid. I'm not going to lie.... The man loves his wife. And his bridesmaid was still in college.

There was just a little bit of awkwardness between the two.... Haha!

The Groomsmen in their Tuxedo Glory.

So we got through the ceremony with only a few memorable hiccups and on to the reception where they had a few events I had never heard of.

It was a good old fashioned Christian wedding so of course that meant absolutely no alcohol or dancing.

Don't judge!

Mine was the same way.

Ok. Mine was supposed to be the same way. As in, no alcohol. That is until my uncle pulled up in his truck to the back of the barn with coolers full of booze and all my guests and groomsmen were outside getting drunk on like Coors Lite and PBR.

No joke.

Not to mention the Bud Heavy the Ushers showed up with BEFORE the pictures even started.

Oh. And the bottle of Grand Marnier being passed around before the ceremony....

And then there was the bottles of champagne for the toast and Raspberry Liqueur. But at least those were there because I wanted them to be! Lol.

I did stick to the no dancing though.

And not just because I didn't want to offend anyone. That would not have been an issue.

I went to OCA remember? I wouldn't have even known what to do had I found myself on a dance floor!!!!

Also, both my father and my then fiance REFUSED to dance.

I would have been alone and clueless.

Not a bride's most desired situation.

Anyways, in lieu of the Dollar Dance, the couple had a Cowbell and a Bucket.

You read that right.

A Cowbell and A Bucket, in which if you were to place cash and ring the bell, the couple would kiss based on the dollar amount you gave.

So. How do I explain this....

A dollar equaled like a peck on the cheek.

A hundred dollars.....? Equaled the bride standing on a chair, doing a back bend, and kissing her groom all Spiderman Style.

I was so not mature enough to handle the levels of kissing going on all around me.

Oh my.

Ok. And they also had something called the Copycat Kiss. Where there were little bells at each place setting and when they were rung, a couples name was pulled from the hat and they had to kiss and then the Bride and Groom had to mimic the exact kiss.

Let me tell you about this.

There were all kinds of Lady and the Tramp moments with Doritos, and Ham, and it got. Um. Interesting.

Zach and I never got pulled.

WHICH was way too bad, because we had the best kiss ever planned.

Well, not so much of a kiss.

And more like me just licking Zach's face.

We thought we would be outrageous.

Turns out, we were PG.

So much for not dancing. :)

Anyways, all the Attendants gave toasts and this is the groom's brother giving his. I just want to show this picture because I want you to see what is in their champagne glasses. It cracks me up.

Mountain Dew!!!!


They are so funny.

And after the wedding was over, the Bride and Groom took off into the night, or not so night since it doesn't get dark in Rugby until 11 at night. NOT EVEN KIDDING. It was bizarre. But anyways, they took off into the twilight with a Double Rainbow illuminating the sky. (Tosh.O anyone???? The guests were so just like that.)

It's a double rainbow!!!!

Lol, anyways.

It was just SO fantastic to see the couple so extremely happy and Zach and I got to reminisce about our wedding and be thankful that we weren't the brand new couple starting out. It actually felt good to be the veteran married couple, having survived our first few years of marriage, a couple of kids and each other for this long.

And that's all I hope for them.

I have to end with Zach's toast. Because for as much as he hated the idea of giving one, he did a fantastic job and has more insight than I give him credit for. :)

He started by saying this, "You're both going into marriage with expectations. We all have them and they are unavoidable. Paul you have expectations for Sarah and Sarah you have expectations of Paul. But the key to marriage is to throw them all out the window now and not have any expectations at all. Because you go into marriage thinking you marry one person, but the real person, the person you haven't seen in the entire two years you've been dating is about to rear their head in a month or two and that's the person you're going to be stuck with for the rest of your life."

Ok. SO true. SO very, very, very true.

But then.... He continued.

"I can best explain this by a story from the first month of being married to Rachel. It was the first morning after our honey moon that I(Zach) had to go to work. And the night before, Rachel had said to me, 'Hey Zach, when you wake up tomorrow, wake me up before you get into the shower and I will make you breakfast.' I thought that was awesome. I was so excited. I was like, this is the reason I got married, this is it. So, the next morning I woke up, and before I got in the shower I woke Rachel up and was ready for this breakfast she was going to make me. I get out of the shower and go into the kitchen and on the table is a note card that says 'Breakfast' with an arrow pointing to a plate that had a wrapped granola bar on it and a glass of orange juice next to it. You can imagine my surprise while I expected Bacon and Eggs and got a pre-packaged granola bar! Expectations just get you in to trouble. Just accept one another for who they are."

Ugh. That is not the first time that story has been told!!!!

In my defense. I would love it if someone would set that breakfast out for me in the mornings.... I just don't have that kind of time! :)

I do have to say though, that after that incident, Zach and I had a conversation where we both agreed that he could get his own breakfasts and I didn't need to bother.


Fine with me!

Tomorrow Part Two and what it's like to come home to three kids after days of not having any....!!!!


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