3 years ago

Road tripper

Okay hello. Happy October to you all.
We road tripped to Columbus for my cousin Dave’s wedding last weekend.
One should know the Svell family doesn’t do vacations or road trips. This was our first one. Ever.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

Naturally, pre-trip I was wound up in anxiety about how Emmett would handle the whole thing:
the foreign sleeping situation,
the no-familiar-place-to-go-to-the-bathroom (he tends to hold EVERYTHING in until we return home, which is always a fun time).
Would he become a spitting, thrashing, screaming mess during the vows?
Would he tolerate his dress clothes? (He won’t do long sleeves.)
The wedding was officiated outside, and you know how I feel about taking Emmett outdoors.
Would the loud music and flashing disco lights during the reception send him into flight or fight mode?

Important fact: Lexington was the ring bearer.

After clearing up confusion that he would NOT be pushing his cousin, Sienna, in a wheel barrow in a parade, Lexington was super pumped to learn that he only needed to carry a little pillow, while Sienna walked next to him, tossing flower petals.

property of Carolyn Svellinger
Welp it’s all done, so here’s what I learned:


  •  Life would suck really bad without my parents.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

Okay, I already knew this one. My mom and dad aren’t the kind of people who wait for someone to ask for help.  Instead, they pay attention, foresee a need and fill it.  My parents drove up the day before the event to help with transporting family members, but also to help with the younger babies.  We were able to take just Lexington to the wedding rehearsal and dinner, while Collin and Emmett did the hotel party thing with my mom and dad.  I was able to have conversations with my cousins in full(!) complete(!) sentences(!) and the worry which accompanies Flight-risk Emmett was naught.

  • Plan for the worst, hope for the not worst.

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The trouble came on wedding day, of course. We pulled in for the early scheduled wedding pictures, tried to unbuckle him from his car seat, and suddenly Emmett was scream-crying and pushing my hand away, and re-buckling himself.  Okay then.
Emmett remained in the car until the wedding was over. Craig sat with him for an hour or so, taking work phone calls before the wedding, and then my Dad skipped out on the entire wedding so that Craig could join me to watch Lexington wheel the barrow.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

property of Carolyn Svellinger

property of Carolyn Svellinger


  • Delight in family.

property of Carolyn Svellinger
This is just a few of us– we had the pro photographer shoot the lot of us together- maybe I’ll share if I can get my paws on a copyyy.  Maybe, Kate? did you take some too? SEND ‘EM.

Having all of my cousins, many who live out of state, together in one place, was such a blessing. We can’t even get together for holidays, so this was super special.  Seeing my childhood playmates as adults, parents, and just beautiful individuals is truly a treasure.  When we grow up and start our own lives and families, it’s hard to detach from our little world of squirming toddlers– DO NOT DRINK YOUR RANCH DRESSING, PLEASE. –and look each other in the eyes and simply enjoy being with them.

property of Carolyn Svellinger
These are the grand babies of the family. So far ;) My cousins Chris, and Shaun serve as not so conspicuous chairs to include their littles, who haven’t quite mastered the walking/standing thing.
  • Sit back and be amazed (Also: I no take good low-light photos)

After a little struggle and tears, Craig wrenched Emmett from the car, wrestled him into a dress shirt, and brought him into the wedding reception. This is where Emmett transformed, to my shock and amazement.
The music started blasting, and rainbow lights started flashing.  Craig took a giggling Emmett to the dance floor– and the next thing I know, he’s dancing! Laughing! He’s watching how the others dance, and he’s mimicking! His eyes are doing that crazy Autism thing, where we can tell he’s barely got a grip on what he’s experiencing, but he keeps catching my eyes and Craig’s eyes, staying close to us. He loves it. So we let him dance- for a long time.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

Neck tension eased by lots.

  • Have someone wash and dry your hair.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

I’m kind of the family hair stylist. I don’t know how it happened that way, but when there’s a formal event, I’m doing someone or most everyone’s hair. Then I gotta do my own.  Which is fine,  I love doing it.  BUT. This trip had me a obnoxiously stressed out, and morning sickness usually gets me real good right after I wash my hair, and then I have to lie down and not move for a long time, so I snuck out of bed Saturday morning at like 7:30 am (which is akin to the crack of dawn for my people) and had a hair lady wash and blow-dry my hair into va-va-voomness for a few bucks while I sat in silence and did not pass out.   I came back and was quickly able to curl my hair, apply makeup with minimal ankle biting, and then braid little Sienna’s hair into flower girl perfection.

property of Carolyn Svellinger
also: leopard/giraffe printed pants aren’t that scary.


  • Don’t ever buy me a floor length mirror.

You’ll never get Narcissa away from it.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

  • The introvert shall make me pay.

What’s that? You had a ton of nonstop social interaction and no down time?
You must pay the price.

A 48 hour migraine it is.
I’ve never, in my near 30 years of life, experienced a migraine.  Never again, thank you.

…to which I once again defer my gratitude to my parents who helped with the boys while I basically couldn’t open my eyes or tolerate the sound of a pin dropping.

property of Carolyn Svellinger
…at least there’s no plumber’s crack back there, right?




  1. A fun read …my Carolyn. It was a great thing that all the first cousins were able to be there. It was a whirl wind weekend! As Carla would say … “feel the love”.

  2. Hi! I just found your blog, and I’ve really been enjoying it. Just wanted to tell you that I frequently have 48-hour migraines. I completely feel your pain! I hope you don’t have to have any more of them. I look forward to more blog entries!

  3. Carolyn
    I couldn’t agree more! It was truly a blessing to have had the entire family there! I was praying at my adoration hour today thanking the Good Lord for such a beautiful weekend last weekend! And for letting everyone be there! It was truly wonderful seeing everyone! And Lexington and Sienna did an awesome job at being the ring bearer and flower girl! Everyone had a great time!
    Love reading your blog!
    Take care! See ya soon!
    Love ya!


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