Mark and I have a little phrase we use when we’ve tried to do something awesome that ended up being too much of a good thing: we flew too close to the sun. Taking the kids to Disney until 2am and then watching them all have a meltdown? We flew too close to the sun. Taking four kids to happy hour at our favorite hipster joint? We flew too close to the sun. Inviting every child from two different kindergarten classes to a birthday party? We flew too close to the sun. I hate to admit this, but our travel schedule this year is fitting into this category. Mark and I love to travel, but we’ve been grounded for the past 7 years. First we had 3 years of being foster parents before Jafta’s adoption was finalized, which meant we couldn’t even leave the state without getting permission from social services. This was followed by 2 years of Kembe having refugee status, with no passport to travel. We’ve been itching to get out of the country and this year, with our adoption and citizenship dramas winding down, we made Big Plans. We started a travel savings fund, and also said yes to some fun trips offered through my job. So when we planned the schedule and saw a trip to Ethiopia closely followed by a trip to Mexico closely followed by a trip to New York closely followed by a trip to Haiti closely followed by a cruise, all I saw was TRAVEL! EXCITING! YAY!!! I perhaps did not think through the havoc this would wreak on my life. Especially being in the midst of a home remodel. And especially since I still have the same overcommitted deadlines I always have, but now with less time to complete them. I feel like the past few months have been a series of weeks where I am traveling, then scrambling to finish everything before I travel, then traveling again. It has been feast or famine: weeks of travel followed by weeks of waking up, sitting at my computer, and writing until the sun goes down to squeeze two week’s of work into one. It has been so much fun . . . and yet so exhausting. This weekend all six of us leave for a trip to Peru. We’ve got some dear friends who live in Peru working for Krochet Kids. We’ve been wanting to visit them for so long but the pricey airfare has been a deterrent. Last spring I saw a random tweet that a newer airline was offering $250 round-trip tickets from LAX to Lima, and I jumped on it. I noticed that it was two weeks after all of us went on a cruise, but I figured it would be no big deal. Travel! New places! Yay! HAHAHAHA. These two weeks have been pure insanity as I’ve tried to catch up and also get all my work done before another trip. I suspect this vacation will be another example of the Howertons flying too close to the sun. For one, we are taking an overnight flight to get there. Almost 15 hours of travel time, including a layover in Columbia. Also, ’ve decided that we’ve got to see Machu Picchu while we are there. I know the kids are too young to enjoy it, and it will probably be another example of us Taking Our Kids to a New, More Expensive Place to Whine. Chances are they won’t understand it or enjoy it and they will get tired and I will end up yelling at everyone and then resenting them for their lack of appreciation. Not to mention, we’ve decided that during the Machu Picchu portion of the trip, we are going to backpack it. As in, each person carrying their own belongings in a backpack. As in, riding in on a backpacker’s train. As in, staying at a backpacker’s hostel. Even as I type this I realize how completely insane that sounds to do with a 3-year-old, two kindergartners and a 2nd grader. But dang it, we are doing to try. We may be guilty of flying too close to the sun. But we will never be accused of being boring.