Last week Eloise and I went to the zoo with Carly, Charlie and Everly. It ended up being really last minute (as in… Carly texting me the updated weather at 8:30am: “Hey… do you still want to go today? Rain is no longer in the forecast!”) and me hopping out of bed and throwing ourselves together so we could make it to the zoo before noon. (it’s an hour away folks… it doesn’t take me 3 hours to get ready HAHA!).
We had an awesome day. The weather turned out perfect- not too hot, not too cold. There were literally no crowds at all until we left at 2:30. We had the giraffe feeding all to ourselves. The kids had a great time (although Eloise preferred to be pushed in the stroller and Isweartogoodness if she got in and out of the stroller one more time I was ready to leave the stroller on the curb!). It was nice only having to manage one kid. (Folks with one kid… what in the hailllls are you ever complaining about? OH MY WORD one kid is so easy!)
While we were there, something kept running through my mind. I remembered back in 2009, we had just sold our house, Hudson was a few weeks old and we were living with my mom while waiting to close on the house we were buying. I remember planning a zoo trip to this same zoo with a couple friends, and having some serious stress about going or not going. I wanted to take the boys, but at that time in our lives every single dollar was counted. I remember doing the math to figure out how much gas would cost me to drive there, and how we could do it the absolute cheapest way possible. And ultimately, I decided not to go because it was going to cost $50 for the day at the zoo. (I blogged about this back then… and my jaw kind of dropped when I saw the prices of the zoo tickets in 2009! They’re DOUBLE that now… $21.00 per person 12 and up!)
It just humbled me so much, knowing that just 10 years ago a zoo trip was such a stressful decision but we’re now where we can buy a zoo membership and if we want ice cream or lunch at the zoo I don’t think twice about it. It’s incredible how life can change in a decade. Or even half a decade. I never imagined we’d not live paycheck to paycheck. I never imagined we’d be out of student loan debt. I never imagined we’d be free from car loans. I’m forever grateful for where life has led us and I never, ever take a day for granted. And it’s small moments and reminders like this zoo trip that remind me we’ve come so far and have so much to be thankful for.