Sad Faces in Beautiful Places

All of the Places
August 2016 – January 2018

For the most part I have tried to share the happy, positive parts of our adventures over the past year and a half. There are several reasons that I’m motivated to focus mainly on the good stuff.

  1. The good stuff is what I want to focus on now. I mean, you are what you think, right?
  2. The good stuff is what I want to remember later. Much of what I record I hope to have for years to come, so that we can look back on these adventures and happily reminisce. I want us to remember all of the joys and gifts that we experienced as we traveled.
  3. Fun sells, and I want to impress you. I mean, let’s just get it out there. In our day of social media, we all want to post the best stuff…and that’s not necessarily all bad (see above points).  But I also don’t want to run the risk of “fake-booking”.

So here are some things that you should know…

For every time we happened upon a local festival in a town, we saw posters for 4 others that we just missed.  For every time the girls said, “This is the best day of my life!”, they also said “This is the worst day of my life.” (Usually these 2 statements happened within the span of 4 hours.)  We’ve all worn shirts with stains, or hiked with toes peeking out of shoes, or realized in public that our pants had holes in unmentionable places.  We’ve burned ourselves out on all the picnic menus we could think of.  We’ve yelled, “Stop shaking the house!” too many times at jumping kids for it to be funny anymore.

So in an attempt to balance the tension between 2 desires: to not let the hard things overshadow the great things, but also to be realistic about what life on the road is like, I bring you…

Sad Faces in Beautiful Places

Disclaimer:  No children are hurt or afraid in any of these pictures, and all of them are being used with their permission. 


This one is “I would prefer that you had cooked a different healthy dinner for me and then hiked it down the hill so that I could picnic on this beautiful beach at sunset” sadness. Harris Beach, Oregon
“I want to climb up that fallen log but my mom said it’s too dangerous” sadness. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Forest, California
“My sister found the end of the scavenger hunt before I did” sadness.




Here’s Coral’s “Spending the afternoon playing at this lovely creek” sadness. Three Rivers, California outside of Sequoia National Park.
“Those strangers won’t let me have a turn with their binoculars” sadness. Grand Canyon North Rim, Arizona.
“Exploring all the National Parks is hard” sadness. Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Nondescript road trip sadness. Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Something about the cool puzzle at this museum” sadness. Children’s Discovery Museum – Springfield, Missouri
“I couldn’t make those footprints the way I wanted” sadness. Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola Beach, Florida
“My mom makes me write down some of our amazing experiences in a travel journal” sadness. Potomac River, Washington, D.C.
“My legs are tired of exploring the Freedom Trail after like 5 minutes” sadness. Boston, Massachusetts
“Just another day of hiking through the amazing mountains” sadness. Acadia National Park, Maine
“I don’t want to walk anymore” sadness. Acadia National Park, Maine
“I don’t want to carry the water straw anymore even though I insisted we bring it and promised to carry it the whole time” sadness. Gorham, New Hampshire
“My feet got sandy when we walked across the beach to see another one of those Great Lakes” sadness. Lake Superior, Wisconsin
“I cannot escape all of the flying bloodsuckers on this beautiful trail” sadness.Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota
“You are confusing me with your talk about fractions” sadness. Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming
“Dad texted us a picture of himself eating ice cream after he finished his 15 mile hike, but I didn’t get any” sadness. Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming
“My favorite caterpillar might have been eaten by a bird” sadness. Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington
“I don’t want to leave this cool beach” sadness. Ruby Beach near Forks, Washington
“I want to go hike on that other hill, but everyone is making me wait” sadness. Artist’s Palette, Death Valley National Park
“I wanted to scare the flies away but my sister did it instead” sadness. Mono Lake, California

Collecting these photos helped me to have a better attitude in these moments when negative emotions were getting in the way of my rosy scrapbook memories.  Instead of joining them in despair, I would sometimes think, “Oh, yay!  Another one for my collection!”  (You may notice that there are no pictures of me looking grumpy…even though there were plenty of TIMES that I was grumpy.  But I didn’t have the self-awareness at those moments to think of taking a selfie…maybe next time.)

And the grand finale…Homeschool.

10 Comment

  1. Manoah says: Reply

    I love them all! Thanks for striving for balance, and for reminding us that life-on-the-road has highs and lows just like life-in-one-place.

  2. Jon Wrye says: Reply

    Miriam and I are cracking up reading these. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dan says: Reply

    “Exploring all the National Parks is hard”
    It looks like Coral was trying to body-pose the rock formation behind her; I thought this was a cool shot!
    Also, we really miss you four! Keep up the amazing trip and posts!

  4. Tina says: Reply

    Love these faces! Happy or sad- you girls are so amazing and beautiful inside and out!

  5. Marie Scanlon says: Reply

    those are too hilarious. please do this again. i like just thinking about you being excited to capture the moment instead of getting your own grumpy on. maybe I’ll try that.

    1. Kelsey says: Reply

      Ditto ditto ditto!!!! You are my favorite and I can’t wait to start my own collection!! Love you like CRAZY!!!

  6. Clay says: Reply

    Y’all super on-trend right now:

  7. Mid says: Reply

    Sarah, you are a gifted writer!

  8. JVB says: Reply

    This was a great idea. Thanks for Sharing!

  9. Barbara says: Reply

    So funny!

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