Here's the thing. When your kids are as young as our kids are...vacations aren't really vacations, you know? I mean, for me being a stay at home Mom (which is a role I not only adore but feel fortunate to have) going on vacation with my kids is just me doing my job in a different location. It's not restful...it's not relaxing...it's just normal every day life with the added logistics of a vacation schedule. If anything, it requires even MORE planning than usual and it sure as heck took tons of planning on the front end (holy cow).
Mid-week I was feeling drained rather than rejuvenated as I'd hoped. Don't get me wrong - I adored every moment of watching my kids play in the ocean and enjoy God's creation and interact with their cousins and form those sweet bonds. It was for that reason that I was thankful that mid-week my sister and I had made plans for me to take their family pictures. I woke up before the sun and headed out to the beach to watch the sunrise and just spend some quiet time with the Lord. You know how sometimes you have frustrations or irritations and you look around and think - "why am I being so negative...look around...it's amazing..you're on vacation and you should be thankful"! I have those moments often but usually I can kind of overcome them and regain perspective. For whatever reason...regaining perspective has been harder since being pregnant (thank you wacky hormones). My quiet time has been even more imperative than usual because it's the only way I can re-align myself with what I know is true and then I can shift perspective and "get my mind right" so to speak. So: getting up before the sun was just what I needed to enjoy the remainder of my week at the beach as I should. It reminded me of how small I was in the grand scheme of things and how BIG and in control and mighty our God is. He sees me, He cares for me and most of all He's ever-present and WITH me in ALL THINGS. Truth!
Coffee + Quiet + This:
Just as I felt my perspective shifting my sister and her family arrived down the boardwalk to start their family photos. These are some of my favorites:
It was a fun way to start my morning with their crazy crew. You know how it is trying to get two little ones dressed and fed and ready for pictures and it was all before 7:30 AM! I think the pictures turned out really cute....I love those babies like they are my own so I adore trying to capture their little personalities.
As for the perspective I mentioned earlier in the post, Tim and I were able to have some talks about what the annual "beach vacation" is and isn't and the bottom line is that we agreed that these annual vacations to the beach are really ABOUT the kids..not us. We get the joy and pleasure of watching them experience all that the beach has to offer (which truly is a blessing in and of itself) but it's not a time to kick back and check out...that time will come but it's not now. I think having that perspective we will take a better team approach in the future and I think we've also decided that we need that kind of "check out" vacation for he and I in addition to our big ole' family vacay each summer. It's in the plan for next year. Nothing extravagant or expensive...maybe even a staycation but the kiddos will go with the grandparents or something. We'll see.
Y'all guessed it: more beach to come.