Thursday, June 14, 2012


As we were making our way to our vacation destination last week, we started noticing these 4 letters on the backs of cars: YOLO.  I had no idea what it meant, and after the 10th or 11th time I saw it, I had to know.  So I asked Brian, and apparently it was bugging him too because he had already googled it. ;) 

You Only Live Once.

What did we do before we had Google?

*sidenote: this picture makes me smile for 3 reasons....1) They are all smiling, but in usual form, there's one who isn't looking at the camera. 2) Hudson has a somewhat rare tight hug on his little brother....don't get me wrong~ he loves him and is his greatest defender, but they're at a stage right now where they bug the snot out of each other. ;) and 3) Hunter's ear is folded forward.  It's a very "us" kind of picture, and I can't wait to frame it.

But anyway...YOLO.  At first we kind of made it a joke out of it, letting it determine our decisions while we were there. Do we go to the pool, or take a nap? YOLO...pool. ;)  Mom....can I have ONE more popsicle? YOLO....sure!  Do you really have to take so many pictures, Mom? YOLO...Yes, I really do. ;)

I'm so thankful for each one of the photos that were captured last week...they are already giving me sweet memories of one of the best weeks in the life of our family.

Was it a perfect week?  Of course not....but it was our version of perfect.  Lots of relaxing (we weren't quite sure what to do with was so unusual), lots of togetherness, playing games, watching movies, soaking up the sand and sun and water....mixed in with one sick kiddo (thankfully just for a couple days), the normal family squabbles, a couple rainy days, and the reality that the week would end no matter how hard we tried to slow it down.

We were so carefree last week. So low stress. I did laundry here and there, and kept things tidy (so I wouldn't go insane), let the boys wear clothes that didn't necessarily match *cringe* and skip their showers (just a couple times;) and generally let my normal responsibilities go.
After the YOLO joke started getting old (it didn't take I started taking it a little more seriously, and overthinking about it. Why does our regular life have to be so different from our vacation life?  Of course there are jobs, and responsibilities, and demands in the real world...we all have those, and they are necessary; but I think what was bugging me was that our mentality was completely different there than it is here.  
And this question kept nagging me:

Just what am I doing with this one life?

The boys are getting older, and in some ways, much easier.
And now when it comes to raising them, it's less about feedings, naps, and so many of the "firsts" that come with the first few years, and more about exactly how we're supposed to raise these amazing little people God has so richly blessed us with. Dealing with things like character, making the right choices, knowing what to shield them from, what to trust them can be overwhelming.

If you think hard enough about that, it might cause you to panic a least, it does with me.

But it's in those moments when I'm not worried about this that things seem to fall into place.  I mean....I know that's not what's happening.  I know it's when I let go of control and trust God to show me how to parent them best is when I'm truly at my best for them.

And I remember that we have one chance.

We can muddle our way through each day,
or we can make those days extraordinary.

When you look at it that way it's not difficult to decide which path you're going to take, realizing full well that some days "extraordinary" might just be sneaking in some alone time to take a long bath or catch up on your DVR.  Or it could be the chance to snuggle in with your family for a movie night. To catch fireflies. To go for frozen yogurt.  Run through the sprinklers.  Splash in a puddle...or let your kiddos do it while you laugh and take pictures when you want to groan over the mess.'s the little things that add up to one happy life.

But when the opportunity arises to do something big, take it.

We have a rather long list of things that we are saving up for.  A lot of them are home maintenance-type things, but a few are more personal, and then there is retirement, savings, college funds....ugh. ;)  In my OCD brain it's hard to let go of what seems practical....but this time I let my heart do the leading.  She's a little less practical, but way more fun. ;)  I am SO glad we chose a different way. I'm thankful that for this time, in this stage of our life together, that we realized the strong need we had to get away together.  For us, this time around...the projects and responsibilities that demand our attention were forced to take a backseat, just for awhile.

And that was a beautiful thing.

And now we're back home....and that's a different kind of beautiful.  It took time away to make me remember just how beautiful it is, and I made a mental note to ensure we make this kind of experience a priority. After only live once.

And as much as I had hoped we could ease back into our routine here, it didn't quite work out that way.  It's been full speed ahead this week with VBS and another wall art job for me (yay!), but after tomorrow we'll resume our slower summertime pace.

For the 4th of July we are planning our first camping trip.
In a tent.
By the lake.
Did I mention we will be sleeping in a tent?  Lol....the things I do for these boys. ;)
B and the boys are excited...and I'm getting there. I may prefer a hotel, or better yet, my bed, but what can I say?


Thursday, June 7, 2012


We're on vacation this week.
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you already know this....I've been blowing it up with photos.  Partly because my family in TX keep asking for more pics, and partly because my sweet, incredibly-trusting friend Mindy offered to loan me her camera. 
Her amazing camera that takes photos like these:

Yes...I am already saving up to buy one as soon as possible. ;) Having way too much fun with's making me feel like a real photographer, and I just *might* be wearing my boys out with all the picture taking.  Oh well...I'm the's what I do.

This trip is a first for our family...not our first vacation, but our first vacation to the beach.  Something I've dreamed of for a very long time....and it's our first vacation in a long time that really feels like a vacation.  Sand, sun, flip flops, no concept of time, sleeping in,'s exactly what we've needed.

Fun doesn't even begin to describe how this week has been....I've loved watching the boys in the water...their fearless spirit when it comes to riding the waves, their creativity while building the "ultimate" sand castle...

 This one in particular showed no fear and a fierce determination 
to show those waves who's boss....

....and exactly that he did. ;)
As did this one. :)
This one loves the water, but his favorite has been the sand...lots of digging, dumping water, building...he's forever cautious, and while the first day the water was calm, it's been pretty rocky for the past two...convincing him that the sand is the way to go.  Thankful for that. :)
My favorite part has been watching how relaxed B has been....and how childlike. ;) Riding waves in, crashing through currents....completely fearless....just what he needed.

 And yes...I too have loved being on the beach.  For me it's the colors, the textures....the way the sunshine reflects off the water....the feel of the's heaven on earth.  And it leaves me wondering why we've waited so long to do this.  My other love this week?  A darling little town called Seaside. It's like something straight out of a movie. Bright, happy shopping, yummo restaurants...happiness.

We've been twice this week and I'm trying to plot one more visit 
before we head home on Saturday. ;)

Love this smile.

We spent part of the week with Nana (B's mom), and it's been so fun...all of us soaking in some much-needed time with her.  Her sense of adventure has been contagious, 
and we miss her already.
Yes...I'm a happy, thankful girl.  Thankful for these 4 who fill me with more love than I know what to do with.  Thankful for the opportunity to go to a magical place like this.  Thankful the chance to just stop for rest.  To really watch and enjoy my kiddos without distraction.  To take a nap in the middle of the day. ;) To spend time with B, talking, laughing....yes, it has been just what we needed.  And no, we're not ready to go home yet.  Tomorrow is our last day, and we're going to carpe diem the heck out of it. ;) One last beach day, dinner out, and if I'm more stop in Seaside. :)