It is always hard getting back into the swing of life after vacation. Can I get a witness? Last week my emotions were all over the place. I was short with my kids, disillusioned with work, frustrated by relationships and a bit anxious about Pinked all while also feeling really motivated to get some things checked off my “to do” list. I don’t blame anyone for the junkier stuff but myself, and I honestly believe it was all part of a coming down from my vacation high.
Two weeks ago, we spent the week in Kure Beach, NC with my best friend, Stephanie and her family. For the last 13ish years, we have met to vacation together in that area and carried out many sweet traditions that we have in fact passed on to our growing kiddos. There is nothing like seeing their love for one another and excitement for our sacred time together grow as they get older. There was one summer, however, that cancer messed with our traditions and we didn’t make it down for our vacation with our dear friends. Instead I was getting saline injections into my expanders and learning the ins and outs of chemo drugs. Not quite a fair trade off I would say. I blogged about it then and since this is recap month of what happened five years ago, I thought I would repost it today….
From an article originally posted on 9/6/2011
There are two things I love in life and therefore, pour a lot of my energy into: traditions and friends. I believe traditions allow for beautiful memories to be made for us and for our kids. And most of my closest friends I have, I have had for at least 15 years. However, there is one friend that I have had since the very first day of kindergarten at Annapolis Area Christian School making this our 29th anniversary of being friends. Her name is Stephanie and she currently lives in Augusta, Georgia with her sweet husband, Billy and two beautiful daughters. Our years of being best friends that lived in the same state were cut way too short when her family moved to the Atlanta area the summer after our sixth grade year. When you hear that quote “You look like you just lost your best friend”, that was literally me the day she moved. However, God has faithfully sustained our friendship to this day, and every summer our families have the tradition of meeting in Carolina Beach, NC for a week’s vacation. Our vacation with them was planned for this week and we should actually be there with them right now.
Within our tradition of spending a week together in NC every summer, we have other traditions that have become part of our time together. The husbands always spend the first night of our trip doing the grocery shopping which proves to be very drawn out and comical. (We have two of the most tight-fisted husbands when it comes to money!) We also take the kids and ourselves out for ice cream at least one night to our beloved Squiggly’s. We visit an authentic Carolina BBQ spot called Jackson’s for their hush puppies, pork plate and sweet tea. And of course, I would be remiss in failing to mention our newest tradition of getting breakfast from the famous Britt’s donuts. (If I close my eyes, I can almost taste them melting in my mouth!) I remember one of the most disappointing realizations that came with my diagnosis was that we would not be able to go on our long-awaited vacation with our dear friends and these traditions would be left unfulfilled for this year. Just as is true with every aspect of this experience, this time we spend with our friends and the traditions we have come to love mean all the more. And we anxiously await next year’s trip when I am hopefully well enough to travel and enjoy all these things again.
There is something about missing out on that time 5 years ago that makes me all the more excited about each time that we do get to go now. And in the midst of it, I am constantly battling to make each moment count and each memory be forever etched in my mind. I took a lot of photos from our vacation and always love putting them into a flipagram for the kids.
Below is our Flipagram from this year’s Kure Beach Vacation.