Bedtime routines are good for so many reasons. I think I remember from the baby days that by providing one, it is like a dependable signal for their little bodies that it is time to slow and rest. How important is it to have a dependable reminder for our body to slow and rest! At some point along the way, our bedtime routine with our kiddos came to include three crucial things-talk, pray and sing. There are nights that reading works it’s way in there but summer bedtimes have become mostly about sending them off to dreamland as quickly as possible after a long, fun-filled, (now) napless day.
The “talk” part of the routine is about recounting the day. Pretty appropriate for a soul on a mission to not waste any of those. We always ask each other, “What was your favorite part of the day?” My son’s response is most likely well thought about but involves some type of sporting activity he played during the day. While my daughter’s response is almost always “playing with you”. [Sweet picture of their budding personalities-contemplative athlete and impulsive friend.]
It is always good for this girl of summer to stop in gratefulness for what the day held especially considering that our summer days are fleeting and with half a blink they will soon be gone. The night we returned from our family vacation to Kure Beach, NC, we went about our usual routine. I tweaked our usual question a bit. “What was your favorite part of the vacation?”, I asked. From the boy I got so many answers that he had difficulty choosing just one. From sis, I literally got sobs of “I just wanna go back.” The truth is, I myself was struggling to choose just one favorite and was tempted to throw my own temper tantrum.
In that precious moment of replaying the week I realized that our vacation was a success. I know for a fact that is not always the truth. There have been many a time that I have needed that infamous “vacation from the vacation”. But not this time! It was successful in all the ways that I believe vacations are meant to be. It was about slowing, togetherness, laughing, and making memories.
This is not the first time I have written about this 13 year tradition of vacationing to the beach in NC with our forever friends. Four summers ago, our tradition was rudely interrupted by the news of my Breast cancer and impending surgery. Fortunately we were able to jump back into our routine seamlessly the following year.
As we waited in a long line to fulfill our ice cream tradition at Squiggley’s this year, we spent some time reminiscing with our friends about the last 11 vacations together. We recalled all the many different beach rentals in which we stayed. We recalled what it was like to vacation together as couples without kids. What?! Then we recalled those first few with our newborns in tow. We recalled some really hard parenting moments as they started to grow. (Aren’t vacations supposed to be free of those?) Frankly, there were some not-so great vacations.
However, I know I will always look back on this year as one for the books. Pictures say many words and help recall a thousand memories. A few of my favorites from this year….
The kids so enjoyed seeing each other and had playmates for a solid week.
We so enjoyed catching up with our forever friends as well.
“Shark watch” This was the summer of shark attacks along the beaches of North Carolina. We tried not to live in fear and let it affect the fun these water babies had.
One of the days, we beat the heat with the Aquarium at Fort Fisher. So fun!
We have been friends for 33 years now and I think eating ice cream has been one of our favorite friendship past times. We are passing it along to our little ones.
When we were weary from our beach days, we took the kids on their first ever Ferry ride to Southport, NC. What a fun experience and quaint little town. [Fun Fact: It is also the filming location for Nicholas Spark’s movie, Safe Haven] We had a great lunch at Fishy Fishy Cafe and of course, ice cream at Flava’s.
God blessed me with someone that loves the beach as much as I do. It’s our happy place. Can you tell?
We love these friends more than words and are so grateful for another year of carrying on our tradition and making memories with them.
Well… That just made me cry for so many wonderful reasons! Love you!
DENNIS BRADY says
LOVE IT, HONEY. IT IS SO MUCH FUN TO READ ABOUT YOUR NC VACATION AND TO SEE ALL THOSE FUN PICS. AND WHAT A BLESSING TO HAVE FRIENDS LIKE STEPH AND BILLY AND THEIR TWO BEAUTIFUL GIRLS. THANKS FOR SHARING IT WITH US ALL.
DENNIS BRADY says
LOVE IT, HONEY. IT IS SO MUCH FUN TO READ ABOUT YOUR NC VACATION AND TO SEE ALL THOSE FUN PICS. THANKS FOR SHARING IT WITH US ALL.