We are on vacation this week. We left two days earlier than planned and had a Herculean snowstorm right behind us for a good part of our trip. I love snow, but I was ready for some sunshine and for some family fun. There are a couple of significant things that have happened on this trip.

First, my mom joined us! The last time that my mom and I were on any kind of vacation together was when I was in high school. I am enjoying it, but I am afraid I might be getting a little spoiled. She has taken over laundry duty for the week! Tonight my daughter said, “When I get married and have kids, and if I can afford to take you on vacation with us, will you do my laundry?” I told her, “Absolutely!” And, I’ll buy the kids candy and ice cream, and take them to the pool, and smother them with grandmotherly hugs and kisses. I can’t wait! (But, no pressure. Take your time. 😉 )

Second, I met my brother Matt for the first time. A few years ago I got a message in my facebook inbox asking me questions about who I was and who my father was. I thought maybe it was a cousin contacting me. I was floored when the woman said, “You are my husband’s sister.” Whoa! He is two years younger than me. We spent some time together the other night at Magic Kingdom. The kids enjoyed meeting their cousins and doing rides together. Tomorrow we are going to have lunch together. I confess that I was really nervous about this meeting. I am quite reserved by nature and I was afraid that my reservedness could be taken as being “snobby”, but actually I felt more at ease than I expected.

My favorite part of vacation is always that the kids and I can have Joshua to ourselves for a few days. I’ve taken a few pictures that captured truly precious moments to me. One was of my husband and my youngest daughter sitting out on the porch. It was early morning. Josh had a cup of coffee. Elisabeth was still in her nightgown and she was licking a giant lollipop. They both had bare feet and she was resting her feet on his legs. He was smiling and she looked perfectly content and happy. It was one of those moments that I simply never wanted to forget, and I snapped the picture.

Another moment was when my husband and three boys were strolling through Magic Kingdom. Our littlest guy had the seat of honor on his dad’s shoulders, and the older boys walked alongside of him. It struck me, how much I love them, and what a great dad he is. I’m glad I was able to capture that moment.

A moment that I did not capture on camera happened this evening. We all walked down to the hospitality house at our resort. We played some games together and had some nice family time. On the way back my husband grabbed my oldest daughter’s hand, and they walked all they back to our room, holding hands and talking. I had intentionally left my phone in the room and didn’t get to take a picture, but it is etched in my memory. Daddy’s with their little girls melt my heart!

I’ve grabbed Meredith’s hand a few times this week as well. She just turned 16. She is finishing up her sophomore year of high school. We talk a lot about the future and what is around the bend for her. I am excited for her future, but at the same time, I can’t believe that her childhood is almost over. (and here come the tears!) I am extremeIy proud of the beautiful and precious young woman that she has become. She loves the Lord and she loves people. It’s been amazing to watch her get a vision for her life and what she wants to give herself to.  While I am so excited to see who she becomes,  I want her to be my little girl for a little while longer.

All of the kids are growing up so fast, and I want to cherish these moments with them. When I am at home, in the thick of homeschooling and managing my home and the rest of life, I forget to stop and etch the sweet little moments in my memory. Quite often we are in survival mode, trying to get from point A to point B without falling apart. It’s nice to get away and make memories, but I am determined to remember to do it at home as well.

Well, it’s the wee hours of the night and I’m tired. I am going to attempt to go back to sleep so that I can be ready for another full day. Goodnight!


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