vacation, all i ever wanted

Why have I not posted any cute stories, interesting anecdotes, or adorable photos lately, you ask? Well, we’ve been on vacation! Because all our vacation time and money has always been spent visiting family, we have never been on a traditional getaway. So when Shawn’s family invited us to vacation with them at Hilton Head, SC we jumped on the chance to combine a real family vacay with quality time together.

And I have to tell you – I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. Sure, Bug threw a few fits and was often moody and stubborn. Yeah, Bear woke up at 2 am the same night I was up with a stomach bug and cried most of the plane ride home. But those small blips are nothing compared to the fun we had and the memories we created. Giving credit to my friend Anne for the post idea, allow me to present to you:

Things I Learned While Vacationing With Family:

1. My boys and their schedules are much more flexible than I thought they were. Some days Bug didn’t nap at all, and Bear got whatever nap he could squeeze in on car rides. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they did, and it helps me feel a little more free with their daily schedule.

2. Vacationing with family is totally the way to go. With young cousins for our boys to play with and more adults than children, our boys were so excited about fresh faces and new experiences. Bug woke up each morning asking for his grandparents, and still thinks he sees Uncle John or Aunt Heather around town. One evening while the kids were playing a particularly rousing game of chase, Bug stopped at Shawn’s feet and whispered, “I have so, so, so, so fun!” I adamantly believe that vacationing with Shawn’s family was so much more fun than if we’d vacationed with just the four of us.

3. Shawn is still my best friend. We had so. much. fun. together. After a year that’s been filled with stress and heart break, I feel like we’re falling in love all over again. Or maybe falling more deeply in love. Quality time is probably my strongest love language, and spending an entire week with that man just filled my little heart right up.

4. Our sons will share a room. All four of us slept in one room, and while I was nervous if the boys would nap well and sleep through the night, they did amazingly well. Bug fell asleep even when Bear was fussing before he slept, and they tended to not wake the other up. We’ll probably wait until we transition Bear out of his crib, but this week proved that our boys are capable of sharing a room!

5. I apparently gave birth to fish. About halfway through the week, Bear decided he could swim (despite the fact that he’s 11 months old), and would just leap out of my arms and start paddling his arms and legs. I don’t know that Bug will ever get tired of swimming and legitimately believe that he’d spend every waking moment in the water if he could. Scratch that, he’d surely find a way to sleep in the water, too. Spending a week ocean and pool side meant a lot of progress with both boys and their swimming capabilities, and it was such a gift to spend time doing something that gave our boys such joy.

6. I have the best in-laws in the world. No, seriously. Shawn’s parents are such an incredible resource to me about what it means to be a minister’s wife and a ministry family, and talking to Shawn’s sister and brother-in-law is like spending time with good friends. All of the kiddos had such a blast together, and I am so grateful for how his family genuinely loves our kids – when they’re being moody, when they’re being sweet, when they’re being weird – they are so very loved. Not every person can say their in-laws love, accept, and pray for them, but I’m honored to say that my in-laws are quite exceptional.

7. I’ve lost a lot of weight and have been busy. Actually, too busy to really notice that I’ve lost all of the baby weight (and then some). I mean, I knew the numbers on the scale were going lower and I knew clothes were getting too big, but in my head I still looked like postpartum Jen. When I slowed down for vacation, I was startled by who I saw looking in the mirror. I’m a mere three pounds from my goal weight, but rather than feeling unsatisfied until I hit that number, I’m trying to revel in the fact that I’ve worked hard and enjoy the fruits of that labor now!

I do have a plethora of photos to post, but I’m an idiot and saved them in the wrong format. I’m excited to share some of our memories with you, so I’ll get them up just as quickly as I can!


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