Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June Self Portrait

It always seems that the end of the month creeps up on me and I realize that I forgot about a self portrait.  But somehow I always manage to find a "selfie" that I snapped at some point during the month for one reason or another.  It's rarely a planned, "What should my self portrait be about this month?"  and more of a, "Let's look through these photos and see what I can find" type thing.  But in some ways that makes it more fun.

The photo that I chose for this month is definitely not the most flattering one I've ever seen, but I like the story behind it.  I took this pic to send to Tina while we were at the beach a few weeks ago to show that I did indeed have a chance to read a chapter in my book.  Not something I ever would've expected.  In fact, I almost laughed as I packed a book to read on this vacation, knowing that the likelihood of me relaxing in my beach chair enjoying a good book was about as likely as getting Addy to swim in the ocean.  Not. Gonna. Happen.  But by some miracle both of those things happened this year.  (Yes, Addy got in the ocean!) Thanks to my awesome in-laws, I did have a few chances to relax by myself.  And it was glorious.  I found that I did not take the time for granted as I once did.  I relished in every moment.

Vacation.  A word that doesn't usually go along with having two toddlers.  Per an article that I once read, when you have young children, there are no "vacations", only trips.  For the most part, that is so true.  A vacation is associated with relaxation, and that is something that's hard to come by when you have young ones.  A trip is viewed more as an excursion, complete with a car packed to the roof with all of the paraphernalia that babies and toddlers need when you go away.

It's funny, but I've truly found that having this mindset has helped me enjoy my trips a whole lot more.  I shouldn't go into it expecting rest and relaxation.  I should go into it expecting hassle, and baggage, and tantrums, and sand in every crevice imaginable.  And fun.  That last part is so important.  At this stage in our lives, what our vacations lack in relaxation, they make up for in fun!  Seeing my children giggle and run and splash in the ocean, having the time of their lives... that's what makes it all worth it.

After all, vacations aren't really about me anymore (at least not in this season of life).  They're about my kids, and giving them the most fun trips possible.  And that's how it should be.  There will be plenty of time later in life for vacations, complete with little umbrellas in my drink and a good long book by the ocean.  For now, I'll take the 8 bags worth of beach equipment and an hour worth of cry-filled sunscreen application to trek down to the beach, only to be told 20 minutes later by my kids that they want to go back to the beach house.  Because I'm in it for them.

But if by some miracle I can snag a little bit of alone time during my trips, like I did on this one, I'll take it and soak up every second.  And then I'll head back to the trenches and soak up every second with my kids.  Because all in all, this is the season for trips.  And trips are a whole lot of wild, crazy, chaotic fun.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.