Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end (sadly, this includes our vacation to our favorite beach town of Fort Myers Beach). Stockton joined us for the first week and then jetted off to Arizona for a week of work and meetings in their Phoenix office while I stayed in Florida with my mom and kids for another week. We had an amazing time both weeks, and while I hate to see it end, I always think it’s a good vacation when by the end of it, you feel refreshed and ready to get back to real life (which, I do).
Things I will miss:
1. Ice cream for dinner.
2. Happy hour on the beach.
3. Watching the sun set (we have a habit of making sizzling noises when it finally disappears into the ocean and it makes me even happier that nobody else understands us. Helman quirks are my favorite kind of quirks).
4. Vacation food, including but not limited to: hot dogs, chicken fingers, copious amounts of french fries, and snow cones for dessert. (You know how some people go on experimental diets where they eat the same food for months at a time? My kids got dangerously close to engaging in their own experimental diet of chicken tenders these last two weeks and can give a full regional review of all chicken tenders within a 5 mile radius of Ft. Myers Beach at this point. I’m not saying I’m proud, I’m just stating facts, people.).
5. My mom. She has been such a fun vacation buddy and a great help with the kids. We adore having special time with just Mamie, and during the winter months, she stays in Florida for a slightly extended stay while everyone in the family makes individual trips to visit with her. She’s an amazing hostess and runs a very beloved Inn. We’ll miss her for the next couple months, but lucky are the other guests who get to come visit her in these next several weeks.
Things I’m ready to return to:
- A healthy diet (which goes without saying, but um, my kids need to relearn what a vegetable is and I’m not far behind them).
- Brighton’s bedroom (and the fact that her returning to her room means I don’t need to share with her anymore).
- School! While we were in Florida, a pretty significant shift in our boys’ schedules occurred. We decided a few weeks ago that it would be in Knox’s best interest to try a new school in the Spring, and as a result of many answered prayers, he got enrolled in a local church’s preschool classroom of all 3 year olds and we can’t wait for him to start! This means he and Navy will no longer be in the same classroom and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it changes their relationship. Also, normalcy sounds pretty good after a week of loosey-goosey, schedule-less living.
- Stockton. I miss my man after a week apart, and MAN do my kids miss him. FaceTime just isn’t cutting it anymore and we are ready to be reunited as a family of 5.
- Normal life! Like I said, the measure of a good vacation is when it leaves you feeling satisfied, refreshed and ready to return to real life. I feel refreshed as ever and motivated to get back to the grind. I know our move is still many months away, but I’m excited to start organizing my house in preparation for the move, ready to get back in the kitchen after a 2.5 month hiatus since giving birth to Brighton, and ready to get back to our house planning as lots of selections are needing to be made now that we’ve entered the interior phase of construction.
Vacation is a beautiful gift; one we are immeasurably grateful for. But we love our life back home, too. And I am equally grateful to be going home to the beautiful gift of real life, too. We’ve created fabulous memories and braved traveling with a 9 week old baby and her two older brothers (3 kids under 5 in an airport is no joke, in case you were wondering). Can’t wait to get back here and dip our toes in the salty waters.
Until next time, Florida. You beautiful, wild, party animal, you.