I once heard the quote “you can buy children anything in the world, but nothing will compare to the memories you make with them” – this has become my parenting mantra. Parenting is hard, like really hard, at times we do the best we can with just trying to raise happy & confident children. There are days we feel like we have it all figured out and we are on top of our “parenting game” and other days we may feel like we fall short and can’t do anything right. I am here to tell you, you’re doing a wonderful job, keep up the great (hard) work and give your kiddo(s) an extra hug and kiss today! The statement is true, “the nights are long but the years are short” – Gretchen Rubin.
This winter we were able to take a vacation to Florida and Mexico with our little toddler, Anna. Now I use the word “vacation” loosely because anyone who has traveled with a busy toddler (or any child for that matter) knows it can be hard work filled with unexpected twists and turns. Day 1 in Flordia Anna had a delayed allergic reaction to some medication she was on the week before, which resulted in an ER trip (all ended up good and she was 100% fine the following day, just another example on how things don’t always go as planned.) We pushed through all the “difficult” situations and decided to accept the good with the bad and truly embrace both vacations. All I really wanted out of these vacations was family time, cuddles, endless laughter and unforgettable memories made with my two favorite people on the planet, and that is exactly what I got.
The first time Anna hit the beach and took off like the free soul she is, I thought to myself, “wow, we are living in the wrong place – this girl is a natural beach babe, we must move out of the cold Midwest immediately!” But all wishful thinking & joking aside, she rocked the beach like she owned it! The smile she had on her face the entire time she was at the beach made everything worthwhile! These memories will last us a lifetime. It’s the same happiness she shows at the local park, grocery store or even in our front yard. Children have it all figured out and are present with whatever they are doing – it is definitely something we as adults can learn from. And always remember, you are doing an AMAZING job parenting your children! Keep up the GREAT work.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures of our two winter vacations. Enjoy!