We are home from a great Florida vacation! We left from Camp Moneto EARLY. Like 3:45 AM early. The kids (and I!) went back to sleep for a bit and then it was game on! They were so excited to see the water.
Our first glance of the water! Can you tell she was excited?
Our friends Jason and Kristi moved to Seaside a few years ago and this was our second trip to visit them. This grassy area is perfect for playing and running.
(Can you see Caroline hamming it up in front of the post office? And have you ever seen a cuter post office?)
A must stop on my list (at least once!) is Barefoot BBQ. It's an airbus trailer in front of the amphitheater in the picture above. I'm not kidding, they have the best pork nachos. Ever.
We stayed at the same place as last year. It was so nice to know what to expect and the kids loved it.
Walking to the beach!
It was a great week of sleeping in, eating great food, swimming, and relaxing. Stay tuned for more pics!
One of our favorite things to do when we are down south is to go to the creek! The kids talked about it ALL day. We headed down after dinner. Can you tell Graham was excited?
I am so good at finding crayfish. Like I can spot them all. Well, today I failed my team. I didn't find one. The sun going down must have kept them hidden. We only found two little ones. Pitiful. (we usually get over 20!)
But it was still fun! Grace did lots of exploring.
We try to remind the kids to not go into water over their boots.
Someone didn't remember. He actually sat down at one point. He had full boots. Ha!
I haven't posted about my thoughts on Ella in a bit so I thought I would catch up (for myself, I know that i don't have to explain my thoughts to you, or the internet world!)
Our Easter was nice. We were in Michigan and celebrated at my parent's church. I always enjoy listening to their pastor and always feel like he shares something that I can "take home". One of the other things I like about him is that he is passionate. When he feels strong emotion, it's evident in how he expresses himself. It's like he cannot not get excited or emotional. (and he has long hair and Gracie said once, "mom, Jesus is here" when we were visiting- ha!)
He began his sermon by sharing about the weekend services they held and the baptisms that they were able to share. He was choked up a few times at some of what he was sharing, and I, of course, got teary eyed too.
And then his message. I wouldn't do a good job explaining it to you if I tried, but you can listen to it here . It was exactly what I needed to hear. Mary went to the tomb and she was so, so sad. She was mourning the loss of Jesus, but he was gone. It became resurrection ground. He shared that the tomb can represent hurt, pain, suffering, or even an actual tomb in our lives but there is HOPE! Jesus was resurrected and we have hope. Again, I'm not doing it justice, so if you want to know what spoke to me so greatly, go and listen to it. And listen to it all the way through because he brings it at the end!
I was a hot mess of tears during most of his message. It's hard to explain- part of it was pain. It felt acutely painful that my baby died and that the suffering of the tomb was so heavy for me. I was crying because I have felt such sadness and despair this past year. But it wasn't all sadness. I don't know if that will make sense to some people. This was also a cry with hope and thanksgiving. Easter, like I said makes it all ok. What Jesus did on the cross and afterward makes the pain that we are facing only temporary. It was a healing cry, if that makes sense. Afterward when some sweet people came up to hug me, I just wanted to say (and sometimes did) Today makes it ok, there is hope. I will be ok because of the empty tomb. Praise the Lord!
Since that day I have felt so much better emotionally. I feel like I had a moment that I needed and was avoiding for so long. Time to face the pain that I was feeling and let it go. I know I will always deal with it and there will be hard times. (this past week I cried all the way through the song "10,000 Reasons" while a visitor at my friends church-yikes!) I still feel moments where it hurts so so much. But then I also have times where I just feel..... good. Graham was laying in bed beside me and he pointed the picture of Ella and said "baby Ella" I said, yeah buddy, that's your sister, and he nodded. That felt so good to me. He will be too young to have memories of this time but he will always know his sister. It feels like the clouds that have hung over us are parting and I don't feel so "heavy" anymore and for that I am so, so grateful.
Gracie and I were in the car last week and she gave me a flower petal to "remember Baby Ella". She mentioned that it may make me cry (ha, has she seen that often or what?!) I said, yes, I do sometimes cry when I miss her. Her profound words are something I need to remind myself of regularly. She said "Mom, you don't need to be sad about that, she's in heaven! So don't cry about that anymore!"