I’ve been living vicariously through all of my friends who’ve been traveling during spring break. They’ve gone to the Bahamas, Disney, New York City, Mexico. If you can name it, one of my friends probably went there.
This year our family decided to stick around Valdosta for Spring Break. We chose to do this for several reasons, the biggest one being that Peter didn’t realize the community college where he’s finishing up Physical Therapy school pre-requisites had spring break the same week as the kids. We hadn’t planned any sort of trip because we thought he would still be in class, and by the time we realized he was out, it was too late to book anything.
Enter the Spring Break Staycation 2017.
To be honest, I was bummed to be staying here in Valdosta for the week. So I planned some fun things to do every day in hopes that the kids wouldn’t get bored or try to kill each other. (For the record, they still tried to kill each other… sigh…)
Here is a quick overview of our Staycation 2017.
On Monday, we went to Moody AFB for lunch and bowling. The kids had a great time, and Peter was the ultimate champion (big surprise).
On Tuesday, we went to Cici’s pizza for lunch and video games then headed to the library for an afternoon of reading and playing in the kids’ area.
We had planned to go to Wild Adventures on Wednesday but the weather looked terrible so we changed our plans. Instead we took the kids for treats at Sonic (strawberry limeades) and then headed to the park on base. It was a perfect afternoon – breezy and cool – and several of the kids’ friends were also at the park. Can’t beat free entertainment!
Thursday, Brie and I went shopping, then after lunch she and Peter headed to Tampa for a couple days at Busch Gardens while I took the littles to the movies. Boss Baby was pretty cute, by the way.
We rounded out the week with an afternoon at Jump n Jacks. For those of you who don’t know, Jump n Jacks is one of those bounce house places, and my kids LOVE it so I try to accommodate them a few times a year.
And there you have it – the Terrebonne Spring Break of 2017.
I realize this isn’t terribly exciting. And let me be honest – these photos only show about half of the picture. I should’ve taken pictures of the kids wrestling, Vivi screaming at Jonah, Jonah throwing tantrums over video games, and Brienne sulking over who knows what. But I will spare you those pictures because if you have children, you’re probably experiencing similar scenarios as I type this.
And although this wasn’t the most thrilling week of our lives, I did learn a few things.
- Sometimes we need to slow down and take time to enjoy the family given to us. We need to put down our phones, stop the carpool race, and simply experience life. The good and the bad. The exciting and the mundane.
- Life isn’t made of 24/7 excitement. Family vacations are amazing and I’m hoping we get to take one soon, but what our family needed in this season of our lives was a week of slow, unforced family togetherness.
- Families are built in the everyday mundane experiences that mold and shape us. Life is formed in the decisions we make and the reactions we have to everyday experiences. Life is also formed in the games of kickball played in the backyard and the afternoons swinging on the back porch.
- Sometimes we want to pull our hair out from all the family togetherness. And sometimes we overreact to our kids’ behaviors.
But this week has been good for my soul.
I took time to apologize to one child for my overreactions.
I was able to soothe one child’s soul after he experienced a huge meltdown.
I sat and discussed books and friendships with another child.
If we hadn’t taken time this week to bring a slower pace to our family, I wouldn’t have been able to do those things. I would’ve missed those special moments with each child. I would’ve missed what Christ wanted to teach me about myself in those moments.
As we approach Easter, I’ve been studying through the Final Days of Jesus. The author talks a lot about taking a Sabbath each week. This is hard for me – stopping in the middle of a week to rest.
But this week has been a Sabbath of sorts for me, for our family. I’m learning the importance of creating margin in my life. This week has made me want to slow down more, play outside, read to my children, take time to just be. It has shown me, in little ways, how to listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him guide my words and actions.
So, although this hasn’t been the most exhilarating week, and in many ways it has been very hard, I am thankful for it. Thankful for the slow pace, the long days, the difficult moments. Because Jesus was in it.
Father, give us more awareness of You. May we slow down and enjoy Your presence today. Help us rest in You as we experience everyday life with our family.