Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: I'm A Big Girl Now

At this very moment, most of my extended family is at the beach.  Cousins, aunts, uncles, parents -- they all traveled together to Gulf Shores for one giant family vacation, and I'm still here.  Listening to a windy thunderstorm growl around our house in the middle of nowhere.

I'm not mad that we didn't get to go with them.  I know it would have been fun, but being adults as we are (when did that happen?), we had to stay behind for real-life reasons.  I understand.  It's just...

I had been looking forward to watching the girls as they got their first glimpse of the ocean.  As they dug in sand and got knocked down by waves and breathed the salty air.  I knew we might not get to go, but I'd hoped so hard otherwise that I was certain my direct thinking would make it happen.  Plus, I've been enjoying our slight touch of freedom now that both our girls are old enough to travel without much difficulty.  Neither am I pregnant and unwieldy, nor tied down by a newborn's needs.  We are wholly able to go and do as we please right now -- except for that 'real-life' obligation which kept us behind this time.

But that's what I'm clinging to: this time.  We can go on other vacations.  Better, we can do it whenever we choose, within the boundaries of what works with our lives. 

The fact is that while we have adult obligations now, we also have adult choices and capabilities.  We can make our own vacations!  We can go where we want!  We don't have to wait for our extended family to propose something in order to do fun things!  We can make our own, separate family memories, because that's what we are: a complete family.  Not dependent on anyone else's actions or plans to live our lives to the fullest. 

Which we hope to begin doing as soon as we can clear our calendars.

Where's the best place you've been for a family vacation?  Where should we use our newly realized freedom first?  And does anybody else besides us feel like they're too inexperienced to be planning family vacations without the input of their parents?!

We invite you to join us in finding the Bigger Picture amidst the hectic, everyday craziness in your week.  Share your link and spread the love by viewing and commenting on other Bigger Picture Moments at Bigger Picture Blogs.  (The link-up is having technical difficulties -- post your link at Melissa's until the problem is resolved!)  


  1. aww, i hate that missing out feeling.

    we LOVE rhode island beaches, especially block island. love!

    we are getting away sunday for a week and i cannot wait! (not to RI, but to water at least.) hope you get a fun one in soon-ish:)

  2. I'm sorry you had to sit out this vacation; sometimes being an adult just... stinks. I like your attitude, though - there may be disappointment now, but there are future adventures out there just waiting for your family.

    Hm, best place we've vacationed as a family? I'm starting to think DC is the best year-long vacation I'll ever have ;) (No, seriously - there's SO much to do here. And... Lenae is here! Double win!) As a kid, we roadtripped to Yellowstone National Park and it was a blast!

  3. Aww, yeah, missing out on vacation sucks.

    But little family unit (as in, minus the extended family) can be loads of fun! It's a good time to reconnect with each other too, away from the daily to-dos. Going camping is always fun: sleeping under stars, having bonfires, going on hikes, etc. I also always loved traveling to a new place (like a foreign country, though it doesn't have to be that; America has a plethora of amazing places to see, both in nature and in the city).

  4. I am itching to travel myself, but for the first time, it is my daughter's schedule that is the strictest. We can't just ditch school? What?!? Okay. Now I really have to plan far out.

    I was thinking we traveled a lot, but mostly it's to see family far away. And that doesn't count as planning for ourselves. Not really.

  5. I'm with you! I still get excited about planning stuff without the imput of our families. I feel sort of naughty, like I am supposed to be asking them what they would like us to do. It's so much fun making our own descisions!

  6. Sometimes being an adult, doing what has to be done without the tantrum a child would throw, simply because that is how life is is hard. We want something else, we hope for something else, we imagine the something else, but real life is there instead. It's that feeling which makes me remember that despite my age (42), I'm still a child at heart!

    I've been holidaying without my parents for over 20 years, and yet we still all discuss where we will go for holidays, together or separately throughout most winters and springs.

  7. When we went camping last weekend, that was the first trip we've taken without extended family in... well... ever? At least for an overnight. We do daytrips every weekend, but not a vacation type thing. It's empowering :) This grown up thing...

  8. We too, were in a real similar situation this past Spring - it is SO hard!

    We have yet to take all our littles on vacation - maybe soon :)??

  9. I can totally relate to the feeling that you ought to consult your whole family before you plan a vacation! Before Chris and I started traveling frequently I felt the exact same way. The good news is though, once you start traveling with just you, Justin and the girls it'll start to feel fun and easy and...natural!

    In the USA, the best place we've vacationed with the girls was probably Washington State (although, to be honest, that's one of the only US trips we've taken with the kids). There are so many beautiful state parks and forests and outdoor spaces to explore outside the major cities. Then, in Seattle, there's a great zoo and an aquarium. (Also, a trip to the top of the Space Needle is always fun!)

    Oh, and Maine's another good stop! I'd recommend a vacation to Acadia National Park to anyone! (We went when Katherine was an infant though, and we carried her in a baby sling. I'm not sure how it would go with a toddler!)

  10. Oh, I am so sorry! Missing out on a family vacation hurts! Hope you can have a fun-filled family weekend! :)

    We loooove to seriously. Our kids have been to 27 states already! My favorite memorable places have been Outerbanks, NC and Door County, WI. They're both a little off the beaten path but include beautiful nature--beaches! I LOVE planning vacations with my husband--I think it's the best planning with him!

  11. Sometimes being grown up really bites!

  12. OK, that's one thing I love about not having a baby baby rather a walking baby, if you will. We can GO! And I love to go.
    Sooo, there's this totally sweet and stellar place, and it's so beautiful during the fall. The trees change magnificent colors and the fields gently glisten under the autumn sun. There are apple hollers and pumpkin patches and Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes and a sprawling, sparkling blue lake surrounded by towering sand dunes annnnnd
    You could come to Chicago! I will take you everywhere {or at least a few somewheres}. It will be great.
    Oh, and Melissa lives two minutes down the street, so she can take you everywhere {somewhere}, too.

    See you in a week!

    I'm so glad you guys decided to do this.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?