The last week in January, we travelled down to Florida to visit family (hooray)! In my mind, I was determined that we would take lots of gorgeous photos, would have a lovely visit exploring St. Petersburg and the beach, and would help smooth some family conflicts.
Although the trip was absolutely wonderful, it was so not what I expected. It was emotionally exhausting, physically draining, and provided opportunity not just to smooth over conflict but rather address it and to apologize for some pretty big stuff.
This Florida trip was not your usual beach vacation.
I never thought of how awkward it would be at first reconnecting with some of the most precious people in my life that I hadn’t seen for nearly a year. I got to see the siblings that I haven’t seen in 9 months. My goodness, I never noticed before how fast kids grow! And how quickly interests change. Time with my parents was especially bitter-sweet. How could I have ever thought that just because they were ‘grown up’ they would never grow any more?
Jeff + I had a raw, impromptu moment that I now hold oh so dear to my heart. In our beautiful beachside hotel, we faced some very real fears that had been tucked away. In a wave of heavy emotions, we talked through some tough anxiety, carried each others burdens, and wept more together then I ever think we had before. That moment of complete vulnerability and trust is one I will always cherish.
I wouldn’t have traded this trip for anything else.
The few photos I did snag aren’t great, but at least you see the beach (sorta) and you’ll get to look at our beautiful faces (I’m sure that’s your favorite! ) We will be heading to a different part of Florida in the next few weeks to pick up our Tiny House trailer (whooo!!) and we’ll definitely bring along the ‘nice’ camera then. 🙂
Until then, have you ever experienced a trip going completely different then you expected? What did you learn from that experience?