Saturday, August 28, 2010

When I count all my blessings, I get a smile on my face.

And there goes another month, the last month of summer and oh, what a fantastic month it has been. Our whirlwind month of August, the big shibang to the long and hot summer here in Alabama, has been greater than I could have ever planned. As I sit here tired as all hell with my belly growing by the second, I can't help but think of all the lovely things the Fall has in store for us and how I could possibly thank the Big Man Upstairs enough for his oh-so-many blessings.

From the beaches of Florida to the bustle of Boston to the charm of coastal Maine, we have taken our last vacation as a family of three and soaked up every second. We started our two week journey up the east coast in Jacksonville Beach, Florida where my parents have a house by the water. It has been my parent's dream to own a home by the water and by gosh, everything about the beach cottage is practically perfect. The highlight of the trip for me was seeing Sophia so happy, totally in her element with Papa, Gama, and Auntie's to follow her every move. Sophia is a true beach baby spending the first two years of her life by the beaches of San Diego but this beach trip was even better. To have the beach AND her own personal pool in the backyard...well, let's just say she was one happy little fish! We did absolutely nothing of importance, going nowhere fast and planned absolutely nothing to fill our days but isn't that the best way to spend a vacation? No plans and no problems! I always enjoy any amount of time spent with my family and it was an extra treat to be in such a beautiful and relaxing setting. I'm itching to go back and I just can't wait until next summer when my two girls and I can take our Marine, back from his third tour, on a much needed vacation as a family of four! :)

Next stop on our vacation train...Medway, Massachusetts's where we were welcomed by loads of extended family itching to get their hands on little miss Sophia! It was a joy! The whole week was just as I'd hoped! We spent time laughing, catching up, sharing stories and marveling at the fact that yes, it had REALLY been THAT long since we'd been together last!

Something I always do with my Auntie Tisa when up in the northeast is take a trip to Wells Beach, Maine. My grandparents used to own a condo .less than a mile from the icy cold waters of Wells Beach and some of my fondest memories from when I was little are spending time with my Grammy and Grandpi on the beach. So I took my Sophia there. I took her to the same beaches where I played as a little girl. We spent our days soaking up the sun on the beach and our evenings enjoying all the seafood Maine had to offer to then walk around the beautiful coastal cities.

From one end of the coast to the other, our vacation was lovely.

And then it was home. Home to the humidity that I had practically forgotten could even exist. I had a day and a half to putz around the house and get myself reacquainted with Sophia and I's routine before we welcomed the Auntie's for their SECOND visit of the summer! A perfect way to end the summer...with my sisters, my Marine and my Sophia.

And tonight it all came to an end. Everything has settled down and all we have left of summer is some wonderful pictures and priceless memories. My little lovebug has been an absolute joy through it all. The way that she loves is so remarkable and never ceases to inspire me. She holds a place in her heart for all of her family, near and far, and remembers them all by name and favorite memory. As I tucked her in to bed tonight, she told me with this light in her eyes that 'Mar, Annie, Grama and Papa were at home and that we'd see them again in three months (holding up three fingers)when baby sister comes (rubbing my tummy)'. In the thoughts of a child, it is comforting to remember that this is the end of the summer only. We will all be together again soon to make new memories. I know I say this often and sometimes I think it's more of a written reminder for me when the deployment days ahead get tough, but this military life has made me appreciate the treasure of family so much more than I ever could have on my own. I'll take a million heart wrenching goodbye's for just as many wonderful hello's.

I will sleep tonight with a smile on my face, for all of my many blessings.

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