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There is nothing quite so wonderful after a busy season than a trip to the beach where you have absolutely nothing to do. And last week we got to do exactly that.

We spent 5 fantastically uneventful days down at Amelia Island just connecting as a family and enjoying our time with each other. There were no fancy meals. Every day was spent barefoot and in the sand. And there wasn’t a single day on the trip that Thomas and I both didn’t get a long, glorious afternoon nap. It was good for our souls.

The kids loved the lazy days and playing in the surf and we loved that since it was the week before most schools get out we didn’t have a crowd of battle for the best spots in the sun. It was just the most ideal vacation for this season of our life. And, as a bonus, we got to celebrate Mother’s Day down at the beach where I was spoiled with breakfast in bed, cards, drawings, flowers, and a fun vintage silk scarf. It was, in a word, dreamlike.

We took a few pictures on the beach for Mother’s Day and even though I know on a daily basis how blessed I am to have these kiddos there is something so concrete about photos that makes me see my blessings frozen in time and my heart soar all the more. It is when I look at these pictures that I realize just how at home I am as a mother and how happy I am to have so many little ones who depend on me and who love me and who make my Mother’s heart whole. I never quite feel so complete as when I have a lap full of children. I am a mother through and through. It is my life’s calling. After 8 years and plenty of momentary lapses with self-image, I know that now. A mother is who I am. No matter what else I will be in my life I am at my core the mother of my children and for that I am eternally grateful. There is nothing I would rather be.

Today was the last day of our “official” homeschool year (though we do a scaled back version of school all summer long) and I am ready for long days in the backyard with sprinklers and kiddie pools and popsicles at the end of long afternoons. I am ready to see my children brown from the sun and tuckered out in their pajamas and watching movies into the night. Summer days are such fun days and even more exciting, I think, when you get to see them on the other side of adulthood. Every year since my kids began school, summer has felt like this long amazing stretch of possibility. There are so many things I look forward to filling their days with – even if 90% of those days are spent simply enjoying childhood. So, now is the time to enjoy the blank canvas of summer possibility and all the fun that promises to be lurking over the horizon.

I wish that those days will be filled with light and joy and fun and laughter and sticky popsicle fingers and freckles and big smiles. I wish that for each of my kids. And I wish that for each of you…

Oh, yeah, and just because I can’t get enough of these kiddos I’m leaving you with some pics of my babies from the beach. You’re welcome, Mom and G-ma! : )

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