Blessed by provision to get out of town, we journeyed to the San Diego area right as the break from school was about to end. Two months isn't long enough to grow bored with no routine, swimming for hours, or watching every Harry Potter movie in just three days. Part of me felt reluctant to leave our summer laziness because I knew vacation minutes move faster when you aren't at home. However, the opportunity to go to the beach with no agenda had never been ours for the taking, so we took it.
The Haynes family consists of six giant humans. There are no small feet, no small arms, no small mouths, no small opinions. Two lovely families who are still in the small stage of life allowed us to inhabit their space. Each family was gracious, engaging, and life-giving to all six Haynes giants. They hosted us with grace and ease. Even if our ginormity stressed them out, I was completely oblivious to it which is saying something because I am particularly intuitive of others' feelings. The way they blessed my family completely refreshed my heart.
The Huxleys have been working and serving with Outside the Bowl for awhile. I'm intuitive, but not detailed, so I don't know how long, but I just know they haven't lived here for years and we miss them dearly. They have two lovely, friendly daughters. Eric and Dejah started from the beginning to teach their girls to love and engage with people. We benefited greatly from the love their precious daughters offered us.
I was remiss in getting a whole Huxley family photo. Remember I'm not so detailed. However, I snapped this perfect shot our first evening on the beach. This sweet girl enjoyed Kyle's company, and he certainly enjoyed hers. Their conversation consisted of how her daddy is a great surfer and how hungry she was. Kyle loved every minute.
Our vacation photo album often indicates that I'm not on the vacation with the rest of the family. Being the person who desires so much to remember every detail often means I'm the one taking all the photos. Chad and I have to get better at remedying this issue. When we are 96 and senile, looking through our photos I don't want to overexert myself wondering if I was on a particular trip with the family.
Thankfully, smart phones have a fancy little switcharoo button and I can turn it around to take a few selfie shots. This one shows off my cool hat and my cool husband.
Did I mention I have a cool husband? One thing I love about Chad is he is always willing to try. And try. And try. He will work on a computer issue for hours when I easily give up in seconds. I can't figure it out? Meh. Who needs to know, anyway. But not Chad. He's got grit.
Our friend, Tyler, enjoys surfing. He's got his own board and boards to teach others. He took my cool husband who tried. And tried. And tried. He did not give up, got board rash on his stomach, and experienced fatigue from crashing through waves, and paddling out over and over and over.
This is how Chad surfs. Grit.
These two sandy beauties tumbled around in the waves for hours. One liked it more than the other. I bet you are guessing the wrong one.
This was taken moments after Kyle hoisted Esther over his shoulder and threw her in the waves. The happiness of their faces give me warm fuzzies. They love each other so much, but clearly Kyle is passed the cuddle with his sister stage.
Oh, Tyler and Megan. What can I say? Think of the nicest people you know and multiply it by a hundred or a thousand. That is Tyler and Megan. Their gentleness, kindness, hilariousness is not contrived, but sincere and up-lifting. I have a feeling everywhere they go, people are drawn to them. They are the kind of people you want on your team or in your tribe. We didn't know them all that well entering their space, but the results of the comfortability test were shown through my kids. Each of them chatted it up, laughed and shared stories from life, gave movie character impersonations, enjoyed surfing and boogie boarding lessons. My eyes well up when I think of how well Tyler and Megan loved my giant family for the few days we lived with them. We experienced four days of up in your face, real questions and conversation, super spicy delicious pulled pork, sand all over your floor, wait for pizza for two hours conviviality with these two. God used them to fill our buckets which equals vacation success.
They've offered to host us again. My kids have already asked to go back, but not just to play at the beach, but to be with Tyler and Megan.
My favorite, favorite photo of the summer draws me in to remember the salty breeze, the crackling logs, the laughter and panting of the foot races down the beach, the gooey white mess on my fingers and lips. We were fully relaxed. Completely recharged. Our best selves.