Skip to main content


A couple of weeks ago we were in that slice of summer that tucks you away from reality and covers you with sunshine and solace from the outside world.
We were on vacation.
The place : Hilton Head, South Carolina. Where the buildings are all neutral and hidden in plazas and strip malls. Bicycle wheels spinning up and down streets as this is a popular mode of transportation.
We spent the last of July soaking up the searing sun poolside or beachside and then couch-side recovering from all of the rich food we consumed. My mom spent most of her vacation cooking. She couldn't be persuaded to take it easy and made feasts for us every night.
We watched little boy enjoy the pool despite his pink floaties courtesy of his sissies.
We watched him revel in the tide chasing his baby feet. Laughing freely as his dad held him fast against his chest as the waves knocked into them.
He kept pointing at the ocean and telling us, "The Big Waa" (his word for water).
We judged countless dives into the pool by our older girls. Their swimming greatly improved since last year's vacation.
We watched third girl gingerly approach the ocean and retreat back content to build sand castles.
I enjoyed laughing with my sister and watch her love my girls.  It was so nice to have a week where she was always near.
Keith and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary at a seafood restaurant perched right above a beautiful marsh.  Sitting on the porch eating bacon wrapped shrimp watching large white birds soar in between the lime green marsh. Beautiful sunset colors blurred all over the sky.

I know that vacations are a luxury that we haven't always been able to afford and some years forgo.
But when we do get to go away to a place...
It's just better.
Stay-cations are productive and economical but when you get to break away from the normal and get away from the same walls, roads, sights, and sounds it's just altogether different.
It's like pushing pause. Time standing still despite the fact that the precious long awaited days are slipping straight through the hands of time second by second.
I remember when we got married our pastor told us to always try to vacation.  That it would be important for our day.  That many of their memories would happen on trips.
He's right.
I think back to the trips my dad took us on.
He never liked visiting the same place twice. He was all about exploration.
We would go to beaches, but always different beaches.
One summer he took us exploring all over the state of Arizona.  Unfortunately he picked the dead of July, but it didn't matter.  I remember so much of that single week.  Half my life ago.
I can still picture the cacti forming a forest all over the desert sand. I see the different blue hue the sky seemed to wear. So different from the Virginia blue sky I'd been seeing all my life.
I can see the dust devils tearing down the road to Tuscon.
I remember the way the words caught in our throats when we rounded the bend in the road and saw the red rocks of Sedona.
I remember the way my mom kept panicking at how close we got to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Watching in wonder at the canyon stretched gaping open before us.
I can picture in my mind's eye every place he took us all those summers.
It's funny how you forget the every day mostly, but when you step away and go build a memory with your people those moments of those places stay.


  1. Love the post and the pictures, Summer (and we also love Hilton Head).And seeing your life from another, not-at-home perspective...that can be fital.

    #1 at FMF this week.

  2. I just visited another blogger who wrote about Dr. Seuss' line "Oh the places you'll go...." And your post now makes me think of that same line - discovered. I love that you've been so many places - exploring this beautiful place God has given to us. And ... I LIVE IN ARIZONA! Ha! Yeah, your Dad probably chose the worst month to visit. But, we do have some pretty amazing places to explore! Thank you for this. I love it! (Visiting from FMF)

  3. Looks like a GREAT time! I've never been to Hilton Head, but I loved Charleston many years ago. Growing up, our vacations consisted of trips to spent time with extended family. My husband and I don't have much extended family, so we make it a point to take family vacations every year. We've done everything from Nebraska (museums anyone?) to Hawaii and Boston. Great memories we've made with our kids.
    I'm behind you this week at FMF.

  4. I enjoyed your post and your pictures. What a fun relaxing vacation. I've never been to Hilton Head but it looks like a peaceful and restful place. :-)


  5. Ah - your post...your pictures...the images and memories of Hilton Head. We love to vacation there and have many great memories. AND we are headed back in just about four weeks! Your post has made me just that much more ready to get going!! Which restaurant were you at for your anniversary dinner? We are always looking for our next favorite:) Glad you had such a great time...and thanks for sharing!

    Found your blog through FMF!

  6. How right your pastor was. Vacations are good for memories and personal connection. They are good for the soul. Seeing new places and meeting new people is a great way to remind oneself of how big the world really is and accept diversity of culture. I love to travel and hope to be able to afford a whole lot more of it when my blog hits its stride. For adults, breaking routine to do something outside of the norm can open our eyes and our perspective. If we have been stuck in a rut or having a hard time making a decision, getting away and changing things up can make a real difference! thanks for sharing such a beautiful description. Visiting from Holly Gerth!

  7. Somer,
    I love seeing these photos of your girls and baby and the one of you and your sis (that's her, isn't it?) and with your husband are beautiful! Your memory of your dad taking you someplace different every year while growing up reminded me of how upset I would get if we didn't go to the same beach every year. We eventually moved our vacations all the way down the east coast -- NJ to VA to SC to Florida, where my dad finally settled us in at Ft. Lauderdale for several years in a row. And yes, vacation memories are the absolute best and I agree that stay-cations just aren't the same! So glad you got to have the time away at the beach and got to celebrate your anniversary too! xoxo Love you!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Free Writes #Wave

Four summers ago the first weekend in September marked one month.  One month lived out shaky and unsteady.  Just putting a few steps in front of the other and letting tears drip down faces or anger spill out at the sky.  "Why?"
I had watched my husband shake violently at the graveside of his twenty-six year old brother as he sat a few inches from the casket.
My usually stoic husband reached out for the casket as he passed by and I heard his voice crack as he called out his name.  One more time. I had never seen him stricken with grief.  That groan of emotion haunted me.   Those fifteen minutes spent under the funeral home's green awning the last minutes his family would ever be within arms length of this special brother.  A brother who had just slipped quietly out of this life beneath the green gold water of a river one steaming August day.  Bare chested and tan, jumping off the dock with friends.  Never to resurface again.
A lot of that week in August was just wakin…

Five Minute Fridays - "Last"

Last is such a final word, it’s a word that always makes us sit back and take note. We take note of the fact that something is about to draw to an end and we better enjoy the last drops, savor the last bites before its all gone. Like that last hot week of summer that we spend soaking up every last beam of Vitamin D. Or that last couple bites of a once a year Christmas dinner, slowly swallowed down. Or maybe the last night of a vacation where we try to take note of everything and know that we are returning to real world, real bills, real deadlines all seemingly too soon. Two weeks ago I experienced a last. For seven months I was given a gift. It was truly an unexpected gift. One I had never anticipated being given. For the past six years my sister Faith and I have lived in different cities for most of the time. We always mused over the idea that we should've lived together for at least one year of college. But from icy January 4th to steamy August 10th I had the gift…


Five Minute Fridays

Morning seems sacred to me.  Having nocturnal children kind of robs me of the mornings I like to enjoy in silence and quiet thought.
For years I would get up at least two hours before anyone so I could just be by myself and be quiet.
My parents are early morning people that like to eat full breakfasts and watch the sunrise on the porch. There's something exciting about watching the day open its' eye lids with the first glints of sun playing on the horizon edge.  Pale blues and periwinkles rouse us out of pitch black and many times morning rises in strength with extravagant colors.  It signals something new.  A new twenty four hours.  A new chance. Kind of like a new little slice of life.  We are mesmerized at first at the idea of new.  It's beautiful, holy, and hopeful.
Morning breaks the night.
I love that Cat Steven's hymn Morning has Broken.  I've always thought the words were so beautiful.
Especially the last phrase, "God&…