Saturday, July 30, 2011

serenity now

the general atmosphere of our recent vacation was a little bit of this:

and a lot bit of this:

and elijah wasn't the only one. he was the main offender, but not the only.

last monday afternoon, we left our humble midwestern town for the east coast. maryland is the only other place that patrick has lived. elijah was born there, and i spent almost ten years there. some of our dearest friends live in philadelphia, pa. so many places and people to see! family, friends and favorite things were all on our to-do list. and we all know what happens when i make a list. in case you don't know, whenever i make a list, or plan at all, i curse that event for all time. what is it about making plans that seems so wise in the first place? i'm beginning to fancy the "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" method. most of you probably have your pants neatly pressed and organized and would never dream of flying by the seat of them. please, tell me your secrets to seamless plan making!

i've mentioned here before about my darling child and his curious, energizer bunny nature. well, he was in full force on vacation. or should i say unvacation. whew. we are tuckered out. elijah is as jolly and relentless as ever though. right this minute i am enjoying a moment of peace, elijah is napping. for as long as it lasts, i will be thankful.

so, back to the vacation...
it wasn't as glorious as i'd hoped (and planned) it would be.
not nearly enough face time with friends or family
we didn't make it to a few fave restaurants we were looking forward to
a big outdoor get-together with friends turned indoor, cramped and crazy because it rained
and we didn't even step into the ocean!

you know what? it's ok.
i am feeling this way now, after having a day to cool off
about my disappointments and focus on the good stuff.
rather than grumbling to you sweet friends about what didn't go right,
here are sweet highlights:

we visited with several darling  and greatly missed friends
met new babies and traded stories with parents
lots of delicious food was enjoyed
we heard two excellent sermons on sunday
we got to hang out with both of my brothers
we got to hang out with patrick's brother
i stayed up late chatting with my mama
walked downtown philadelphia, one of my favorite things to do
caught up with friends from ukraine, who happened to be visiting at the same time
elijah met my mama rose, his great grandmother
walked the boardwalk in ocean city, another favorite thing to do
i saw my first episode of swamp people with my brother, and loved it
ate freshly picked peaches and nectarines
elijah saw sharks at the national aquarium, and loved them
our flights home were practically perfect
the lord gave us safe travels throughout our trip

and the list goes on.
while we were away, i had a difficult time rolling with the punches,
i was screaming for "serenity now!" in my head.
every single day was hard for me. i really felt miserable and discouraged.
so thankful that the lord relaxed me and gave me a smile.
really, isn't it better to just get over the little glitches, and turn that bad attitude into gratitude?

"But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love."
psalm 59:16-17esv

linking up with sweet katie, go be encouraged!


  1. Dear, sweet Hannah.
    It sounds like there were definitely ups and downs to your trip. But from the sounds of it, you were blessed. I'm very happy for you. :) Can't wait to see you and your lovely family.
    PS: I'm not so sure the "fly by the seat of your pants" method is the's usually my motto...and we know how far that gets me. ;)

  2. seriously has anyone ever been on a vaction that went off without a hitch? So sorry you didn't get to get in the water. however you got to see all the people you love what a blessing!
    i'm glad your back. i missed you.
    p.s. swamp people has been my favorite show all summer. something about the creole accent had me a hello. I'm so bummed it ended last week. i lu dat sho.

  3. I'm glad you can see the good in your trip! Kids are not good travelers. Boo to that. But it's worth it in the end!

    Love those pics of him, and the ones in the new header. He's so adorable!

  4. "rolling with the punches" isn't my strength either. I understand. But I wish you would have felt more relaxed during the {un}vacation. I was told by 2 family members this summer that I get myself too uptight. And they are right. When I'm traveling with the kids I tend to expect more from them and from EVERYthing else. I want perfection.

    I just thought of something that made me chuckle... you might want to double check with your husband about me riding in the car with you all from the airport. If you and I are both "plan followers", it could get interesting. I'll just sit in the back seat with Elijah and have a screaming contest!!! hee hee

  5. Oh Sweet Hannah...glad you're back!

    Perfectly pressed pants? Not here mine are rackin' up the frequent flier miles let me tell ya'! ;)

    BUT...where's the adventure in perfectly pressed anyways? Kinda prudish if ya' ask me. ;) And not much FUN!


    Lovin' the remodel!

  6. glad you are back! sounds like God can teach us stuff even when we're on vacay.....hmph. He's always at work in us if we let Him, and, my sweet friend, it seems that you are always ready to let Him do a work in you. I heart you for that!
    sweet new look on your blog ;)

  7. Sounds like any time I leave the house ;) Hey fancy blog lady! Love the new look!

  8. We have a big vacation coming up and I'm nervous about how it will go. It's our first ever vacation together and we are taking our 2-year-old and my parents (not the best idea but oh well). I'm hoping that I don't freak out to much but only time will tell.

  9. No such thing as vacation with kids, right! ;) Parents may take a trips with kids. But, it isn't relaxing.
    Totally get that! I am glad you are able to see so much beauty now, looking back.
    And, I'm glad you are home! Home sweet home!

  10. I love the new look! And don't worry - in a couple weeks you'll look back on the trip and remember it as the best time of your life. HA HA!! That always happens to me - I always forget how difficult it is to travel with the younguns, then I do it again, then I go crazy, but then I forget again...vicious cycle. I'm thinking what you need is a nice, slow Southern vacation soon...

  11. Awww...I remember when Caleb was that age. I didn't enjoy any vacation. ((((HUGHS)))). Also, I live in Philadelphia, PA; glad you came by and enjoy our city.

  12. I'm dreaming your quilt it sitting on a hammock, under a tree...with a glass of lemonade and a good book.

  13. Yes, I feel the same way when we vacation and then I get home and realize everything we did get to enjoy. I hear you on the high energy thing, sista. I have a few of the guys in my house! I love that I'm not the only parent who takes pics of my kids when they are in melt down mode. Thanks for linking up so consistently. Happy weekend, chica!

  14. I am totally there with you! Our family vacation was a bit of a disappointment as well. I think it all boils down to unmet expectations. Waiting so long to finally get away, investing precious time (and money), thinking it will actually be relaxing and vacation-like, only to realize you have all the same stresses of home to deal with in a completely non kid friendly, totally out of schedule environment. Half way through our "vacation", we realized how disappointed we were and were able to change our attitudes and enjoy the rest of the "family trip" (not vacation). We were so blessed to go and needed to refocus on that truth.

  15. ahhh, life still happens on vacation. wouldn't it be wonderful if vacation was entirely dreamy... but it is not.
    i've learned to just have no expectations on vacation, then i'm not disappointed. i've learned the hard way.
    i also realize it always takes me a couple days to unwind on vacation, settle into it. and then when i get home it takes me time to wind back up into reality.

    we went to philly two summers ago. was great (though my husband broke his hip and arm just a week before our vacay and was in a wheelchair). had my first philly cheese-steak and visited betsy ross.

  16. um, yeah. we just found swamp people. pretty much hilarious.

    "choot it! choot it! choot it!"

    it was great to see you and give you a hug!!

  17. so so glad you are back lady.
    glad that Jesus was and is your serenity.

    you were blessed with some awesome highlights.

    looks like an awesome time.

    even on the best vacays, if we let them, the hard stuff can be distracting.

    (i know first hand. i am a bit of a beez on the vacay....i need prayer now for that).

    love ya. happy sunday <3