I’m back from the beach! It was a fantastic time as it usually is. Every year I wonder why I don’t live close to the shore, but I guess if I did the sand and surf wouldn’t seem much like a vacation after all.
Since 1995 (six years before we were married) I’ve spent a week in Seaside Heights, NJ with my husband’s family. It’s so ingrained in our family culture I can’t imagine not going. In 2004 I had the idea to take a family photo on the last day before we left and I’m happy to say we’ve continued this tradition through the years.
Here we are as kid-less, 3-year “newlyweds” with my in-laws. Yeah, that crazy blond had to go!
The next year the now-12-year-old made his first appearance along with my brother-in-law.
I have always loved the above and below photos were exactly 1 year apart. This is us in 2006, the year I lost 70 pounds.
Here we are in 2007 in the first beach house The Husband and I rented on our own. We were getting too big to all stay together.
2008 from the roof of our Mazda wagon. We still have this car and it’s what we have driven to the shore since 2005. I’m thinking it may be time to upgrade!
In 2009 I finally got a dSLR camera. Yay for bigger pictures!
2010 another new addition. This time it was my niece, and little did I know I was just about 1 month pregnant in this photo!
Little Bean arrives in 2011!
2012, My brother-in-law’s mom joins the growing clan.
2013 – Everyone is getting so big!
2014 in front of our new beach house rental. Notice the same red station wagon. She’s been a trouper!
This is the year we also started a new tradition of taking a photo after our annual round of Wacky Mini Golf.
Outside the in-laws’ new beach rental in 2015. I’m holding my phone to snap the photo via Bluetooth.
The attendant at Wacky Golf wasn’t as nice in 2015 so we took a selfie after our round of golf to keep the tradition going.
2016 – The kids are getting SO BIG!
Wacky Golf shot continues!
2017 – Our best photo yet!
Wacky Golf shot came out great this year too even though there always seems to be at least one pouty kid.
In addition to these 2 picture traditions, The Husband and I (and now the kids) have been taking photo booth shots on the boardwalk since 2000. One day I’ll scan them all in.
As The Husband says, now we’re stuck taking these 3 photos every year, but I don’t see it as a chore. Looking back and watching the kids age, sharing stories with them from a time they don’t always remember and seeing The Husband and I grow old together (not that we are old but you know what I mean) is amazing. Sometimes I look at the photos and can’t comprehend so much time has passed. When I think of the future I can’t even imagine how the kids and our family will change over the years, and I hope they will look back and appreciate these times as much as I do.
It’s funny how Beach Week can simultaneously have me reminiscing about the past while optimistically looking ahead to the future.
On Friday I challenged myself in the running department — click here to read the story I shared on FB — and it reminded me of how much I thrive on challenges, experiences, and connection.
If I think about the times I’m happiest at work it’s when I’m engaged in training or trying to solve a technical problem on the website. On the fitness front, I’m the most motivated when I push myself to try something new or challenge myself by signing up for an event. Experimenting in the kitchen with new foods and cooking techniques has always been a source of inspiration for me. Taking the kids on adventures and exploring the world is quite possibly my absolute favorite thing to do.
This isn’t quite an a-ha moment. The truth is I’ve always known these things about myself. I’ve just been ignoring them lately for whatever reason. I’ve been isolating myself a little more. Going inward instead of outward and I’m not sure why. It’s a bit of a chicken/egg problem. Isn’t it? Did I fall into a funk and pull back or did I pull back and then fall into a funk?
I don’t think it matters. Does it?
I’m moving forward.
Today I signed up to take an online travel agent training course. I want to explore it as a potential career and business opportunity. I love to travel. I love to help and inspire people. And I love to work for myself, so why not? I’ve also been looking into web development projects and positions because I miss being challenged technically. I’m not exactly sure what it is I want to do (when I grow up) and nothing may come from either of these things but I can’t sit around just waiting to feel better. I am who I am. I need what I need and I’m tired of just hoping I’ll feel better one day.