I know, in my head, that vacation is extremely important to the health and wellbeing of a person, a family, and a business.

But to take time to get away is something I can put off for a very long time.

I love to travel.

With my whole heart.

The last five years it was not something I was able to do. We would take weekend get aways, but never more than that. Steve was just not healthy enough to do that for long periods of time and then when we were separated I didn’t even go away on the weekends unless I had to for the sake of him being able to see the children. Which was never a reliable plan for me to get away myself.

So when my mother in law suggested that we all join them in Florida this winter I was so excited that everyone could go.

It was just what we needed.

“Heaven is going to have colors and flavors that haven’t been invented on earth.” – Chris

We left on Christmas Day. Our flight was due to depart at 8:45. We had all been sick. Jaxon was very sick for a week straight and very weak after that. I was still being easily overwhelmed by all the things I needed to complete in order to settle Steve’s estate. I could not wait to get to Florida. My sister in law and her husband picked us up and on our way we went. I was so excited to wake the children up from their naps and be able to finally tell them that we are going to Florida now! Emma pitched a fever and threw up the minute we boarded the plane. Jaxon was so excited to finally be in the air he would not sit still long enough to stay strapped in. I have never been on a longer flight that lasted only two hours and fifteen minutes. I have actually flown to Africa. So. It was not the most fun flight ever. I mean, Jaxon was having a blast. I packed a little bag of tiny animals and he would dig one out and take it over to this little baby that was fussy and then he would climb back over me to get another animal and go show it to the little baby again. He loves people. He loves babies. Anytime a little baby is crying he says, “Mom, that baby is crying!” He has always said that since he could barely even talk! Loooves babies.

I took many photos of the rest of our family but am not posting them just for privacy reasons. The ones you will see are me and the kids. We were with other people most of the time. There were many days that we had to spend part of the day by ourselves, but we joined up with others at the end of the day then.

The first part of the trip we all stayed in Sarasota Lakes which came with a community pool. So on the days that the other families went to Sea World or Epcot, we were just so content to be swimming. Of course, we would swim for a few hours and then be hungry and tired. So lunch and naps and then more swimming when we woke up and then dinner and that was the day. Time just floated by and I am grateful that both of my babies seem to enjoy many of the same activities. We made many friends at the pool. The second part of our trip we stayed with my in laws in their condo by the beach in Siesta Key. We could walk to the beaches or to the water and we realized very quickly that Jaxon had some kind of pain that would take place in his diaper when he went in the ocean and he would scream as if he was bitten by a shark. He loved the water but preferred the water that’s not moving over the ocean water. With it being so hot the first week, I was relieved to have much cooler weather the second part of our trip so it wasn’t as necessary to be in the water. We could walk to get ice cream or breakfast or whatever we needed. And we visited lots of places that were age appropriate for them. The park was always at the top of our list. Any park. City Island has a really nice one in case your looking to take your tiny children to Florida and can’t seem to get anywhere but the park. The only place I really wanted them to experience was an aquarium because of the love for fish. We did that. It was exhausting. The pool would have been funner. Ha!

In true fashion of myself, I got one photo of the three of us. One is better than none!!

Emma grew 5 inches and gained 10 pounds while we were away. By the time we were coming home I was dreading carrying her off the plane!

I exaggerate but she went from being a scrawny monkey baby that was so easy to carry around to dead weight while sleeping.

She insists on doing everything herself so it wasn’t a crazy issue but I was so thankful for my sisters double stroller. We took a stroller with us every single place we went.

Emma often slept in it and it also carried our stuff around for us. Children take stuff. Even when you are minimalistic. We are still on bottles and diapers tho, so I am hoping by the next trip we take they won’t be using either of these things. I better get on it, June is just around the corner.

Before our trip I watched social media accounts that were taking small children flying. Like a hawk because I didn’t know. I knew they would love the thrill of it, but I didn’t know how they would endure the two hours. Or how I would I guess. Now I’m watching accounts who take the babies on a car trip because that’s next and o my goodness, how do you spend 5 hours in a car with toddlers? The great thing about that is they will be buckled in. I’m excited about that part.

I could not stop taking photos of my babies by the water. They will most likely not remember this trip but the photos will help them know how much they loved it!

Jaxon and I got to go on an airboat ride one day! That was so fun. I just love to watch my babies experience the joys of life. The adventures and the thrills. It brings me joy to do these things with them. An amazing amount of joy.

I love traveling so much. I hope my kids love it, too and that we can do many more trips together. It’s not the easiest thing in the world for me to do right now, but I know that very soon it will be much much easier. There will be less diapers and no bottles but there will not be as many bedtime stories and scrunchy little sloppy face kisses either. I love this stage and I’m savoring it as much as I can because I know it will not last long enough.

(I just want to add here that I am trying to compose these thoughts while shapes and circles is singing beside me….shapes and circles blah blah blah.)


Emotionally recharged. I felt physically reenergized. A time away from the normal routine of life. I chose to not work at all on this vacation and as much fun as it would have been to shoot in Florida, I just could not do it. I wanted to spend time with my kids doing anything they loved to do and that was so good for me. I still had to be a mom, but that was all I needed to do. It felt amazing to just focus on that. I did come home with a great tan, but mostly on my head as my body was under the water all the time. I could care less. My babies loved it and so did I.

Vacation does not disconnect me from my work. It gives me new energy and ideas and my creative excitement is back where it should be!

We are glad to be back home to our cozy little house on Main Street.

xoxo – diane