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Monday, June 6, 2016

A Beach Vacation to Remember

Last week, our trip to California could have easily been called: Every good reason to stay out of the water.

It was almost like a curse with gray skies, hundreds of thousands of dead red crabs, riptide warnings, cold water and a great white shark attack on a swimmer at a nearby beach.  We could have proclaimed “This one’s for the history books, kids,” as we packed up and left, but with boundless energy and cousins joining us, we made it into one of our most favorite trips ever.

Last year while in Newport, I had a three-week old baby and was primarily on mom duty.  

You mom’s out there know how beach trips are – cooking, cleaning, packing, unpacking, loading the car, unloading the car, folding strollers, unfolding strollers, keeping sand out of the baby’s eyes, ears, nose and mouth, etc. Last year I had a hernia, neuropathy in my feet, back pain and let’s not forget a mound of belly fat so protruding, it left me unable to bend to tie my own tennis shoes.  I can blame most of these physical problems on my pregnancy (especially the belly fat) and I was in pretty poor health.  I remember one particular day trying to body surf and when I felt the pull of my hernia, I quickly realized my days of playing in the ocean were done.

This year, I went to Newport Beach with a completely different outlook on life and a new appreciation for my health.  Because of my five-month commitment to intermittent fasting, I could play, jump, body surf, even run up and down the cliff stairs over and over again (yes, I did this for fun) because I felt so good.  My belly fat?  It's almost gone.  It's like saying goodbye to an old friend you never want to see again, except that old friend was never a friend, but a big old jerk who eats all your nachos.  Yep, that's how I feel about belly fat (I'm telling you, intermittent fasting zaps belly fat), it was a big old nacho jerk.

This was the trip salsa was made of?  Did I mean to say dreams?  No, I meant salsa.  I made it every day with loads of avocado, feta cheese and cilantro.  Eden and I made a conscious choice to not comb our hair.

Canyon made a conscious decision to take only three-minute daily naps.  

Because his nickname is “Perfect” and he is the happiest baby I’ve ever been around, it all worked out because he was still happy and perfect.  The boys made permanent residence at the resort basketball court 

and only came up for food, sleep and when it was time to go to the beach. 

Because the counselor and I are both self-employed, it can be a challenge leaving work for play.  We both love, I mean LOVE our work.  If I don’t physically leave my house, I find it difficult to let go of my writing and furniture projects, but this year it was different.  Because of intermittent fasting, I feel so very present. I don’t feel rushed, nor do I feel the pressure of regret.  I don’t worry about what should have been done and what needs to be done.  I no longer feel hungry while fasting.  If anything, I don’t even feel like I put a ton of effort into it anymore.  I am intentional with prayer and purpose and have spent the last two weeks fasting for my dear friend Bill Mellyn and his family.  Bill passed away after being hit while riding his bike and my heart has been broken.  Fasting has played a critical role as I’ve worried, pondered and trusted in God.  Because of Bill’s passing, I have been very aware of my blessings, how precious life is and the beauty of the earth.  I had some necessary internal conversations with God about the meaning of life, the type of mother and wife I want to be and the things I hope to accomplish with my limited time here.

I spent so much time kissing the top of Eden and Canyon’s heads; they probably both have some permanent indentations.  Eden said her favorite part of the trip was coloring.  I watched as she colored The Little Mermaid and leaping dolphins with rainbows in the background.  I marveled as Canyon learned to walk, taking in each precious pitter-patter step as evidence of the absolute miracle it is to have a baby. 

Canyon loved when I turned on the noise maker to ocean waves.  It sounded just like the beach.

I watched with awe as the counselor, well, did anything and everything because he is just so loving and precious I find I must pinch myself.  

Yeah, he’s that great.

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