Summer Adventures

My kids.

They are so precious and they are growing so fast.

Last summer my youngest and I went on an adventure. A friend (who I connected more with on Facebook than I did in high school) was getting married. She was elated…after years of praying and being faithful her day was coming. I wanted to be there.

My hubby? Not so much. And our middle was off to church camp the day AFTER the wedding so the 7 hour journey to get her on the bus the next morning seemed exhausting to think about, ESPECIALLY for a guy who had no desire to be social.

So my peanut and I hopped on the road together…


She was an incredible traveler, never complaining in the 7 hours it took us to get to Anaheim. (Which should be a 4 hour trip.) We stopped at McDonald’s, took a deep breath, and hopped back on the road. The traffic was intense. God and I chatted as car after car speeding recklessly by made me face the fact that I have some issues with fear…that’s another discussion.

By the time we reached San Diego and our hotel–almost ten hours after we began–I was so relieved and tired I pulled into the valet parking without even asking how much it was. (Good thing. Not cheap.)

Ryan and I snuggled in our glorious hotel bed and slept soundly, EXCITED about Sea World the next day.

She cracks me up. She is feisty and determined. She loves to laugh.

Once we got to Sea World, she became possessor of the map.



Remeinder…she can’t talk. She doesn’t yet read. But doggone it if she couldn’t navigate our way through Sea World following that map, perhaps even better than I could.

This was a unique experience for me. As a mom of three kids, spending precious time, away from home, with just one little person was a gift. My son is now grown and on his own. My girls are so different. Reagan, my middle, is incredibly bright and transitioning into a mature, free thinking, not-quite-a-kid anymore. Our “easy” one, she is diligent and academic but she tends toward a bit of melancholy…

Ryan, my youngest, has special needs. She can’t talk but has some words, some signs, and finds many methods of making a point. She can’t yet read and we are painstakingly learning what numbers are and what value they have. Her run, really isn’t. She smiles often. She spreads joy, but rush is not in her. She just can’t.

So. This. I could follow her, at her speed, to her appointed point on the map and let her enjoy.

She wanted to go here:


Oh my.

First, I dislike heights. Second, there is NO WAY I can send her up by herself. It is not a reality in our life. So, because this was a YES journey all about her, up we went.

Sea World Net

She looked at me, pointed between her legs and I had to say, “Sorry, kid, keep going.” Up was really the only option, but it was hard work. 

Let’s just be frank with one another, I am not in shape. My thighs are mushy and my belly does not look great over the top of my jeans. I am fighting not to have to get larger clothes, but the fight is not going my way. This stupid structure at an amusement park was like a long, long day at the gym.

I pulled my way up, up, up the rope net and climbed through the tunnel. Once at the top, a father was also entering the landing from a different direction. He gasped, “They should warn you about this thing. My back hurts, my knees hurt and I have broken a sweat.” He was a dozen years younger than I was, tanned and fit. I was not sympathetic.

“Your wife is clearly much smarter than I am,” was all I could mutter.

We climbed and crawled until we got back on solid ground, and although I knew she had wet her pants, I didn’t care. Changing her clothes was a distant second in priority because…this:





I love a character photo. After, I bought her a new shirt, we changed and went on our way.



We ate ice cream, watched penguins, cheered the dolphins, walked, walked and walked some more.

I wouldn’t trade this sticky, messy, hard world of mine for anything. Days like this illustrate in vibrant colors the unique beauty of my preciously imperfect life.