We spent a few days at the beach this past week. Actually, that is perhaps a bit misleading. We did stay at hotels on the beach and overlooking the bay, but we made no actual visits to the beach itself. We came close. We followed a beautiful tree lined steep trail down to the beach only to have the heavens burst open upon us (not with blessings mind you, with rain -- though we're certainly blessed, so I guess it could be that too).
Mike and I discovered long ago that (at least with small children) most of our attempts to give them a little fun inevitably end up being about 50% unfun (if not down right miserable). As you can see from the face of one child in these pictures, this trip was no exception. Along with all the fun photos, there are the unphotographed moments of crying over someone taking too much blanket at night, whining to go home, complaining of too much chlorine in the eyes (I know you are all thinking, "Man Mike, you should work on your attitude," but it is mostly from the kids . . . perhaps a little from me). In fact, a few hours into the drive Mike looked at me and said, rather dryly, "Welcom to purgatory . . . otherwise known as family vacation."
With all that said, I should add, that I love these adventures, and in truth, once they are said and done, it is only happy memories that remain. There was an article in this month's Ensign that I loved. It talked about the work that goes into some activities with your kids and how at times the activity itself seems to hardly warrant all of the effort, but then the author talked about how we are making memories, and that is what all the work is for. I liked that. My memories, and definitely the memories my kids have of these types of outings, are so good -- even the bad parts tend to make me smile (later of course).
Here is one of my favorite quotes from conference. It was from M. Russell Ballard in his talk on mothers:
". . . The joy of motherhood comes in moments. There'll be hard times and frustrating times but amid the challenges there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."
Here are a few of the shining moments of this trip (amid the frustrating times).