Well, summer is over, but it went out with a bang.
My parents rented a house at Newport Beach for a week. It was right on the sand and afforded a perfectly relaxing family vacation.
Jacob and Danika were only able to stay for the first few days before they had to return to Utah for the start of school. Before they left, we hosted a baby shower for Danika and the upcoming arrival of baby Taj. I know we are all so excited to welcome another baby into the family.
Ben, Vi, Cassidy, and Jepson could only come down to the beach during the day. They decided not to spend the night because baby Jepson is still so new. Nevertheless, it was lots of fun getting to spend some time with them. Jepson is so cute! Grace loved meeting her newest cousin.
While we were there, we also celebrated Andrew's 33rd birthday. Unfortunately, Andrew's birthday started with a trip to Urgent Care because of a rash, 2 shots in his bum, and strict instructions to stay out of the sun and sand (unfortuante news, indeed, when he planned on spending hours playing in the ocean waves during the next 5 days of vacation). He was given medicine to take the rest of the week and sadly had to remain in the shade most of the time. Luckily, not the whole day was ruined; Andrew and I were able to sneak away that evening to go to dinner and walk around Huntington Beach Pier.
Grace had a great time at the beach. We learned that she is not really a fan of wind, so we had to wrap her up and shield her face while we sat under the canopy. Still, she was a trooper and snoozed on the blankets and towels we laid out for her. Grammy got tons of snuggle time, and of course we shot a bazillion pictures of our little Gracie-bear's first beach vacation.
I am so grateful I have a great relationship with my family and love spending time with them. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the fabulous vacation. I am already counting down until next summer.
In my last post, I wrote about feeling lost in this new world of motherhood and staying at home to raise my daughter.
The responses, advice, and messages of love from so many friends were overwhelming. The number one take-away: many moms go through this; I am not alone.
I find it empowering that many difficult topics are embraced and discussed more and more in our society: fertility issues, difficulty with breastfeeding, postpartum depression, loneliness, and many others. When we share our hardships, I think we send the message that these experiences are not something to be ashamed of; they are a part of a real life, with many ups and downs.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible helps me better face my trials with greater understanding:
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Our trials are not for us to bare alone. We have the mercy of Jesus Christ to support us through those trials. Then, with all that we have learned, we are able to comfort and uplift those who may be passing through similar difficulties. We can work hand in hand with our Savior to bring peace to others. That is such a beautiful message.
So thank you to all of you who commented on the post, sent me a text or Facebook message, or called me. You are angels, and you have already strengthened me. I am so grateful for you.
"For I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."
Andrew and Maichael
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