I wrote this post a few days before the passing of my father. While it's difficult to look at these photos now, I find my heart simply bursting with gratitude that I was able to be present for the last few weeks of my father's life. I could have been anywhere in the world, but I was with him, my family, and dearest friends. Please, dear friends, never take a single moment for granted, and always, simply always, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, no matter the extra time it takes.
Visiting my hometown in Michigan has been the most relaxing and wonderful vacation.
Usually, my vacations have been jammed packed with making sure that I see everyone on my list, planning a wedding, doing last minute Christmas shopping, or attending lots of events. This has been the first vacation in a very long time that I've been able to simply....be with my family and experience true rest.
Joseph Pieper writes that “The ultimate meaning of the active life is to make possible the happiness of contemplation.” Contemplation for me doesn't have to mean necessarily moments deep in prayer. It can mean hours spent on the beach with my mom, reading books together and talking about babies and motherhood. It can mean driving my younger sisters out late at night for ice cream, or for playing Balderdash after dinner and laughing until we cry. It is so, so necessary to seize these moments without the worry of the next task and enjoy my loved ones for their own sake.
It's been glorious to bask in the joy of my childhood friends and to prepare for an upcoming wedding with them. Celebrating the wonderful beauty of a new chapter is so sweet [when it's not your own wedding on the line].
Family, beaches, friends, excursions, water, blue skies, and green things: I have missed you and I love you.
#PureMichigan, you are so good.