April and I, her parents, my parents, my brother and his girlfriend Sam all spent this past week in the town of Duck, NC, which is on the outer banks. We all went in together to rent a big house that's about 100 yards from the beach and lived the lazy life this week - sleeping however much we wanted, sitting on the beach, eating good food, playing Extreme Uno, and singing along to my brother playing Bob Dylan songs on his guitar. Here's a map I made that tries to detail the vacation and the traveling that we all did.
My family came to the outer banks for summer vacations when I was young. I remember flying kites, building sandcastles, body surfing in the ocean, and the time when I fell face-first into a sand dune and had to go to the emergency room to get the sand out of my eyes. It's been so long since I've been there that it wasn't very familiar to me anymore.
April and I realize that we are blessed to have a family that is able to do something like this together. Many of our friends have reacted with surprise that we are brave enough to travel with both sets of parents for an entire week. It makes me proud of my family - I realize just how accepting and loving they have always been to any of the crazy friends that I have brought around throughout my years of growing up. I hope that April and I can have that same kind of warmth as we invite people into our homes and our lives.
This week also made me very thankful that I married into a wonderful, loving family. People are always joking about how painful it is to be around their in-laws - I have the completely opposite experience. I always enjoy the time I spend with April's parents, and I feel very comfortable with them.
Don't get me wrong - our families both definitely have their issues. But I feel like it is the exception rather than the rule today to have families that can overcome differences and overlook and forgive hurts and annoyances to come together and truly enjoy being related and spending time together. I am thankful to have two great examples of healthy, loving families as we grow and try to establish our own.
April, my mom, and Mabel on the beach.
April, her parents, and me on the ferry to Ocracoke.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So long time no post. A lot has happened since then, yesterday was my last day at my current job. Nic and I are taking the next week off to go with our families to the Outerbanks of NC and after that I'll be working at a summer day camp here in Philadelphia. I won't go into long details about the camp, but basically in a nutshell it's an incredible place where 300 kids from the city of Philadelphia get to enjoy an excellent, high-quality camp experience (check it out if you're interested, www.esfdreamcamp.org)! Now I am incredibly excited for this opportunity but I've also been having mini 'panic attacks' over what comes next in August after camp. I feel like no one should have to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives at 22 and Nic assures me that I don't have to, but for some reason I'm not sure if it's the pressures of the outside world or my own thinking I keep thinking I have to have a plan, a path, a future. I remember reading once in an Erwin McManus book that rhinos can only see 30 feet ahead of them, so when they start to charge ahead they have no clue what's coming at 31 feet until they start running. I feel like that's what I'm learning, start running and the next foot will be revealed as you do, who cares that you can't see far ahead you don't have to that's God's job.
Friday, June 8, 2007
April and I are flying to Ohio for the weekend to see my brother graduate from college. Here are the top ten reasons that I'm excited for this weekend:
- Cheap airline tickets from Southwest. They turned what is usually a 9-hour drive into a 1.5 hour flight for not much more money than it would take us to drive.
- I haven't had real (as in not from a can or frozen package) Skyline chili in almost 7 months. That drought will be broken this weekend. Three way, cheese coney plain, and a root beer please.
- We get to hear Bill Clinton speak at Ohio State's graduation. I hear that he's a good public speaker. The guy who spoke at my college graduation put the entire college of engineering to sleep, so Old Bill won't have to do much to exceed those expectations in my mind.
- I will get to see lots of my family at Randy's party, including some that I haven't seen since our wedding, and at least one cousin that I haven't seen in years.
- I still get excited about flying. There's something about being able to look down on the world from a completely different perspective that turns me into a little kid, peeking out the tiny window to see as much as I possibly can.
- I get to see all the places that I grew up in. They're still so familiar to me and always bring back floods of old memories. Just having the chance to spend a couple of nights in the house I grew up in (from 5th grade through high school) is cool for me.
- Because April doesn't like Skyline, I'll include our planned pre-graduation Sunday lunch at Chipotle. It is definitely the greatest burrito place in existence, and for some reason they decided to skip Philadelphia when they started making restaurants. Somebody needs to teach these Philly people how to eat something besides cheese steaks so we can get a Chipotle.
- Just because weekend road trips are lots of fun, especially when you get to travel with your wife!
- We've been trading off weekend dog-sitting duty with our friends Sarah and Seth and their dog Snoop, so Mabel gets to hang out with good friends in West Philadelphia for the weekend. I'm so thankful that we make it easy for each other to get away even when we have dogs to worry about.
- I get to see my little brother graduate from college and celebrate with him before he moves on to exciting times in Nashville. I'm very impressed that he had the intelligence and patience to finish college (with an engineering degree, none the less) when what he really wants to do is pursue a career in music. He's definitely prepared for life in the real world - not just with an education and rock-star-like musical skills, but he is also kind, level-headed, and responsible. Those are the kinds of things that make me know that he will be a valuable member of whatever community he is in after college.