Friday, May 9, 2014

A picture is worth a thousand words but this one is worth so much more

Ahh... It's amazing what a good vacation can do for the mind.  It's as if you have been struggling to see out this clouded window and then someone comes along with windex and voila!  It all becomes clear.

The sunshine has cleared my foggy window!  This last week I was able to spend a few days in beautiful Southern California with our fabulous nine year old Lillie, our uncontrollably cute 18month old Griffin and my wonderful, amazing mom.  (All because of my mom I must add.)  My mom has been more than generous to our kids this year and has given each of them a trip for their birthdays.  Not only has this been an awesome gift for the kids but its been great for me as well.  Finding one on one time with each of my five kids is almost impossible and to be able to spend a couple days with just one beautiful baby is a real blessing to have.

This last trip was packed full of memories!  Amazing swimming pool, fun modern hotel, cute little rental car, unforgettable beach fun, Hollywood, Sea World, Cinco de Mayo in Old Town San Diego.  SO much fun and priceless opportunities with my sweet Lillie.

But lets talk a little about our time at the beach. Sunday morning bright and early we arrived at my all time favorite Cali beach, The Montage.  Gorgeous.  The bright hibiscuses and birds of paradise steadily growing along the rocky edge of the sea cliffs.  Framed ever so perfectly by the towering waving palm trees, the seascape is flawless right down to its picturesque sea arch.  One of the reasons I love this place so much is because of how clean and naturally beautiful it is.  The rocks that jet from the sandy beach create tiny little worlds full of crabs and sea urchins that my kids adore.  Especially Lillie.

We were so excited to show our secret place to my mom.  I agreed to let Lillie guide her through the rocks and crevices as I stayed on the sand with rambunctious little Griffin.

I secretly enjoyed watching as my baby discovered the beach, knowing that Lillie would be fine with my mom.  After awhile of discovering the rocks nearby, Lillie wanted us all to check what kind of wildlife was on the neighboring rocks.  She was afraid that I was missing out.

We all set off to the next outpost of sea cliffs.  I struggled to walk on the uneven ground in my wedge sandals  (yeah i know, what was I thinking) and being pulled by a stumbling 18 month old didn't help.  We came to a crevice in the rock that lead down to the ocean.  It wasn't that big, but large enough that I needed to pick up Griffin to carry him over the opening.  As I crossed the gap I noticed how beautiful it was.  A line of oval openings,like a beaded necklace that lead to the open sea.  What an amazing photo this would be.  With Griffin still in hand, I fished out my phone to capture the sight.  I got a pretty good picture but needed to try again.  It just wasn't good enough.

As I readjusted the phone, Griffin decided to struggle in my arms.  He hit my arm and just like that the phone fell to the hard rocky ground.  Upset by the fact that I would have to bend over and pick it up with him in my arms as I balanced in my high heels, I didn't foresee what was about to happen.  That is until the man next to me began to yell, "Oh your phone!  Grab it!"  As I looked down I saw the final living moments of my phone as it slowly slid into the last opening on the beaded necklace, onto the sandy ocean floor.

 At first there was hope (because there always is with us optimists). The wave had not yet come in.  The sand was dry.   But just seconds later the water crashed into the cave below, taking my phone with it.  The phone crashed up against the rough edges of the stone over and over again as a crowd gathered above, hoping to catch a glimpse and looking for some way to save it.  It was no use.  And it was weird really.  I didn't actually understand the magnitude of what had happened.  I felt like a child that had broke something expensive and didn't realize, until others were yelling at her, what a mistake she had made.

And then the understanding came and it came in layers.  I was hundreds of miles away from home with no lifeline.  Lillie's Seaworld ticket was stored on my phone.  All the pictures that I had taken were gone.  No more contacts.  Lost text messages with important information.  No extra money to get a new one because I had spent all my extra money on this trip.

The weight started to get heavy.  Really heavy and I had to take a step back and try to bring myself to a happy place so we could enjoy the rest of our vacation.  We all were feeling the pain of loss, but we were also all feeling something else.  Gratitude that is wasn't Griffin that had fallen.  It very well could have been.  No one realized what an unobtainable hole it was until the phone was there and we had no way to get it without ourselves being put in extreme danger.  The gratitude from those thoughts helped.

As we walked along the sandy beach that holds those jagged cliffs, a memorable moment occurred.  Out of nowhere my mom called out, "Your phone!" and headed straight off into the water before I could even realize what was happening.  Leaving behind her a trail of flipflops, personal belongings, and a purse, she ran towards the bright green spot on the sandy ocean bottom.  Watching my mom as she darted out into more danger, fully clothed and about to take on a wave and unforgiving rocks, my heart was filled to the brim with love and appreciation for this crazy woman.  She dove down into the water just microseconds before a wave came that surely would have slammed her into the rocks and all I could do was watch in awe.  So this is what motherly love is.  You risk your life for a piece of worthless metal, not because you thought about it before hand, not because it made sense, but just because you knew it would make your child feel better.  That moment resonated throughout the rest of the trip and I feel so much gratitude for my mom.  I could never doubt that my mom wouldn't do anything for the happiness of her children.

Besides the craziness of that day, our trip was flawless.  Everything was perfect and I will remember it always.  That one moment will be shared throughout the years and I feel so lucky to have been able to live through it!  This blog post is dedicate to my sweet mom.  Not just for this one moment but for all the times when she has put us kids first to guarantee our happiness!  I love you mom and I am so grateful for you!  Happy Mother's Day!

(These pictures, by the way, are from the memory card that was in the camera.  We wouldn't have any of them if it wasn't for you mom!)

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