My husband had a brilliant idea when our kids were little. He suggested taking each kid on a special trip when they turned 13 and then at 18. I’m all about celebrating birthdays (especially when it’s my own) and was totally on board to celebrate these milestones in such a special way. Being the savvy jet setters that we are, our kids started dreaming big when we told them of this grand idea. We quickly realized that we had to set a few boundaries for these trips.
For the 13th, we had to stay in country. We were living in South Africa at the time so Joshua and Jeremy hiked the southernmost tip of Africa to celebrate Joshua’s. For Emma Grace’s she opted for a trip to Durban to enjoy the beach, hotel life, and a little pampering.
For their 18th, we told them they could pick anywhere. At 13, Emma Grace chose Greece and never deviated from that decision. For five years, we planned and saved air miles until last Summer, just a couple of months before her eighteenth birthday when we boarded a plane to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
I will share our adventures in future posts, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from going on these trips, it’s this. The experience together is worth all the money you will spend to make this happen. It’s incredibly bonding and something your kids will remember forever. I have never once regretted spending money on a shared experience with someone.
Celebrate life. Celebrate milestones. Celebrate people. You’ll be oh so glad you did.
I suppose when you only document your child’s current age a few days before they turn another year, it’s only fitting to wait another 12 months to document the next age, right? I was a little better documenting 17. We took these over 3 months before she turned 18. I also learned a valuable lesson. When taking your own child’s photos, bring along her friends and feed them afterwards. The mood is sooo much better. A few of my favs…
And since her friends were with us, I decided to document them together. Known as the triplets at school, these girls were all giggles.
I don’t know what my problem has been the past few years, but I’ve been horrible at making it a point to do yearly photos. And obviously I’ve been even slower to post them. Anyway, a month before EG turned sixteen (which was about 2 years ago), we did her fifteen year old photos…
Yesterday we decided to take a drive to Sunspot to the observatory there. I couldn’t find online if it was open, but I thought the drive would be nice, and we could at least see the observatory from the outside. Plus, the best views of the Tularosa Basin are from Sunspot and the drive there. Well, winding up the mountain made a backseat passenger feel carsick. The observatory was closed. You couldn’t even drive in to see it. And the best viewpoint of the basin along the road? Only Jeremy and I got out to look. It was not at all what I had planned for the day. I realized, though, that there was a point in time where a day like yesterday would have put me in a serious bad mood. Feeling responsible that we couldn’t see the observatory, burdened by the bickering from the backseat, wasting gas to drive nowhere. Over the years, though, and especially living with teenagers, I’ve learned to let those things go, because plans don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes you just have to make the best of the moment, and be responsible for your own attitude, because you can’t control the attitude of others.
In an effort to redeem our two hours in the car, we stopped at a local bakery for a cookie. I’ve always said chocolate makes everything better. Yesterday it sure did. Walk in a good attitude, and eat some chocolate today, friends.