We did something we've never done before this week, we went on vacation, just us. We've always done family trips with my parents, and I don't think a trip to st. Jude quite counts as a vacation, although some days I miss it as much as the beach! Once I realized how short our summer was this year, with the new school calendar taking effect, I thought it would be the perfect thing for our crew. Nothing over the top, nothing life changing, just a week away from our everyday lives to recharge. I felt like such a big kid as I contacted the realty company myself...something my mom has always done. Great stress and feelings of responsibility went into our menu for the week and our massive grocery shopping trip. I made lists upon lists to make sure we didn't forget a thing (I love that part!) I felt super domesticated and Betty Crockerish as I baked, tried new recipes, and froze meals so I didn't have to cook on vacation. As I watched Richard carry every Thirty One bag I own...good thing I have so many...to the cars (yes we had to take two) I had a huge appreciation for all that my parents have done for the numerous years we have gone on vacation (Thanks Mom and Dad!) and even though they weren't coming with us, Dad's truck and canoe still were...always looking out for us!
With as much as Richard has been working this past month or so, this week was so needed. It has been so beautiful to watch my family, be a family. We have played in the water, canoed, ran around, ate, climbed that big hill back from the lake (all that walking should make up for all the eating!) played board games, watched movies in black and white (because we can't figure the TV out) ate some more, thrown water balloons, played in the rain, taken naps outside, read, gotten bug bites, walked and giggled.
It's an odd thing to go on a "family vacation" when someone in your family isn't here. At times it has been overwhelmingly obvious that Ellie isn't here. There was a point I was coming inside and I stopped and caught my breath as I looked in at everyone sitting on the couch, and perfectly placed between Noah and SG was an empty seat.
I see that space a lot. Ellie's not here. As much laid back fun as we've had, she still not here. Noah would correct me at this point and remind me that Ellie is with Jesus, and Jesus lives in my heart, so technically (yes he would use that word) she is here're with us. But I can't touch her, hold her or hear her, and that's what I want!
It's been interesting though, to watch little bits of Ellie continue to shine though SG. Physically SG wears a lot of Ellie's clothes now, so sometimes from the back, I see Ellie...well from the waist down.
But SG has so many of Ellie's mannerisms, the way she dances, some of her sounds, her hair twirling when she's tired...things we could have never taught her. I can take credit for the clothes, and yes there are days I put certain clothes of her because it takes me back to a sweet memory, and then there are days that I cannot handle an Ellie dress, so she wears something brand new. However I cannot take credit for SG doing the Ellie dance, or that silly noise that I could never describe, that SG has just started doing. I give that credit to The Lord who understands that I can't physically see my girl right now, and He knows that hurts, so He's going to bless me with some sweet reminders, a silly noise, a funny hop, and sweet snuggles.
I'm so thankful to The Lord, for knowing my heart, knowing my needs and continually providing for me and never leaving us alone. http://youtu.be/DavJ9UKS2ps