Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Break "Plans"

I have this thing about finding unnecessary quotation marks- as in... I "love" them. They make something inside of me laugh from way down deep.  There is even an entire site dedicated to the improper use of quotations (kind of like my opening statement).  We ran across one, over the week of spring break on a big painted sign, and I should have photographed it.  It was advertising something like fresh hot "food."  I died.  So did Adrain, when I pointed it out. Not sure what was fresh and hot... but apparently... it wasn't food.

It's the little things in life.

Anyway... the quotations around "Plans" in my title aren't unnecessary.  They are intended.  You know what they say about the best laid plans.... (well I don't know what they actually say- I'd have to google that to get a proper quote for you, but I know "they" say something about those plans!) (Whoever "they" are.)

 *from my rain splattered window as we bumped down the road.

Adrain surprised us all by booking a couple of nights stay in a town a few hours away, during spring break.  He never does things like that, and it wasn't in the budget, but to be honest, after the week we had before spring break, we needed it so badly.  So badly.  Adrain knew a guy who owned a lodge in a vacation spot and thought it would be a fun getaway and he got a screaming deal on the price. We got there and everything that could go wrong, did, pretty much from the start, up to an including the worst hotel room I've ever stayed in.  We had been told there were bike and kayak rentals next door.  (Except that they were closed until the season opened in a couple of weeks and they failed to mention that part when we booked.)  We tried to find other places but they were also closed until the start of the "season."  All of the restaurants nearby were closed except for between the hours of 4 and 6 which I found really weird.  The hiking trails were closed, we couldn't find the one spot that was open, and we called 3 numbers for horseback riding but they were all discontinued. Probably wasn't yet the SEASON. The pool was closed as was the hot tub, though we had been told it would be open, and everything we came up with to do, was closed or unavailable for the few days we were there.  It set off a flurry of {understandable} teenage anger and one kiddo was sick in the mix for extra fun, so by the middle of the second day we packed up and just drove back home.

We had decided that driving home was the most fun we could come up with at that point.  I put it out on Instagram asking for any vacation stories gone wrong so we could laugh a bit as we drove home because frankly, we needed a bit of a laugh.  Or at the very least, to simply know this was common to someone other than us.  We immediately got blasted with a ton of hilarious, sad, sweet, and even emotional stories.  Most were laughable in hindsight.  Some were even remembered as the best vacation ever.  Apparently everyone has one.

And it made me think- it was my chance to practice what I had been preaching in my previous post.  DO I wanna be an egg or a potato?  I could look around at all the fabulous instagram feeds of people in exotic places over spring break, and feel jealous... and hard... and look back at the many times my family has attempted a TWO DAY GETAWAY for crying out loud and had it end poorly.  This was not our first rodeo in this regard but it was better than coming home early to bury a beloved dog.  That trip still holds the record as the worst spring break ever.  I wanted to be soft though... so I embraced the chance to say thank you... thank You for protecting us from whatever could have gone down if we'd been able to do all the fun things we originally planned.  Thank You for getting us home safely.  Thank You for a man who cared enough about us to try.  Thank You for the hotel graciously not charging us for that second night we didn't stay. Thank You for the glorious apple trees in bloom and the beautiful drive.  Thank You for a family, in tact, a healthy husband, and the specific frustrations, hurts, joys, glory moments and trials I was given in this life because these ones are all mine, specifically designed to shape me. Thank You that I'm never alone in my heartaches, no matter what they are.  Thank You. Just thank You

It always starts and ends there, doesn't it? Praise Him.  So yeah...maybe it wasn't the "fun trip" we had planned in our mind's eye... but it was our story and we'll always have that memory.   Thank You Lord for what you give me... let me be a softened potato when the water in life starts to boil...not an egg that hardens. Amen. 

  Then we bookended the week with a family wedding- Adrain's little brother and his longtime sweetie.  I got to do hair, makeup and photos.  And I had basically no good places for photos at the site the wedding was held, and about 30 minutes. And when I say no good places... you have to take my word.... there was nothing.  A pool shed with a bright blue wall... and a tiny patch of trees that if I angled it just so, you didn't see what was around it.  Whew!!   I came up with about 30 of the prettiest shots and I would have never thought it possible but I learned how to fake a good angle in a few places to make it look lushly wooded and prayed over the whole thing like crazy.  I wanted to bless these two so much but photographing people is not my thing... not my comfort zone at all!  In the end, I was jumping with relief that I got the shots I did.

I'm so glad God cares about the details of life.  
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  1. I wish I could fly you over to Europe with the family to take pictures when I tie the knot.....

  2. Sasha, those wedding photos are GORGEOUS!

  3. Can't beat the scenery and everything you're thankful for is exactly what we have to remind ourselves of every day, everything happens for a reason and you had each other, can't beat that! <3.

  4. "and the specific frustrations, hurts, joys, glory moments and trials I was given in this life because these ones are all mine, specifically designed to shape me. Thank You that I'm never alone in my heartaches, no matter what they are." Wow. This really spoke to me, as I'm struggling with some heavy things at the moment. Thank you for the new perspective!

  5. Beautiful wedding photos! Congratulations to the couple. Your outlook on your vacation is wonderful even though it may not have been your first feeling in the moment. What blessings each "closed" sign held. Gorgeous shots as well. Thanks for taking us along.

  6. Lol our honeymoon turned out like that! Do you know anyone else who has come home early from their HONEYMOON??? Stayed at a place that had been recommended but was a dump, kids swarming everywhere, yikes. We hightailed it back to the resort where we spend our wedding night for another couple of nights, so as not to feel completely ripped off. Oh well, you live and learn (not to take recommendations from in-laws ;) So sorry your break wasn't what you hoped, and yes, perhaps it will be something you can laugh about one day. Beautiful photos and scenery and I would never have known you had trouble taking those wedding photos, just beautiful.
    Know that God will give you everything you need to continue serving Him and loving others, even when our worldly plans fail!