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I’ve been on vacation for the past week. A good, old-fashioned family road trip with my mom, sister, and her little family. We had an awesome trip, so it was only fitting that I reflect on five of my greatest blessings from the past week. This is my High5 Vacation Edition.
 
1.
Sweet Wake-up Call
The whole crew of six of us stayed in a multi-room hotel suite the first few nights of our trip. My wake-up call each morning wasn’t the glaring sound of an alarm clock. It was the sweet little voice of my five-year-old nephew coming from the kitchen. He woke up chipper and ready for conversation with my mom, who was the first one up in the morning. Even though I wasn’t in the same room, I could see him smiling as I heard his cheerful conversation and it put a big smile on my face at the start of each day.
 
2.
College Reminiscing
ImageI spent last weekend revisiting my college town, friends, and went to a college football game. Being back in that space brought back a mixture of wonderful, nostalgic feelings. I was transported to another time and it almost felt like my time spent there over fifteen years ago had been a dream. The memories from being back in a place where I’ve lived but haven’t visited in awhile come back in waves. The recognition of a building where I had classes or seeing my old college apartment again led to memories of the people and moments and sites and smells that I had since forgotten. The funny thing about being in college is that, at the time, I felt like I was 100% adult, but didn’t realize how unlike real life that college experience really was until I entered the ‘real world.’ My college experiences were steps towards being fully independent, but I was still so sheltered and protected that those experiences only gave me a taste of life on my own as an adult. Last weekend was a bliss-filled, fairy tale experience to live into those memories and feelings again. 
 
3.
Unexpected Reunion
I love the new routine vacations provide. Waking up to a leisurely breakfast, walking the beach, showering up before heading out for lunch at an island cafe . . . rough life, I know. Such was our itinerary one day in the middle of our trip. After our morning beach activities, we headed to a sweet local cafe for lunch, were seated, and began looking over the menu. I glanced up and recognized a woman who had just walked in. Her mother was a tremendous positive influence on me as a teenager, so my smiles of recognition at her turned into sheer joy when her mother came in behind her. They were seated at the table right next to me and my mom. Laughs and hugs and a few happy tears were shared, along with the awe of God’s timing of this ‘chance’ reunion. This unexpected encounter will be close to my heart for a very long time.
 
4.
Toes in the Water ~ Toes in the Sand
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5.
Planning with Mom
We put nearly 2,000 miles on my car on this trip (1,993 to be exact), so there were hours and hours . . . . and hours of talk time in the car as we journeyed between destinations. My mom and I are really good at bouncing ideas off of each other and capturing plans and lists and brainstorms for projects back home. There’s something about distancing myself from my everyday life that brings forth clarity and bursts of creativity. I love this time with my mom to dream and reflect and prioritize and I always look forward to returning home with renewed vigor and energy. Vacations are amazing and necessary for my soul . . . but, there’s something about coming back home that brings me new life and renews my spirit.
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