Thursday, June 16, 2011

....Texas.....

.....this past week in Texas was the first time I looked at Elsie and thought to myself, I have a little girl......maybe since she officially hit the 3.5 mark a few weeks ago, she has instantaneously transformed in front of my own two eyes; but she was fully aware that we were on vacation.....a visit with family and friends for several days allowed me time to remember my own summer visits with grandparents as I watched my children make their own memories.....occasionally during our stay in Texas, I would be reminded of the smell of fresh cut grass of the range in the backyard of my grandparents house.......memories would flood through my mind of playing tag on the golf course that spread behind their back door.....laughing with my brothers when the retired golfers would get irritated by three free spirited kids running through the fairway on a Friday afternoon while they tried to play the back nine......I vividly remember running and dashing through the grass, exploring every hole, sand trap and mound......and I remember those visits like they were yesterday......

.....when I observed all 9 cousins under the age of five interact last week, it was then that I realized in this time of Elsie's life, these are the memories that are now being fixated in her sweet little memory.....she is old enough to know she is experiencing something special.....I watched her take it all in, listened to her recite her day as we settled for bedtime, woke up to hear her excitement of what her day would reveal.....I like that she gets it......it being the fact she was on vacation; visiting the ones she loves, but fully comprehending that we live far from them.......I am excited she is old enough to have her own senses awakened by the things that she will draw upon in her future when she needs the security of family and memories of summer fun.....

......and Callie isn't far behind, but it couldn't have been more real for Elsie.....





.....she is beginning to build real relationships with her cousins.....asking questions like, when will Zailey come and visit me? or making observations like, Emerson is a big sister now, too.....or even more surprising ones like, there sure are a lot of babies around here......and my heart swells at the interaction between all of them.....it's bittersweet, really.....the ebb and flow of the excitement of visits to come, but the heartbreak of goodbyes; as this was the first time she cried tears of sorrow on farewell day.......she is now old enough to experience the ying and yang, the highs and lows, the sweet and bitter emotion that accompanies distance between family.....











.....and watching my girls play outdoors from morning til dusk as they wore themselves out entirely forced me to ponder the discussion Stefan and I have been having in terms of parting ways with the city to embrace the burbs......a discussion that began last fall when I was newly pregnant with Brody and has become more frequent in our house.....






....and those discussions began with me shutting down each conversation with I'm not ready to leave the city.....and they have slowly evolved into a less selfish perspective.....God has blessed us with many situations over the last few months that have been strong reminders that we are not in control......and with that in mind, we attempt to seek to understand what might be best for our family......

....and so we take each day at a time.....




....enjoying each other and accepting the knowledge of knowing that it's our togetherness that matters most....



......remembering that it's not where we live that gives us joyful memories, but rather the community that surrounds us......and whether that is great friends in a cul-de-sac, family the next town over, a backyard that offers exhilarating times for play dates or a brick building full of friends above and beneath us; it's how we involve ourselves with those relationships.....

.....because it's relationships that sustain us.....











.....and as I watched Elsie comprehend the values of relationships and family, it softened me even more to the idea that our beautiful, big life doesn't necessarily need to be in the city.....because the burbs have a lot of fun too.....









....and just as I am comforted by the memories of rolling like a log down the slope of the golf green, our children will be grounded by the smell of chlorine, thick Florida humidity or the sight of bluebonnets in the Texas hill country......

....it all comes full circle.....



.....and now back to recovering from the fun.....


                                                                         Daddy's hat from his childhood

....until next time.....

2 comments :

Sara B said...

Tracy! Those photos are AWESOME. Callie went off the diving board? The one of Callie coming down the water slide is an A++++ photo! There is always a let down after a great vacation and yours looked dreamy! Blue skies, water parks. What a great time you must have had! Excellent photos!

Amy said...

Makes me wish I was back in Texas! Love the pictures!