With the extra hour of evening daylight given to us since the time change of last week, I have literally felt summer.
There is no denying it. I am a summer soul.
My heart beats a happy tune when the days are long and the wind is warm. I just feel at home in the summertime.
Now that we're on the homestretch towards summer, the chatting about vacation planning has begun. I was speaking with a friend on Friday evening and she asked me how my husband and I handled our summer vacations. Do we vacation alone? With our extended families? Do I visit my family alone with the kids? Do we make family treks together? Etc...etc.
The conversation really got me thinking about all that has transpired in my relationship with my man when it comes to this issue. Fortunately we have family that love us and that we love. We have my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law who live here, my parents who live in Arizona, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who live in Florida, and my brother and his family, and now also my brother-in-law who live in Hawaii.
And we want to see them all and spend time with them all.
...we also want to spend time together as a family of five cruising on a vacation as just us. Experiencing our own family dynamic without the added dimensions of our extended family.
My husband's vacation time from work is extremely limited. We work in entertainment on a freelance basis so it's tough to ask for time off from a project. We try to plan a week here and there in between jobs but it's tough to always do things on a short notice.
We know we have let people down in our lives when it comes to visiting or not taking a trip together that everyone would like to, but after almost 8 years together as parents we have figured out what our family needs. What we need. And that's to make sure we carve out time for just us.
It's been a balancing act for me especially. I am the more emotional one and I am the communicator with most family members. I don't like to hurt anyone's feelings. My husband doesn't like to either but he's once removed with all of the planning and chatting so the brunt of saying 'No, we're not going to...." usually falls on me. But I'm getting used to how it feels to say "No."
And I only pray that everyone understands.
We just returned from a little weekend at Disneyland. It was a little one-night getaway because I was able to book a free room at the Grand Californian on reward points. And we have annual passes (received as a gift) that were about to expire. I threw the trip together just a week ago and off we went.
Me, my man, and our three children who keep our hearts beating fiercely with awe-inspired love. As we cruised around together as our pack of five, my husband and I exchanged knowing looks that confirmed our feelings of just how insanely awesome it was to just hang out together and be us. Our family. The one we created that started with our love for one another.
So as summer plans and schedules are discussed, we're gonna keep our main priority in focus. Us.
I wonder if this vacation balancing act is always more difficult for us moms and wives and daughters and daughters-in-law. How about you? How do you handle your summer vacations? Do you cave to family pressure? Do you enjoy the extended family vibe more than just your own family?
I saw many, many families at Disney this weekend who seemed to be traveling with grandparents or extended family. I think it's a real trend in an entirely different way than when I was a kid. Do you think so?
I do love the time we spend when we travel with our families or to our families but it's different than when it's just us.
Does this all make sense? Or do I just sound selfish?
Weigh in. I'd love your thoughts.