the gift she just received was just awesomeness at it’s best.
i had to think of her when i was composing this post.
because like Amber experienced, sometimes gifts come to us when we need them most, when we expect them least.
and, that, is the case with this Florida Gift.
i cannot tell you how out-of-the-blue this came to us.
one day, i was doing all manner of housework and childcare and my aunt called.
which, was sort of out of the ordinary, but not so much that i was worried.
i called her back a couple of days later and was left giddy and shocked when i hung up from our conversation.
you see, they wanted to Give us the use of their timeshare for a week down in Punta Gorda, Florida.
no strings attached.
just pack up the kids and drive down here and enjoy the place.
we talked about it, Tim and i did, and we tried to figure out if this could work.
we originally thought no.
but, after consideration, and counsel from some wise and caring friends, we decided this was too good of a chance to pass up, and an opportunity we would likely Never get again.
just like this itty-bitty, so small starfish that i found on the beach while we were there.
so out of the blue, so not-your-typical-seashell.
i literally gasped when i looked down and saw this treasure.
i picked it up and marveled.
i kept it as my one little treasured item to remind me of the goodness and unexpected Glory of a God who sees all of our needs and gives us blessings we don’t expect.
like these Florida Gift Days.
Days where we as a family of 6 spent time together.
Days where we as a family spent time with some of my family; my grandma and two aunts and an uncle.
Days where we relaxed and enjoyed a break.
Days where we had to pinch ourselves that we were actually there, actually living this life.
it wasn’t perfect.
think 18 hours in a minivan with four kids overnight.
yeah, there’s not a whole lot about that picture that is perfect.
but, you know, it was worth it.
every second of screaming and every 9,000 times of being asked ‘are we almost there’.
9 days. 2,900 miles. 560 pictures. and memories to last a lifetime.
that’s the short version.
here are the pictures to give you a glimpse into this Gift.
where we stayed/around the Village…
two days spent at Sanibel Island where we were with my family and had walk-out access to a most glorious beach.
my little sidekick and i walked around the Village while the rest of the crew swam…
Kate and me?
we got some pretty nice shots, we thought.
around the Yacht Basin and Docks...
a little bit of posing one afternoon at the Village…
my children with my grandma, their Great Grandma…
me and my Grandma and Kate…
it was great.
it really, really was.
i don’t talk about it and i cannot do much to change the circumstances of this, but i miss my family more than i know how to express.
it was so good for me to go spend time with some of those who are in most of my best memories from my childhood.
i said it elsewhere that ‘sometimes a girl has to go back to what she came from to remember who she is.’.
for me, anyhow.
i came away from those short days with my family remembering so many things that are just part of being an Oatney. little things, but things that matter to me, nonetheless.
and, to close this post….
we are glad to be heading into days with birthdays, and holidays to celebrate.
i’ve already been heeding the urge to bake and drink hot chocolate…
to dole out the comfort foods to those i love most.
it’s almost the weekend.
make it a good one!