Miami Beach in May

One of the things I love most about my city is the amazing beaches we share. Miami Beach, Crandon Park, and Hollywood Beach are our favorites but, if we want to make the drive, we always have Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach and more. We are so lucky.  Last Sunday we spent the day at Miami Beach. I just loved soaking up the sun, enjoying the cool ocean water, and snorkeling in search of sea treasures. On that day, the water was absolutely beautiful. There were so many shades of blue in the ocean. From lightest aqua to turquoise to navy blue, it was an amazing sight. I immediately took Stella for a swim and within just a few moments, we found a small conch. I have never seen what a conch creature actually looks like until that day.

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Stella is an ocean girl, she loves to jump in the water, scoop up the sand, and try to mouth everything in sight.

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Dylan loves the to play in the sand, explore sea treasures, and enjoy the very shallow shore but, for some reason, he is not too keen on going in the water…maybe he’s afraid of sharks or maybe swimming lessons will make him more confident.

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I think the ocean has grown on Shaun over the years. Once upon a time he pretended to enjoy going to the beach for me. Then, he got comfortable and shared his secret of hating the sand and the heat. Now, after understanding how happy his family gets when at the beach, I think he is beginning to enjoy himself more.

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I can’t stop thinking about last Sunday at the beach…

Wandering through the Wilderness

I spent Spring Break in Morganton, Georgia, a remote town with a population of about 300. We were invited by my mom and stepdad to stay in a beautiful cabin in the mountains. My mom and I spent many afternoons swaying on a wooden swing that rested behind our cabin, looking up at the beautiful oak and pine trees, laughing together, and having meaningful conversations. One late afternoon, as we sat together, I remember looking up at the sky and then behind me at the vast wilderness and thinking that the beauty of a place like this is that you feel like the world belongs to you. You feel as if you are the only souls alive in that patch of land and so the land is yours.

There were so many beautiful experiences on that trip.

Encountering new and beautiful places…

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Hiking through the mountains, wondering if we would encounter a bear…

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Exploring the beauty near our cabin…

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Exploring Helen, Georgia and marveling at how this little town is so influenced by Germany.

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Wishing on the many dandelions we came across..

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And visiting a local goat farm…

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But there were also a few awakening experiences. Until that trip, I always saw myself living in the mountains, surrounded my the beauty of nature. But after seeing so many confederate flags and even one KKK flag, and after visiting a few ghost towns that were rather depressing, I quickly realized that maybe my wishful thinking about the country life was just that, wishful thinking. And so, I came home filled with beautiful memories and also thirsty to give myself to my city. To explore Miami with a grateful heart. For this is the place where I’ve spent my entire life, where the ocean gives me energy, where I explore with my family, and where I know I belong…at least for now.

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