a breath before the holidays


Surf Beach, Lompoc, CAI hope you had a truly wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving filled with good friends, family, amazing food and rest.  Rest…that last one is a little tricky during the holiday season.  It’s all hustle and bustle and not a lot of down time.  By the time January arrives, I always feel like it’s time for some serious family hibernation.  We usually try to clear our schedules in January – except maybe a small family get away.  But either way, January involves napping and general recovery from the holiday craziness!

This year I am making a conscious effort to focus on family time and activities that encourage all of us to actually connect and take a break from the Holiday noise.  Don’t get me wrong, our house is full of Christmas music, peppermint hot chocolate, Christmas lights and Christmas baking…but sometimes a little down time can soothe the soul & recharge us for the weeks ahead.


We chose to head the mere 8 mile trek to our little local beach.  Seriously, EIGHT miles!  Why don’t we do this more often.  {sigh}  After cooking Thanksgiving dinner & visiting with family, we decided to take a bit of time to hang out at the beach together.  It was a gorgeous California day, perfect for some relaxing.

thanksgiving-beach-2We started by heading to the sand and looking for whales & dolphins.  Didn’t see any sea critters today, but it was still fun to look.  I made sure to very consciously breathe in the ocean air and focus on my boys – the two little ones (or not so little ones) and the big one.  They all needed a break just as much I did!

thanksgiving-beach-3And they are full of shenanigans….always…

Hunting for Coins at Surf BeachWe all searched for smashed coins & found far more than we have ever found before!  That was so much fun.  The boys got the biggest kick out of that.

smooshed train penniesWe decided it was only fair to replace all of the coins we found, so we put out a nice assortment of change to be squished by the next train.  Little did we know that it was coming immediately!  It FLEW through the station, didn’t stop or even slow the tiniest bit.  Man, it completely freaked me out.

surf beach amtrak trainAfter I composed myself again, we searched for the coins that were just squished.  Our youngest traded a few of his out for new ones & we left the others for the next lucky kiddo to wander along.  simple, easy, fun day  I think that breathing in the ocean air and watching my boys scour the tracks for treasure just built up my soul the bit I needed to face the holidays with a smile.

L & J Surf BeachOf course, snuggling with my sweetie didn’t hurt either.  Oh how I love the beach.  In my wildest dreams, that’s where we’ll retire.  Living in a beach house, falling asleep to the sound of the waves & waking up each morning to walk the beach together with our cup of coffee.  When my family is with me, that is where I feel at home.

surf beach train tracksSo no matter where this holiday season takes you, remember to take a small minute and savor the time you have with your family.  Those are the memories that are the most cherished.