Last year Shawn and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary by jetting off to Vegas. I should have known when I dumped the Bloody Mary in my lap that something was up. I changed clothes in the tiny airplane bathroom and thanked my husband for convincing me to stuff everything in a carry-on instead of checking a bag. When the flight attendant came back around, I asked for a diet Coke.
A week later, I found out I was pregnant.
This year we celebrated our 12th anniversary by jetting off loading the kids in the car and heading to a local resort. They are cool about letting non-guests visit the swimming pool, and we ordered lunch and spent the day playing and pretending we were on vacation.
I took pictures with the camera I bought last summer and turned the dial to manual focus. A lot of really good shots came out blurry. I want to learn to take better photos. I'm a writer. I'm a storyteller. Capturing moments is what I do. But this summer marks a commitment to move beyond my comfort zone. Take more chances.
A few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen and I could hear Shawn and Blake in the other room. "No no. Blake. You can't play with that. Daddy will look at the book with you. Come here. Sit down with me."
"Hey that's Mommy!" Blake squealed. "Daddy, that's you!" They were flipping through the pages of our wedding album, and I felt weak in the knees. I stopped and took a breath and soaked it in.
This thing—this family—we have created has the power to make my world stop spinning. When I was child, I wanted a family that stayed together. So now, when these moments catch me off guard with all of their magic and beauty I have to tell myself to embrace it. Don't be afraid. Don't worry that it won't last. Just be grateful. Trust the gifts that have been given to you.
Don't run from it. But don't hold on too tightly, either. Out of fear. Instead, breathe the moments. Absorb the memories that burn their images onto your soul.