By Kayleigh Rain
June has always been a special time for William and me.
We met in June. Our birthdays are in June. We were married June.
And this June we are taking our first family vacation with Nora.
Over the next 10 days we will roadtrip 1,992 miles during two excursions with a sassy 2 year old in tow.
Pray for us. Send us positive vibes. Offer us words of encouragement.
Whatever you have to offer, we’ll need it all.
We’ve read about the different tricks to entertain a toddler during extended roadtrips, and I’m prepared with every form of video, workbook, and road game we could get into the vehicle. I’m hoping for the best but planning for the worst.
Though, luckily we’ll have help. On the first leg to St. Joseph, Mich., my parents will be along for the ride, while the second leg to Florida’s Emerald Coast will be with William’s family.
And, quite honestly, despite the thought of a roadside meltdown, I cannot wait. This June has all the makings to be my favorite yet.
In Michigan we’re heading to a wedding for one of my wonderful friends from college. I’m honored to be a bridesmaid, and Nora will be the flower girl.
No, I don’t know if she’ll make it down the aisle, but we’ve practiced for weeks to give it our best shot. We’re at the point of toddlerhood that I’m not sure what kid will wake up each morning. She may be an independent toddler woman or a snuggly sweetheart. Her mood changes every day; she changes every day.
She is thrilled to wear her beautiful ivory dress covered in tulle. And, thanks to the Daddy Daughter Dance, she is already talking about dancing like a princess with her Dad and Papa.
I’ve always loved weddings, and being part of Olivia’s day will be no different. She may be my most metropolitan friend, though she has planned a beautiful rustic wedding at a barn venue just off Lake Michigan.
I already know it will be a dream and over too soon.
Following the wedding we’ll return home for about 48 hours before packing up again to head south for a four-generation visit on the beach. Four couples and one toddler within one condo with a picture-perfect view of the Gulf.
William and I have been lucky enough to visit Destin every few years with his family, and I think we’ve marked every stage of our relationship with a bit of beach therapy. From dating to engaged to married–the Emerald Coast has seen it all.
This year we’ll arrive in time for William’s 31st birthday and leave as our fifth wedding anniversary approaches. Though this trip is not about our version of June memories, it’s about William’s grandparents–who will be celebrating 60 years of marriage.
Destin has also seen Lee and Judy through their various stages of marriage as they’ve made their way to the powder white sand throughout their life together.
I’m excited for Nora to spend time with her Mt. Vernon family who we do not see nearly enough, and I’m thrilled for them to spend extended time with her. I can’t wait for them to see her morning bedhead and hear her “read” her memorized bedtime stories. They’ll see her first reaction to salt water and watch as she discovers seashells.
During each visit to Destin we share favorite memories and visit favorite spots. We’ll find our favorite tables at all the familiar restaurants along the same boardwalk. But, after the next two weeks, I know we will have new favorite memories to share for years to come.