The Summer I Took Planes, Trains, And Cars

The Summer I Took Planes, Trains, And Cars

. . . and added to my memories that will last forever.
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Summer is one of the best times of year to make memories with your family and friends. Whether it is a vacation, weekend trip, or day trip, there is always something fun to do, and it is inevitable that something will happen that you will remember and talk about for years to come. With summer now coming to an end, it made me think about all the great times I had this summer, and how like always, my family made sure that our summer was special through everything we did. This year, our adventures took us to a few different places, and we traveled in ways we never had before, making this summer be forever known as the summer we took planes, trains, and cars.

It all started with a plane ride Fourth of July weekend, when we visited Charleston, South Carolina. Other than driving through it on our way to Florida, we had never been to South Carolina before, and were so excited to have it be our first trip of the summer. Even though we were only there for three, very hot and humid days— and our flight going there got delayed eight hours —we still had an amazing time. From walking around in the market, to taking a horse and buggy ride of Historic Downtown Charleston, and eating all the BBQ our stomachs could handle, we most definitely started our summer off right, making us all that much more excited for everything else that was still to come.

Next on our agenda was our annual road trip to to the Jersey Shore for the last week of July. For many years now, we have been going to Seaside Heights, and the memories we have made there are too many to count. Between our beach days, waterpark days, eating at all of our favorite restaurants, nights spent on the boardwalk or at the bay, racing on the go-karts, and days spent just sitting by the pool and relaxing, every year, our trip seems to get better. I would not trade our time spent here for the world, and at the end of our week, I always feel like the time went by too fast, and already cannot wait for the next year.

Our final adventure was a train ride to Québec City, Canada, which ultimately ended up being a twelve hour train ride to Montréal, followed by a three hour car ride to Québec City— but, hey, it is all part of the adventure. We only spent two days here, but it was easily one of my favorite trips we have ever taken, and I know I want to go back again someday. The city was beautiful, the weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the people were friendly, and the tours we took, including one of the historic sites, and of the Montmorency Waterfall, were ones I will never forget. On top of all this, it was our first time all being in Canada together, which made this specific trip just that much more memorable.

Every year, I am always beyond thankful for all that we do. This summer, we were so lucky to once again be able to add so many more significant moments to our already seemingly endless list of memories from past trips. No matter how big or small, our adventures are special, and I would not have it any other way. Although I am sad that this summer is over, I look forward to our adventures in the year to come, as well as to seeing what next summer holds. Thanks for the memories, Summer 2016.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Easter Is More Than Just A Day

He is risen, and LIVES today... Not just on Easter.

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Every Easter there is always a flood of posts on social media, and every post has a similar caption: "He is risen!" And indeed He is.

Not that there is anything wrong with these posts. It's nice to see everyone in their "Sunday best." However, my question is why do we make Easter a one-day ordeal? We should be celebrating the resurrection and life of our Savior every day, not just one day a year.

Jesus's death on the cross is worth so much more than one day. He is deserving of far greater.

So often, we let ourselves be consumed by life and all our problems that we get distracted. We let ourselves forget the work that Jesus did on the cross.

Yet, this should not be our reality because Jesus won.

Jesus won. He defeated the grave. Let that sink in, because all too frequently I feel like this falls deaf to our ears and hearts.

Understanding that Jesus conquered death and has already won the battle for the world (John 16:33) should give us peace.

Having this knowledge should help us to say, "I see these things that I can't fix. But Jesus has conquered death, and everything else is taken care of."

Celebrate who Jesus is and what He has done every day, not just on Easter.

Lord, thank you that I can celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ every single day. Thank you that Easter is so much bigger and far better than just a holiday. You have defeated death, so now I can rest in that truth--knowing that you will take care of even the most minuscule details of my life. You hold today, tomorrow, and forever. Thank you that I can celebrate who you are and what you've done from now until eternity.

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