Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vacation and God blessings!

Mihretu and I hit the road early Saturday morning for a 12.5 hour drive to Venice, Florida. He's on spring break this week and our friend Deb recently moved to FL so I thought it was a good idea to come visit. At the last minute - like 3 days before - I found a sweet little efficiency rental on the beach with a pool too for super cheap and it was amazingly available the days we would be there. What a huge blessing this place has been. It's been so much fun - we are just taking each moment as it comes. It was kind of chilly the first few days but is absolutely perfect today. We spent the whole morning at the beach. Gorgeous!

We've met some nice people also staying in this complex and one is a single adoptive mom - how cool is God? Her daughter is 9 and Mihretu has been playing so well with her. Last night, M & I went to dinner at a little seafood place and the waiter saw my Africa necklace and asked really sweetly if that was where M was from. When I said yes, he said "Your meal is on me. My sister also adopted from Africa and it's great what you are doing." How sweet is that? He totally covered our meal. Another God blessing.

The biggest God blessing of all is in how this story played out. Yesterday Mihretu went out into the water at the beach with his new little friend and she had one of those little boogie boards. He was holding on to it and they were playing. About 15 minutes later as I stood on shore watching him while talking to the girls mom - he went under and I could tell in an instant it had suddenly gotten deeper than his little legs could touch. Talk about fast action - I took off in a sprint through that water like a scene out of Baywatch. It was like everything was in slow motion though - I could see him swimming and coming up for breath every few seconds as he was clearly upset and trying to figure out how to get out of this situation. The little girl stood nearby but had no idea he was in distress. His swimming lessons paid off during those moments when mom was racing as fast as I could to him as he was swimming and able to get breaths. Right as I reached him, he also reached the boogie board - he had located it and swam to it. I scooped him up in my arms and his little heart was just a racing and he was so scared. I was too but kept calm for him and told him how great he did with his swimming and how proud I was that he swam to the board all on his own. He wasn't even very far out - he could touch and then all of a sudden, he couldn't. I laid awake last night thinking about how differently that could have played out had he never taken swim lessons or if I had not been watching, even just for a minute. Just a lesson to never take your eyes off your kid when they are in the water. And honestly, in hindsight, I shouldn't have even let him go out there without me. He's still so little and he doesn't have much experience with the ocean. We both learned a lot in that experience. My brave little guy is not totally freaked out by the water now but certainly a lot more cautious than he was previously. He kept saying "I went under mommy. I don't like that! I don't want to go under again." I told him from now on mommy will go swimming with you. What a scary experience. Thanking God for protection. It's so scary how fast life flashes before you when something like that happens.

M is taking a nap right now after about 4 hours of nonstop playing at the beach this morning. I'm sitting outside our door on the little landing while he sleeps. It's amazing how when you don't have any place to be or any commitments or responsibilities for a week - how magical the time with your child can be. He's like the best vacation buddy ever. He did AMAZING in the long car ride down here. No meltdowns, no issues. We stopped for gas and to go to the bathroom but that was it. We ate snacks and lunch in the car. He watched a bunch of movies and even took a 3 hour nap. The only meltdown thus far here was last night cause he was overtired from no nap yesterday. It was over in about 5 minutes and he was fast asleep about 2 minutes after hitting the pillow. He has been so well behaved and we've just been really enjoying ourselves. He's been just as excited as me about eating seafood and being at the beach. He keeps saying "we're gonna eat crab and lobster and go to the beach and have fun today mommy!" I love this vacation. My favorite one yet! I think we might have to do this every year. It isn't costing much money and yet it's just absolutely relaxing and enjoyable. And we get to spend some time with our friend Deb. She has come over and hung out with us a lot this week. Today she's not feeling well so she's resting at her house

while we have a beach day. After his nap, I think we will go back down to the beach for some more play time. Gotta soak it up while we can. We only have one more day here and then we head to Orlando to see my best friend from Michigan and her family who are staying there this week. How fun that we are both in FL the same week. Can't wait to see them.

Here's a few photos from our time here so far!
We went on a little boat ride at Myakka Park and saw lots of alligators!

Enjoying the beach where we are staying

At Sharky's seafood restaurant and pier

soaking up some snuggles from Auntie Deb

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