Imagine your most recent or anticipated vacation. What instantly comes to mind? Family? Relaxation? Budgeting? Splurging? Rest? Fun?

Since my eldest was little, our vacations always included my mom (occasionally my dad and brother would join us as well). We were the three amigos seeking our next adventure. We’d grace the beaches of Florida, exploring the likes of sea world, water parks, race tracks, outlet malls, amusement parks, and the best restaurants we could find.

While my heart explodes amid the blissful moments it also carries a lingering pang of guilt and sadness because I could never give Jahmai – and now Imri – a “family” vacation, inclusive to their father being present.

I admit I struggle with the guilt of not being able to raise my boys in a home with their father and I subconsciously carry the burden of wishing we could caravan from here to there, mom, dad, and kids in tow.

So what keeps me grounded? Simply remembering how blessed I am to be raising two healthy boys who know they are loved and that we are blessed to be able to experience our many adventures together. Now, I’ve finally accepted the fact that we have Family vacations.

Society’s stigma would say my boys come from a broken home. I say we are a family – a family of love.

Now, we have a new edition who just turned one and had his first vacation! While Imri has his own little disposition and rarely shows gleeful emotions in public, he is a ball of joy at home…and if he’s warmed up enough to let his hair down when we’re out and about you just may be surprised at what you see and hear. You know the saying a picture says a thousand words? Well, don’t let Imri’s pictures convince you of a thousand negative words. He truly is a happy baby, lol. What you see is Imri being Imri 🤷🏾‍♀️

Oh, and he took one look at the ocean and clung to me for dear life, so we strolled just like that.

I digress. I’m so grateful for my road dog, my ace, my ride-or-die. She completes our vacays and we can depend on her to always be right there with us, standing in the gap for all of us.

This time around I came to the realization that my teenager is probably not feeling vacationing with just his mom and Mimi so this time he had a friend join us. Best. Decision. Ever. And to top it off, they walked down the beach to hang with a friend and classmate for the day.

And there it goes, another heart explosion 🥰

I have always dreamed of a life with my husband and children living each day in joy, wonderful experiences, and laughter. But, that’s not my reality and I must accept it with an open heart; I don’t know what the future holds. I know what my heart ultimately desires but for now, I am grateful for my loves and the many blessings showered over us each and every day.