The beach is the place I feel most like myself. The waves, the salty air, the sand in my toes – it feels like home. The picture up there was taken in 2011 on our first beach trip as a family of four. Benny was 9 months old, Lauren was going to be starting Kindergarten in the fall. We stopped off at Bodega Bay on our way to a vacation house with some dear friends. It was Ben’s first time to the beach. He ate SO MUCH sand! Lauren built castles. Dustin and I held hands. I remember being in awe of this tiny family we created. How meeting a random guy at a really horrible party had turned into a happy marriage and parenthood in almost no time. I cried a few tears on that beach. Really, really happy tears.
On Sunday night I looked at Dustin and said, “I wish we could go to the beach tomorrow.” He smiled his classic mischevious grin and said, “Okay! Let’s go!” And then, because I’ve been trying so hard to say yes to things more, we went. With a few hours notice we just packed up our swimsuits and towels and our fabulous babies and took off for our favorite part of the California coast. We knew it would be cold, so we packed a couple boxes of wood to make a fire and grabbed all the makings for s’mores out of the pantry. We left the house in the minutes after dawn and made our way to the sand and surf my heart called out for. The kids kicked off their sandals and ran into the cold ocean spray before I could even unfold a chair. Benny didn’t eat sand this time (thankfully!), and he is now the one starting kindergarten in the fall. But a few hours on a misty, chilly beach with my family was just the thing I needed this weekend. It was just the right amount of escape that made coming home feel so very good. Of course, s’mores for breakfast doesn’t hurt either. But this is what I want to saying yes is all about. It’s so 30 years from now I’ll remember how Lauren looked with windblown hair as we sat around a campfire singing made up songs. I’ll remember laughing so hard at just how dirty Ben’s feet were because shoes are not his thing. I will remember the feeling of my husbands hand as he slips it into mine while we snuggle near the fire next to the ocean watching our babies in the surf. I am so happy to have said yes. Yes to Dustin a decade ago when he asked me if I thought we could spend the rest of our lives together and yes the other night to this much needed day at the beach with the people I love most.