You guys.

We haven’t been on a family vacation in a long time.

To be honest, we have never been on a “family” vacation.

Lilly was born and we were caught up in a whirlwind of new parenting, I was still teaching, and then I got pregnant with Sylvia

We kept saying, “the summer after the new baby is born we will go.”

Well. The summer after she was born was the summer she’d end up on life support, waiting for a heart transplant.

I kept telling Evan that after she got her heart and we got home, we were going to take the most amazing vacation and celebrate the blessing of more time with her.

After we came home without her in our arms, I couldn’t even bring my heart to consider something like that.

It felt wrong.

One of the worst parts of being a grieving family is that every single thing that excites you also makes you profoundly sad.

But it’s time.

Lilly is almost four and a half and is in a beautiful stage of starry-eyed appreciation for the world around her. She’s seen more hurt in her short life than most ever will, and she needs to make happy memories alongside the sad.

Rowan is the easiest-going baby and is just happiest being with his people, so traveling with him is something to which I look forward.

Evan and I need to exhale, together, somewhere else.

We need the time together, away, never forgetting Sylvia and always keeping her with us in our hearts, but also allowing ourselves the opportunity to enjoy a “normal family” activity as well as we can.

After reading some of my writing and hearing of Sylvia’s story, a beautiful, family-owned beach resort in mideastern Michigan offered us a stay in one of their luxury apartments right on Lake Huron.

The interaction I’ve had with the owners already has left me feeling so taken care of, and we aren’t even there yet!

Sam and Nada are a married couple and proud parents of twin boys, who took over Crystal Sands Beach Resort in 2014. Upon purchase, they poured their hearts into its renovation. The results are astounding and I can’t wait to see the beauty in person. The pictures alone make me not want to ever leave!

Their passion for property and commitment to their guests’ experience is already evident and I can’t wait to meet them, hug them, and thank them for this opportunity for our family.

These are a few pictures from their official Facebook page and I am so excited to share some of my own while we are there. I’ll be sharing parts of our experiences throughout our trip.

Thank you so much, Sam and Nada! We can’t wait to be your guests in August!

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