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A 24-Hour Beach Escape

Dear Diary,
I wish to live an abundant life, filled with choice.
One where, when presented with an opportunity, we’re able to take full advantage of without consequence.
No permission needed, no justification warranted; simply follow its pull and see where it leads.

We departed the snowy landscapes of Minnesota to thaw in the warmer temperatures of Florida. Nick had a long layover, we had a long weekend and the flights were accommodating to standby passengers.

It was settled then.

The kids’ priorities were simple.


They packed light to save room for their swimsuits and goggles, and our first stop was Siesta Beach. Rated the best beach in the country, the crystal white sand was soft beneath our bare feet. We collected shells along the shoreline to mark our time here.

We then found a private spot on one of the outlying islands. We had the beach mostly to ourselves, and we giggled at the prospect of a suntan in March when our home was still covered in snow!

We do not have a conventional lifestyle, but it's one that I am eternally grateful for. Being married to and loving a pilot means long stretches apart, but it also means the sky is limit and we can meet up in new cities to explore.

Landen, who has been flying since he was 10 months old, and Madelyn, since she was 1, have logged over a combined million flight hours to various destinations like Houston, Honolulu, Denver, Colorado Springs, San Diego, Atlanta and now this weekend, the areas surrounding Ft. Myers and Sarasota. They've grown into wonderful travel companions, and it's our goal to take them to Europe this summer.

Our lifestyle taught them how to be spontaneous, as these weekend jaunts often present a mere 24 hours prior to departure. And Madelyn has learned how to manage her diabetes far from home, without it hindering on her experiences. Even with its challenges, I feel I've achieved the kind of life I dreamed of when I was still in high school. I've longed to see the world beyond the view outside my bedroom window, and now, I'm able to cash a cultural paycheck of sorts for my children's benefit.

Some may say my children are spoiled, but I believe it's these experiences that are teaching them how to conduct themselves in public. How are they supposed to learn manners and etiquette if they are not put in situations where they must use it? How else will they be exposed to how other people live, or other dialects, or new cuisines if we remain at home all the time? Both Landen and Madelyn are very open and up front with their opinions, desires, and wishes, and I try to balance their upbringing by making them earn it (i.e., experiences, things, allowances, etc. - it's okay to tell your kids 'no' after all) and by indulging them.

This weekend was surely an indulgence.

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