We started a new tradition last year. Every February, Ed and I take an annual trip with our best friends. To get away and focus on friendship before things really start to get busy. Just a few days. Enough time to add another checkbox to our travel journals, to shirk responsibility in order to stay young, and to go and see and do. Last year, we toured the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg and hit the Nashville nightlife. But last year, it was a cold trip, staying true to February. And last year, our best friends weren't engaged. We decided to change things up this year!

It's always this time of year, when the weather starts gets a bit cooler (just a bit!), and the light starts getting a little softer, that I try to hold on to every last minute of Summer that I can. Fall is on its way! I love Fall, but I love Summer most, and I'm always sad to see it go.

The first week of our vacation is a bit of a blur! We spent 6 full days in Nashville for our kids' national dance finals competition. Our time there flew by, and yet, at the same time, it seems as though it was a full month ago. That "time flies when you're having fun" thing? It's totally true.

Today (or yesterday, by the time anyone reads this) is the first day of Fall, and I'm celebrating by sitting outside on my patio with my laptop, writing this post. It's such a gorgeous day that I decided to move my office outside for the day! As much as I hate that summer really has come to an end, I do have to grudgingly admit that I love Fall! The weather in the South is beautiful, the hummingbirds are visiting this time of year, and the grasses are flowering. Yeah, okay. It's nice.

It's been a long time since we had a real family vacation. Ed and I travel a lot, and I am grateful for that, but most of that traveling is work-related and without our kids. We were a bit naive last year and thought our trip to Ft. Walton for dance nationals would count as our family vacation. We ended up spending so much time at the Convention Center for competition (plus it rained the whole week), that we didn't get much time for relaxation. So this year, we decided to do things differently.

Today, we're packing up and getting ready to leave bright and early tomorrow morning for the beach. This year's dance recital is over, which means it's time for the National Competition! Our whole family will be spending two weeks in Florida. One of those will be mostly consumed by dance (which is fine by us!), but we intend to totally morph into lazy beach bums for the other.