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Family Vacations: How To Make Simple Moments Into Meaningful Memories

Early on in our parenting journey my husband and I had to have a “discussion” about what sorts of family trips we wanted to take. We had two very different childhood experiences in the vacation realm and that came with an array of expectations for each of us. What we did agree on is that we wanted them to be memorable. It sounds easy enough, but weaving together two families is a bit of a juggling act in moments like these.

I was blessed to grow up going to Disney World often because we had family that lived close. I now have a very slight obsession. I assume that every vacation will include Palm Trees, Magic Bands and Dole Whips. Comedian Jim Gaffigan says –Disney World is the equivalent of standing in line at the DMV on the edge of the sun.That’s certainly what my husband would tell you he thinks of visiting the mouse! His most cherished family memories involve road trips spent traveling to the National Parks. Camping and general outdoor-type activities are a significant threat to my emotional stability. 

Quickly, our little discussion turned into excitement though as we began piecing together what we wanted these moments to look like for our family. In the differences of how we spent our summer breaks and family road trips, there was a golden thread in our stories – memories. You know those special moments that are tucked away deep in your heart – the kind memory that a smell or a song ignites. These thoughts breathe life into an ordinary rainy day and cause you to count down to the next bit of vacation and long to be with your family! 

We determined that the greatest gift we wanted to give our boys on vacation was just our sheer attention – the gift of being so present in their lives. Our ability to be plugged into life through technology means that it’s very easy to be distracted and not be attentive to the most precious gifts our children offer us each day. My desire to be in the know in everyone else’s stream of consciousness truly keeps me unavailable to some really special moments in my own world.

I recently shared some ways we’ve resolved to be intentional in soaking up the simple moments during family vacations on the blog at –

What are some ways your family seeks out uninterrupted together time? 

Jess Chambers

Jess juggles the best of both worlds on a daily basis … a family she adores and a job she loves (well, most days). She and her husband Aaron have been married for 12 years and have been blessed with two amazing, energetic little boys – Brody Rayf (almost 6) and Kellen Rhys (3). She’s been working in the music industry for 9 years serving as the paperwork girl amongst all of the creative minds who make the music happen. In both gigs, she just strives to make the chaos look classy.

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