Europe

Refresh My Soul: Past Vacations

 St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

I've been thinking a lot about vacation recently. Hot season has arrived and my already weary soul is so ready for some rest! It's actually been a long time since the hubby and I have planned a vacation. What I mean is that most of our trips have been tagged on to conferences or taken because we live in unique places. Even our honeymoon was decided based on the cheapest thing out there. But for the first time we have saved and saved so we could go somewhere new for our 5 year anniversary in September. When I floated the idea by my precious mother she decided it would be a great family vacation! So now all of us and little man will be heading on a 7 day Alaskan cruise in July! Say what?! Bucket list location for sure. Reed and I love cold weather and mountains and living in one of the hottest places on earth we are eager for some cooler weather. 

I have often met people who don't take vacation. They throw around the phrase, "You can sleep when you're dead." Guys, don't be this person! Vacations are good and healthy! One of the best pieces of advice we got when we were preparing to move overseas was to "vacation" every day, every week, every month, and every year. What that look likes practically (for myself) is this:

Daily I spent time with God, reading, relaxing, praying, working out, and even napping at times!

Weekly we take a day where we don't do work, we sleep in, watch movies, laugh, explore new places. 

Monthly we have a date night (or family night). We go to a nice restaurant, swim in a pool, take a trip out of town.

Yearly, we take a vacation. Visit somewhere, stay in a hotel, order room service, get a massage, and DO NOT feel guilty about it. 

So for this month's refresh the soul I'm taking us back to some of my favorite vacations since being married. And if you have a vacation planned for this year, comment below, or share your favorite vacation you've been on. We are always looking for new places to explore! 

 Nice, France

Nice, France

 Grand Cayman Island

Grand Cayman Island

 Epcot Center, DisneyWorld

Epcot Center, DisneyWorld

 Amman, Jordan

Amman, Jordan

 Central Asia

Central Asia

 New York City, New York

New York City, New York

 Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

 Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama

 RMNP, Colorado

RMNP, Colorado

 Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park, Colorado

 Verrana, Italy

Verrana, Italy

 Antalya, Turkey

Antalya, Turkey

 Paris, France

Paris, France

 Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

 Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

 Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama

 Grand Lake Lodge, Colorado

Grand Lake Lodge, Colorado

 Marseille, France

Marseille, France

 St. Paul de Vence, France

St. Paul de Vence, France

 Annency, France

Annency, France

 Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

 Lyon, France

Lyon, France

 Amman, Jordan

Amman, Jordan

 Galveston, Texas

Galveston, Texas

 Monaco

Monaco

 Albertville, France

Albertville, France

 Murren, Switzerland

Murren, Switzerland

Refresh My Soul: Paris, France

Oh August, with your blazing heat and days full of hope and fear as children and teachers alike prepare for back to school. But the hope you bring as we anticipate the lowering temperatures, orange leaves, football, and best of all pumpkin spice lattes. Yes, fall, you are my favorite. So while we continue to wait for you in sweltering heat I'll just take a look back at the world's favorite places: Paris. Because we can all admit that Paris make everything better. 

Refresh My Soul: Annency, France

Usually I do the monthly refresh series later in the month, but with all that's been going on in the world lately I felt it was needed a little early. And I'm taking it back to one of my favorite cities, Annency, France. My prayers are with Nice today, and I pray we remember to love a little harder every day. 

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Refresh My Soul: Italy

It's the end of June and time for some much needed inspiration. We have made the long trek back from Africa to the U.S. in order to prepare for the arrival of our baby boy. So as we enter into July let's take some time to refresh. The photos below were taken in Verrana and Belagio on Lake Como, Italy. Can we say vacation dream spot? #takemeback

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Refresh My Soul: Switzerland

I have a long list of ideas I've wanted to start. My inbox floods with newsletters from talented creatives offering inspirational words of wisdom to funny anecdotes. I've collected my favorites over the years and "promised" to one day do something similar. Well I'm finally making that happen. For a long time I've wanted to take a moment (whether once a week or once a month) and post the things that refresh my soul, because I think we can all agree that our soul needs a little refreshing now and then. 

One of my favorite authors who does this extremely well is Ann Voskamp. Her "Only the Good Stuff: Multivitamins For Your Weekend" is a great compilation of funny videos, amazing photographs, and short stories she has gathered across the web. While I don't know what my refreshing material will be each time, I do know that I want to start with a few photos from a place that refreshed my soul like no other—Switzerland. High in the mountains, surrounded by snow and orange leaves, free of cars and itineraries, it was only for two days, but it captured my heart forever. 

Shot and edited on iPhone 5S

View from our hotel room. Shot and edited on iPhone 5S

Shot and edited on iPhone 5S

Shot and edited on iPhone 5S