Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

What I learned on my summer vacation


Children are a gift from the Lord; babies are a reward.—Psalm 127:3 (NCV)

Last year, our family took a trip to Florida and Walt Disney World. Nine months later, I took another week off… more of a staycation, I guess. A lot happened over the course of a week, so here’s what I learned:

  • Even though my wife and I learned she was pregnant the day after we got back from Florida nine months ago, it is mathematically impossible that our new baby Caroline was ever created there. We won’t be going back to that hotel anyway. I guess some parents show their older kids where they were conceived? I would rather keep them as blissfully ignorant as I am.
  • By the way, did I mention that we had the baby on August 12? 7 lbs 13 oz… the tiniest of the Ray girls. She will need some extra helpings of mashed potatoes to get up to acceptable Irish fighting weight. Caroline Eloise Joy is her full name. She did inherit the posing gene from my wife.I mean, I’m seriously thinking about putting together one of those Anne Geddes calendars for next year, and I strongly dislike Anne Geddes calendars.
  • We sent our oldest daughter Maddie into the public school system. There were a lot of mixed emotions throughout the week… most of them were to reassure Maddie that her first-grade teacher doesn’t hate her, though I was not surprised to see that educators are still motivating kids by those age-old stand-bys of shame and ridicule.
  • After planning all these birthday parties this month, it was poor family planning in hindsight to have three kids in August. On the bright side, you can have pool parties and more outdoor activities. On the other hand, it’s like Christmas in August buying all the presents.
  • Ants: I hate them, and they never die.
  • I could really get used to any kind of job where you work from home. I might not have gotten a lot done around the house, but I saw a side of life that you really don’t get to see while you’re sitting in a cubicle. Here’s to hoping I can retire in 3 years.
  • I spent a lot more time with our (now middle) daughter Sydney last week than I have in a long while. She’s almost 4 and is turning into quite the ham. I suppose that is middle-child syndrome coming into play. By herself, she’s a lot of fun… with the other girls, she Hulks up and starts turning over chairs and tables heading into full-blown meltdown. Yeah, she might look cute here, but mark my words, she is going to kick some boy in the package someday, and I will just have to laugh and shake my head knowingly.
  • I’ve been thinking about it all week, and there is just no good way to set up a planking picture with a 1-week-old.

What about you? Anything special that you’ve learned this summer? It’s always good to take inventory once in a while so you don’t forget.


5 thoughts on “What I learned on my summer vacation

  1. What’s a planking picture?

  2. Russ, thank you so much for discovering my blog. You leave great comments! I also think your profile picture is amazing. Is that from Superman 1 or 2?

  3. Thanks, Rob! I’m not positive, but I would guess the pic was from the first movie.

  4. I genuinely LOVED this post, good sir!
    Well written and relatable. Great job!

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