A little vacation (sort of…not really)

This morning I was in the midst of making a berry crisp (the kind with almond flour, coconut oil and chia seeds–nothing exciting!) when Jonny grabbed me and hugged me mid stir. I jokingly fussed a little at being interrupted, wondering why he couldn’t hug me while I’m not in the middle of something. He explained that I’m always in the middle of something, and he’s right! There’s always so much happening from small things like the girls wanting me to come see their fairy houses, to big things like out of town doctor’s appointments. Right now I wish I could drop all my responsibilities and just work outside because it seems like spring is really here!

Silas had an appointment at VCU in Richmond last week to see a pediatric infectious disease specialist about last year’s Lyme disease diagnosis. While he was treated by his pediatrician (appropriately) she has since moved away, and friends in the medical field recommended that I follow up with a specialist because his initial test results indicated a longterm infection. Silas seems physically healthy since being treated, but we have some concerns that I want to investigate, just to be totally sure we’ve done everything we need to for him. Every time I visit VCU with a child, I am struck by how amazing everyone there is, from the people who check you in, to the security guards on the way out. All smiles, and the nurses and doctors I’ve seen are so friendly and really take their time with us. I just love it. Anyway, we’ll have some bloodwork results in a week or so, and then maybe I can rest easy.

While Silas and I were at his appointments, Jonny took Larkspur, Beatrix, Job, and Mabel (I know, brave man!) to nearby Maymont. The plan was that after Silas’ appointment, he would come and get us and then we would go back to Maymont. When my older children were little, we used to visit all the time. It makes me sad that trips like that are so much harder to make these days. Jonny and I both agreed that we want to try harder to do these things again with our young crew. By the time Silas and I made it to Maymont, the nature center was about a half hour from closing. That still gave him plenty of time to see the exhibits, and we mainly we wanted to walk the grounds, anyway. We didn’t realize that grounds closed at 5 p.m. also. You can see Silas’ face in the photo above as we were leaving. He wasn’t pleased. We definitely have to go back now!

It’s funny how just a day spent out of town, mainly at a big medical facility, can feel a little like a vacation. I told Jonny that I felt so weird as we were driving home…I couldn’t explain it. I think I said something like, “Richmond feels so much like… Richmond and so different than home!” He responded with, “Ya think?” Yeah. So if you ever want a little mini vacation…I don’t know what this says about my life. I guess I just really enjoy not needing to remember to move laundry for a few hours!


  1. Your daffodil photos are so beautiful, especially the first one of the single bloom in focus. We lost our baby girl last year in March so the daffodils will always remind us of her. Winter can never hold back the Spring. Thanks for such an edifying blog showing the beauty of God’s world in the midst of its fallenness.

  2. Really lovely post, I think it’s important to find joy in those things that could just be another boring job. Your photos are all beautiful <3

  3. Karen B. says:

    Loved the photo of you older son reading to Mabel!

  4. I loved all the pictures, specially the one were the bees seam to be making a line and Silas happy and cute Mabel.
    I was born in Mexico and I grew up here but when I was 15 my mom decided to go back to live in Costa Rica, her home country and so we moved, but I only stayed until I turned 18 and then got back to Mexico. Ever since I had my son, who now is 10, we have been visiting on the vacation time, and we have been homeschooling non stop for a few years now, so last summer, when we stayed in Mexico and actually stopped homeschooling and just rest and play it felt like the first vacation in years or ever. So I guess we all need a break and sometime we don’t even realize.

  5. definitely good to follow up with the Lyme. I would and it will give you piece of mind knowing you did everything. Fingers crossed that the blood work comes back with really good news (or definitive news). Glad you had a fun outing mixing appointments with pleasure!

  6. We went to Maymont last summer and loved walking around the gardens! Someone hit a power pole and knocked out electricity in that area, so the nature center was closed. :/ My face was similar to Silas’.

  7. I love it when little trips turn into bursts of joy and mini vacations. So good for the soul.

  8. We struggle to get out of the house with only one two year old in tow, so I understand something of what you’re saying! Hope Silas is on the mend soon x

  9. We lived in Richmond until about two years ago. Maymont is fantastic – especially the otters! And the Japanese Gardens! Next time you need a mini vacation, check out the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – I like it even better than Maymont for children, although there are fewer animal exhibits (the butterflies are great!). The garden trails are fantastic, as is the Children’s Garden, and it’s a LOT less hiking for tired feet.

  10. Ahhh! We used to make those little houses quite often. We still have some that are barely visible in our woods.

  11. Your pictures are lovely, Ginny! Isn’t it wonderful how just a small change to routine can feel like a vacation?

  12. Bonnie Schulzetenberg says:

    Hi Ginny – I too miss you like a baby blanket – you know?
    always love your photos and your honest writings. It is plain to see by the many responses that others feel the same way – you bring out the stories in us. Jonny is right – we will someday look back and wish we would have spent the same time on our younger children. Just so busy all the time – Oh well! That is life! “We are not God, this isn’t heaven, and don’t mess it up.” by: a good monk’s quote.
    love you my Candy Heart –

  13. When our older kids were younger, we used to do field trips and mini-vacations. Then when we moved onto land and had animals and our family was at its largest, we hardly left town. We were too busy and travelling with all of them was too expensive. Now that the kids are leaving home and our life is getting slower, we’ve started taking mini-vacations in the Fall. We sold our house and property last week and are moving across country into a regular neighborhood. It will be a big adjustment for us, but our two children at home are planning all sorts of field trips. I think we’re all looking forward to our lives not revolving around animal care and property maintenance for awhile.

  14. Even a day trip can be restful and rejuvenating! I live in Arizona and attended a wedding in Tucson this weekend. My boyfriend and I were only there for 24 hours, but it felt good to get away and see some different scenery.

    Beautiful photos– Mabel and Benjamin Bunny make an adorable pair!

  15. Oh, I hope he is doing well with the Lyme Disease. My nephew contracted LD when he was 5 and it was a long, rough year for him. He’s 14 now and doing quite well.

  16. Maymont is fantastic! Have you been to Three Lakes Park? The nature center is no where near as big as Maymont’s but it’s still pretty interesting. And free. There’s multiple trails to hike (not all are very stroller friendly though – there’s gravel, mud & tree roots in places,) several ponds with fish, turtles, ducks, geese & herons plus a huge playground area with picnic tables & a restroom.

  17. I just love your pictures of spring Ginny! I also totally understand that idea of a mini-vacation to the hospital. My hubby had an appointment at the Mayo clinic and we laugh that it was such a nice little vacation. We really need to get out more. 🙂

  18. Becky Barry says:

    Hi Ginny,
    Thank you for the post! Once again you have lifted my spirits and brightened my smile! The girls with Jonny, that sweat baby girl with a bunny, and that adorable Silas!
    Hope all the tests come back with good news.
    Happy spring!

  19. He is so expressive! I love it! What wonderful pictures! I hope and pray that the test results were good and all is clear. 🙂

  20. Flowers already?? So lovely! Hope everything is good news on the blood work. Silas obviously has a great future as a dancer! Love the joy and the complete lack of self-consciousness in those pictures.

  21. Mabel really has that cute bottom lip thing working for her.

  22. Those Silas photos are EPIC!

  23. Your pictures are stunning!!! Love the little house in the woods 🙂
    The kids look great too!
    Wishing Silas all the best. Lyme is horrible!
    Take care ( and look after yourself too!)
    Sigrid x

  24. I am about to embark on a mini day vacation myself and we’re going to Richmond, VA as well. Next week is my birthday and I ask my husband to spend the day there. We moved to VA from NJ 3-1/2 years ago and I have still not been to Richmond. My friends have told me several great places to visit and shop, so I’m really looking forward to it. My husband is still working from home and we have two dogs, so we don’t get out that much. I go out to my knitting groups and my volunteering and yoga but otherwise we’re homebodies with the dogs. This will be a nice break for the two of us.

  25. It is amazing how a little day trip can feel like a huge break. I think we need changes of scenery to keep us sane!

  26. We lived in Richmond when my boys were young, and we went to Maymont often. My older son, now 37, spoke his first sentence at Maymont when he was almost 2. “Dada deer. Horns – head” I do hope your Silas will be fine.

  27. My middle son is getting a Lyme test in 2 days. 🙁 It’s scary, isn’t it? I hate the waiting part. All we can do is pray. I do hope your son will be fine, too. And yes, when you have lots of little ones…anything is a vacation that gets you out of the house! Crazy!

  28. We love Maymont! There are some beautiful old plantations along the James River, not too far from Richmond. We live near Newport News and have visited several over the years. A few Saturdays ago we visited Westover. The house there is not open to the public, but the grounds and the house exterior are so lovely, that it was fun just to wander and imagine. We have 7 kids, and any day that we spend all together out of the house does feel like a vacation. We notice each other more instead focusing on all the tasks that need to be done and are able to really enjoy each other!

  29. When our kids were little I would take little vacations to Walmart. 😳 Your day sounds much better.

  30. Cindy in NC says:

    I read this right after returning home from accompanying my daughter and 10-month-old granddaughter to an appointment with a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist at UNC Children’s Hospital (no serious problems, thankfully). I was taken with how much children’s medicine has changed for the good.

    I have driven through Richmond many times (one daughter lives in DC), but never stopped until last summer when I took an hour to visit Chimborazo Medical Museuem. Chimborazo was the largest hospital in the Confederacy. While it would hold no interest for small children, I was fascinated to learn about the place where my great, great grandfather was treated during the Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864. Like many places of interest in Richmond, it is run by the National Park Service and is free to the public. I need to be better about making these sorts of stops. There are so many interesting and historically significant sights in Richmond.

    Hoping for good results on the blood work.

  31. Oooh, I adore Maymont! So many memories of strolling my older kids on the hills and looking at the animals (the bison!). We’ve lived in north Georgia for the past 20 years, but I remember it so fondly, and I even have a painting that my late mother did of the park. You should definitely take a mini-vacay in Richmond; it’s close, but there’s plenty to do.

  32. always good to make sure etc!!! such cute pictures! I totally get the mini-vacation thing… I am home a lot lately (I have to work on getting out more, as in out of the house at all… I struggle with city living at times and just burrow) anyway, I would feel the same way about it being a mini-vacation! and love that your Husband loves you like he does! 🙂

  33. We’re out in the country about 35 minutes from Charlotte, but when we drive into the city it’s like another world. We spent one Saturday uptown and it was like a vacation! We didn’t know what to do with ourselves.
    Praying for Silas…and for you.
    As always, your pictures are lovely.
    And Mabel is just an absolute doll!

  34. I understand the vacation thing. My husband had a heart attack on 12/27 and has been home and on the mend ever since. Yesterday we went to Sam’s because he wanted to look for something and it felt like a vacation from our daily cooped up in the house feeling. I just felt better all day!

    You are wise to follow up on the Lyme’s. I know you will be glad to get those test results.

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