Many kids start school with the "What I Did this Summer" assignment, so I'll share mine.
This was a crazy summer for me. I did A LOT of traveling. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day I was on five different trips. Let me say, this is highly unusual for me. I don't travel this much in two years, much less in one summer.
I started with a trip to Houston to see my best friend and to watch her daughter graduate high school.
The graduate isn't in the picture because she was off getting ready for graduation, and she'd probably kill me anyway.
I was home until mid-July, which began my insanity. My friend, Katrina, and I went to visit my friend, Nancy. She had lost her mother a few weeks prior and we went to spend some time with our friend. Nancy is the founder of the Attachment & Trauma Network. I met her in 2004 when we first got a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder.
It is because of Nancy that our daughter is in our home, but it's a bit of a long story. I will forever be grateful for the gift that she gave us, and the gifts she has given to so many families.
After a week at home, it was time to leave again. I set off to Pennsylvania with four other adults and seven youth from our church. We went to do a week long service trip with Week of Hope. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It was my first time doing prolonged mission work. I'd never done anything more than a day or a weekend, so it was a new experience. We spent a long time traveling (14 hours each way) and with each other, but it was worth it.
The friends we made and the lessons we learned were amazing.
We returned home for, literally, two days before we set off again. This time we left as a family. We went to Colorado with my in-laws for a trip that my husband took often as a child and teen. It was the first time our whole family was together in over ten years. The chance to be together again and for us to experience things that my husband did was extraordinary.
For a girl who doesn't like heights, I did OK with being up at 13,000 feet on the top of a mountain. A little hint - don't look down!!
After that it was home for a couple weeks, ending my summer with a quick trip to Atlanta. This was the most "work" oriented trip. ATN was proud to host the Southern premier of a movie called "The Boarder", about a child with attachment disorder and how it affects the family. It was a very worthwhile weekend. I love the chance to connect with my fellow ATN staff and Board Members, as well as meeting the families that we work with.
In this picture are Executive Director, Julie Beem along with Board Members and staff, Tanya Bowers-Dean, Stephanie Garde and myself. Along with the movie, we hosted a resource expo for families to find services and to meet other families. After the evening showing, we hosted a small appetizer and cocktail reception. After 12 hours on our feet, we were ready to sit down, but spent a couple of hours staying up and talking.
And now I am home and will be for the next several months. Every one of these trips was worth it! I am paying for it now in weight gain and fatigue, but I will get back on my feet. The memories are ones I will carry with me for years to come and will certain bring light on dark days.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of these memories.