Up north to the Tulip festival

If you missed my last post, I shared about the passing of my beautiful mother-in-law. I don't want to continue on in a "business as usual" style, nor do I want to neglect to share about joyful things in our life. Again and again, I'm learning that grief and joy coexist in this life. And what a grace that is! Grief can highlight the joy, make it more precious in my eyes. And so, I wanted to share about a little day trip I took with my SIL, Katelyn, Cooper, and Finn back in mid-May, since it was a good thing, a sweet day spent with some of my very favorite people.

For years, Katelyn and I have talked about wanting to drive up to Holland, Michigan during the annual Tulip Festival. This year, with newborn and potty-training toddler in hand (as well as the very best helper!) we drove north on a Thursday morning. We stopped midway for coffee, a potty break for Coop, and so I could nurse Finn.

The day was hot and sunny, the kind of weather that screams summer. We didn't have concrete plans, but spent the day browsing in a few shops, grabbing food, admiring tulips (so, so, many, as it is the festival's namesake), and taking a few photos with the flowers.

I personally don't have any Dutch heritage that I'm aware of, but I married into Dutch heritage (hello, DeVries), and it's neat to see that celebrated. We took frequent breaks, drank lots of water, and took turns holding Coop's hand or pulling him in the wagon. I wore Finn, who  was content to mostly sleep, as he wasn't yet six weeks old yet.

We happened to visit on the afternoon of a parade, so while Cooper and Katelyn watched, I popped into a beautiful yarn shop to browse, and ended up purchasing a fun skein of self-patterning sock yarn*.

From the parade, we walked back to the car, the good kind of tired and sweaty that you feel after a day in the sun. Outings like these aren't the easiest with littles. But as Katelyn and I talked about, I still want to make a point to go to the beach/park/festival/trip, even when it's more complicated. There are many times we will stay home, but on the occasion that we choose to just go, it's often rewarding. For the record, both boys did amazing with a long car trip and lots of walking. There is so much emphasis in our culture on how children take away from life (freedom, sleep, etc.). But can we change that emphasis? How much joy and delight do children add to life? An abundance. So thankful for a day with my sister and these two little boys, to spend quality time together, drink coffee, admire flowers, and share in the delight of a child's eyes.

*I've already knit up the yarn, seen in this post on my instagram, more details to come in an upcoming creativity check-in post.

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