Vacation, available at:

Happily Even After


July 11, 2013

I write to you, dear readers, poolside, so this is going to be brief.

We are in Florida on vacation, and it has been a great break for the family.

The best part is simply having open days to play in the pool, relax on the beach, watch a movie, and go to a baseball game. This kind of leisure is severely underrated today.

Many families take vacations that are jam-packed with a to-do list of places to go and activities to experience. I am really enjoying the quiet pace of this vacation, which has been about sleeping in, resting, and playing. It has led to great connections with the kids, for example, because of the meaningful time we can spend together.

For example, I was up and doing some writing this morning when Lucy woke up before her brothers. She came out and we enjoyed a nice, quiet breakfast, just the two of us. We get some good conversation together and that connection is carrying us through the day.

Often, our daily routine is ruled by the Ten Commandments: Oscar, be nice to your sister! Simon, read a book! Lucy, thou shalt not scream!

Vacation feels more like the Beatitudes: Happy are those who sleep in, for a restful mind shall be theirs. Happy are the novel-readers, for they shall be refreshed. Happy are those who play board games for the sake of killing an afternoon—theirs is the kingdom of Monopoly!

This kind of break is important in the life of a family, and it doesn’t matter where it happens. Sun-soaked kids rest well. A break from work refreshes parents. Playing together is fun.

And without some fun together, family life all to easily feels like work, when its true purpose is joy.


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Happily Even After

Happily Even After

Josh and Stacey have been married for almost 20 years. They have three children in middle school and high school. The Noems live in Indiana, where Stacey teaches in the Master of Divinity program at Notre Dame and Josh is a freelance writer.

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