Panza Family Vacation | Beach Session in Destin, FL

This year’s family vacation was to Destin, Florida.
It was our first trip to this part of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
And it was beautiful.

Our kids are at the age now, where they are big enough to venture further out.
Can operate go-karts by themselves.
Want to try zip lining (yes, that happened).

While we expected sporadic showers, we didn’t anticipate over half our trip being full days of rain.
The locals told us they never see rain in July or August.
So, our beach plans turned into a lot of movies, board games, family togetherness
and an exercise in choosing joy.

These were taken on our last night.  Our entire week’s agenda was flipped upside down so many times, that I’d completely forgotten to take family photos.  Sure, I’d taken my camera with us daily to capture what we were doing. But I always pick an evening into our trip, when we’ve been kissed by the sun enough to show we’ve been away, for family portraits.  This time, I’d forgotten.

We were packing up to go home, when my daughter picked up her dress chosen for pictures and brought the oversight to my attention.  Looking at the sky, I knew we had just about an hour of light left.  Within 5 minutes, we were sprinting down to the beach, Isabella and I pulling down our beach hair from atop our head and sprinting toward the water.  How grateful I was, that the evening sky was absolutely perfect.

And while these weren’t perfectly planned for, they are perfect.
Because we were there.
And we chose to embrace the moment, for what it was.

I’m not a jump shot person.
But I’ve had the kids do one every year now because it’s hilarious how off they are.
Now, it’s become comical and one of my favorite “out take” photos.
To the stranger on the beach, thank you.
I am actually in a group shot with my family.  🙂
Isabella:  “Mom, you and Dad are kinda smashing noses.”
We laugh.  She took the picture.  It is so us.
Done, NOT perfect.
Because perfect ISN’T real.
Real life is.

Live in photographs.
Because you are worth it.
And someday, you’ll be glad you did.

With gratitude,


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