Pop Pop Epistle # 175 – Happy Birthday Judah (and more Sunset Beach Thoughts)

Happy Birthday Judah,

Every year our family goes to the beach. And every year we take a family beach picture. The picture above is the first time I have used this years picture in my PPE. Even though you are just turning one today, it is the second year you have been in the family picture – because last year we went in September and this year in June. In this pic we get a great look at the back of your head because you were pretty much DONE with picture taking at this point.

Sunset Beach has 35 years worth of memories for our family. (I have blogged about it before: PPE#s 70, 120, and 158)  I hope 35  years from now you are still making memories there with your own kiddos. And 35 years from now Nona and I will be almost be 100 years old. Be prepared to help us walk down onto the beach.

The picture at the bottom of this post is of the grandkids in 1994. Your dad was one of the grandkids back then. You will notice that not much has changed: 1) Holes are still being dug (on the left) and 2) your dad hasn’t changed a bit (on the right).

Here are a few random Pop Pop thoughts as I reflect on our beach vacations and as you move into your second year of life:

Be present – I have to fight for this. It’s easy to not be present in the moment because of looking forward to something in the future. The future will get here soon enough. Those 35 years I mentioned will be here in the blink of an eye. You will create an awesome future by intentionally living in the present and finding joy in the moment.

Make memories – Traditions like Sunset Beach are a great way to make memories. When the 1994 cousins get together they can talk and laugh for a long time about memories made at SB over the years. Sometimes memories happen when you least expect it ( like last year’s Naked Man) and sometimes memories happen when you plan them. And sometimes memories happen when you capture them – like this year’s SB video that your Aunt Christy put together.


Invest in family – Sometimes all that investment takes is time. Sometimes it takes money. A week at the beach for our family at SB is not cheap. But the investment is well worth it. It gives all of us a chance to spend extended time together and create shared memories and have lots of unhurried conversations. But there are other ways to invest in family besides a week at the beach. Phone calls. FaceTime. Meals together. Celebrations. Just like being present and making memories, investing in family takes intentionality.

I’m looking forward to 1) being present, 2) making memories, and 3) investing in family later today when we celebrate your one year old birthday party. I will have lots more to share over the years – but I’m already excited about that walk down to Sunset Beach 35 years from now when you help an old man stay on his feet.

Never forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: