If you know our family to any extent, you understand we have a deep deep love for the beach. I love the places that make you realize how small you are and how great God is. The beach is one of those places that constantly reminds me of that. The irony here though is I am actually afraid of the ocean and all its vastness. But I guess that’s part of what makes me love it so much.

When we decided to name our son Cove, part of the meaning behind it comes from Crystal Cove State Park. We visited the park in 2014 and had an overwhelming amount of peace, wonder and awe. It was such a beautiful experience and we still treasure that memory. The definition of “cove” is a small sheltered inlet bay often surrounded by mountains. Ian and I were completely unaware at the time of the mountains we would face the next year and how much we would need a sheltered inlet to come and rest. I pray that Cove knows that same truth in his life. There will be rough waters and daunting mountains, but there can be peace in the midst of all of it. There is a place where he can come and rest with the Prince of Peace. I also pray Cove will be that peace for those he meets and that he will always be a person whose heart radiates that truth.

It was amazing to be able to take Cove back to Crystal Cove this year. He won’t remember it, and the park might not have as much meaning to him as it does Ian and I, but we will always treasure the experience we had with him.

Earlier that morning we visited Victoria Beach where there is a pirate tower hidden on the side of the mountain. The beach was absolutely stunning and the grey fog actually made it quite magical. We got caught by a few waves (Ian a lot more than the rest of us) and just laughed and danced it off. When we walked around the corner, there was a couple who was leaving, so we got to experience everything, just the three of us, and it honestly felt like we were on some sort of island just hanging out.

After lunch at Ruby’s Shake Shack the sun came out and we made our way to Crystal Cove. The sun over the cliffs was breathtaking and we said very little as we walked around the park, and a cool breeze blew past us. We decided to come back that night at sunset with our friends to take some pictures and it just made for the most perfect day. Cove was not a big fan of the wind, but it made a great memory.

That day will always be the “beaches with special names day”. Definitely not catchy, but forever etched in our hearts.

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