Monday, July 22, 2013

Overdue Vacation Recap

I think my brain has been on vacation all summer. I just can't seem to sit down and spend any time at the computer now that I don't have to do it for a living, but I do miss my blog, so I need to be a little more intentional I guess, since this post is a month overdue!

Last summer, our family visited the Carolina Coast to guest preach at a friend's church out there. Little did we know that we would completely fall in love with the sleepy beach town and have such a wonderful (too short!) few days there. When we were planning our vacation this year, I researched a number of option all over the country, but our hearts just kept taking us back to the Wilmington area. We remembered a stretch of beach where there were perfect, happy, colorful beach houses and my very diligent husband searched until he found one.

Knowing that we had much more space this time of year, we invited two other families to join us and spent 8 glorious days at our Kure beach house. Unfortunately I left my SD card at home, so the only "good camera" we had was my sister's (which I used a lot), but I figured I could do an all iPhone photo recap since I have many from that, too. So brace yourself for picture overload... here is our vacation in pictures:

Fun at the "Big Yellow House":

Morning coffee never tasted so good
Movie night with the cousins
Best Buddies
Family nap time happened daily... and I loved having this one join me in my bed!
Front Porch Sittin'
Nothing says summer vacation like watermelon in your underwear!
Sand and Surf:

This guy couldn't get enough of the beach!
After months at the gym, this mama braved a bikini again...
I want to always look good for that stud muffin next to me! 
This is the only way to keep Jake in one spot for an extended period of time.
Silly boy loved to be buried in the sand!
Most of our days looked like this, but I love gloomy beach days!
And it definitely didn't stop us from enjoying the ocean!
Lilly enjoys the same beach activities as her mama... that's my girl!
Day Tripping - Aquarium, Southport Ferry, and Jungle Island:

He's most definitely the biggest kid in our family!
Jake was a little more timid at the aquarium this year... he stayed close to his protector
Can you spot the native here? This guy was in the wild... not behind glass. Yikes!
I couldn't get enough of my nephew Sam on this trip! Isn't he adorable??
Daddy shows Lilly how to be "king of the world" on the ferry ride!
Jake loved "real life" Mario-Karting
They may look sweet and innocent, but Sam and Gretchen are fierce when it comes to competition!
We NEED one of these in our city. A warehouse full of playland equipment? Yes please!
Lilly was (somehow) our big winner at the arcade
The Boardwalk:
By far Jake's favorite ride... Josh and the "carni" were good friends by the night's end
Lil was brave enough to get on the carousel.
She was not brave enough to actually ride on a horse!
Jake LOVED having cousin Adam there to ride the rides with!
Our big boys went all by themselves... where did our babies go?
Here they are! Sisters and our (also growing too fast) babies!

Lilly's favorite ride of the night was on mama's back. I'll be sad when she's too big for this.
The Food:

These guys cooked most of our meals all week. I'll do dishes any day to not have to cook!
And this was just course one!
We found the perfect ocean-front patio for lunch on Southport Island
The kids did great despite the heat and it being nap time
If you're ever at Carolina Beach, go to Michealangelo's and order the Godfather.
BIGGEST. PIZZA. EVER. And so good that I may or may not have had more than one slice! 
This guy even got into the action!

The Night Life:

Believe it or not, we did get out for an adult-only evening!
And believe it or not, the "night life" in this sleepy beach town is limited!
We were very sad that the only ocean-front locale closed due to a few sprinkles
We got over it fairly quickly though
And just settled for dinner and dessert instead
I cannot tell you how sad we were to leave, but it's always good to get back home. It's been over a month and Jake still asks to go to the "big, yellow house" and I always tell him that I wish we could, too! My most favorite part, however, was having this guy there with me, completely disconnected from his phone, email, and even social media. As long as he's by my side, we can vacation anywhere!

If you want even more (and probably better quality) pictures, you can check out my sister's post, here. Hopefully I'll take the time to grab some of my favorite photos from her camera and post those soon, too! I'm seriously already counting down the days until next year!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crazy Month

Can I just put it out there that being a "stay at home mom" is EXHAUSTING??? The thought that I would have more time to do personal things is a total myth, and somehow my schedule is more packed than ever! Rather than feeling okay with my decision to put my children in front of the TV all day (which I truly understand is a necessity sometimes, so I'm not knocking it!), I now take them everywhere... playdates, the park, the grocery store, the gym, you name it! And most of my planning revolves around activities for them, not for me. By the end of the day I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open, much less post anything here on the blog, so summer has taken a toll on my regularity here! 


Can I also just put it out there that I have never enjoyed mommyhood so much??? I already thought my kiddos were awesome (because why wouldn't? I am their mother!) but now that I get to spend every waking moment with them (aside from that glorious hour that they both nap at the same time), I think they are cuter, smarter, funnier, and more adorable than ever. Maybe I just have more "free time" to be patient, or maybe it's more consistent parenting now that I can focus on being consistent, but these little munchkins bring me abundant joy everyday. I didn't lose a job in April, but rather was gifted the time and energy to constantly pour into them. No paycheck could ever make up for what I was missing out on all of this time.

And as for the lack of posts, the above does have a lot to do with it, but because I don't have a career and a boss to report to everyday, our family has been everywhere this past month! We went from the beach to Birmingham to a weekend in Indianapolis, and the kids and I just returned from four days in Small Town, Illinois. Fingers are crossed that I will create some opportunities to sit down and post pictures from all of these trips, but I'm not beating myself up about it. For now I know exactly where I need to be, so if the blog gets neglected until school starts again, I have peace with it.

But for your viewing pleasure, and because we've all been absent on here for awhile, here are some cutie-pie faces to brighten your day!

Hope you had a great holiday... can't believe summer is halfway over already!