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Friday, June 24, 2016

Gulf Shores 2016 (Part 1)

For the third year in a row we have traveled to this beautiful, relaxing little area of Alabama for our family vacation. We can't get enough of this place. In 2014 we took our first trip to Gulf Shores, AL. In 2015 we stayed in Orange Beach, which is minutes from Gulf Shores. You can't really tell the difference as you cross from one beach town to the other one. And this year, we drove a little further out of Gulf Shores to a place called Fort Morgan. All 3 locations have the beautiful white sugar sands and the refreshing ocean. Fort Morgan was probably my least favorite, but only because we like to dine out a few nights for dinner. And this location had us in the car for about 15 minutes to get back into town where the restaurants are located. After a full day of sun, sand and surf, it was not uncommon to pull up to a restaurant, and turn around to find 3 little boys sound asleep. But I really have no complaints. It was another fabulous and relaxing family vacation. Our boys are beach bums. They love to play in the sand and run and back and fort from the waves. It's a week of simple and pure entertainment by just being outside in the elements. Picture overload...
 Leaving our house Thursday evening. We like to split up the drive. It's 11 hours but we can't handle it all at once! Jeremy and I can't handle it. Maybe we could if we left early in the morning, but it never works out that way. The boys are fabulous roadtrippers. They've been going on road trip vacations since they were tiny. And now that two of them can read and we can watch movies in the van, they do really well for long hours on the road.
 Friday we were so excited once we spotted the ocean in Mobile, AL!
 It was around 4pm by the time we got settled into our condo, but the boys couldn't wait another second to put on their swim shorts and go splash in the ocean.
 We walked this boardwalk countless times during the week.
 Family selfie. Seriously...our happy place.
The boys played in the sand and ocean for a bit. Then we threw their clothes back on them to head into town for a quick, late dinner and a stop for groceries and supplies for the week. They sat in the van with Jeremy while I shopped alone. I returned to this scene. Flat worn out from all their travels.
The next morning after breakfast we headed straight out to the beach. The weather was beautiful.
 And these three boys had a ball. 
Do you see how the beautiful beach looks empty? Well it wasn't. But there was never much of a crowd. Just a little perk of traveling before summer truly begins.
Abe loved going in the ocean but was timid of the powerful waves. So he especially loved Jeremy or I holding him in the water.
A lady found a living starfish so each of the boys got to touch it and then we set it back free into the ocean.
 Fun at the pools.
Half of the nights we had simple dinners in the condo, like tacos and carrots. :)  And the other nights we went out for beloved seafood!
That's not all, but that is all for now. More vacation pictures to come...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

May Happenings.

The biggest highlight of May was our family vacation. That is my next post. But some other fun happenings from the month are below:
 Pax and I had a date at Barnes and Nobles. I promised him that if he gave soccer his all for the 6 games that we were in town, that I would take him to a REAL book store and let him pick out a new book. You would have thought I promised him Disney World. We headed to B&N immediately following his final game. The boy had a good season.
 Mother's Day
My sister came for a visit.
 A rainy week called for garage roller skating. They literally had a tiny available strip to skate in. I don't know how or why they chose to entertain themselves this way. But they did on several occasions.
 I learned that McAlisters served kids meals for 99 cents. 99 cents!! So it's become a regular hot spot for us. And my nearest location is almost as kind to a mom with young kids as Chick Fil A. Almost. My crew dining al fresco.
The boys got to play with hammers and nails while Jeremy built a new portion to our fence. The spring storms had done quite a work on part of our fence. Now it looks better than ever. He is quite talented.
I do love capturing these little every day moments. The big stuff is fun and memorable. But the little everyday things are pretty special too.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Holden's birthday celebration

Well, here I am, a month behind again. For Holden's birthday, we took 3 of his buddies bowling, to dinner and out for icecream. We invited them all to spend the night. Two of the buddies are brothers and they couldn't sleepover. So one little friend, Jaxson, stayed the night. When it was time to settle down and actually sleep, I thought our friend was going to bail. But he talked to his mommy and she gave him some tough love. So they made it through the night and we had a healthy breakfast of donuts before sending Jaxson home. Here are some pictures from our celebration with his friends.
 Brody, Jaxson, Holden, Pax and Reed - They are all 2nd graders with Holden. But since 1st and 2nd grade are together at our church, Pax fits comfortably right into the group. They were a hoot. And I have never seen so much competition that I saw this night over bowling.
And the next morning, his favorite donuts stacked like an 8. I can not believe that he is 8!!

Holden's birthday fell on a Sunday this year. We spent our morning at church. We played outside in the afternoon. And then in the evening we met my parents and my sister's family at Fuzzy's for dinner. He had requested nachos for his birthday dinner. The weather was perfect for patio seating and I brought along cupcakes to share.
 The cousins - Carson, Pax, Cameron and Holden
 Back at home opening his birthday gifts.
Holden really wanted a skateboard, but we thought he was a little young for it. Roller blades had been something else he had been talking about, so that was one of his gifts from us. It was a full and fun weekend of celebrating our oldest boy!