Monday, September 17, 2018

GIRLS' BEACH TRIP

Before I get into the meat of this post, lemme just say - I never get over the gift of friendship in my life, especially at this stage in my life.  And these girls are as good as they come - they love Jesus and their families, and they encourage me to lean on the Lord and work to be the best version of myself.  I can trust them implicitly with the crazy that goes down, and I have a total blast with every one of them.  If you don't have some people - find them.  Then do the work to keep them.  It is worth it.

Bright and early on Wednesday morning, we pulled out of Little Rock to head down to Perdido Key.  (side note, that auto-corrects to "Period" Key 😱)  Six moms, leaving behind 23 kiddos and six husbands with lots of sitters, teachers and other family members filling in the gaps.

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We got Starbucks and had lots of snacks on the trip down, which went remarkably smoothly with only adults and no one screaming.  It was almost surreal how fast it went, though we did manage to play an entire game of travel Scattergories FTW.

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Upon arrival, we made our way to our home for the next four days, which was graciously provided by Marla's parents.  

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Every morning, we (by *we*, I mean them, because I never actually helped with breakfast) made breakfast hash with eggs.  So delicious.

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We had a lot of matching items for the trip: towels, shirts and adorable Mommy sippy cups.  It's a good way to roll.

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Every lunch was a selection of cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies, hummus and crackers, basically an adult Lunchable that I could for sure eat every day of my life.  (I actually did help prepare lunch a couple days.)

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And while our accommodations were lovely, scenery fantastic and food remarkable, the friends were the best part of this trip by far.

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I have shared so much life with these women in the past 10, 7, 6 and 3 years, and I could not be more grateful for each of them and the roles they have played in my life.  Each one of them points me to Christ in a different way.  As a double bonus, they are all a ton of fun.  My cheeks hurt from smiling, and my sides hurt from laughing.

As if to underline God's approval of the whole shindig, we got a sweet rainbow while driving to the airport to see Nicole off to her next adventure.

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We had a blast eating out every night for dinner, pretty much on the water almost every night.

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Every day was spent on the beach, and it's hard to imagine being more relaxed than we were.  There was a lot of napping, reading, chatting and bobbing up and down in the waves.  We were all amazed at how peaceful it was to be in the water without children.

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Our last night out was at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club whose name sounds fancier than it is by far.  But, the Greek Nachoes were excellent, and we enjoyed our last hurrah.

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We got up early on our last morning to be able to get back to our families at a decent time.  I finally saw the sunrise on the last day.

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These five days and four nights will always be a treasure to remember.  And coming home was sweet, because my people were glad to see me, and sometimes, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  I can return home with renewed energy and rest to do the tasks before me, even if those tasks are still a lot harder than I might wish for.  I'm so thankful for sweet time with these women!

Monday, September 03, 2018

SUMMER'S SPONSORS

Welp, we just wrapped Labor Day which is the final nail in summer's coffin, though we can still expect summer's temperatures to hang out with us a while longer.  Here are a few of the sponsors that made our summer possible.

Presenting Sponsor - Dinner at the Pool: We maxed this out almost every weekend we were in town.  We would head to the pool around 3 or 4 and either order pizza or bring food to eat during the 5:50 "adult swim."  Then, we would leave at the 6:50 or 7:50 "adult swim" depending on what was going on.  Basically, it meant no dishes, happy/tired kids and mostly relaxed adults.  👊🏻👊🏻👊🏻👊🏻

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Platinum Level - Sunscreen: All of that time at the pool would not have been possible without sunscreen's generous help.

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Gold Level - Dodger Baseball:  John will make it to 6 games before this season is over with various members of our family in tow.  We also have access to MLB AtBat, which means we can watch EVERY GAME they play.  I know all of the players/divisions/announcers.  It wouldn't feel like summer without Dodger Baseball.  Most recently, John took Lily and Bella to a Dodgers/Rangers game and met up with Brian and their oldest kids.

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Gold Level - Tour de France:  We watched every bit of this that we could take in, including popping champagne for the final day while we were traveling!

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Silver Level - Pool Inflatables: So many inflatables, so little summer.

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Silver Level - "Deer and Bunny Hunting":  Most nights, after driving away from the pool, we would go "hunting" (very SLOWLY) in our neighborhood to see if we could spot any deer or rabbits around dusk.  This has been a family favorite and a fantastic way to kill any time that might possibly remain before bedtime.  Deer are rather elusive, but we always see rabbits!  We also let the kids hang out the sunroof, so you better believe they LOVE this.

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Bronze Level - Portrait Mode on my new phone:  I love it.  It's not quite as great as my DSLR, but it is way more convenient.

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(teaching him to crack eggs.  There were a few extra shells in these eggs, but also extra love that went into them.)
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Bronze Level - Sweet Treats: We love getting cold treats on hot days.

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(on a walk to ice cream)

Bronze Level - Photos by Violet:  I find endless pics on my phone that Violet took.  Thankfully, she manages to catch some good ones.

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(this is what most of them look like, starring our cat)
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Friends of the Summer - Capri Sun:  We went through cases of these.  Cheers.

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Friends of the Summer - Summer Rain:  For a while, it felt like it rained every day, and mostly, it was a nice break from the heat.

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Friends of the Summer - my new Barefoot Dreams Cardigan: I have been wearing it almost every night when I'm cold in the air-conditioning.  It now accompanies me to every movie, and I also just ordered another one through eBay because the magical softness is just irresistible.  I have a feeling that this sponsor is going to step up their level during the fall and winter seasons.

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Summer 2018, we are sad to see you go!