I think that I've mentioned in a previous post that I've come to the realization and acceptance that the days of doing the beach like I've always done it are over... Recently, I also experienced the harsh reality that so are the days of taking the perfect beach picture--at least for this year.
I blogged a little bit about my Destin trip with my college roommate/sorority sister/bf Amy and our girls. Two young mommies, two young babies, beach gear in tow (which far surpasses the tanning oil, towel, book, water bottle bag from previous trips and is replaced with diapers, wipes, swimmie diapers, 50 spf sunscreen, bottles, puffs, sun shades, floats, towels, blankets, hats, toys, etc), and sleep/energy deprivation are hardly the elements required for a successful photo shoot. Even when we would "dress up" to go out for dinner, the hassle of stopping at the beach on our way with our babies on one hip, our picture props, cameras, and overstuffed diaper bags on the other was too much. We sat down for dinner one night, sweating after an exhausting and futile attempt at capturing a good picture, looked at each other, and laughingly said, "Well, that was miserable..." Our trip itself was a blast--in a way that the conditions I described above can be a blast. It was so much fun to celebrate our history of friendship with a girls' trip introducing our little daughters to their future roommates and best friends--no pressure, girls! We sure did miss our husbands, though, and the help/escape that they would have provided... Here is a recap of our trip and some photos that she posted on her blog here. (My favorites of her shots are the ones of the two girls on the beach with their sun hats and matching bathing suits and the "prom picture" of Eli and Addison... so sweet!)
Addison and I spent the last days of June visiting Patrick where he is currently working in North Carolina. We spent Saturday in the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area, and we loved seeing the beautiful town where Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, Nights in Rodanthe, Cape Fear, etc. were filmed and where Woodrow Wilson and Michael Jordan grew up. In planning this day trip, I thought to myself, "YAY! I'll pack some white clothes and my camera, and we can get that family beach picture there!" So we did. We got out to the beach area, changed our clothes, primped a little, and start making our way out to the beach, and the bottom DROPPED OUT. We're not talking a few drops, a summer shower, a passing annoyance. It was a storm to be reckoned with--complete with lightning, thunder, and hard rain. Addison loved it. She squealed and clapped with every boom. Luckily, we found a gazebo to seek shelter under, and we were joined by a wedding party as well. This picture is the best we got... Well, here's to next year!
We spent Sunday of our NC vacay in Durham at Duke's campus where we were entertained by another close friend/Chi O/and summer roommate, Jenn Moody. She is a professor there in the Physical Therapy program and works with a new business they are developing working with college and professional teams and athletes doing preventative PT. It was so interesting to hear about--as were her wild stories about clients. Michael Jordan even invited her to the Derby, making her a celebrity herself these days! We got a few good family shots here that I put on Facebook, but here is a picture of my Mecca of Basketball--Cameron. I felt the energy and intimidation just standing in this arena!
Addison was a great travel companion, and she loved the airplane experience. She engaged other passengers by clapping for them as they walked past us, peering through the seats and laughing at the passengers behind us, and pulling up over the seats in front of us to "talk" to her new friends. Thankfully, she catnapped on both flights, and I'm just thankful it was a positive venture for us all. Lately, she's keeping us laughing with the "new" things she is doing. Besides her crawling, pulling up, and cruising stunts, she is also learning a lot about herself. She has become fascinated with her pointer finger. She examines it, points at everything, saying "Ooooohhhh," and makes everyone around her point as well. She's also snapping her fingers and whistling all the time. She's become obsessed with practicing these new tricks and she laughs and claps for herself each time. I love this stage in her developmental self-discovery.
This weekend we enjoyed celebrating our red, white, and blue with a gathering at our house. We had the Crawford/Hatfield bunch here and enjoyed a day filled with swimming, fireworks, grilling out, homemade ice cream, and ladder ball. We missed Steven and Bern, but we are hoping to see them before the school year starts back. Sadly, this is the only picture I took, and it's of a dessert I made to be a festive compliment to the ice cream. I saw a recipe years ago in Real Simple that I always wanted to try, but I didn't keep it, and so I made this up. It's basically the ingredients from Spring Break cake that we used to make every year. This wasn't the prettiest one of the bunch, but you get the idea. I layered Angel Food cake and vanilla pudding with strawberries and blue berries in mason jars. The topping was cool whip mixed with marshmallow cream. It was so tasty and even pretty healthy!
As an addendum to my post below, on the reading front, I have found some good chick lit to share. I breezed through The Beach House, and while it was plagued with point of view and verb tense inconsistencies, the plot was captivating, and I enjoyed myself. Then, last week, my girl Becky brought over two of Emily Giffen's books--Something Borrowed and Something Blue. I read them both in two days (Addison was taking some hearty naps! :)). The protagonists were refreshingly flawed, the plot not too predictable, and the storyline just complicated enough to keep your heartstrings involved. Nothing earth-shattering or awe-inspiring--just light-hearted summer fun. Now, I am getting pretty into one of the ones that's been hanging out on my bedside table--Same Kind of Different as Me.