Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our First Vacation as a "Family of Four"

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Here is a slideshow of pictures from our trip last week to Destin. We really did have a wonderful time, and the girls were great travelers. It was our second year to go for the 4th of July, and we really enjoy this time of year--hot as it is.

A Top 10 of some of our highlights:

1. Fireworks and concert in Seaside, FL for the 4th--We always love visiting our honeymoon cottage ("The Honeybee") and strolling the shops and restaurants. My favorite bookstore, Sundog, never disappoints, and Bud and Alley's Taco Bar has become a family favorite. We got there early, reserved our spot at the ampitheatre with a blanket, and then enjoyed the town until the concert and fireworks began.

2. Destin Commons Playground--Addison begs to go there as soon
as we cross the Mid Bay Bridge. She always makes some friends and burns some energy.

3. 6:30 wake-up calls. Too bad she doesn't burn enough energy to sleep in... Addison came in our room the first morning (and every successive morning) at 6:30 with bathing suit in hand and a daily agenda. We talked her into laying down with us and watching cartoons until her baby sister woke up at 7:30.

4. Putt Putt Golf--This was Addison's first time to play, and while she was interested in learning how to swing the club, after the first shot, she would pick up her ball, put it in the hole, and clap for herself, saying, "Yay Addison!"

5. Evening beach trips--While we loved the beach at any time of the day, I have to say these times were our favorites. We didn't have to worry about sunscreen, and Addison was braver, and Ansley loved digging in the sand and smearing it on Mommy. Our best sand turtles were formed as the sun was setting.

6. The boat. Lindsay and Daniel let us borrow their boat, and we blew it up filled it with water, and put it under our umbrella in the shade. Ansley loved it, and it bought us at least an extra hour at the beach each day.

7. The pool--this was Addison's favorite, and each day she got braver and more comfortable in the water. Our pre-vacation swimming lessons fell through, so I was nervous about how she would do, but she was kicking, blowing bubbles, jumping to my arms, and going under by herself by the end of the trip.

8. Eating seafood--my diet restrictions didn't hold us back too much. I was able to eat grouper, mahi mahi, and amberjack at our favorite beach restaurants, and we cooked in several nights as well.

9. Reading--While at home, I rarely have time to dive into a good book. On this trip I read these three:

I finished rereading Mission of Motherhood and was just inspired in the way I spend time with my daughters, in the way I discipline, and in the way I hope to capture their hearts for the Lord.

My "beach read" was a little good chick lit by Emily Giffin. This one was a little heavier than usual, and in a strange way inspired me to invest even more intentionally in my marriage in the little things.

Patrick read Plan B last summer and has encouraged me to ever since then... You know how sometimes you read something at just the right time, and it just is one of those poignant moments when you know spiritual forces were at work, pricking your heart in the perfect way at the perfect time. Well, in tears on the beach during the girls' afternoon naps, I sat by myself and read Pete Wilson's relevant words which have touched my heart deeply. Everyone's Plan B is his/her own reality, and there's really not a better or worse scenario, I've come to learn. Your reality is your reality, and God equips us individually for our unique circumstances. Praise Him for using this life to draw us closer to Him... I have a lot to say about this, so I will just save it for a future post... But all three are worth reading!

10. Pandora--we enjoyed sitting on the front porch with our ipad using this ap, eating popsicles, sometimes reading, sometimes dancing, sometimes just sitting, listening to our favorite beach stations--for us, Michael Buble and Bob Marley.

It truly was a wonderful getaway, a time of reflection, celebration, the unknown, and changes for our family. (Patrick started a new job the Monday after our return, something we had prayed about since being down here last summer. He is back into building, and he is so happy.)

It was also a time of refreshment. We got to see some of our oldest and dearest friends, and I will include that in a separate post as well... Until then, enjoy the slideshow (for those of you who haven't seen these on Facebook already. :))

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