Beached (Whale)

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

It’s possible that all the relaxing by the ocean all last week has bleached the words out of my brain, so before going into too much detail about our annual family reunion with Drew’s mom, brother, sister and her family, I’m going to gently ease back into the land-locked world with some pictures.

This year, the beach looked like this:

With tons of glorious, beautiful, hysterical cousin love at every turn: (Ok, ok, and maybe a few freakoutswah! over who got to sit in the big chair or look at that book, but you know, mostly glorious! cousin! love!)

From Ashley

From Ashley

Also from Ashley

Also from Ashley

We had many dance parties:

And by ‘we’, I mean them. I pretty much did a lot of this:

Because really, that’s the best thing in the world when you’re 31 weeks pregnant and close to an ocean.

There was a sunrise(ish) walk with Asher at the National Seashore:

And home cooked meals every day, and late night conversations under scratchy blue blankets, and profound inappropriateness courtesy of Cards Against Humanity, and movie time in that cool darkness that can only be claimed after a long day on the beach, and bad jokes, and just love. It’s cheesy and true and deep and fabulous. We feel really lucky to have a family that we love to travel with and this concentrated week slightly makes up for the miles between us. We keep this trip simple on purpose, tumbling from home to beach to pool to home every day, trading sandy bathing suits for PJs, avoiding anything that would involve a crowd or a line or shoes, blatantly stealing time for naps, and just existing together for seven days. It’s so, so, so good.

Heck yes the Waltons travel with their slippers.

Here’s to the beach, to family vacations, and to floating, weightless, in a gigantic ocean.

Muah.

 

 

 

 

And…we’re back!

If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been, we headed to the beach for a looooong and delightful vacation.  We started last Thursday and flew to Amelia Island (yep, you guessed it…my namesake) where my father and his family grew up.  We stayed with my aunt and uncle Mike and Leisha, and got to see pretty much all of my dad’s family.  I can’t believe that this is true, but it had been 10 years or more since I had seen a lot of this side of my family, so it was really special to bring both Drew and Asher home to a place that I spent many a summer as a child.  We gathered to celebrate my Grandfather’s 89th birthday and got all of the cousins together.  On Saturday we jumped into a car and drove the six hours from Amelia Island to Perdido Key, Florida to meet up with Drew’s mom Jo Ellen, his sister Ashley and her family, and Drew’s younger brother Neal.  We take this trip every year, and I have to say that we are really hitting our stride.  This year we managed to get in a minimum of 12 hours of sleep every day, we spent our time almost exclusively on the beach, by the pool or curled up in the condo, eating all of our meals in and heading to bed with the rising of the moon.  We slept better than we sleep at home (Asher had his own “room” in the walk-in closet in our room and that seemed to suit him just fine) and just generally loved having so much relaxing time as a family.  Jo Ellen had the inspired idea to bring baby pools for the kids, so we filled them every day and sat under the tent on the beach with Asher splashing around in his own private (and safer) ocean.  He was content to sit and splash for quite a long time, safe from sun and waves, but getting to take in his first week at the beach with a big sandy smile.  There are a lot of pictures and videos from the trip, but I’ve chosen a few of my favorites to share and am happy now to be back home with a headfull of happy memories from a wonderful week away.

Here are some pictures from the trip to Fernandina (Amelia Island).  A special note to the pitcture of me and Asher with my father and grandfather, his great grandfather.

And some pics from our time in Perdido Key: (The girls are our nieces, Charlotte, on the left and Caroline, on the right)