Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorite: At the Beach

I spent the week at one of my most favorite places on earth with my most favorite people on earth.  All I wanted was to be with them.  WITH them.  All of me.  So I also unplugged, literally, and took a break from social media, email, my cell phone.  I didn't even take a whole lot of pictures this week.  I took maybe a quarter of what I normally do.  But I didn't want more pictures of my people in the waves and building sandcastles.  I wanted to be in the waves and building sand castles with them.  And that's exactly what I did!

It stormed early, early Monday morning.  After the storm was gone, there were lots of billowy clouds and tremendous waves.  As a matter of fact, the red flags were out today! The lifeguards were all over the beach cautioning folks and whistling people in from the water if they were out above knee level.  It was really windy, too.  This is what the ocean looked like when we woke up.
We spent the entire day on the beach.  All day.  The kids played and built lots of sandcastles.

Ellie spent the morning getting used to the sand and the sound of the crashing waves.  
After about three hours, she was ready to go inside.  So I went in with her.  Seth brought the big kids up for lunch and then he stayed with Ellie while I went back out to the beach with them.  They were loving the waves.  It was honestly difficult to keep Mason in the area of "below the knees."
We ate supper at the condo that night and then took the kids out to a yogurt bar.  That was our first of three trips to the yogurt place this week!

Tuesday morning dawned bright.  There were a few clouds, but the sun was out, the weather was warmer and the waves were a bit calmer.  So we headed out to the beach again and spent all morning and the early part of the afternoon playing in the sand and water. 

We headed inside to get cleaned up and went to one of our favorite beach side restaurants for a late lunch.
We took a ride down 30-A and admired the picturesque towns and shops.  And then we took the kids to play putt putt.  That's a tradition when we go to the beach.
Ellie was pretty much all over the place!  It was quite challenging trying to keep her from chasing the balls after everyone putted.  So we gave her the job of being Mommy's ball girl.  She could hold my ball and then put it on the green when it was my turn to putt.  After my ball made it in the hole, it was her job to pick it up.  By the time we got to the 17th hole, she decided she wanted to putt, too.

And when we got to the 18th hole and all the balls disappeared nowhere to be found, she was not a happy camper!  We ended the day with another trip to the yogurt place.  

We spent all day Wednesday at the water park.  As in we got there when they opened that morning and didn't leave until 30 minutes before they closed that afternoon.  Mason and Hannah Kate had the time of their lives!  I spent most of the day with Ellie, but I did get to ride Mason's favorite water slide and Hannah Kate's favorite, too.  It was a very tiring day, but it was worth it because the kids had so much fun, even Ellie.

When we got back to the condo, the beach was calling our names.  So after we ate supper we went back to our happy place.
I really think late afternoon and early evening is my most favorite time to be on the beach.  I took my camera this time and captured some of my favorite memories of our trip.  I took this picture because it's actually the only picture of the whole week with me in it.  And it's only my shadow.
Mason and Hannah Kate had a really good time playing in the waves. 

And Ellie had a good time playing with our shovel.
It was on this evening that Ellie finally put those sweet feet in the water and perhaps enjoyed the salty water splashing her ankles and the sand squishing between her toes.  These are my most favorite pictures of her from our trip.

Mason and Hannah Kate were, in the meantime, playing some sort of game with the waves.  It involved twisting and dancing and jumping and yelling.
And this.  Well, this is SO MASON!
I loved watching my three little loves.
Instead of writing her own name in the sand, Hannah Kate kept writing Abbie's name.  She finally decided to write HK underneath Abbie's name, but she didn't finish before the waves crashed.  I snapped a picture as quick as I could.
This guy.  This adorable, funny, boisterous, goofy, intelligent, inquisitive little guy.
And this girl.  This beautiful, smart, funny, tender-hearted, passionate, sweet little girl. 
And this girl.  This stubborn, strong-willed, loud, boisterous, loving baby girl.
Thursday was another all-day-at-the-beach kind of day.  I took this picture as soon as we got out on the beach yesterday morning.  This is exactly what it looked like.  Nearly took my breath away!
There are only a few pictures from yesterday because I spent my time IN the water and IN the sand.
We all got a kick out of Ellie's perfect little water fountain on the top of her head!

This morning I woke up before everyone else and spent about an hour on our balcony just praying and reading my Bible.  I wish I could do that EVERY morning with this as my view!  I actually took this picture yesterday right after lunch.  There's no filter.  It's just the perfect, God-created greens and blues of His creation.

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