Monday, June 12, 2017

Miramar Beach

For the last five years or so, we have been saying we needed to take a trip to the Gulf Coast. We had never been and it's really not that far to drive. Well, we FINALLY made it happen this year. We loved it so much that now all I can think about is how soon can we go back????



Our roadtrip went surprisingly well. And by well, I mean of the 12 hours of driving time one way, there was probably only 2 hours of crying. I'd say that's a good ratio. The way down was actually fine because we split the drive over two days. We stayed in Jackson, MS for a night. Then Nate worked remotely in the morning while I took the kids for a swim in the pool before we continued on our journey.
Sharing a bed at the motel. SO CUTE!

Swimming in Jackson
We stayed at a condo right on the beach in Miramar Beach, FL. You never really know what you're getting when you book a vacation rental until you get there, but we were definitely pleased with our choice. Bryson and Alyssa met us down there and we had plenty of room for all of us. You couldn't beat the location. The beach was right there and we weren't far from anywhere else we needed to go either. And of course the best part was, the price was right!
Building sand castles with Aunt Alyssa

The kids had so much fun at the beach! They loved running from the waves, looking for sea shells, and building sand castles. Nate and I enjoyed some body boarding and even some relaxation. I really didn't think this trip would be relaxing because let's be real, vacations with young kids usually aren't. But I was able to kick back in my beach chair and watch my kids having the time of their lives and it was like a small piece of heaven!






Our condo also had a couple of pools that we frequented. We discovered the trick to beach living is to spray off in the outdoor shower after the beach and then jump in the pool for a dip before heading back to your room to make sure you don't track all the sand in. Like I said, the location was ideal and I'm just so glad we didn't have to load up the van and get it full of sand every time we wanted to go to the beach.
Daddies and daughters

The kids loved digging holes


A little picnic at the condo 


Nate and I were also able to go on a date while we were there. We left the kids to play with cousins while we got some time away. We found a great Breakfast cafe at a fancy resort right on the bay. We ate outside and had the most beautiful view and the most delicious food! We may have gone a bit overboard with ordering three entrees for the two of us and pricey fresh squeezed orange juice, but it was so worth it. We wanted to do some parasailing afterwards, but unfortunately, it was too windy. We decided on tennis at the condo complex instead. We're by no means good at tennis, but it's something we used to do for fun before we had kids and it was nice to have the opportunity to do it again.
Bay view from our breakfast table. 

Our feast!


Another one of our favorite parts from the trip was getting ice cream......multiple times. We found a local ice cream shop with some of the best ice cream I've ever had! And this is coming from someone who worked at the BYU Creamery for 4 years. And the kids' cones were free and you know we're all over that!




The ice cream was melting so fast in the heat and humidity. The kids were covered in ice cream by the end!

Our attempt at a family selfie.
I just can not convey how much I loved this trip! The beach was beautiful, the weather was perfect, we got to spend quality time together as a family, the kids had a blast, and we made some amazing memories. We are seriously considering going back this fall!

Adeline loves her Uncle Bryson


Goodbye cousins! Good thing we live 20 minutes from each other.

We finally remembered to get a group shot as we were leaving town. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

High highs and Low lows

We've made some wonderful memories this month! Unfortunately, the laws of the universe demand we have some bad luck come our way as well to balance it out. This past week has been one of the most stressful weeks, but I'm happy to report we are alive and well.

I'll start with the lows so we can end on a high note! We got home from vacation last Tuesday and got into a car accident that afternoon. Talk about a rude awakening home! The girls and I had gone to pick up Ollie from a friend's house and were on our way home. I was stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn left onto a busy 5 lane road. I checked left and saw the car coming had their blinker on, so I checked right and it looked clear as well. I checked the left again, saw the car was slowing down and still had their blinker on so I started to pull out while double checking to the right. Well, while I was looking to the right, the car coming did NOT turn and I ran into it. The girls were scared and confused wondering what happened, but thankfully we were all ok. I got a ticket for "failing to yield to the left" and we'll have to shell out some money for repairs, but in the grand scheme of things it's only money. I felt really stupid and guilty but I also felt humbled. I was reminded of things that are truly important. Alyssa, dropped everything to come and pick us up the minute I called her. Friends and family reached out to us to check on us. And most importantly, our girls (and dog!) were unharmed in what could have been a much more serious situation. So through it all, I've found so much to be grateful for.


After the accident, we had a series of unrelated injuries to each of our girls. First, Adeline got hit by a rock in the eye! Eden was helping Nate move some rocks in the yard and accidentally hit Adeline. She got a cut on her lower eyelid and a black eye to boot. 



Next, Lydia had a drowning incident on Memorial Day! I think I can safely say that looking over and seeing her with her arms extended and face in the water, was one of the scariest things I've seen in my life! We had gone swimming at a friend's neighborhood pool and the girls had been wearing their floaties the entire time. As we were getting ready to leave, we took off their floaties and Lydia wandered back over to the stairs in the pool. Nate and I both saw her and I even reminder her she didn't have her floaties on so don't step off the step. We got to talking with our friends and the next thing I know someone says she was under the water and Nate was sprinting to pull her out. Thankfully, she was fine and even seemed relatively unphased. She didn't cry and didn't have a ton of coughing. I think she knew she was supposed to hold her breath because Nate had been working with her teaching her to go under water.  It was just such a crazy experience because it happened so fast. We were right there watching but looked away for a second. I read an article last summer about how drowning doesn't look like "drowning." It's not like what you see on t.v. It's not a loud, dramatic, splashing in the water calling for help. It's quick and silent. I'll just post the information on what the Instinctive Drowning Response actually looks like. Please stay safe this summer, friends!
  1. “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”
Finally, to top it all off, Eden fell and split her head open on a corner yesterday! Once I got the bleeding stopped and the wound cleaned, it was pretty obvious it would need stitches. Luckily, our neighbor is a P.A. and her husband is a paramedic, so they were able to help us and stitch her up. She was a brave girl, and did great while she got three stitches. 

All of this happened within the last week, and I am exhausted! I hope we've had our share of accidents for a while. But, like I said, we've also had a really great month so let's talk about some positive things! 

The girls ran their first race and Nate and I were beaming with pride! They had so much fun and they were really proud of themselves as well. It was a half mile run and they both ran the whole way. Nate and I joined in with them and made it a family affair. I really hope they continue to enjoy running and we have many more of these races in the future. 







Eden and Lydia also had their spring dance recital. It was definitely an entertaining night. There was a lot going on onstage and probably only half of it was the choreography! But, the kids all seemed to enjoy themselves up there.






We took a trip to Miramar Beach  this month. We absolutely LOVED it, so that trip will be getting a post of it's own soon!


Nathan and I went on a date to the Adult Prom! First, we went to dinner with our friends Danielle and Remington (and their 8 week old baby!), and then we hit up the dance, ready to show our moves. We were disappointed in the music selection as it seemed we were at more of a 70s disco, but we still managed to have fun. We weren't really sure how to dance to a lot of the music but we were able to bust out some of our best interpretive dance moves! I bought the fabric to make my dress months ago, but of course managed to procrastinate until the day before the dance to actually start it. I worked some magic and it came together just in time. 





We took a hike with some friends on Memorial Day. The kids had fun playing in the creek and did great on the actual hiking part. It was short (just less than a mile) but a good length for them. We tried out our hiking carrier and Adeline seemed to really enjoy riding on Daddy's back. 




What a month it has been for our family! We are grateful for everyday we can spend together and feel tremendously blessed! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring

I had hoped to do monthly updates this year, but perhaps I'll have to settle for seasonal ones instead. We'll see if I can get on track the rest of the year. (Hope no one is crossing their fingers on that one!)

Anyway, we've had a great Spring! The girls have enjoyed many days playing in the sun. We've even busted out the kiddie pool and slip n slide a couple of days. They don't quite get how to use the slip n slide, but fortunately, we live on a hill. I just set it up at the top of the hill and give them a push down! We've also spent many a day at the park. It's so fascinating watching my kids play and see what their imagination comes up with. Anything from trolls to moms to dragons to bakers goes. Eden and Lydia are good playmates (with their fair share of scuffles!) and Adeline tries so hard to keep up and play too. She thinks she's one of the big girls and before I know it, she will be!











I ran the Bentonville half marathon. It had been years since I'd done one, so it was long over due! It felt so good to get back into running. I did my long runs once a week with my friend Courtney and it was such a motivation to have someone counting on me to show up. Plus, its much more enjoyable to have someone to chat with when you're running that long. Race day went really well and I was able to run with two other friends whom I happen to run into at the starting line. Nate and the girls came and cheered me on and the girls have been begging to do a race ever since. We've signed them up for their first 400 Meter Dash next week! As much as I loved running again, since my race a month ago, I've only managed to run once. It's such a challenge to get it in with my kids. I've really got to talk myself into waking up early and doing it!




Nathan has been busy working on our backyard. He has a grand vision and is working hard at it! He rented a mini excavator and dug out an area for our patio and leveled our yard. He had so much fun, more fun that an amusement park according to him! It's still a long ways off, but eventually, it is going to look so nice! I've been working on the landscaping in the back so that's my contribution to The Vision.

Whew! Barely fit. Like a Glove





Easter we had our annual get together with our friends. The egg hunt has gotten massive! I'm pretty sure there were like 1,000 eggs for 15 kids or something ridiculous like that. The kids loved it, of course, and the adults enjoyed a beautiful day picnicking outside, visiting with friends, and celebrating Jesus Christ.









The girls and I have started a new adventure in hair styling. They like to pick a hairdo on Pinterest or YouTube and then I try to replicate. Some days have been more successful than others, but we're having fun doing it. I've found it's a good time to spend one on one time with each of them and talk to them.


We've loved having Ryan, Courtney, and Carter living just 3 hours away now. We've gone to visit them several times and they've come to see us as well. They were able to come for Spring Break and my brother Shane flew in too! 3 of the 6 kids in my family together in Arkansas. Wahoo! It was a party. Also, Nathan had a week long conference in Chicago last week, so the kids and I went for a visit for a few days. It sure is fun and convenient having them close by. 
The only photo I managed to take of our Spring Break fun


The kids love playing in the shop at Uncle Ryan's house
All in all, we've had another busy, fun, blessed spring together as a family. We have lots of fun adventures coming up this summer that we are looking forward to. And perhaps, I may even get around to blogging about said adventures!

Kitchen helpers