Thursday, September 25, 2014

The B-Side of Vacation

We had a fantastic vacation with memories for a lifetime, but let's be real. Four kids is a lot of work no matter the location.  No one wants to read (or hear) about the daily grind of keeping everyone alive and well, but sometimes there are stories that are so bad we laugh even while they are happening.


So poor Lydia had an upset tummy for most of the trip.  As one can imagine this made the swim diaper status less than ideal, but she really was in a great mood considering her digestive situation.

As we got up for the day of departure, Walker let us know he had been sick that morning.  This poor kid has a problem stopping once he starts, but he is pretty good about handling it.  He was fine in between episodes, but it is a lousy way for him to have to travel.

Also, Colin has decided making regular potty visits are, sometimes, just too much trouble.

All four kids need new athletic shoes.


As we were approaching Sikes and Kohn (the random country store on highway 231 between Montgomery and the beach that sells name brand goods for about 25% off every day), Lydia finally fell asleep in the car, which is her least favorite thing to do. Naps be darned momma said, pull over anyway cause we need those discounted shoes.

Of course as soon as the car stopped she woke from her 10 minute nap (for the day).  We unload and start to head in and realize Colin is in need fresh pants. We back up the whole crew,  make the change and head in on a mission.

We miraculously get everyone fitted and they pick out their shoes in a rather short amount of time. Momma was pleased.

Jason and I agree to make one lap through the grown-up shoes just to see if there is something that caught our eye.  He heads right with the boys and I left with Lydia.  I quickly realize she is dirty and the diaper isn't holding.  I wave Jason down and head to the car to deal with her.  Leaving him with 4 boxes of shoes and 3 boys.

I realize during the clean up that LJ needs new pants.  I'm not interested in digging in a suitcase at this point. I text to let Jason know we will just wait in the car. No new shoes for momma.

As we are sitting in the van I see Jason stick his head out of the door of the store.  Then Eli knocks on the car door. "Mommy, Daddy told me to stay with Lydia because Walker is throwing up outside." Sure enough there the poor kid was, head over a trash can and another mom had come to give him some napkins from her car. He calms down and I get him to car and settled.

3 kids in the car.  Daddy, 1 kid and 4 boxes of shoes inside. And momma's pregnant bladder necessitated a trip back inside.

As Jason and Colin were coming out, I was running in. Upon passing him, I grabbed Colin from him who was clearly 5 minutes too late for a potty trip.  So another clean up and the excuse of he didn't think they had a restroom (sigh).

On the final exit the nice older lady (who is always there), said, "Y'all come back and see us!" I my head I replied - "you don't mean that." But I smiled sweetly just the same.

And finally we were off again.  With new kicks for everyone.  I would do it again for the deals in a heartbeat.

Sunny and Warm - Beach Vacation 2014

We needed a get away. We craved some focused family time and a chance to do something different for a few days. We waited for the temperatures and the prices to drop and made our escape to a Florida beach.

{PS - I planned the kids outfits (minus Colin's red shorts...sigh), but didn't really think through Jason's or my attire - oh well, but hey all 6 (7) of us in one frame}

Pops and Grandma Jayne were even able to join us for a few days.

{read: great family bonding time, plus bonus date nights}

After visiting the chilly California beaches, the warm Gulf waters were amazing.  Everyone dove right in.

Well, most of us.  *Someone* didn't care for the sugar white sand sticking to her hands and feet.

But she got over it.

It was rather funny for her to have such an unexpected reaction. She is typically so brave and independent.
Now the other three, we couldn't drag them out of the water.  They all (even the cautious first born and the water fearing little brother) found their bravery.

And little sister eventually splashed on in.

Sea life watching up close and personal, without fear of hypothermia.

Beach still life {also, my favorite}

Hey, look all of us in one frame again!

And every great beach trip seems to involve some mini-golf.

Which, of course, is crazy with 4 young kids, but crazy-fun is our favorite kind.

Walker wakes up early, no matter the location.  At the beach he just slipped out on the patio and watched the sunrise and the ocean life in silence.  One morning Momma managed to drag herself out of bed to enjoy the conversation and the view with the oldest.

Double dolphin fins with the sunrise reflecting in their fins.

I never regret a little extra one on one time, and I was able to snag a nap later on.   Of course the eight year old didn't need a nap, but momma sure did.

Beyond thankful for the family building that happen along those shores.

{And less you think it is all perfect shots and smooth sailing: The B-Side of Vacation}

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kicking off the Football Season with our Crew

One of our very favorite family activities is watching the Auburn football games together.

Saturdays last fall were a bit hard knowing we wouldn't be able to celebrate with our extended crew of football loving folks. Not so this year. The boys counted down the days. Bring on the football parties. The grown ups love the community of being together. The kids love the basically unsupervised play time with the cousins and friends, the junk food and dressing in a theme (ok maybe I'm exaggerating that last one).

Well at least LJ loves documenting adorableness.

And, y'all, our first pigtails...I die.

They lasted about 20 minutes, but it was enough for momma to be happy.

We tried to get a picture of all the kids together early on, but could not coordinate having all of the little ones awake at the same time. By the point in the game watching when we finally were able to get a picture there had been playing in the rain that led to outfit changes, but still worth it to get all the kids in one frame. Well almost everyone, this shot is missing baby number 10, and by next season there will be 11 and possibly 12 to keep tabs on during our football viewing (ha).

Seriously...this is how are football viewing years began (2004).

(Which, for those of you keeping score, is TEN years ago. A decade! How does it feel like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time???)
My, my how things have changed. The blessings abound.

And because now and then are just too fun,
First Auburn game of 2014

First Auburn Game of 2013

And the way back to 2009

So happy to celebrate our Tigers with those we love. War Eagle!