Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Santa Rosa Beach ~ 2009

I have fond memories of my parents waking my sister, brother, and I up before the sun to leave on vacations. I guess because I was excited about going wherever we were going I don't remember ever minding the early rising. I told the boys the night before that we were going to wake them up before the sun came up to leave for the beach.

They made me promise.

And, so I did. And, I delivered on that promise. Here they are early, early and happy, happy!!

When Erik reserved a beach house for us, he asked the resort for a three bedroom house. One room for Erik, Erik Daniel, and me, a second for my mom, and a third for Joshua, JCT, and Elijah to share. So, when we pulled up to a LARGE house, we were quite surprised!! The house had FOUR levels. Seriously ~ all for us!!! We only used the first two, but the boys enjoyed playing on the top two. The very top level was what Erik calls a crow's nest. It was one room with two beds and windows straight across on all four walls. Amazing. Then on the third level there were two beds a bath a couch a TV, etc. The second level was the kitchen, living room, and dining room. And, the first level had three bedroom and three full baths. This is what this particular resort considers a "three bedroom." It would have comfortably slept 13. I counted, and my mom checked my math, and Erik double checked it. The boys were in heaven running from one end of the house to the other! They slept on bunk beds in the hall on the first floor. They were built into the hall ~ so cute but hard to explain.




We haven't (cringe) been to the beach since Joshua was 18 months old. I know, I know that is not good. But, we don't live close, and we have vacationed other places. Anyway, it was awesomely fun to introduce our boys to the ocean at the ages that they are!! We didn't waste anytime unpacking and settling in. No, we headed straight for an evening stroll on the beach! At first they kinda tip-toed around. . .


The ocean is amazing, really, it is. The roar of the waves, the beauty of the water, the softness of the sand. . . It is a lot to take in especially when you are four and you think a lot. . .



It was a joy to see it all through their eyes!


Elijah was a little nervous about the water, but he liked the sand a great deal. . .


We had to tear the big boys away from the water! They loved it! I couldn't wait to bring them back in the morning!!!!!!!!



Every night, well, almost every night, I tell the boys a "Donald" story. One day I'll write a post about what that means and maybe even share with you a few of the horrible messes that Donald has gotten himself into! Needless to say, he is a fictional character that I made up, and each night I make up a new adventure for Donald to go on just to entertain two adorable little red-headed boys! My mom took this picture of me on our first evening at the beach telling the boys their Donald story before bed. I was doing my best to settle them down so they would actually sleep before it was time to get up and go play! I wanted happy rested boys to play with at the beach!!!!!!!!

Well, the next morning came before I knew it, and there were three happy rested boys running around our enormous house!! Here they are swinging on the, for a lack of better words, porch bed swing on our second story porch!!! Seriously!!! If you count it, the house would sleep 15!!! But, Florida is much too hot for sleeping outside - even in September!! :-)


My mom stayed at the beach house with Erik Daniel while Erik and I played with the big 3!! Elijah was in heaven with the worlds largest sandbox at his disposal!!!!He wouldn't let me carry him into the ocean, but he would let Erik. I am still processing this. . . Does he not trust me? What did I do? I'm telling myself that it is because Erik is taller and farther from the water!!! Anyway, by later in the day, he was going fishy-fishying around in the water like it was a pool!
And, here is my big man, JCT, ready for some serious beach action. . .


JCT actually loves sharks. He can tell you all about them. I have to read him books about them, but they are not a favorite of mine. I thought his obsession with sharks might keep him from going very deep into the water. But, it didn't. Yay!


After the beach each day we headed to the "frog pool." Because the boys had wet swimming trunks and because we were only a few streets (inside the resort) away from the "frog pool" we let the boys sit on the floor of the second row of our van. I thought this would be exciting, a privilege, but they were concerned. Seriously. They were like, "Shouldn't we be in our seats" and "What if the police stop us? Will we go to jail?" They didn't like it, but after a time or two they got used to it, and I thought it was great fun to have all three of them right there smushed together!!!


And, if you were wondering why we call it the "frog pool" wonder no longer. . .


After the "frog pool" on the first day, we went back to the house and put the little boys down for naps. And, then, Erik and I took the big boys canoeing. . .


All was well and good, until we were actually supposed to get in the canoe. JCT freaked. No way he was getting in, so I sat on the dock with JCT and Matt (the canoe/kayak guy) and watched Erik and Joshua go for a little ride.




After 10 or so minutes they came back by and offered JCT another opportunity. And, he accepted!!! :-)

Row, row, row your boat! I am so getting one of these for the backyard!!!!


So proud of my little man for facing his fears!!

After our canoeing adventure, we went back to the beach house and took showers and headed back to the beach for pictures and dinner! Here we are walking back onto the beach. . .

A family shot. . .

or, two. . .


Daddy and his little namesake. . .



Wow! They look alike ~ my brown eyed boys! And, here is one of me and Erik. . .



Cheesy, I know, but, man, I love him!!!!!!!!!


And, we couldn't tear these two away from the water. . .



I love the beach at sunset!



Then, we ate at this neat little pizza place on the beach! Great atmosphere ~ perfect for kiddos ~ casual fun!



Mommy and me! I can't tell you how great it was to have her with us! Erik and I could always use an extra set of hands! She was great help and great fun!




Nana and the big boys who adore her. . .


Ohhhh, I can't wait to tell you what we did next!!!!!! We walked over to a little cupcake place across the street from the beach and got yummy cupcakes! It was fun to pick out our cupcakes and icing! Fun!!!!


Behind the cupcake place is a huge open area of grass where they hold concerts, etc. So, we had a little cupcake picnic on the grass!




Mr. "Cuckcake" was quite pleased with our choice of dessert. . .


After we ate, we played a little. . .


Sweet memories. . .





The next day we took my mom to the beach with us, and that was great fun, too! It wasn't sunny, but that didn't stop us!!!! Letting Erik Daniel feel the sand in between his cute little toes. . .

Still playing in the sand. . .
Erik Daniel took his morning nap on Nana at the beach. . .




More "frog pool" memories. . .



This is Erik throwing Joshua into the frog's stream of water. . .


All in all, we had a wonderful, wild, happy, loud, crazy, fun, restful, relaxing time!!!!!

Yay for the beach. . .


And, yay for great memories!!!!!!!!!

6 comments:

Christi said...

Looks like y'all had a blast!

deana b said...

The pictures are terrific. Can't wait to see all of the family beach pictures. You know how much I love those! but the one of you and your mom brought tears to my eyes. First, I know how very special it is to have mom by your side and the relationship the two of you have. you KNOW how I cherish that! Secondly, the smile on your face says it all. I see your smile ALOT. But that particular one was so happy, carefree, happy, relaxed, happy, excited and content. you look so full of joy. I know your hectic life, especially lately, so it made my heart smile to see you looking as if it were only you, your family and God on that beach. So full, overflowing even, with love. Beach seems to help bring us back to that, doesn't it?

FaceforGrace said...

Beautiful family! We should have planned better...we were just in Destin Labor Day weekend! We could have met for lunch or something!

Deidre said...

Wonderful pictures, Erin. I love seeing all of you enjoying some 'downtime'. Oh, how we all need it and I know you all especially do. These pictures make me want to pack up my family and head to the beach. So fun!

Manda said...

How fun!

Shirley... said...

I love your sweet blog! I have been a reader/lurker for awhile now... I found your blog from another blog that I also enjoy reading! (In The Midst Of It)

I added you to my blog list, so I just wanted to make sure that that was okay...

I am a new blogger, so I am still trying to figure it all out! :)

My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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