Tag Archives | Beach

Best of Summer

Since I haven’t blogged in 3 months…a recap seems like the most appropriate way to restart.  Notice, it is called “Best of Summer” – I have left out the 2 year old tantrum moments, the awesome new recipes that I didn’t try and my window box/planter fail…so…without further ado, here is a peek into the best moments of a great summer:

Summer began early for us…we headed down to our favorite New Smyrna Beach, FL and were delighted to be joined by the Stokes family for a few days!
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We had to visit our sentimental place on the Indian River.
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And we found some fun new places…

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Staying in a small condo that, at high tide, felt like we were actually on the water was heavenly – especially since the upkeep was so easy. Every morning, Rand would line up his animals. I would say his summer fascinations have been: animals, fishing, golf (his own versions of the last two, of course)

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So it was especially cool, if not somewhat unnerving to me, to see the fisherman catch exciting things each day.
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We had a special evening with my Great Aunt Bebe, who Rand got to meet for the first time
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And Wes and I got to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary (10! I know!!!)
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With Sangria at our favorite New Smyrna restaurant, The Spanish River Grill.
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The highlight of the day was that we found out our Dossier officially went to China…a huge milestone in the adoption process for us…more on that to come.
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Who are those two young love birds???
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We also got to share the end of our trip with my mom, or “Ema” as Rand calls her, and got to see more family, including the Wallis cousins! Rand was overjoyed to get so much attention. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone!
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Coming home wasn’t so hard because the Kings came to visit! Here’s a photo of Jackson and Rand perfecting their snow cone eating skills:
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We are finally enjoying our pool (it warmed up mid-June!) this year too! Rand loves to walk around it and “fish” and he enjoys rescuing bugs and frogs with the pool net.
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Rand got to spend time with both of his grandmothers (and his pops and Aunt MD too!)
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The boys did a little more “fishing”
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I did a lot of blackberry picking
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and I figured out that Rand and I both share a love for the “Go Green” smoothie at 195 Nature’s Own. It has been our “special snack” place!
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This next photo deserves its very own post – the most major event of the summer – we were blessed with a new niece. Sweet baby Kara was born at the end of June (that’s right, we’re not even to July yet)! Here she is less than 24 hours old.
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Another important summer event included James’ ordination as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.
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We spent time with Wes’ family at Myrtle Beach (don’t let my amazing sis-in-law fool you – this photo was less than 10 days after baby Kara was born! We are all taking lessons from Jax and Matt on how to rally.
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Rand and MJ got to have some quality time that also involved lots of bubbles, duck feeding and swimming
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which all make for one happy kid
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We visited the Myrtle Beach Aquarium – which was awesome!!!  But then we realized they make  you exit THROUH the gift shop, which is also on the opposite side of the building as the baby ducks that Rand saw outside.  So going home was not as fun…
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We also took a trip to Wilmington to hear James preach on his first Sunday at his new church.
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And then we stayed for lunch and snuggles.  It is also important to note that this was the day that Rand first met “Buster” and “Maggie” – they are James and Samantha’s 2 dogs who have unknowingly been prayed for 2x a day (nap and bedtime) every day since.
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Overall we did a lot of swimming (bathtub, pool, ocean and lake)

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It was a good summer and we were so blessed to be able to enjoy all the “new” things with a 2-year-old!

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Friday Photo Flashback

This amazing January weather we are having reminds me of Brant & Claire’s wedding weekend – a beautiful weekend we spent last January in Jekyll Island, GA.  Who would have thought it would be 70 and sunny the last weekend in January.  Well here we go again!  And…an early Happy Anniversary to Brant & Claire!  I hope the sun is shining in Indiana for you this weekend.

Does it look like we had fun? Well, we did.

So did the Bride’s family

Me…a little over 7 months pregnant with Rand.

We all stayed in the restored Crane Cottage

(this image from Jekyll Island Resort)

It had a beautiful courtyard where we gathered pre-rehearsal dinner

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful setting for a wedding

We went on lots of beach walks over the weekend (Preggers wasn’t allowed to ride bikes around the island like everyone else…)
Driftwood beach was my favorite.

Me, brother & sister

Awwe…matching jackets

Lots of family catching up time

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Friday Photo Flashback

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While I’m ready to get back to our normal routine, I’ll be sad to leave the beach tomorrow.  I’ll especially miss waking up to the sound of the ocean and the beautiful sunrises (yep – we’ve been up for every single one!)

Each morning while having our coffee and hanging out with Rand, we’ve enjoyed watching a fisherman or two set up his bucket and pole, toss the cast net to catch his bait and then wade patiently with his line out in the surf as the sun starts to climb.

A few mornings, we’d see entire families fishing – reminding me of when my father would get up at 6am or so and, sometimes, we’d get to go too.  This is one of my favorite photos ever.  If I was a painter, I’d like to have a painting of it.

 

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Hello from the beach

This was Rand’s first time on the beach. I think he loved it as much as a 5-month-old possibly could.  There have been a lot of firsts this week and it is only Wednesday!

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It was pretty windy on the beach which was nice because it cooled us off. Here’s Rand’s “feeling the wind on my face” look.
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And his “I just put a salty hand in my mouth look.”
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As you can see it was pretty windy, so my hair ended up ruining most of the photos.
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Rand’s other new thing is to “hug” us…we are loving it.
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Rand made his first (and second…) trip to J.B.’s Fishcamp with us.  When you eat as early as we do these days you don’t have to wait, but we went out on the dock anyway before dinner and said hello to a few of the resident Indian River manatees and had fun explaining to Bubs that he was a fourth generation J.B.’s patron.  We’ll have to go back again and get another photo without the bib, although he does look very patriotic.

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Speaking of bibs, Rand’s favorite bib was custom-made by Aunt Samantha.  I had been attempting to make some myself but when this awesome one arrived one day, I put the sewing machine away.  From now on I will celebrate the talents of my sweet sister-in-law instead.

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Speaking of talent, we are also celebrating my friend Settle Monroe and her new business Pinecone Threads.  I’m loving this birdie onesie she made.

And this adorable dress (she makes rompers for the boys).  I love the Amy Butler fabric Settle uses and the overall chic simplicity of Pinecone Threads.

I think Rand will look good in this creative  “Mater Onesie” I ordered for him.

The soft, organic burp cloths would make great new baby gifts – $6 for a special homemade gift is a pretty good deal, you could get a few…or have Settle make one to match your romper or onesie.  You can see all the different designs in Settle’s Etsy shop.

We serve a creative God who made us in His image and calls us to be creative as well. Pinecone Threads and Rand’s “R” bib are such beautiful, creative expressions. I’m a thankful witness.

This reminds me, I can’t wait to tell you about the book I’m reading…I’ll save it for another post.

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Recipes For Ya

Last week, I was supposed to be packing and cleaning the house so we could get to the beach but I procrastinated. I usually bake when I’m putting something off. So I made these cookies.
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They were GOOD.  They were probably the most successful thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made.  While I usually don’t follow recipes, I stuck pretty close to Barefoot Contessa’s recipe. Here’s the recipe.  Only things I did differently: 1. I used regular chocolate chips and some mini chocolate chips because that was all I had. 2. Did not use walnuts. 3. My eggs were not room temp as I decided to make cookies on a whim and didn’t have time to wait on the eggs 4.  Same goes for the butter.  10 seconds in the microwave…cheater!! 5. I took them out of the oven a few minutes sooner. If your first batch ends up too brown like mine did, you might want to do the same.

So…on to the second recipe.  Our beach staple: Broccoli Ramen Slaw.  What?  Broccoli?  Oh just try it.  I usually make a big batch on the first day and then we eat off of it for a few days…it gets better after sitting in the fridge.  Here’s my version of the recipe:

Broccoli Ramen Slaw

1 bag (16 oz) Broccoli Slaw (usually near the bag lettuce/bag veggies)

2 packages chicken flavor Ramen (pull out the seasoning packet and then crumble/crunch up the noodles in the package)

3-4 green onions chopped up

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons white sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, be sure to add the 2 ramen seasoning packets.  Cover and keep in the fridge.

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup sugar!  Wowzers.  I have also made it with just 1 packet of Ramen and it is good that way too.  My brother made it with peanuts and sunflower seeds which was a nice twist.  I’m sure there are tons of variations.

Sorry, no photos of the slaw…instead, here’s one of Rand enjoying his first food: sweet potatoes.  He insists on helping with the spoon and then would rub his face with his little orange hand.  Good thing it is warm at the beach and we can eat shirtless!
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Friday Photo Flashback

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There are lots of these photos of my family together at the beach floating around in albums here and there…a pretty good idea to take a photo in the same spot each year. We’re going to have to come up with one of those ourselves. Any location ideas? On another note, how awesome is my giraffe swimsuit?!

You may be familiar with it already, but I’ve just seen the website Dear Photograph – what a sweet idea!  You take an old photograph and hold it up in the same place and take a new picture, and add a nice note too.

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