Friday’s Photo Finish: Family Vacation

OBX Auntie Aimee2

Family vacation has come and gone. We spent the better part of a year planning for and getting excited about our annual vacation on our family chat. Our planner extraordinaire, my sister in law, started texting about what to pack around January.

I started to pack the weekend before the trip. Because that’s how I roll.

I documented my trip with one picture a day posted to various media accounts. Yes, just one picture. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t take more, but I made a real effort to stay off my iPhone and enjoy time with my family. Real time. Time in the pool, on the beach without a phone in my hand, checking up on twitter, FB and my lil blog.

They would ALL be there when I returned.

We had a fabulous time on the Outer Banks, all 18 of us. And we are all still speaking. THAT is a family vacation success!

Now I am getting ready to send my Sweets, my oldest baby, to Kindergarten on Tuesday. I am looking back at these photos now, trying to somehow transport myself back to a time when I wasn’t buying back to school supplies and trying to figure out what to make for lunches.

No worries! Our vacation is already reserved for next summer- my sister in law should be sending out the what to pack email pretty soon…time to start getting excited again!

Until then…

OBX Auntie Aimee

Auntie Aimee and the girls

OBX cousins

Dune Horses

OBX beach horse

Sunrise

OBX Julia

Beach Horses

OBX poppies

Cousins by the pool

H

OBX farmer Josh

Farmer Josh

 

Have a great crazy Holiday Weekend!

The Neighbors

Growing up, I spent a good amount of time over at my neighbors house. Their daughter was several years older than me, but we got along like sisters. More often than not I’d be over there for dinner as well. The neighbors were like my second family.

Now that I have kids of my own, I look back on that time and reflect on how my friendship with my neighbor played such a huge role in my life. She was a confidant and role model. She was a constant companion on weekends.

When my husband and I first moved into our first home together, I was excited to find that our immediate neighbors were also newlyweds around our age. Sure enough, we became close friends.

Not just friends. We became more like family. They are the neighbors that you can call at a moments notice for help, whether it be for a cup of sugar or helping move a large piece of furniture. We hung out on weekends, had each other over for dinner, went out in the evenings to ball games. We spent holiday’s together. We went on vacation together. In an emergency we could call each other in the middle of the night for help. Even our dogs were best friends and shared a crate at dog care.

Then I had Mahlie. Not only were we smitten with Mahlie, they were, too. Then they had their daughter the following year. Since then, our daughters have grown into best friends. They were each others besties, even a year apart. They went to the same daycare, we were each others emergency care contacts, the girls would have impromptu get-togethers in the afternoons, spend afternoons at the park, had each others first sleep over at each others house.

Then we moved. Well, they moved first…from right next door to across the street. We then moved all the way from DC to VA. They, of course, were the first people to come visit us at our new home. And while there, my friend showed me a picture of a house she found in MD that she loved. And was thinking of moving.

When we got back from our first summer vacation, we found out they had put their house on the market! On our second summer vacation, they moved.

To Maryland.

We went from being right next door to around an hour away.

No more impromptu get-togethers. No more running over for a cup of sugar.

However, our friendship is firmly established. They are family, and will continue to be family. Oh, and their new house? It has a pool. So yeah, they will continue to be our friends until…well, let’s just hope they never fill in that pool.

This past weekend we went to visit them at their new home and take the inaugural dip in their pool. We’ll be back for their Open House and they will be at our Thanksgiving table. They might not be our neighbors anymore, but they are still family.

 

reunited

Reunited

M and Lily

Down by the bay….

pool

Inaugural swim in the pool

sun nap

Worn out

Have a great crazy day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In SUMMER!!!!

thevoltz2000:

I posted this list of fun things all kids should do in summer, and we managed to put a good dent in it. I hope everyone else was able to cross off a lot of these as well! If not, you’ve got Labor Day Weekend to end the summer on a high note!

Originally posted on My Special Kind of Crazy:

Yes, sung in my best Olaf the Snowman voice, I am belting out “In Summer!!” throughout the house.

Memorial Day signals the kick-off of summer. All things warm and sunshiney.

My summer memories are some of the best memories I have. Most of them go back to when I was a kid, running around barefoot, spending the day at the beach, afternoons at the pool, evenings running around playing kick the can and ghost in the graveyard.

The freedom of summer was wonderful. Everything was more relaxed. Eating outside made food taste more delicious. Salt air and sunshine put everyone in a good mood.

Summertime when you are a kid is the best. Being dismissed that last day of school, the summer months stretching out in front of you- did it get any better?

Even though I won’t be dismissed for a summer of fun, I still plan on giving…

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A Weekend in Review and Some of My Favorite Things

thevoltz2000:

We didn’t get many weekend away days this summer. Other than the 2 awesome vacations we took with family, we were busy with “we just moved and need to get rid of all these boxes before we go insane!” chores. Today- thankfully!- we do have a “day away” planned. We are visiting our friends that just moved to the ‘burbs for a cookout and come pool fun. Have a great, sunny, summery Sunday!

Originally posted on My Special Kind of Crazy:

We had a GREAT weekend. It was one of those weekends that if someone was keeping score, we would totally be winning. I am not sure what we would be winning at or what the prize would be, but we were totally winning.

It was a weekend all about family. Not chores. Not errands. Not cleaning. Not shopping.

Just being with family.

While we’ve been on vacation with family and friends this summer, we’ve not just had a weekend together, our family, spending time together without the errands/chores that keep us from really spending time together.

We cooked out on the grill. EVERY.NIGHT. (which means I did not do a large part of the cooking! SCORE!)

I actually tried out some fun kid activities I found on Pinterest. Isn’t that almost unheard of? Don’t we all just pin that stuff, stare at it and say “who has the time?”

We…

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Simon Says “Be Just Like Me”

I know I promised pictures of vacation, but I somehow haven’t found the time to download the pictures from my camera onto the computer and upload them and label them and get them organized.

What have I been doing? I’ve been marveling at my daughter’s growing relationship. Honestly, I am practically stalking my kids, watching their every interaction because I cannot get over how sweet they are together. Well, there are the times that Sarah is smashing her sister and that isn’t so sweet but it is kinda funny watching the little sister take the upper hand. She’s got some moxy, that one.

In the past couple of months Sarah has gone from watching her sister with mild curiosity, continuing to do her own thing to the side to full blown I NEED TO DO WHATEVER MY SISTER IS DOING! I CANNOT LEAVE HER SIDE FOR A SECOND NOT EVEN TO LET HER POOP!

Adoration, idolization, hero worship….all these come to mind when watching Sarah with her older sister. She’ll walk the same way, “talk” the same way, eat the same things, and want to play with the same toy (which then leads to some very non-sisterly type interactions).

I never had a sister, so watching their relationship grow is fascinating to me. Fascinating and lovely. I love the thought of them being the best of friends and always being there for each other. I know- given the 3 years that separate them- that there will be years of angst and annoyance that will keep them from being close, but I truly hope that they turn out to be each others confidants and co-conspirators.

Right now I am enjoying watching them grow up together. Yesterday Mahlie was enjoying running around in the rain and when Sarah got home she joined her. She copied her every move. It is really quite amusing watching a 20 month old try to do a cartwheel (especially when she is trying to copy from a 5 year old that doesn’t know how to do a proper cartwheel).

rain again rain

Of course there are times that Sarah has to show Mahlie that she’s not one to be messed with and even though she is younger does NOT mean she is the meek one. Nope- and she’ll let you know.

Have a great crazy weekend!

 

Bright Moments For Dark Days

I’ve just gotten back to work after a week away on family vacation in the Outer Banks. It was wonderful and lovely and relaxing and full of family fun. I will write all about it later this week once I get my wits about me.

While on vacation I still somewhat kept up to date with goings on in the real world, and I wish I hadn’t.

The world is a bit less funny since we lost Robin Williams to the disease of depression.

There are atrocities going on in the Middle East that I cannot even wrap my head around.

There is injustice, unrest and riots occurring in Ferguson.

That’s a lot of darkness. It even makes an uber positive person like myself feel a bit down.

Then yesterday my Auntie Jane sent me a video that got me smiling. It’s just a feel good video that will put a smile on your face and make you think for a minute that there are good, and happy, people in this world. So take a few minutes and enjoy this around the globe dance extravaganza.

That got me smiling. After all the news of violence and loss, a video that shows just pure joy is a welcome distraction.

Have a great crazy day!

 

Friday’s Photo Finish For Family Vacation!

We are headed out today for our annual family vacation. The pooch is going to “camp” for the week because I think being in a house with 18 people will stress the ole girl out! Actually, being in a house with 18 people might stress ME out!

No worries, my brother-in-law has already promised margarita’s and frozen daiquiri’s, so all will be fine.

Everyone have a great crazy week!vacation