Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thanksgiving in Seaside 2014

We went home for Thanksgiving this year and it was my first time back in the Southeast since we moved to Texas this summer. We didn't go to Alabama until the end of the week, but Seaside, Florida is just a few hours from home and since we go there so much, it kind of feels like a second home anyway.

When we crossed the Alabama state line, which we did on the way to Florida, I was so excited that I almost pulled over on the side of the road and kissed the tall pine trees. Oh, how I have missed tall trees. Texas has a lot of things going for it, but the scenery isn't one of them. At least not where I am. There are parts of Texas that are stunning, but I live in urban sprawl. Plain and simple.

We had a 12 hour car ride which we broke up into two days and for the first time on a road trip, I had 2 readers. Bennett was in the back reading chapter books for hours and this little guy is putting it all together and kept asking for more books. I am so proud of both of them.

Pulling into Seaside, Florida was like balm for my soul. I was so happy to see my family and seeing Lainey run up the stairs to the beach house and hug her Grandfather is a memory I will never forget. 

Here are a few shots from our wonderful week at the beach with my family.

 Will playing with Piper and Emmie. I was so happy to see those girls. I just wanted to sit on a porch swing and listen to them talk for hours on end. I just soaked up all the news of their schools, their lives and everything about them. I love those girls so very much.

 It rained the first few days of our trip which made a certain little boy very happy. And when you are on vacation, you can jump in puddles in your pajamas.

Isn't this place beautiful?

It was so awesome to walk up to the little grocery store in Seaside and see people gathered around a TV watching football. Roll Tide, y'all.

Little Lainey bug just swinging the day away.

 Me with 6 of my most favorite people on this earth. That is not an exaggeration.

My parents with their grandchildren.

Emmie and Lainey checking out the ocean.

The sweetest note left for me in the sand by my oldest daughter.

Me and the hubby.

Everyone in my family loves music. We all love to sing, play the piano or strum a guitar. I am really enjoying seeing this love for music being passed down to the next generation. All of my nieces are incredibly talented musically and Sutton has started writing songs that are quite good. She and Rob spent a good part of the week sitting up in the tower room putting her lyrics to music.

All the kids took turns having guitar sessions with Uncle Rob.

And one of my favorite evenings was the night all of the adults got to go out. Alone! Without any kids. For the first time ever. I'm not kidding. This was the very first time that me, Rob, Lisa, Jason and my parents had dinner out without a child. And all thanks to my awesome nieces who are now old enough to watch the younger kids alone for a few hours. I cannot even tell you how amazing this is. I snapped this shot of all 6 cousins working on dinner in the kitchen as we were leaving.

My Dad running around the Seaside amphitheatre with Will.

Even though it was November, you couldn't keep these kids out of the pool. 

Total spunkiness.

Bennett has been climbing these trees in Ruskin Square since she was a baby. I hope one day she is watching her kids climb the same trees.

Pretty much how I looked all week. 

Dad playing board games with Sutton.

I mean...... come on. Could he be any cuter?

Lainey kept switching out siblings in the bike trailer

Another shot of me with this handsome fella.

My sis and her family hanging out in Seaside.

The whole family grabbing some ice cream in the middle of the afternoon. Because we could.

Climbing trees again. We love Seaside because even when it is too cold to go in the water, there is so much to do. Climbing trees would be at the top of that list.

Lainey rarely lets anyone other than her parents hold her, so if she ever lets you, you had better take advantage of it. Luckily, she loves her cousin.
Twins separated by 7 years. 

Cold? Being cold is for wusses.

Just hanging out in an eno with my cousin.

Aaannnndddd...... after 2 quick practices, Piper was the one who let go and taught Will how to ride a bike!!

Way to go, Will!!!! Now 5 of the 6 cousins have all learned while staying at the beach along 30A. Your move, Lainey.

I am so incredibly proud of this little buddy.

I really thought I was going to cry. Will was out on only his 2nd practice run with Piper and we were all inside the hosue because he didn't want anyone watching. After a few minutes Piper came inside and said, "Ummm...guys? You may want to come out here for this."

Someone get that new bike rider two scoops of ice cream served in a sprinkle cone stat!

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving Day bike ride. Will rode all over Seaside and Watercolor on a 30 minute bike ride. He rode with cars all around him, other cyclists swarming him and on trails throughout trees. I mean, it just clicked and he was a pro in no time.

And then we changed into Christmas clothes for my Mom's Christmas picture. :)

I thought it would be cute to have my kids climbing trees in their Christmas pajamas. I think Lainey strongly disagreed with me.

Spending our last night by the water. Please don't make me leave.

Not only is Rob a great Dad, but he is a pretty amazing uncle as well.

My gorgeous girls.

Will loves kisses from his cousins.

 Or maybe he just tolerates them.

What an incredibly fun week. The day we left Seaside was my Mom's birthday so we all went out to lunch to celebrate her before heading out of town. Here are 5 of her 6 grandchildren giving her a big birthday hug. The youngest was too busy stealing her birthday candy.

We went to Alabama for 2 nights (hooray!!) and I got to see my cousin's kids. I love Elijah and Ellison.

And then the next day we visited with some of our oldest friends, the Segars. It was Iron Bowl Day in Alabama so we were all dressed appropriately.

Rob and I also got to have lunch with our dear friends, the Brewers. They were not dressed appropriately. But I got to meet their newest baby and that made up for their discouraging taste in Iron Bowl apparel. The fact the we moved to Texas before this baby was born was so hard on me. I had prayed for this little one for a very long time. And Will was thrilled to see his best friend, Macy.

And then we drove to Birmingham to watch the game with my sister and her family. I do not ever recommend watching an Alabama game with me. Ever. But fortunately your family loves you no matter what.

Whew! 1 week. 27 hours in the car. 4 different places to stay including our one night in a hotel on the way down. Lots of family and lots of fun. I would do it all again tomorrow if I could. I don't know if Will would though. This is what happened to my little Kindergartner two days after we got back. He fell asleep in his closet. With his coat and shoes on. Because that's what you do when you are 5 and completely exhausted.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I have so very much to be thankful for. Even though this has been an extremely difficult year filled with uncertainty, I am thankful.

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