not a care in the world {a day on the coast}

We've been blessed with amazing neighbors.

This year, especially this year with all the extra challenges and responsibilities we've faced, our family needed a day to marvel in the grandeur of creation and recharge our batteries.

Thankfully our next door neighbors provided us with just that opportunity by inviting us to spend a day with them at their house on the coast over Memorial Day weekend.

For just over four glorious hours, I truly had not a care in the world.

That's because my tribe was all within sight.

Playing in the beautiful waters of the Atlantic.

Trying to catch a wave.

Creating forts...

...and castles in the sand.


...feeling the warmth of the sand under their feet...

...and the coolness of the water under their arms.

Ian and I spent time chatting with our hosts...

...and snuggling our little ones who needed just a few minutes of down time in our arms.

We captured some genuine smiles.

Because the ocean is our happy place.

There's simply something about the sand and the surf that is restorative to the soul.

[When my toes are sunk into warm sand and the ocean is lapping my feet, when I breathe in the scent of salt and hear the cry of a seagull, I know that I am returned to a place of restoration. I am home.I can heal here.] Toni Sorenson


it's official

She's no longer a baby.

Last month it was passing the swim test.

This month it was the first tooth.

it's a little difficult to see because that "new tooth" was already growing in behind it

Next month (GASP) it's kindergarten.

Have mercy...


Christmas Eve

It may be June in the real world...but in my picture archives it is still Christmastime.

We were a little later getting all our Christmas cheer up this season, but better late than never, right?

And when I say we were a little later than usual, I mean we baked our Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve.

And when I say "we," I really mean the kids.

With a little supervision from Daddy of course.

Mostly just to make sure that beaters didn't get licked while still on the mixer.

While the dough was chilling, we went out for our long anticipated "fancy dinner."   At our favorite Indian restaurant.  Because that's what everyone does, right?  Or maybe not.  Nonetheless, ever since one of Ian's co-workers made us some chicken biryani and goat curry, our crew had been begging us to take them to our favorite date night spot.   They gobbled up biryani, korma, and paneer like nobody's business.

Thankfully they left room for cookies.

Thankfully they also saved some patience to create Santa's cookies.

It was a decorating extravaganza.

Some were hit heavier with the sprinkle truck than others.

Of course each child wanted to show off their favorite creation.  And because I totally get that, we let them pose with the one that best reflected their personalities.

Anticipation was high.  Maybe the sugar rush of sprinkles, cookie dough and at least one warm cookie out of the oven added to that.

Finally we managed to get them off to bed.

Not before, of course, a few messages were written for Santa.

But before "not a creature was stirring," could be said, there was a little mess in the kitchen that needed to be tackled.


swim test spoils

Someone is loving the diving board benefits that come with swimming 25 yards across our pool!

she actually passed on 6/ just took me a while to get the photo

Combine that with her honest to goodness wiggly tooth and I guess we can't very well call her baby anymore.



flashback {countdown to Daniel}

My "big kids."
They seemed so big then...

June 7, 2011
In perspective, tonight Natalie is wearing the pajamas and Daniel has already grown into and outgrown the jersey.

Where. is. time. going?


the pajama day that wasn't

All week this week someone in our house kept talking about his upcoming pajama day at school.  Something about his class getting a reward for attending the pre-K presentation and using good audience manners...

At any rate, I thought it unusual his teacher didn't send notification home, but it was the end of the year and all.  Being a former teacher myself, I was lulled into the thought that things do get a little cray cray once days left of school can be counted on one hand and a note just didn't happen.

Annnddd I let him convince me that today was indeed pajama day for his class.

Imagine my surprise when he walked down the hill after school with two of his classmates in normal "street clothes."  And when I questioned out loud why he was wearing pajamas and his friends weren't, the mother of one smiled and said, "Oh, they have pajama day on Monday..."

So there I stood with my mouth open wide in disbelief that I sent my son to school in pjs on a regular day.  His sweet teacher probably thought, "Well, Kristi does have a lot going on right now..."

His response?

"Oops."  And he tossed in that little grin...

Reckon I'll let him wear them again Monday.

Just a different pair maybe.


first Marlin meet

At the end of last summer, Kylie approached us about swimming year round.  Based on how things "clicked" for her as an Amberjack on the neighborhood swim team, we decided to let her build her talent and check out the waters of being a (self proclaimed) "swimnast."  

Starting in late August she became a Marlin as she swam with a local year round club.  After weeks of practice, her first meet finally arrived.  Ian and I knew she was ready...the question of the day was, did she?

That first time on the blocks was met with just a little apprehension.

Thankfully her first event was a simple 25 free.  

She rocked it.

Placing first in her heat...and therefore winning a striped ducky... boosted her self confidence.

From there she was all about business.

Once she found her groove, she stayed in it,

placing either first or second in all but two of her heats.

 She had soaked in all Coach Cara had taught her...

...and raced like she meant it.

And she came home with an armful of rubber duckies and small stuffed animals for being a heat winner multiple times.

Of course I was proud of how well she placed in her very first year round meet.

But more than that, I was thrilled for her as we watched a new level of self-confidence unfold.  I'm not sure how long year round swimming is going to be part of our family rhythm, but for this season, we'll celebrate her newfound accomplishments in the water.  I love the self assurance that was born in my big, previously timid, girl this year!