Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fireflies

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One night while we were sitting on the front porch watching SD cut grass, we caught a glimpse of glowing light flitting across our yard. Ella had never noticed fireflies, so the hunt was on.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Part Two

More pretty things I got to work on today...

KW Business Card

KW Postcard

KW Copyright

What I've Been Up To

Since I opened the etsy shop, I've been a little bit busy. I thought I'd share the things I've sold this week so you can see what I've been up to!

Fundraiser

Barnyard Party

Star Wars Party

Train up a Child Party

Down on the Farm

Book Worm

Today marks the beginning of my last week at home with the girls; it is bittersweet. I would give anything to spend my days with them, being lazy, swimming, cuddling and reading books. On the other hand, I love my career and days out of the house make me long to see them and spend every second with them in the afternoons.

Since our return from the beach, Ella and I have been doing some things we've been talking about since Sophie arrived. First up, was a visit to our local library...

public library

Just like her mommy, my Ella is a bookworm. We attempted a visit to the library before we left for vacation, but the librarian was sick. Ella cried all the way home. This visit, however, was successful and met with big smiles all around.

She wasn't sure what to expect and I thought she'd be a little overwhelmed by the selection. Not to mention that my child doesn't have a quiet bone in her body, so I wondered how the concept of "whisper" would go over. She surprised me. She was quiet and quick, making her selections and eager to get back home to read.

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She selected six books and two videos and proudly exited with a shiny new library card and a tote for her books. I'm thinking we'll be making weekly visits before too long!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Farewell, Favorite Place

Vacation Day 7, originally written Saturday, June 19, 2010

We had such a good time at the beach yesterday, that we decided to pull an all-dayer again today. This time, we left Sophie with my aunt Heidi {who keeps the girls while I work} and took daddy to the beach with us. This was my view from the sand...

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Sweet daddy, a good book and one very happy little girl...

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and two umbrellas and an awning that made us look like nomads on the beach!

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Have I mentioned my child is OBSESSED with Doritos? She calls them "ritos" and would eat them all day long if I let her. She cried and whined through two triangles of a bologna sandwich, but grinned ear to ear when she finally got chips!

day7_cousins

Our last day at the beach was spent digging with cousins and playing in the water. It was beautiful today and we all braved the water, even Ella. We spent so much time bouncing over the waves today and it was good to feel the water after worrying about how it might look this week. Ella was concerned about sharks and "the deep end" but really enjoyed it once she calmed down.

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After a long day at the beach, the littles got dressed up and we grabbed dinner before heading to the outlet mall. I vowed to buy the girls nothing and only managed to screw that up a little by spending $10 at the Carter's outlet on two bubbles for Sophie. Ella bought herself a $3 pair of flip-flops and didn't ask for another thing all night. Josh racked up on goodies for fall, but I only managed one dress for work, one for play and a pair of jeans that FIT. Oh well, better luck next time. Maybe I'll be skinny again by then!

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We finished the night snuggled in bed talking about what a great week we had and attempting a self-portrait. Josh & I used to be so good at those, but adding two little girls makes it more difficult! Neither girl was happy about it when we started...

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But things started looking up,

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and we finally got a smile out of everyone!

This vacation was too short, but so much fun. It will take me the better part of next week to recover, wash and fold the laundry and restock the pantry. Then I'll only have one week left before returning to real life... my job. This sure was fun while it lasted...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Purple Shovel

Vacation Day 6, originally written Friday, June 18, 2010

Today, we left Sophie sleeping with our daddy at the campsite and spent the whole day at the beach with K. Guess what? The water was open!

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We dubbed this hairdo "mouse ears" and she proudly sported them all day long. The three of us sat huddled under an umbrella because it was HOT today. Ella is so low maintenance at the beach and rarely complains. The most I had to deal with was washing hands to eat lunch and taking a walk to the restroom.

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Thank goodness, my cousin Kalli joined us later in the morning. She dug in the sand and played in the surf with my girl all morning long. K slept in the sun and I read another book. Or two.

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See that purple shovel? That taught us a lesson about the moral fiber of that little mouse-eared girl. She found that shovel left in the sand and wanted to dig with it. The longer she played with it, the worse she felt. She wanted to know if everyone that passed by was "coming to get their shovel" and nothing we said could calm her down. She didn't want to steal it and was worried that there was a little girl out there very upset about her loss.

Enter Alicia. That's right - K, Kalli & I had to make up a story about the little girl who owned the shovel and how she would want Ella to have it. She even posed for a picture with it so that when we got home I could "email Alicia's mommy" and tell her that we were taking good care of that shovel. I'm not sure I laughed any harder all week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lazy Days

Vacation Day 5, originally written Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is how we started day five of our vacation.

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This is about half-way through.

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This is how we wrapped it up.

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In case you haven't noticed, we're kind of lazy when we go to the beach. My idea of vacation isn't running from water park to put put golf and from restaurant to restaurant. I want lazy days, sandy toes and book after book to read. Luckily, I married my mirror image and our kids are exactly like us.

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Y'all, the beaches are gorgeous. I don't care what the newscasters are saying about the devastation along the gulf coast, Gulf Shores has been positively breathtaking this week. There are people working very hard all day and night to keep the state park beaches clean and the boons in the water are doing a great job of keeping the water crystal clear. We have seen a few tarballs and so far the water has been closed, but it isn't keeping us from dipping our feet in the surf and making sandcastles on the shore.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Shrimp and Scoops

Vacation Day 4, originally written Wednesday, June 15, 2010

We are celebrating Sophie's nine week birthday from the beach today {although I managed not to take a single picture of her!}. It is hard to believe she is already that old, but crazy to think she is already enjoying her first trip to the beach. She got a little windburn sitting out under the awning yesterday, so she woke up with a pretty pink face.

Instead of going to the beach today, we've pretty much hung out inside. Ella has watched movies and colored princesses all day. SD played cards with the boys and I read an entire book. We had a late afternoon meal at The Shrimp Basket since today was AYCE shrimp day and boy were we stuffed!

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Apparently not stuffed enough, though, because after a nap we headed back into town for a stop at our favorite local ice cream shop, Scoops.

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Scoops is a diner style ice cream shop with picnic tables lining the large porch. We never fail to make a stop when we're on vacation and some years we go several times!

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Ella takes after her mommy and goes for mint chocolate chip, what she refers to as "green with candies".

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I ate every stinking bite of my double on the largest waffle cone known to man. Josh was laughing at me as I slurped drips off of my arms and tried to salvage every little bite. It was SO good.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pedals, Washers and Rain

Vacation Day 3, originally written Tuesday, June 16, 2010

Day three brought with it lots of relaxation and quiet. The big kids all went to a local water park and our hubbies went to play golf this morning. Ella, Sophie, K and I emptied and refilled the pools, brought out our stack of snacks and books and lounged in the sun {or shade depending on the participant} all day.

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Ella finally learned to ride her tricycle and thought she was so big pedaling around the circle with Garan.

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The boys played a game of washers on the lake behind Granmom's camper.

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We took a later afternoon trip to the beach and got caught in a rain shower, but took refuge under the emptied beach pavilion. We did manage to squeeze in an hour in the sand before bedtime, but I was holding a sleeping baby and didn't manage any pictures.

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It was almost ten o'clock before everyone was bathed and settled in, so SD got us all McDonald's for dinner and we stayed up late. Vacation brings with it long, hot days, but the memories we make are definitely worth it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beaches and Inflatable Pools

Vacation Day 2, originally written Monday, June 15, 2010

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I realize camping isn't for everyone. I know that to a lot of people vacation is about airplanes and condos, resorts and fancy restaurants. I just don't happen to know any of those people. I've been camping at Gulf State Park for 30 summers, with the exception of two that I wasn't happy about! My family thinks of GS as our second home.

My mother's family has been camping here since she was a little girl and it's hard to picture family vacations any other way. There are usually somewhere around 25 or 30 of us here any given day in June. This year there are four travel trailers and two pop up campers, three inflatable pools and too many bicycles to count.

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Because of the oil spill we were worried about the beaches, but praying that we would be lucky enough to spend some time on them. Yesterday morning when we arrived, the cover of the Mobile Register had pictures of black oil and a headline that read "Worst Day Yet." Rather than be discouraged and devastated, we realized that only one thing we love about this town had been marked off the list. We bought big pools and little pools and proceeded to have a party in the yard.

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K & I had a pool all to ourselves, the older girls had a pool and we blew up a baby pool for Molly and Ella to play in. We referred to our side of the street as the redneck riviera, but we had a fabulous day nonetheless.

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While we were doing that, Sophie was doing this. Not only did she sleep through the night for the first time ever, but she pretty much slept all day. She was extremely low maintenance all day long and seemed happy, indoors or out. I think the beach agrees with her.

Ella begged to go to the beach all day long, so we decided to go for a few hours early in the evening, so that Sophie could tag along. Despite this warning, the beaches were beautiful and clean.

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We couldn't have asked for a better afternoon. This was the way to get our beach fix in, but not have to worry about too much sun for the girls or lugging umbrellas and beach awnings to keep us cool.

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