Besides the visit from Beryl, most of our days started fairly early, with coffee on the deck and a quick breakfast in an attempt to get out on the beach right away. Our mornings were more playful. Spending time with Keira and Alyssa. Playing in the sand, making sand castles, walking in the edge of the water, finding "chee-shells" and sand crabs, taking walks down the beach, and splashing in the baby pool on the deck (Alyssa's favorite). After lunch was often nap time for the girls. Or for Alyssa at least. Some days Keira would last a little longer, getting in a little extra playtime after lunch. Scott often napped with them. Partly because he needed the extra rest. But mostly because he wanted to take advantage of having a little extra time with the girls since on a normal basis, napping with them isn't an option and because he knew how badly I wanted to stay on the beach. To relax in my lounge chair. To soak up as much sun as I possibly could. And to read my book. So he stayed up at the house with them and allowed me to relax. And I'm so thankful for that.
I took lots of pictures over our vacation. In fact, that's an understatement. I absolutely love taking pictures. Especially of my family. Of our girls. And especially with the beach as a backdrop. So I apologize for all of the pictures I'm sharing. But I'm thankful that I'll have them all to look back on. To show the girls when they are grown. Here's a glimpse of our Emerald Isle get away...
Our oceanfront cottage. Adorable in every way...
Most cottage pictures were borrowed from www.bluewaternc.com
The North Carolina Aquarium...
Insert a big parenthesis here...I'm sharing a picture that we took of Keira at this aquarium less than 2 years ago to compare...
It's cute comparing them. Okay end parenthesis...back to this year...
Time on the beach, out to dinner, shopping, ice cream, and just being together...
Red flag most days
Lyssa rode in the wagon on most of our evening beach strolls
...and loved it.
Ready for the beach in their tu-tu bathing suits
Digging big holes
Don't mind him...
This is the life...
Empty water bottles = very entertaining for Alyssa
A first...Alyssa's toes in the ocean
At the point of the island...ocean and sound...lots of beach!
Feeding the turtles
Ice cream in the back of MiMi's car
Sleepy girls...after their sugar high from too much ice cream
Good morning sunshine!
Out to dinner
Giggles with Nonna!
Keira loved her walks with MiMi and Poppie
Dozens of Man O Wars washed up this year...skeery
The start of Beryl
Lots of wind, rain, and very high waves...
My husband had a brilliant idea for us to run out on the beach in the storm...including him throwing me over his shoulder, and kissing me while being surrounded by this storm of high winds and heavy rain and scary waves crashing behind us. I have to say...it was sweet.
Water made it on top of trash cans...note the sea weed on top. Meaning the water was very close to the house...too close for comfort
These pictures don't begin to capture it, but I tried
Turned out to be a beautiful evening after the storm
And beautiful the rest of the week...
Our family footprints
Love this of my sweet girl
Spending time with our family was a wonderful part of our vacation. It's fun to wake up, have coffee together, spend your days together, and just enjoy each other's company. To see how excited Keira and Alyssa get having them around for everything. Time on the beach. The mornings and bedtimes. Times that grandparents aren't usually a part of. We are so blessed that our girls have such amazing grandparents in their lives. (Even though I got a tad jealous when Keira wanted to hold their hands more often than mine). I'm so very grateful for them.
It's a bit sad coming back to reality. Not only because we love the beach and wish we could live there. Really. But because we enjoy every second with our girls. With each other. We talked about it driving home from the beach. Scott doesn't love his job but doesn't hate it all the time. And I don't mind mine. But we would rather be together. Soaking up every moment with the girls. Making memories. So a week with each other. Getting up early, napping together, having 3 meals a day together, having the entire day together, avoiding "bed times," and never getting tired of each other...that's what we love. That's what teased us about being at the beach for a whole week. But we understand that it's unrealistic to ever expect being together full-time and that having time apart allows us to appreciate the time we do share together...even though I truly believe we would always cherish what we have even if we were together full-time. We just have a family unlike anything I ever imagined. Our relationship with each other and our relationships with our girls are more that I ever thought possible in a family. Our connections with each other, an unconditional love, trust in each other. Everything has come together so perfectly. And I couldn't be more grateful for it.
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