Part of this grace came this past week in the form of 5 nights at Dan's parent's condo in Orange Beach:
We are so thankful for their generosity! There is no way we could have given our children a week at the beach without their sharing their second home with us.
Here are some pictures from our wonderful week.
You can click on any to make them larger.
Eating Lucky Charms while watching cartoons is a beach tradition for us.
I tend to avoid super-sugary cereals at home, but vacation calls for special treats.
We spent lots of time in the swimming pool:
(Tucker's poor little freshly shaved noggin was the only thing that got sunburned this week.)
watermelon is extra sweet when eaten pool-side:
The kids both declared that fishing was their favorite thing they did on this vacation. Dan would take them to the boat launch or the end of the dock and they would catch pinfish or croaker or catfish as quick as he could bait their hooks, and they thought it was fabulous.
Dan even woke Lana up before dawn one morning to go fishing on the kayak. Precious.
They didn't happen to catch anything, but I bet they made a memory.
Dan woke up early nearly every morning & spent naptime nearly every afternoon fishing. He did some kayak fishing and some spear fishing and some pole fishing and it's amazing to me how much it genuinely relaxes and rejuvenates him.
I didn't mind a bit that he spent his free time out fishing because then he spent time here,
cleaning his catch:
which then led to this happening at dinnertime:
Seriously the best meal we ate all week long!!
Of course we all spent some time on the beach.
It's just a fact that we enjoy the beach most in the afternoon and evening.
One day we went in the morning and stayed until after lunchtime, and it was so ridiculously hot when we were leaving and crowded and ugh, we were all so grumpy as we were trying to haul our stuff to the car because we were hungry and tired and SO HOT.
It's a total contrast when we wait until after naptime to go. It's warm when we get there and sometimes a bit crowded but around 3 or 4 the crowd starts to clear out and then it cools off and we all love it and can barely make ourselves leave before it's "black pitch" (as Tucker says).
We had beautiful weather all week, and even a great breeze for flying kites, which thrilled the kids to no end. Thanks, Uncle Allan and Aunt Ranae for the kites!
Lana loved this "beach chair" her daddy made her in the sand:
I won't tell you how many trips we made throughout the week to Da Girlz Place in Perdido. We love the owner, she's from Pensacola - and these are seriously the best snoballs ever. (Don't call them snowcones - they are snoballs, and there is a difference!) They are cheap and huge (a $2 kiddie size is plenty for me!) and so many flavors. We haven't had one yet we didn't like.
If it gives you some idea about how often we were there,
our kids discovered that there were lots of snails in the garden, and spent lots of time playing with them:
It was good for my heart to watch them watch the snails.
How often do we have time to move, literally, at a snail's pace?
How often do we miss precious moments like this because we are rushing from one thing to the next? And I know that it nourished their little souls to have time to just sit and watch, with no one prodding them to hurry up or to move on to the next thing. Good for my heart, I tell you.
On our way down to the beach, we made a list of things we wanted to do during the week.
Lana's request: jump off of the pilings at Perdido Pass.
Tucker's request: eat at the place where they throw the bread.
This is so typical of my children and their personalities! Love it!
You can be sure we did both:
We also had lots of time to read our books, which is a favorite for Team Davis:
We stayed up super late one night and took the kids crab hunting until 10:30 p.m. They loved it!
The whole Davis family was down on Friday, so the kids got lots of playtime with their cousins, and got to take a ride on PawPaw's new boat and just generally have a great time:
We obviously had a wonderful week.
One of the best parts for me, as the mama, was watching Lana & Tucker connect and spend time together before the school year gets started. Tuck genuinely misses his sister while she is at school, so this is sweet time.
This one of them cuddling in the bed was not staged.
They were being super quiet one morning, so we went to find them,
and this is what they were doing. Just laying there nose to nose, talking.
These precious faces make my world go 'round:
We were all sad when our week together ended,
but so grateful that we had it.
If summer has to end,
this this is surely the way to go.