Surprise!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our first summer vacay is on the books, people.  Complete with road trips, hotels, grumpy toddlers, and hair that was washed every three days. Er, four days?  Because when you're at the beach and dry shampoo exists, why waste your time.

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My wonderful mama celebrated a milestone birthday last weekend and my sister and I, plus twenty eight other relatives painstakingly planned a surprise beach week bananza without her knowing.  We've been emailing {and emailing and emailing} since August of 2012, and the location changed at least three times.  There is no doubt the NSA has a lengthy paper trail of our comings and goings the past 18 months. But we pulled it off!



Ignorantly {we THINK} enjoying a quiet beach weekend on St. Simon's Island with my step-dad and two brothers, Mom was surprised by an onslaught of more children, siblings, grandchildren, parents, nieces, and nephews storming the beach singing Happy Birthday on Saturday afternoon.  Her surprise and joy were well worth the planning.  And not only were we ALL there {my big family is hard to pin down}, we were there for the whole week!

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We enjoyed long days with cold drinks on the beach...
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{Baby Annalise had a rough week}
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Rainy afternoons with Doc McStuffins....

Boating on the river…
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PLENTY of cousin love to go around...

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Sibling love...
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Halley and sweet Annalise.

One less than awesome addendum: Charlotte had about 12 meltdowns per day.  Anyone else have a kid show up on vacation with a completely different personality??  I’m hoping it just stemmed from being completely overwhelmed by people and non-stop fun for five days?  I felt like I was tricking people, faking like I have this sweet kiddo on Facebook, and then actually showing up with a holy terror.  That girl was a full blown toddler in every sense of the word-- happy as a clam one minute, then melting down the next.  Ugh.  Growing pains of parenthood.


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She’s lucky she’s cute!
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All in all, it was great week with family.  We were so happy to have T with us the entire week {still a rarity} and spend time with family we usually only see for day or two at a time.  And it was truly relaxing!  With so many cousins and aunts and grandparents around, we actually found time to sit by the beach and pool, read a few magazines, and throw some bocce balls.  I even made it to the gym FIVE days in a row...it was a little vacation miracle.

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 It is never lost on me how fortunate I am to be part of a family that truly loves one another and enjoys spending time together.  We are already planning our trip for next year!

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