Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Better Together

This year for Spring Break we took our first family Spring Break trip to the beach.  The girls and I (pre-Eli) have gone away for Spring Break, but never the five of us.  After Will complained a little bit about me always wanting him to take days off here and there, he (I think) was the most excited that our departure date was rapidly approaching!  

There is one place I can honestly say that every person in our house loves and it would be the beach!  So I couldn't think of a better place to go relax for a week, then a place we consider our second home.  We travel to Litchfield Beach, South Carolina every summer so we decided to pray for warm weather and rent a house with another family for the week.  

We were BLESSED!  We had perfect weather and a wonderful time!!!  Our friends, the Monette Family, who we are very close with were  introduced to the beautiful, sandy beaches of South Carolina (they usually vacation in North Carolina.)  Our children all play well together and enjoy each others company.

All of my children are so relaxed when they are at the beach, that it makes me feel so happy to see them like this!  It hasn't always been this easy!  Anna Cate, has ALWAYS loved the beach, ocean and pools!  She loves to go for long walks on the beach and loves to sit and just watch the waves crash.  Watching her look out into the ocean sitting as relaxed as can be makes me feel like she is at peace.  And when we are not on the beach, we are usually in the pool back at the house.  Which I would have to say is probably her favorite thing in the world.  Anna Cate will tell you "pool" a hundred times if there is one in sight and we can't even talk in code anymore by spelling " P O O L" or "L O O P" as she knows what we are talking about and then says, "pool".  She loves it that much!  

Betsie....it took her a while to get used to the sand.  One summer she would not put her feet down on the sand!  During family pictures we had to place a towel on the beach for her to stand and sit on.  But from that moment we told her, we as a family will always come to the beach, so if you want to enjoy the beach, you need to get used to the sand.  And of course she did, the day before we left that year!  But NOW, she loves it and denies ever being picky about not liking the sand. Good thing for cameras!

And Eli, he was just like his sister Anna Cate, and his first trip to the beach was when he was weeks old, but he was the champ of taking a nap under the umbrella on the beach.  By his second trip he was crawling to the ocean and hasn't stopped wanting to go into the water since.  He is a little fish!

We are at the stage were all three of our children enjoy being at the same place at the same time and they can either do their own thing or they will play together!  It was beautiful to see.  But more importantly being at the beach is the one place we can be a family and enjoy quality family time the entire week. 

If we are on the beach, we are on the beach as a family.  If we are in the pool, we are in the pool as a family.  And probably one of the highlights of the beach every year is renting a golf cart.  Golf cart rides are the best!  This is how we get to and from the beach, instead of family "walks" we do family "rides", we hunt down the ice cream truck and over spring break we learned of a short cut to get ice cream at the ice cream shop by golf cart!  What could be better!  We make our own fun on the golf carts--we have two roller coasters we go on...one is wooden...and the other we like to call cricket loop!  We go searching for alligators and we just like to cruise!  But while we are having fun, we are also creating memories.    

When you have a child who is non-verbal you always wonder if they are truly happy.  I "think" I know when Anna Cate  is happy, but there are some days when I don't know if she is.  But I can tell you with 100% certainty that when we are at the beach, cruising down beach road in our golf cart with the wind in her hair and she is NOT wringing her hands, but holding onto me with her left hand and onto the handle with her right, dancing to Jack Johnson's "Better Together" on my phone, that she is one happy little girl!  And that image of her will always be in my mind.  

Spring Break for us was a time to be together and enjoy each other without the busy schedules that we live every day.  It was a perfect week to unwind in a place where we are all comfortable and have fun!   Mae summed it up best....the day we arrived, she and I went to the grocery store and as we were pulling into the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly, she said, "it feels good to be back".  I couldn't agree more!