Family renewal

Although Claire is over 2 months old, we really haven’t had many weekends where it’s just been US-our little family of 4. Between multiple visits and the holidays-we have had family here almost every weekend since Claire was born. Which, don’t get me wrong, has been wonderful, but we were more than ready for some relaxing time together as a family. So, this past weekend we decided to head up to the island alone. We went out to breakfast at our favorite spot, strolled through a very busy farmers market, spent some time with my great aunt and uncle, drank wine and watched the sunset on the beach, and splashed in the pool. It was fun and relaxing, and exactly what we were hoping for. Claire totally got into the laid back, relaxing spirit and slept from 10 pm-7:30 am on Saturday. If she always slept like that, I think we would move to the island full time! 😉

Every time we head up to the island we talk about how lucky we are to have a connection to this place. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up vacationing here. My great aunt and uncle have owned a condo-just down the road from my in laws condo-for as long as I can remember, and my grandparents used to rent a place here for the winter as well. I have a photo album filled with pictures of me at the island as a young teen and lately Leah has become obsessed with carrying that particular photo album around and asking multiple times about everyone she sees as she flips through the pages and intently studies each photo. It makes me smile to think that one day she will have her own photo albums filled with pictures of her and her siblings playing on the same sand mommy did when she was a girl.

So a relaxing weekend it was and now we are back home where we have been enjoying some “cold” South Florida weather; perfect days in the low 70’s and chilly 50 degree nights. I know, I know, everyone up north dealing with snow storm after snow storm probably wants to kill me for calling that “cold,” but I’m just saying; when you live in South Florida, AKA the tropics, you gladly take any temps lower than 80 and call it winter!

And then there were three

For over 2 years now, Leah has been the only grandchild on the Becker side (and I can’t say she hasn’t loved all the special attention). But then me and my sister-in-law had baby girls 5 weeks apart, and now there are three precious little girl cousins on the Becker side. So a few weekends ago the whole family gathered up at the island so these sweet cousins could finally meet. We had a great time hanging out on the beach (and introducing Claire to the sand and sea for the first time!), eating good meals, and even getting in some good kayaking, thanks to nana and papa who watched all three girls!

^^We are a family that really likes ice cream…..

^^This picture cracks me up. We tried to get a photo of Brett’s parents with the grand kids and Leah was just not in a photo taking mood. So this is what we got! Gotta love two year olds….

I’m excited that (so far) there are three little girl cousins that will grow up so close in age. I am looking forward to many future family vacations at the island, and the fun these girls will have on the beach!

Girl’s Weekend: Island Style

I’m lucky (very lucky!) that I get to work with some AWESOME child life girls at my hospital. 6 of us have gotten very close and we have been wanting to do a girls weekend for a long time now. With 3 of us pregnant, and with babies and maternity leaves right around the corner, we decided that it was now or never!! Lucky for us, my awesome in-laws said we could use the condo for the weekend so with that, we all packed our weekend bags and headed up to one of my favorite places in the world: our island!

We had the brilliant idea to each be in charge of a meal for the weekend. It was super fun to, not only see what everyone picked, but also get to pig out on SO MUCH food for the entire weekend! Everyone made some really amazing and delicious meals and desserts and we all, of course, brought along a huge selection of beach and pool snacks. It would be so funny because after enjoying an awesome and huge breakfast made by one of the girls, we would all turn to whoever was in charge of lunch and say “We are so excited for your lunch plan!” So basically we ate all. weekend. long. Which was wonderful. 🙂 Add in long conversations, perfect beach weather, late nights, funny chick flicks, and a hilarious game of HedBanz (which is actually now downloadable onto your Iphone!!) on the way home, and it was all in all an awesome and relaxing weekend! Some lovely Iphone pics of our time:

^^The world’s most relaxing balcony view. I think I have 1 million Iphone photos that look EXACTLY like this, but for some reason I feel the need to snap this same pic every time we visit and I step out on the balcony for the first time.

^^The whole crew on the beach!

^^Mandatory condo bump shot. I take this picture every time we visit (while pregnant, of course….)

^^Bumps in order of size from left to right: 21 weeks, 28 weeks, 32 weeks! I cannot believe how fast everyone’s pregnancy is going! Shannon and I (the one in the black suit) are having girls and Katie is having a little boy!

^^The beach belly relaxing with a good book!

^^Kitchen meal prep

^^So on the second day Shannon and I had a good laugh when we walked out of our rooms with pretty much the exact same one piece on, only in different colors. Gotta love the mom skirted suit!! 🙂

^^So blessed to have these wonderful girls in my life!!

It was such a fun weekend, although I did miss Leah and Brett terribly! Saturday night Brett FaceTimed me with Leah before she went to bed and I teared up hearing her little voice tell me about her day with daddy! ALSO! Of course on Friday night I missed Leah’s first ever poo in the potty!!! It sounds so silly (and like such a mom thing) but I was seriously SO UPSET that I missed it!! Brett texted me with the whole story, complete with a proud picture of Leah eating her ice cream reward and I wanted to cry. As silly as it sounds, every milestone (poops and all!) are so special and it kills me to miss even one. However, I am WELL aware that I will be here for so many more potty poops and I’m willing to bet that it will lose it’s charm quick. 😉 But, even still, I am so proud of our big girl!!

Sunday, I came home to a clean house complete with a freshly painted back patio, so of course Brett was a super dad/husband over the weekend. It was so sweet of him to give me a relaxing weekend with the girls AND take care of everything at home that needed to be done! Such an awesome weekend and a fun way to celebrate these 3 new babies that will soon be making their way into the world! 🙂

Weekend Recap

We had a weekend chock-full of fun over here. Saturday we met some friends for dinner and we decided to head to a nearby park before hand to try to get some good family pics. Since both of our husbands have nice camera equipment we decided, “Hey, why not do a family photo swap!?” and take some cute pics of each other’s family. It started off well enough but Leah really had 0 interested in looking at the camera (especially when there were so many interesting people in the park to look at!) so, although some shots are pretty cute, she’s really not looking or smiling in any one of them. Oh well. It was still fun to get some cute pics of us all and we always enjoy having dinner with the Andersons! Leah and Bradley are basically in an arranged marriage (little do they know!) so we basically have to get them together every chance we get so they grow up and fall deeply and madly in love. 🙂 It’ll happen….

Sunday we had a wonderful, relaxing, family filled day. After a morning filled with free Dunkin Donuts coffee and some fall flavored donuts (Leah herself greatly enjoyed the pumpkin pie cream filled donut!) and church (where we ran into both of Leah’s first teachers! It was so great to see them, even if Leah did cry when they tried to touch her) we headed to the beach for the afternoon. Now that Leah is walking, going anywhere has become even more fun. It’s a blast watching her toddle along the beach, trying hard to keep her balance as the waves come splashing in. She entertained herself for hours, walking back and forth along the shore with daddy following along right after her. (While mommy lied on her towel and read her book, thank you very much!) I know I have said this time and time again, but man do I love our beach. Every time we go and walk down that boardwalk, full of such interesting people, I fall in love with my town all over again. Brett and I had a good laugh when we overheard a father tell his son, “Feel how it’s cooling off? Winter’s coming!” And it was about 82 degrees. Gotta love South Florida! And Miss Leah? That girl’s got swagger. Walking down that boardwalk, arms and hips swinging, acting like she owned the place. After one too many almost-getting-run-over-by-a-bike incidents, I finally swooped her up and stuck her back in the stroller (which was not a popular decision). This kid. She’s going to keep us on our toes, that’s for sure.

Yet more beach pictures…and some ice cream

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We had my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law staying with us these last few days and it’s been a blast. Over the weekend we took them to our beloved beach as well as our beloved ice cream parlor for dinner and dessert. Talk about a mountain of ice cream right there. Leah could barely contain her excitement at the thought of enjoying the deliciousness. Mother of the year right here let her baby eat wayyy too much ice cream (and whipped cream) which resulted in some large and nasty poos the next morning. Oh well. Welcome to the addicting world of dairy, kid! 😉

Now we have my parents heading into town tomorrow for an exciting weekend of first birthday celebrations! I already have Leah’s day on Friday all planned out, full of her favorite activities, followed by a fun family and friend filled birthday party on Saturday! I am so excited, yet sad at the same time, thinking about her first birthday. I cannot believe that a full year has already gone by. A year ago tomorrow morning Brett and I headed to the hospital at 5 am, ready to be induced and excited at the thought that we would have our precious baby that day. Little did we know I had a long 19 hour labor ahead of me and that Leah wouldn’t be born until shortly after midnight on the 23rd! Now, after the fastest year of my life, we are preparing to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday and the very thought of it makes me want to cry! I’m not ready for her infant days to be behind her, but at the same time I’m so excited to see what toddlerhood will bring!

Summer Nights

Despite living minutes from the beach, we really don’t go very often. I think it’s because we tend to weekend up on “our island” about once a month, and when we are there, we hit up the beach all weekend long. But our island beach and our town’s beach really couldn’t be more different. Up on our island, the beach is narrow and quiet, usually full of washed up sea weed and shells and it has a calm, nature preserve feel. You spend a day on the island beach and it’s like a spending a day at the spa; tranquil and peaceful. Our city beach, however, is the total opposite. This beach is wide and full, thick with energy and colors, full of bikes and long boarders, 1930’s beach bungalows and ice cream shops. You spend a day on our city beach and your head will spin from all the interesting people watching you can do. Total opposites, and yet, I love them both equally.

Sunday afternoon, after church, after hubs and Leah both took long 2 hour naps and I folded laundry while watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (yet another show I’ve become addicted to some 5 years after it originally aired) we decided to mosey on down to the beach for a little sunset hang. We quickly packed up some snacks, sandwiches, towels and Leah’s new Dollar Store sand bucket and shovel, and headed down to the beach. Leah and I sat in the tide, watching kids play while Leah piled wet sand into my hands. This crazy water loving kid cannot get enough of the sand, the waves, the ocean, and she could repeatedly crab crawl face first into the incoming tide, while I pulled her back up to her feet. Again, and again and again. No fear, this one. After an hour or so of sand digging and wave diving Leah enjoyed her very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was really more of a peanut butter, jelly and sand sandwich. All the same it was a hit. As was the ice cream cone she enjoyed as we strolled down the boardwalk. We watched the sun slowly set as we made our way back to the car and we made it home just in time for Leah’s 3 favorite “B’s” (that would be bath..boobies…bed!)

It was the perfect way to finish out our weekend, so much so that we decided to make this our new Sunday afternoon/evening tradition. Who knows if we will make it every weekend (I’m sure we won’t) but I am so looking forward to spending more time on this (second) beloved beach of ours with my favorite man and my water crazed child. Here’s to many more perfect Sunday evenings.