{beach 2014 recap}

We recently got back from a week long vacation in Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. I’ve been going to Duck every other year for a while now with my family. We were trying to remember when we first started going-sometime back in the early ’90s. Every time we go to Duck, we stay on the same street and usually have extended family members who stay in other houses right up the street from us. When we went in 2010, my mom’s family had four houses on the same street! How fun!

This year, my parents, my oldest brother and his wife and two children, my younger brother, and my youngest brother and his wife all shared a house with us.

Just a quick look back at Harper’s first time at the beach in 2012 and this summer. My how much she has changed! She likes the ocean a lot better this time, ha!
Harper beach collage

And here is Will-he’s been three times, but this most recent trip was his favorite. He didn’t really remember much about the beach before this summer. Will beach collageWe stayed in a wonderful house this year-a three story house with six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a nice pool outside. Last time we went, we were in a four bedroom, two bathroom house, which was difficult with 13 people (including four kiddos).

Our house was quite kid-friendly as well. The top level, which included a big kitchen, open dining area, large living room and a bathroom, had a built in baby gate. The house also included two high chairs and a crib! We still took along our pack n play for Harper to use, as well as her booster seat since I didn’t know the house came with high chairs.

The bottom level of our house had two king size bedrooms with attached bathrooms. It also had a nice lounge area with a tv and mini kitchen.

We stayed on the second level, which included four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Will shared a room with his almost 6 year old cousin, O. Harper stayed in our room and actually did okay sleeping (she usually doesn’t sleep as well when she’s in the same room as us). Our bedroom had direct access to the deck and views of the ocean:)

Our week consisted of swimming in the ocean in the mornings, lunch and naps, then pool time in the afternoons. Lots of staying up late (for the kiddos) and tons of fun!

{Note-this post is full of pics!}

Will and Harper enjoying some pool time.
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Attempting to get a group picture of the cousins. Harper wasn’t very happy about it. We had a 2, 3, 4, and 5 year old at our beach house.
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Each morning we walked down to the beach. The only downfall to our house was its location. It was about a 10 minute (with kids) walk to the beach.
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Getting our chairs and tent set up.  See my brother in the background? They call me Mamarazzi? Well, I’m going to call him Paparazzi, ha!

IMG_6935Harper loved playing in the sand but wasn’t too thrilled about the waves. I took her in the ocean several times and she screamed and clung on to me when the waves came up.

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Eating snacks with Grammy. Boy, this girl loves to eat!
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Will loved the sand but also enjoyed getting in the water.
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He even went out on the boogie board and rode in some waves!
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More pool time. I’m glad I invested in these Speedo life jackets for both Harper and Will. Any time we were out at the pool they wore them. I also bought a reusable swimming diaper cover made by Speedo for Harper. It worked great, and I loved not having to deal with the disposable swimmy diapers.
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Hanging out in the beach tent. This was a great buy!
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More snacking by the pool. It might seem like all my kids do is eat, since most of these pictures show them with food! That’s when they are sitting still and when I can manage to get some pics, ha!
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One day we ate lunch outside after pool time.
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I bought some bubbles and other toys for the kids to play with at the beach.
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Getting her nails painted by Aunt M.
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Getting ready for pictures. We had my cousin take some pictures of all 13 of us on the beach.
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Walking down to the beach for pictures. IMG_7412

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In the town of Duck, there is a neat boardwalk that goes along the sound. We strolled on it several times.
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Eating meals together as a family. Each night, one of the siblings was in charge of dinner. For my night, I made honey chicken lime enchiladas (I made them at home and froze them, which made dinner so much easier) and guac and chips and salsa.
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Harper visiting with her Uncle E (my youngest brother). All of my brothers are great with Harper and Will:)
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Tired girl.
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While at the beach, we celebrated my nephew O’s upcoming 6th birthday. Since Will’s aunt and uncle from NC couldn’t come to Will’s birthday party back in May, we also had a mini birthday celebration for him as well. My sister-in-law also had goodies for the girls-stickers and mermaid tattoos, as well as some cool Kinder Surprise Eggs from her recent trip to Europe.
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Here’s a picture of Harper with her great grandmother. My grandparents (mom’s parents) stayed in a beach house right down the street from us (and yes, she’s sporting a mermaid tattoo on her arm!).
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The kiddos being creative with their play.
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My oldest brother created a huge sand pit one day at the beach. It was so big that from out in the ocean, you couldn’t see Harper (though it doesn’t take much since she’s so small, ha!).

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One day, Harper was so exhausted at the beach that she fell asleep in my arms.
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Looking for fish at the pier.
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Beautiful sunset.
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More eating in the tent.
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Playing in the sand.
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Walking down the street to the boardwalk.
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Arrgh matey! Harper wasn’t so sure about this pirate.
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Walking on the boardwalk.
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Sunset on our last evening at the beach.
IMG_8152Our 2014 beach trip was wonderful! Great fun with family, swimming in the ocean and the pool, walks in the evenings, beautiful sunsets, great weather, yummy food. I can’t wait until next time:)

{summer bucket list // sand fun}

I made a fun summer bucket list and have been posting periodically with updates on our exciting summer projects.  Today, I’m linking up with Jenny from The Chronicles of We, Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup, and several other bloggers for a summer bucket list link-up.

Last week, my mom came to visit and we decided to go to a swimming area at a national park. My mom comes over each summer and we go to a new place.  Last year, we went to a local safari park and had a blast feeding the camels and other animals.

I had heard people talk about this local lake but hadn’t been before. I didn’t realize how far out in the boonies it was! No cell phone reception at all! It took about 45 minutes to get there, but it was a nice drive through the country and out in the middle of nowhere. We arrived at a beautiful national park and lake that had a sandy beach and swimming area.

We enjoyed several hours of swimming, building sandcastles and playing in the sand, and had a fun picnic lunch.  Will and Harper were exhausted by mid afternoon (which is normally their nap time) and both were asleep within a few minutes of driving home.

I hope to continue this yearly summer tradition of going on a new adventure with Grammy and the kiddos!

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Summer Fun!

Summer is here! We’re only a few days into our official summer vacation (aka mommy’s out of school for the summer) but we’ve already had tons of fun in the past couple of weeks.  Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing…

Eating popsicles20140608-142503-51903810.jpgPlaying in the park (in the rain!)20140608-142504-51904601.jpgPlaying on the gym set20140608-142504-51904859.jpgRunning around20140608-142504-51904080.jpgRiding Pooh and lion cars20140608-142505-51905652.jpgSummer selfie!20140608-142505-51905847.jpgBounce house20140608-142505-51905392.jpgEnjoying ice cream20140608-142506-51906113.jpgPicking strawberries20140608-142506-51906682.jpgMore fun at the playground20140608-142504-51904349.jpgSwinging20140608-142506-51906398.jpgAnd more swinging…20140608-142506-51906962.jpgExploring the science museum20140608-142508-51908060.jpgPool party fun!20140608-142509-51909058.jpgFarmer’s market20140608-142508-51908536.jpgClimbing20140608-142507-51907781.jpgEnjoying birthday cupcakes

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Gardening20140608-142507-51907236.jpgWagon rides20140608-142510-51910827.jpgPlaydate20140612-140006-50406718.jpgRiding bikes20140612-140006-50406011.jpgWe are ready to enjoy many more days of summer fun!

 

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday! Since school is almost out and it’s practically summer (yay!), I thought I would share some of my favorite summer activities from last year.  I also created a summer bucket list full of fun activities we hope to accomplish this summer:)

{one} We started taking the kiddos on hikes last summer, which was so much fun! Will’s a pretty good trooper and Miss Harper enjoys her ride in style! We plan on doing more hikes this summer and getting outside more.

summer hikes

{two} Growing up, my husband and I went to our local state fair.  We took Will and Harper last year (Harper for the first time; Will had been once before when he was one) and they loved it! Will is a ride junkie…he wanted to go on all of the rides!

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{three} Catching fireflies at Grammy’s house last year.  Will’s cool aunt was helping the kiddos catch fireflies (or lightning bugs-what do you call them?) last summer.

catching fireflies

{four} Playing in the water! We bought a small inflatable pool last summer and the kiddos loved splashing around in it.  They also enjoy the water table.

water fun

{five} Exploring our local parks…we have numerous parks in our area and I’m sure we will visit them all of them this summer.  Here’s Miss Harper trying to catch up with her big brother.  I can’t get over how small she was last summer! While she’s still petite, she has definitely grown a lot since last year.

playing at the park

What’s on your summer bucket list?!

Summer Fun List-What We Accomplished!

Now that it’s time to create a fall fun list, here’s a recap of our summer fun! I created a summer fun list back in June of activities I wanted to do this summer with Will and Harper. Below is a photographic recap of some of the tons of fun we had this summer:)

P.S. In going over my summer fun list, we accomplished everything (plus more!) except for bowling. Our local bowling alley participates in the kids bowl free program and I had wanted to take Will. Maybe next summer.

Strawberry picking

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Water table fun!

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Bike riding

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Story time/play time at the library

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Playing at the park

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More fun at the park! We went to the park at least once a week (rotated through three local parks).

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Craft projects: pudding fingerpaint

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Eating fro yo

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Walking to visit Shadow and Isaac, our neighbor’s horse and donkey.

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Buying fresh vegetables at the farmer’s market

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Popsicles!

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Pool/water fun!

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Visiting Auntie M. and Uncle E. in North Carolina

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Fireworks and swimming with the Aunt and Uncle

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More storytime/library time (we went to story time 1-2 a week)

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Trip to the safari park with our neigbors

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Berry picking

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Free evening at a local museum:

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Bubbles!

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Feeding the ducks at the park

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Playing outside TONS!

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Splash park!

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Homemade frosty nights with the neighbors

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Homemade jello play-dough (orange of course)-it smelled so yummy!

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Walks down the road

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Catching lightning bugs with Aunt M.

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Playing with the cousins

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State Fair of WV

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Summer fun!

I recently picked up a small inflatable pool at Target for the kids. My son, Will* and I started a five week parent/child swim class. I wanted him to have more experience in the water and thought my daughter, Harper* would enjoy the pool as well. We set it up last night and the kids have loved splashing around in it! It took Miss H a little while to get in, but now she loves it! We are liking our time outside this summer!
*I am using my kids’ middle names on this blog:)

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