I'm back from a lovely vacation with Mike's family (his parents, two brothers and their wives, and five nieces and nephews) at a beach house in South Carolina. What did vacation look like?
- Waking up early to the sun streaming in through our shutters and lilting children's voices. Both a blessing (more time at the beach!) and a bit annoying (last vacation without kids!); we got our days started early.
- Relishing what may very well be my last beach vacation before I become a mother, I was as indulgent as possible. I alternated between lying on the beach in a lounge chair, floating in the pool, and reading in the sun on the porch landing. My biggest decision up waking up each morning (after fixing myself breakfast) would be, “Where shall I start today?”
- Falling in love with our two-year-old nephew. With straw colored hair and big blue eyes, he is absolutely adorable and so happy. I wouldn't mind having such a sweet little child myself. He followed Mike around with his toy guitar and played with him.
- Over thirty total hours of driving. Of which I did none, and slept for only a few of them. It was long. But not terrible. Because, uh, we were going to a beach house. Can’t really complain about that.
- Building sandcastles and burying children. (Mike and I may get more into sandcastles than the kids. Is that a problem?)
- Being, once again, mystified by the South. The culture and the accents combined make me feel like I'm in an unfamiliar country. It's bizarre – and, at the risk of being dramatic, even culture shock. (And I don’t use the term lightly – I have actually lived in foreign countries!)
- Alternating between reading a novel about a couple who opens a coffee shop in New York City and a book about natural childbirth. A bizarre combination, perhaps, but I couldn't justify not reading a 'fun' book on vacation, just as I couldn't justify not reading as much as I can about childbirth since I'll be doing so in, oh, EIGHTY TWO DAYS. (Approximately, of course; give or take a week or two.)
- Being woken up at three-thirty in the morning by tornado sirens and Mike’s dad rousing us out of bed, bleary-eyed and delirious. The tornado didn’t end up hitting the neighborhood, but there was a quite a bit of destruction in northwest Ohio where his parents live. Sad. Scary. Bleh.
(Obviously not in northwest Ohio, but at the beach there was also some creepy weather. This photo is not edited and was taken at 5pm. Yikes.)
- Waking up at 5:45 the last morning we were there to see the sun rise with Mike. It was all kinds of beautiful, even when we'd gone to bed only four hours earlier.
- Sandy hands!
- Family photos taken by a professional photographer. And, yes, we all wore khaki and white. It was cliche and awesome.
- Watching Mike with the kids and getting all the more excited to see him become a father.
Cue: overly emotional heart melting.