A Family Beach Day, A Day in Photos

A family beach day is so cleansing to the soul. Sometimes, words aren’t necessary when the photos tell their own story. This is one of those occasions, and I’ll enjoy this photo journal for years to come! Random thoughts from a mom after a day at the beach.

family beach day

Sometimes, just letting them enjoy each other’s space is enough.

family beach day

And most of the time, just letting them be them…well, it’s enjoyable for both of you. I dig his style!

family beach dat

Bubbles! What’s a beach day without bubbles? What’s any good day without bubbles, actually?

beach family day

A day without bubbles is like a day without a beach ninja. I mean, it’s not even really a day, is it?

family beach day

The only sad part of the day is when you look through the lens and realize they might be growing up too fast. It all goes by too fast. Until…

family beach day

You realize that one of them is looking back at you, from inside of a sand hole, enjoying life like only a small child can, and you realize that there are still many years of joy, and frustration, to come. Be still my heart!

b burying kylee edit

And then there’s this. THIS is the beginning of a memory in the making, with a man that you adore making memories with.

beach family

It ended way worse than this, of course, but I was too busy unburying my baby (face and all) to get a photo. Sometimes, like this time, it’s not OK to just sit back and be the spectator…because…buried alive?!?!

beach family

And just when you realize you’re absent from your own online album, all of your family photos, you see that you were there all along. In their reflection. Capturing every moment. While they looked adoringly at you, and you realize you’re doing exactly what you were meant to do all along. Take care of them, love them, enjoy the moment, and capture the memories in their reflection while they reflect on the love that you give them.

In the end, that’s all that matters. The memories, their love, capturing their beauty. When you realize you’re doing what you love…while you’re watching the ones you love the most…enjoy themselves? That’s when you know you’ve made it. That’s when you know your life, your world is complete. That’s the moment you realize you’re living the life you intended, the life you’ve always wanted to live. That’s when you know love.

I know all of these things, and I’m glad my camera reminds me daily. I’ve made it. I’m happy to be in their reflections. I’m just happy. Not everyone achieves that level of success in life. I’m content that I’ve found my success from within my own little world.

Are you?

Make Family Memories in Your Own Back Yard

Stop spending all of your money thrill seeking at amusement and water parks. The best family memories are made in your own back yard and Backyard Ocean has you covered with their Float to Fill Ring Pools. Note that I did receive this product to give to my extremely precious granddaughter in exchange for my honest opinions, and memories none of us will ever forget.

Backyard Ocean Simple Summer Escapes Pool Party

Children are actually very simple to please, before we teach them otherwise that is. I think we often forget that in our quest to keep up with the Jones. That Jones family that has all that great stuff and goes on lavish vacations? They aren’t happier than you. They are just maxed out on credit cards, and quite honestly, they’re probably trying to keep up with you too. Toss all of that aside, stop spending copious amounts of money on amusement parks and water parks (that probably stress you out anyway…wait, that’s not just me, right?), and make affordable and fun family memories in your own back yard! Your kids, and your wallet, will thank you.

Stop spending money and create a simple and affordable Ocean Oasis in your own back yard with Backyard Ocean

Really, as parents, even more so as grandparents, we overthink these things. I had lavish plans of a HUGE party this summer. There would be grilling, a bounce house, elephants and giraffes (overboard?), and so much pool party fun, it would be the talk of the town for decades to come. But this summer threw me some loops and my dreams of grandeur didn’t come to fruition. We had fun (and chaos, so much chaos), but no amazing party and I didn’t get to set up the pool I got for my beautiful Natalie Bug to enjoy. But you know what? All of that hooplah wasn’t necessary! Apparently you don’t need all of that fancy stuff to make a wee-tot happy. Know how I know? It didn’t happen, and I sent this simple set up pool home with the “kids” and they’re having the best summer ever because Natalie really cares less about the hype than she does this pool, her new BFF in her own back yard!

Create an Affordable Ocean Oasis in your own back yard with Back Yard Ocean

Backyard Ocean’s Float to Fill™ Ring Pools make it incredibly easy to enjoy all of the benefits of a quality pool without any of the installation costs and hassles. All you have to do is lay out the pool on a flat surface, fill the inflatable ring with air, then fill the pool with water. The ring rises as you fill the pool, pulling up the rugged walls with it, making setup a breeze! Easy peasy and the pool is so sturdy, your little one doesn’t even have to wait until the pool is full to begin enjoying the fun.

Make Your Grandchild Smiles with a simple and affordable backyard oasis

And here I was going to spend ridiculous amounts of money to make my grandbaby smile. Silly me. Silly you because I know you’ve been trying to do the same thing for your family. If you have little ones at home, this is the way to go. Save that money, save your time, and save all of that aggrevation and chaos. Tell the Jones you just don’t care about keeping up with them anymore. The best family memories are made in your own back yard!

best backyard for summer

Who’s with me? There’s still plenty of summer left (especially if you live in the south). Are you ready to take the challenge to make the best backyard pool setup and celebrate all of the warm-weather fun?

Life Lessons Learned from a Family Reunion at My House

Family. It’s complicated, especially when you grow up. Everyone moves on. Life goes on. You call each other. You text. You share Facebook space. You love and amuse each other…from a distance. But you don’t share your “space”. There’s a reason for that. You each create your own space, and it’s a beautiful thing. You all have your own rules, again beautiful. But what happens when you try to blend that family back together for an extended visit? CHAOS! That’s what. We, my family, did just that last week and let me share the “life lessons” I learned from this family reunion at my house.

Galveston Family Visit July 2015

Disclosure: This might piss off some family members, but you know what? They can’t deny truth and I hope they laugh along with me on this one. There was fun, lots of fun, but there was chaos and I learned a lot from Galvestongeddon 2015. 

If you’re planning a family reunion AT YOUR HOUSE any time soon, I urge you to read this list first. Because, for real, it might be rough on you and I think you should know. Like for real, y’all, this visit got cray-cray. Although it was awesome to see everyone, I’m rethinking agreeing to this AT MY HOUSE. So, without further ado…here’s my top 10 learnings from this visit…AT MY HOUSE:

If you're planning a family visit at your house, you need to read this top 10 list first.

  1. My granddaughter is the absolute cutest, funniest, and smartest granddaughter on the entire planet. (Don’t argue with me on that. It won’t go well…for YOU).
  2. Adult siblings, especially 3 strong-headed women, should not spend extended periods of time in the exact same space (think eat, sleep, breathe, and shit people). This is a huge issue if that space happens to be the nit-picky cleaner (nit-picky really sounds better than OCD, no?) of the family’s home.
  3. My babies get along incredibly well with each other when there are other children around, basically because they don’t even speak to one another.
  4. Four kids in one house for 6 days that rarely get to see each other are extremely loud. Sound barriers were broken. I’m sure my fine is in the mail.
  5. Toilet bowl lids should always be closed and toilet paper should always be loaded to the holder flap up. I seriously didn’t realize this was a life lesson, but apparently it is. (For the record, I think this one was my very own daughter…that I raised in my house…with my rules. I fail.)
  6. Both of my older daughters have grown into incredible young women and I’m very proud of both of them despite what some of the haters might say (the haters are not in my family for the record and would never be allowed…IN MY HOUSE).
  7. Celebrating your 12th wedding anniversary during a long visit from your extended family will not go well and you might even end up in a spat. Seriously, don’t let this one happen to you.
  8. Having a bunch of grown women in my house all at one time is kind of like a mini-conference and it’s a sure bet I’ll lose my voice within 2 days. Hello, Kermit.
  9. Family visits and picky eaters I learned the true difference between picky eaters and weird eaters. My family has both. Picky eaters are easier to please than weird eaters. Bubby loves peanut butter. He loves jelly. He will not eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Madi loves sea urchins (shrimp), but will not eat a sandwich. The end.
  10. Above all, I do love my family, all of them, but for future reference, I know that it’s better to rent hotel rooms for all, separately,  in the event that we ever all get together in the same place at the same time again.

I hope you giggled, at least a little bit, at the tale of our fun family reunion (agony) while reading this. I’m sure my sisters hate me right now, but that’s OK. We’re family. That’s what families do. We’ll fuss, we’ll forgive, we’ll share our space again…from a distance. We’re grown and it’s our right to be as dysfunctional as we’d like to be. For the record, this trip was not my plan. Like, I wasn’t involved in the initial planning at all. Y’all can blame B and my sister’s husband (who didn’t show up at all, he’s a brilliant man for that) for this trip. Thanks, guys. Love and kisses for that. You totally rock, you really do (please feel free to insert a sarcastic tone here). Life is sort of back to normal, and normal is good. I’m wishing the same for my sisters. It’s all good. Really, it’s all good. Despite the problems and fights (really, adult sibling fights are way nastier than childhood sibling fights), it was really good to see my entire family again.