Aug 27, 2019

Topsail 2019

At the end of July our family drove down to Topsail Island, NC to spend a couple of weeks before our extended family beach week.
It was a rough start as we were given the key-code the previous week, so we unloaded all our things and brought them into the house after our check-in time only to find it hadn't been cleaned! There was also dog hair *everywhere* and big balls of it in the corners. The rental company handled the situation very poorly; Tim and I were pretty sure they thought we were the kind of people who go to a restaurant only to find everything wrong, and can't ever be pleased (actually, just basic cleanliness will do!).
The house was finally cleaned the next evening and we were then able to unpack everything.

Anyway, all in all those two weeks were so good for our family. It was nice to have that relaxing time together and to be able to unwind. It was a small little rental but had really nice decks and was on an access road just across from the beach.
 We were able to take our time visiting our favorite places on the island and even venture to other areas (thrift stores for me!). One morning we visited the local library and while we couldn't check out books we did find a few in their free section to take home.

I had to take a picture of Heidi's treasures that she brought from home and stored in her bucket:

A name tag and pet rock, as you do.

We found a good amount of shark teeth and sea glass this year! Haha, this year Evie found a piece of clear sea glass that was part of a bottle neck. I was telling her what a cool piece it was and she said, "Mom, it looks like just a piece of a bottle." Um, yep. Haha, not sure what she thought sea glass was.😄

There's a really cute bakery/ coffee shop/ used bookstore on the island and this year I came across this fun little coffee + book shop further inland. I found out they're owned by the same people!

Quesadillas and tacos from a popular walk up place

There were a few things I was uncertain about this trip: going to the beach everyday and books for the girls. We all love the beach but after most of us getting pretty burnt on the second or third day I honestly wondered how we'd fare going every day.
It helped switching things up- beach walks, swimming in the morning or going around town and then heading to the beach after lunch. We were able to visit playgrounds on cloudy days, and when we had a rainy day we headed to Wilmington for a Costco run.

For Heidi and Cora I found some storybook treasuries for a few dollars each at a used bookstore (this, this, and this). Those were perfect, as the girls had a variety of stories but we weren't lugging a bunch of picture books! For Evie and Audrey I had collected an assortment of used chapter books this past year and packed them in a small suitcase. I knew they would read through them before the family week started but decided we'd just make the best of it.

I also brought along several of these sticker books (thanks to Ashley for linking them on her blog!), Melissa & Doug On the Go items, and some other travel games and coloring items. Well, all I can say about that is a mom can plan all she wants but kids are still kids. Haha, the girls did get some entertainment from all those things but pieces also ended up all over the rental all the time, and Cora loves to bite the M&D Water Wow "pens", so they always end up becoming useless!

Our last morning in our little rental was Evie's birthday! We started the day with really good hot doughnuts, which we took to a nearby park. Evie opened her gifts there and then the girls played for a while. (We had given her most of her gifts the week before we left so she could play with them, and then brought a few things for her to open that she could enjoy on vacation.) Later in the day we hit the beach and had an early dinner at local diner. Then we packed up and headed out the next morning with plans to eat up time before we could check in to the family rental!

Aug 19, 2019

A Whole in One Post

What we've been up to since the end of May-

The girls finished school! This year each of them finished on a different day, Heidi being the earliest ending at the end of May. I actually really liked it that way, as all of the celebrations and end-of-school-hoopla trickled to a stop instead of an all at once deluge of things to do.

Summer has also been really good for me this year, after a rough first week. Three of the girls did Vacation Bible School at the end of June, and all of them did swim lessons. I was so thankful the lessons mostly overlapped time-wise, and I am SO proud of myself that most of the days I took all four of them on my own and survived (one day even going back and forth two different times, once during nap time! Yes, I will accept that gold medal, thanks.)! Evie and Audrey's lessons began a few days before the younger two, so it took quite a bit of effort to keep them occupied for forty minutes. There's nothing more harrowing than taking a willful three-year-old to a pool, sitting her in the bleachers mere feet from the water and telling her she can't go in. 
We invested in a lot of these this summer and I always made sure to toss lots of snacks in the pool bag.

Heidi's 4th of July sign- "Go America"
Evie and Audrey also participated in a week-long art camp at our church and really enjoyed it. All in all, I think the combination of a few weeks with no plans and some scheduled things other weeks worked well for me/ us.


Also in June we had a large amount of trees taken down in our front yard. It gets so much sun now that I could sit out there all day long soaking in my vitamin D! Our roof is finally moss-free and there's no more feeling like we live in a rainforest during rainy + humid times.


Also in June- Cora turned three! Her birthday fell on Father's Day, so we celebrated her and the dads at my parent's house.

Some cute things she's said lately: 

"Where's my Heidi Jo?"
Watching her sisters outside- "What's my girls doing?"
Squeezing by her sisters- "S'cuze me, sweetheart."
"I will right back!"

We love her to pieces. 


My plan for one part of the family room is sort of finally complete! Early in the year we bought a new couch (definitely the time to buy at Costco!), and I found new shades for the lamps. The pictures were just hung recently- I think they'd look better a little lower, but our plan is to eventually paint the room so they'll be re-hung sometime anyway. (You can kind of see the old ouch + lamp shades here.)

Our wedding anniversary is on the feast of Our Lady of Knock; I was so excited when I saw this print by Studio Senn!


This Saturday we just got back from three weeks in North Carolina. Being gone for a chunk of summer all at once was definitely new! I have lots of pictures to post hopefully soon.:)

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