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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Destin 2014

Our friends invited us to go on vacation with them to Destin, Florida this year.  We already had one fun beach vacation in Port Aransas but how could we say no to Destin?!  And we are SO glad we went! 

My husband felt the need to replace the brakes and shocks on his truck the night before we left for vacation.  Please tell me he's not the only guy that does these things.  So after lots of frustration and last minute running around we finally left late afternoon on Friday.  Our plan was to stop in Mississippi to spend the night and drive the remaining four hours on Saturday.  We had pre paid for a hotel the week before but when we got there (with a sleeping 2 year old, almost sleeping 8 year old, luggage and a play yard) they informed us our room had a leak.  My husband, ever the patient and polite customer <hoping you sense the sarcasm> asked to see the room so he could see how bad the leak was.  We were told that was not possible.  We knew good and well there was no leak.  They booked us at a hotel next door that was not even close to the same caliber as the one we booked but at 11 pm you'll take what you get.  And you can bet this mama called the next day raising cane and got both rooms refunded.  Apparently they overbooked 7 other rooms at the same hotel.  For shame.

Anyhoo, on Saturday morning we met our friends for breakfast and then headed over to Alligator Alley, a really cool alligator park they had been to a couple of years before.  With the exception of the ridiculous heat we all loved it!

You can barely see Ethan.
 


Feeding the gators


Get ready...


 
 <3 these guys

Yep, he's holding a real live gator!
 


Him too!  I'm shocked he didn't topple over.
 


We finally arrived in Destin Saturday afternoon and decided to have lunch at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.  The food was pricey but it (and the drinks) were delicious!  What a great view of the gulf bay water.  (I'm embarrassed to say I was corrected by an 8 year old for using the wrong one and I still can't remember what it was.  Ha!)  Look at these guys... triple sweetness right there!

I'm gonna 'go out on a limb and say he's a beach guy! :)
 

 
This boy was ready to hit the water!
 
 
These are some excited boys!
 


WHEN did you grow up Garrison?!  Sigh.
 

 
Too much sweetness to handle.  These guys seriously got along so well.  For 4 boys who were together for 8 days that is huge!
 


 
I hope we can do a recreation of this photo in 20 years with these guys! ;)
 

CHEESE...it!
 


<3
 


Ethan and I spent every morning on the swing out front watching the squirrels and neighbors take their dogs on walks.
 


 
The big boys and little boys played a lot of football.
 
 
We went to this cute little town, Seaside, and the kids painted pottery at a place called Fired Up.  It was H-O-T that day but we had a good time.
 


I taught Conner how to play chess and then he taught Ethan.  They had a serious game going on right here.  Check out E's expression.  :)
 

 
Oh my cuteness!
 
 
Movie night and cookies compliments of Amy.
 

He sleeps!!!  He actually did surprisingly well on vacation with his sleeping.  Notice I didn't mention him doing well with his mini tantrums.  Baby steps.  :)
 


Coming up with their game plan on looking for fish.  I later learned they came up with hand signals under the water to communicate.  Love it!
 



Ethan and Daddy enjoying the ocean
 


We went to the Back Porch on our last night because a friend recommended it.  The food was delicious.  Love this picture of the boys with the exception of Garrison's crazy eyes.  What?!
 

 
Ice cream after dinner was a hit for all of these guys!
 



My favorite family picture of us on the beach. 
 


I purposely did not take/post any pictures of me in a swimsuit.  You're welcome.  And I just realized I didn't get ANY pictures of all of the adults together.  Bummer!  Looks like we will just have to plan another trip Brian and Amy.  ;)

Oh Destin, how we will miss you!  I am still finding little grains of white sugary sand in random places like under my phone screen.  Is it weird that I left it there to remind me of that beautiful beach?! 

~Jewels*

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Fun

I cannot believe school starts in a little over a week.  Where has this summer gone?!  My work schedule doesn't change during the summer months but being off on Fridays with both of my boys has been great! 

We went to Port Aransas, spent lots of time with family and had lots of pool days at my parents' house.  Garrison went to a summer camp offered through the school district and he absolutely loved it!  He went to that program three days a week (with a field trip every week) and spent Thursdays with my mom.  I think he especially loved those Grammy/Garrison days.  Today they are seeing TMNT - what a fun Grammy he has!  What's that?  You want proof?
 






'Nuff said! :)

Tomorrow we leave for DESTIN!  I'm so incredibly excited to be at the beach for an entire week with great friends!  Prepping for vacation is always so stressful but I have a feeling that will all be forgotten when my toes are in the sand. 

I wanted to share some recent pictures of summer fun we have had.  I always forget to post some of my favorites on the blog so I'm trying to get better about that.

 
We loved getting to see these precious kiddos two weekends in a row.  These two were taken at my Grandmama's 80th birthday bash!



 
Some of us after dinner.  This was probably only about 1/10 of the group.  What can I say?!  We've got a BIG family!
 
 
Ethan had some fun with mustaches, Kiki and Uncle Tony later that night.
 

While Uncle John had fun with a bird...
 
 
And the woman who is at the center of it all... my beautiful Grandmama!

 
My family seriously rocks!!!
 

Girls from my Life Group at church.  This was our last GNO with Robin.  We are going to miss this family SO much when they move to Colorado. 
 



We had a super fun day on the lake with some great friends.  Ethan and Avery are the same age and I just love watching them together.

Garrett "showing the boys how it's done" while tubing.  Ha!
 



Cassie and me - going on 20 years of friendship.  Wow, I feel old.  Love this girl... she still makes me laugh as hard as she did back in 7th grade!
 

 
Kiddos after a fun dinner. 
 


Unfortunately Garrison missed out on the fun because he was at Six Flags with his friend Cole.  He had a blast!
 
 
And this was Garrison and Cole a couple weeks earlier.  How cute are they?!

 
The other night Garrison asked if I wanted to sit out back with him, have a talk and enjoy the rainbow (aka sunset). When I walked out back I found him like this. Not only did he set up the chair for me but he, ever the gentleman, took the ice chest as his seat. I am savoring moments like this. ♥
 


We went to Chuck E Cheese for my niece's birthday dinner and Ethan had a blast dancing with creepy Chuck E Cheese.  Sorry, Chuck E, I think he stole the show!
 
It is taking forever to upload this video to my You Tube account so for now I will direct you to the link on my Facebook to watch it.
 
 
I hope you have all had a fantastic summer, too!  I feel so blessed to have amazing family and friends to share these good times with.
 
 
~Jewels*