Monday, June 20, 2011

Ocean City

We ended up finally getting out to the beach because of Tom's cousin's getting married in Ocean City New Jersey.
The picture above is us at the wedding on our last night there, it was the most amazing sunset.
The wedding was a beautiful celebration, for such a sweet couple.

I think that this was not only the beginning of their life together but a great new tradition for us!
Tom's family goes camping every fall, and its something I have grown to love.
But when I was young my family went to the beach every year... 
and it is something we have let slip away.

Never again will I let so many years get between me and the sea.
I loved it so much, and I had forgotten that.
It felt like the salt and the sand scrubbed me clean, and the fresh breezy air on the boardwalk cleared my head. I came in every afternoon feeling like I had just been to a spa.
Now I couldn't have that feeling being spoiled by less than perfect accommodations could I?
We checked out the hotels that were reserved for the wedding and quickly decided that we needed some place with a kitchen. Eating out gets expensive quickly for a family of six.
  So we found The Flanders.  It's an "all suites" hotel.

It was built in the 20's. And it retains so much of that charm.

It's so beautifully decorated. All the lobbies and the ballrooms are just amazing.
I felt like I stepped back in time. There was always great old music playing in the lobby, upbeat swing music, and Jazz.

And the Ballroom's were awesome, Bella wanted to go back again and again!
They were open to wander through during the week, and on the weekend there were at least three weddings.

This is the "Garden Room".

Just outside those windows is the heated pool.
I didn't get pictures of it but it had awnings all around for shade, and cushioned wicker furniture.

There were three cute little boutiques in the hotel that I avoided going into so as not to spend all Tom's hard earned money!
Temptation at every turn!

Some amazing old furniture... hold onto your toddlers people!

This is in the main Lobby, lots of history here. Even a ghost story I found on You Tube... funny and a little creepy. More creepy when I found myself all alone in the ballroom!

This is the Grand Ballroom.
Bella left a little bit of her heart here I think.
So did I.

The ballroom was actually four rooms with this mirrored hall in the middle.
My pictures do not do it justice.

Many beautiful murals.

This was from a wedding the night before.

The best part of the hotel is that you get all this history and beauty and then we could go back to our modern, kid friendly suite, and really unwind.
For us it was a great compromise. We could never stay in a place like this if the rooms were decorated in the same way.

We ended up getting a tour of some other rooms we were interested in booking for next summer.
They are all privately owned and then rented out so they are all decorated in different ways.
But I have to say that they were all beautiful.

So next year it's back to the beach for me and my family! Hopefully all of us, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, just like we used to. Days in the sun and sand, nights playing goofy golf and cards, laughing till we cry.

“The beach is in our blood. Everyone in our family returns to the beach instinctively, 
just like the sea turtles.”

--Sandy Archibald

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Sunday, June 19, 2011


Darling, Crazy, Sweet, Funny, Wild, Obstinate, Wonderful Daniel.

This morning on the beach you were one, and this evening in your bed you are two.

You are two years old today and I am feeling sad, I feel like I blinked and missed this whole year of your life. I guess being pregnant for much of it could be to blame. We found out Vivian was on her way just before your first Birthday. But I think its more than that. I can't believe you are about to be two because you have always seemed older than you are.

You have seemed like a two year old since you started walking shortly after  you turned one.
It was like you stood up and said,  
" Ok! I'm in the big kids club now and I would like to be lumped in with Isabella and Tommy please. Don't worry about me... I can keep up."

And of course you said please because its your way. 
You are ornery and rambunctious unlike your siblings but after you defy me and do it your way, you always apologize. And when your Daddy is helping you get dressed you always thank him repeatedly.
And if someone sneezes you will yell blessings at them until they acknowledge you properly.

Yes communication is the one thing about you I see changing as you were approaching this milestone.
Suddenly you could talk. And boy has that helped you to not be frustrated lately.
We all knew that you knew what you wanted but we couldn't figure out what and you couldn't tell us.
That must have been hard and I feel bad for the many times I let myself get nearly as frustrated as you were.
Today in the car you chatted away, growling when we misunderstood. Telling us "Appy Biwday" when we said it to you first. Yelling "I am Twoooo!"
Shouting "Dere it is!" when you would see a truck or an airplane.

You are never in the middle with your moods my sweet and sour boy.
You swing wildly in every direction, excited to angry, laughing to crying.
Life with you is like a roller coaster of emotion. But I am proud of the spitfire in you.
I love that you are who you are, and you feel what you feel, and everyone else has to accept it.

Many days I wish to be more like you wearing my heart on my sleeve. And many times in the middle of a meltdown on a hard day I quietly admit to myself that I want to sit on the floor and scream too.
Often when you give your brother or sister a good smack I find myself laughing under my breathe thinking that "yeah they had that coming!"

We have to harness your wild side, tame it a little.
Teach you to control your reactions.
But never lose that spirit, I hope you always go after what you want with this same passion.
It won't always work out, there will be failure and heartache. But when I imagine what life holds for you I am excited and imagine that it will be quite and adventure.

Maybe the reason I can't believe you are already two is that time flies when your having fun.
And you my little boy are the life of the party.
Happy Birthday Baby.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Last Day

Last day on the shore today. Heading back out so I have no time to write. 
But enjoy the pictures and the stolen sentiments.

"But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean."
-- H. P. Lovecraft

The sea pronounces something, over and over,
in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. 
~Annie Dillard

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.
  ~Isak Dinesen

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. 
~Thomas Fuller

“It’s hard for me to put into words why I like the beach so much.
Everything about it is renewing for me, almost like therapy...Beach Therapy”
  --Amy Dykens 
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Friday, June 17, 2011

By the Beautiful Sea

We are loving our beach bum lifestyle.

I'm sitting in bed now feeding Vivian, listening to the sounds of kids playing and smelling Tom's awesome breakfast!

We spent lots of time in the sand and surf yesterday, today even more I hope.
We are ironing out the kinks in our operation... with four little kids we have found we need a plan and lots of provisions to avoid many trips back and forth.

They love playing in the sand but they would much rather be running in the waves.

Bella and her Daddy are both on the look out for perfect shells.

Playing with Nana and Pappy... I actually saw my Dad run yesterday, haven't seen that in a while.

And then Tom found this guy.
The lifeguard said if it was this close to shore it was probably dead... nope.
Still kicking! This was when Dad went from fun to awesome in the eyes of his children.

This was them watching him scurry away.
Except Daniel.... notice he is moving away. He is chasing seagulls.
Like its his job.
All of them are.
I was walking back to our chairs with Bella and she started moving away from me.
Just as I turned my head to see why she breaks into a run and I hear her saying over and over again,
"Seagull, seagull. seagull. seagull..... sseeaagguulll!!!!"
 Daniel would follow them to Delaware if he thought he had a chance of catching one.
It's hilarious.

So in short they are loving it, and when we are not out their you can find them here... longing to get back out again.

"At the beach, life is different.
Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. 
We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun."


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