Aug 29, 2013

Our Summer at the Beach part 1

We have had our house at the beach for three and a half years now.
During the summer we spend as much time as we can there and go as often as we can during the school  year. The soccer schedule usually dictates when we go.
It is close to a three hour drive for us, door to door. 
 During the summer we usually have two cars there and Art will leave during the week to go back to Raleigh to work and then head back to the beach on Thursday for a three or four day weekend. 

The older girls have had to work around their work and school schedules, 
but they do spend as much time at the beach as they can.
It is truly our second home.

When we are there, we spend a lot of time outside.
Usually we have the ladder ball game set up outside and play
 while Art is cooking seafood on the grill.
Sometimes we roll the ping pong table out and play in the yard. 

I try to walk, run and/or ride my bike everyday.
(I do try to do all three.)

(Art, back in early spring)

The usual mode of transportation there is by golf/street cart. 

We load it up with all of our beach gear and head to the beach for the afternoon.
(The beach is about 12 houses way from our house.)

I love riding to the beach on my bike.

My bike is pink and has a wicker basket on the front.  
I have put many many miles on it. 

At night while we are watching TV, we like to put puzzles together.

Barrett is our puzzle expert.
She would stay up all night putting one together
and she would have a little help.....

I love walking the beach at low tide.
I am officially one of those ladies that walk staring at the ground for hours.  
I am a sheller. 
I cannot tell you how many bocci ball games I have walked through obliviously. 

I have shown these pictures before, but they were taken in late spring/early summer.
I don't know what was up with the Mother Nature, but we found everything on the table one afternoon!
I have several lamps that you can fill with things and, you guessed it, they are filled with shells.  

Coral is harder to find, but I have had a little luck this summer. 
I have an antique wine jug that I am filling.  

Sometimes, I  find some interesting creatures. 
I threw this guy back.

My seaglass collection is growing.  
This picture is from the beginning of the summer and I have more than doubled the number of pieces. 

On rare occasions, I just walk......

Our beach is small.
It is on an island all by itself and 
 is about four miles wide.  

Something just happens when you cross over that bridge.....

There is a main street that runs along the direction of the beach and then there are streets that run vertically to the ocean along the canals that come off the waterway. 
Our house is on one of the canals.
We can see the intracoastal waterway from our back deck and we can hear the waves from the other direction.

(old picture....we have enclosed underneath the house where the boat is and made it into a garage that opens up in the front of the house and the back. We also store our boat on a boat lift off our dock.)

This is the screened porch off the second floor of our house (master bedroom). The waterway is to the right, past the trees. 
(Yes, that is a statue of me on the table!)

(I love sleeping with the door opened when it is cool enough.....
the breeze, the sound of the waves and boats.....ahhhhh!)

This is down the canal to the left.
The ocean is behind that house at the end. 

The sunsets are amazing!

This is off the kitchen. We eat dinner a lot here.  It is also the best place in the house to drink coffee in the morning.......and wine in the afternoon!
We added the curtains this summer because the sun was just too much to enjoy sitting out there in the afternoon.  

I will certainly miss the beach this holiday weekend. It is the last hurrah  of the summer.
We will be spending the weekend at a soccer tournament in Greensboro, NC with Barrett (#3). 

I do have a lot more beach pictures to share.
Stay tuned.

Aug 19, 2013


My baby is a junior in high school! 

School started for Barrett this morning.  Summer is a blur. 

Sunday evening, we had a low stress dinner at home. Barrett wanted grilled fish and roasted veggies. We ate out on the front porch as the sun went down (and pouted).

We have a family tradition to eat Nutty Buddies on the last night of summer break.  We have been doing this since the older girls started elementary school. We bought our fish at Whole Foods and they do not sale Nutty Buddies and so we had to compromise a little. 

We were sad that #2 was not here and so we Facedtimed with her.  
Gotta love the iPhone! 

#3 spent her last night of summer double checking her summer assignments. 
(DON'T get me started about summer school work.....I am not a fan. at. all.)
(Oh, OH, not get me started!)

Moving right a long....

This morning came too early!!!! AND it was pouring outside. 

 Barrett has grown up so quickly.
I cannot believe she only has two more years of school until college.
She looked so pretty this morning!

All the essentials for the first day of school.....
cluttering up the counters again! 

There is no doubt that this girl likes her preppy things! 

Her stitches are healing nicely and she isn't bothered by them at all. 

At 7AM she pulled out of the driveway.

It has begun.

Aug 16, 2013


I love summer.

I love the no agenda days, giving the alarm a break.

Don't be fooled though. We hardly sit still around here.

I am not one that does well on idle. Just ask the girls. If I sit still for too long I will find a drawer to clean out or some other task that needs to be done.

Summer to me is doing the things we can't do when homework, soccer and other things become the priority. We love to sew, paint, scrapbook, garden, shop, cook, bake and play board games around here.  So summer is the time we do those things and have fun.

This summer has been a bit different.  Since the two older girls started college, I looked forward to them coming home and filling the house with noise, chaos, laundry and even their messes.

Brittany and Brooke did come home again this summer, they came home to stay... for a while.  The rhythm  of house has changed.

What was once in is now out and what once was so out is now so in.

Yes, the two older girls are back IN.....sort of.

The leases ran out on their apartments and they and ALL OF THEIR STUFF CAME HOME. Since Brooke graduated from college and is now officially in charge of her finances (for the most part) she decided that staying at home was not so bad.  (I am a pretty cool mom after all.) Brittany has one more semester left at UNC and will only have to be in Chapel HIll two days a week.  We could not justify paying for an apartment since we live just 30 minutes from CH.  So she came home with her stuff too.....but....there is no describing the amount of STUFF she had accumulated over the four years in college.

I kid you not, I believe we could stock a drug store.  We will not need to buy chapstick, Q tips, body wash, nail polish remover, anti aging creams or sunscreen for a long long time.  I also believe I could open up a spot in a spice market with what she brought home.   I had no idea what to do with everything.  Our pantry and cabinets are full.

If you need an extension cord, TV, decorative pillow, pack of index cards, pencil, soap or a pair of socks, let me know. I've got you covered!!!

I just wish I had taken pictures....especially of all of the stuff we donated to the veterans.  We have two double garages and one of them was wall to wall of big green plastic bags.  When the guy came to get everything he even said, "Please tell me you are going to help me."

So Brittany is IN the house.  She is so excited!

"Mom, I am gonna cook dinner two or three times a week."
"So when Barrett goes to school in a week, it is just gonna be me and you most of the time!"
"I am signing up for a Boot Camp that meets at 6 Am three days a week. Will you do it with me?"
"Mom, have you done laundry yet?"
"There is no food in this house."

I am excited too!  woo hoo!

I really am just kidding.

Brooke, #2.

Well, she was IN and now sort of OUT.

She graduated and went straight into a full-time job as a 9-5er as a graphic designer for a jewelry designer/company in Raleigh.  On a whim, she applied online for a job as a flight attendant for a major airline. The desk was holding her back and tying her down. She was called the very next day for a phone interview, flown for a face to face interview the next week, hired that day and is now in Arizona for five weeks training.

She will find out in a week what airport and area of the country she will work out of. We are a little anxious about that.  We are praying she will be IN North Carolina at least.

BF2 is OUT.

He made his exit in July. I do not have much to say about that. I don't really talk about their personal lives too much. I will say I know God is in charge and so does #2, but life is hard sometimes.  And sometimes it stinks.

I was planning on making a photo book online this fall of our Napa trip we took earlier this summer, but BF2  is in so many of the pictures it will be very awkward.   I should have paid more attention to the pictures I was taking and not included a nonfamily member in so many of them.  Another lesson learned by me I guess.

Gardening is IN at our house this summer!! We battle the deer non stop, but this year we have won a small battle.  We fenced our garden in little squares and apparently the deer won't jump into a little space. We have a been enjoying cucumbers, bell peppers and squash all summer long.

 Looking cute when you go pick the cucumbers is also IN!

We also planted some zinnias. They are my favorite summer flower and I love to cut them and keep them in the house during the summer.  We did have sunflowers just about ready to bloom but the deer were able to reach them and cleared them out in one night.

Speaking of deer....

twins are IN........

(babies following their mama down our driveway)

Cooking during the summer is OUT here at our house.  We've been eating a lot of dinners like this....

This is a horseradish mayo, roast beef, blue cheese and homemade balsamic onion jam opened faced sandwich.  So YUMMY! 

Day trips to Busch Gardens on rainy days are IN this summer! 

Boat loads of sushi are IN!

We took Brooke to her favorite restaurant before she left for training and it was wonderful!

Stitches are IN.  Barrett had to have a little minor surgery to have two cysts removed on her cheek.  We have been dealing with this since March and she has had cortisone injections all summer long and has been on antibiotics since April.  One started getting larger even after the last injection and so we finally decided to have them removed.  A very good plastic surgeon did it on Wednesday and it looks like the scarring is going to be very minimal.  The only bad part is that Barrett will have to start school on Monday with stitches on her cheek.  Bummer.

I haven't really taken a lot of pictures this summer. I do have my camera battery plugged IN right now and charging.  I've got to start making a little more effort.

We were supposed to go to the beach for the last time this summer, but the forecast is for several inches of rain this weekend and we just decided to stay home.  Barrett is pretty bummed that she isn't spending her last little bit of summer sitting in the sun on the beach.  We do have plans to go next weekend though.

This weekend we now have plans to spoil #3 a little.  We will let her pick a restaurant and movie tonight.  Can't wait!

Stay tuned for a whole summer's worth of beach pictures!