Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Beach Babes

As you might have already seen on some of our friends' blogs, we were in the sunny(ish) town of Destin, Florida last weekend for a relaxing girls weekend. This has been an annual trip with this group for years now and I finally got a chance to go too!

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I have never been to Destin before and was so excited to explore. It is much more commercialized than our sleepy Sunset Beach, but still manages to feel small-town and festive. I would love to take Steve and the girls back for a visit, maybe next summer!

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I was feeling pretty anxious about leaving the girls, especially Maddie. I knew she was in good hands but this was still my first trip away and I had to practically push myself out the door. Of course I missed my family but boy was it nice to get a legitimate break and relax in the company of some of the best girlfriends a mama could ask for!!

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I left the house very early for our drive down, and I surprised my sleeping family by leaving daily goody bags that they could open while I was gone. I am told they were a hit! They contained such prizes as pumpkin beer, temporary tattoos, coloring books, and fruit pouches...just a little something for everybody to let them know I was thinking about them!

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The first day was consumed mostly by driving and getting settled, but we set our first evening off in true beach style with a dinner at The Crazy Lobster and then a sunset dolphin cruise. The breeze was crisp and heavenly, good conversations were had, and dolphins were spotted. We even did a little house shopping for when we win the lottery!

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Our next day included a relaxed waffle breakfast cooked by Sarah M., and then a stroll over to the beach. The water had a bunch of seaweed so we didn't really swim, but we all brought books and kept our eyes out for dolphins. A rain shower rolled in after lunch, so we all hit the outlet malls and filled up our fall wardrobes.

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Our final day involved being total beach bums. After several hours of beach reading, I decided I wanted to soak up some local flavor for lunch, so Kristyn and I took Sarah's recommendation and wandered down the coast to a place called The Whale's Tail. It was just what I was hoping for - a breezy open beach patio, plenty of ocean views, a shrimp-filled menu, and cold strawberry margaritas.

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After a dinner of chicken fajitas and more margaritas, we stumbled back to the beach for the traditional pictures.

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A leisurely stroll down the beach capped off our night, and we were sad to say good night and goodbye to Destin. We all had such a good time though that we are already marking our calendars for the next Hottie Beach Fest!

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This was also a memorable trip in that Steve was left alone with both girls for the longest time yet. He handled it pretty darn well, although I know he was relieved when I finally walked back in the door! Here are some of the pictures he sent me throughout the trip - thank goodness for cell phone pictures!

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Steve told Anna that the cake was for Shoe, our fish, because it was his birthday. Which backfired when she spent the rest of the weekend trying to feed poor Shoe fistfuls of chocolate cake!!

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Til next time, Destin!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of School!

Okay, so I have to confess that I actually had Anna stage some "First Day" photos on the second day of school. Our official first day was a hot freaking mess and I was happy just to get Anna inside the classroom wearing clothes and holding a lunch. But on her second day, she was so happy to smile prettily and show off her ponytail and bookbag. I love these pictures and I am so happy that she loves her Mommy's Morning Out program - she always runs in and gives her teacher a big hug in the morning and then gives the baby a kiss goodbye.

These are the few real First Day pics that I managed to take:

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Enjoying a First Day treat before a much-needed nap.

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"First Day" Pictures, aren't these cute!

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I wish she would let me put her hair up more often, it's so adorable.

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Taking a picture of her art to send to Daddy.

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I am thrilled this school year is off to a good start - happy first day back, Anna Bean!

Children's Museum, Take Two

I was pleasantly surprised a couple of weeks ago when I saw tickets to the Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta on one of the daily deal emails again. You all might remember our first trip there at the beginning of this year, and it was kind of an epic disaster, being there by myself with the two kids. It is crazy how much of a difference just 6 months can make - we had a blast!

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We went with our friend Melissa and her son Shane. Shane and Anna became friends in their gym class together, but Melissa and I became friends too and we always enjoy getting a chance to hang out together.

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I actually bought two sets of tickets and I am looking forward to going back soon with Steve, once his fall busy season is over!

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I was SO proud of Anna here. She was pretending to drive the truck when this older kid comes over and tries to push her away, even though there was an empty wheel right next to her. With just a little bit of coaching from me, Anna nicely but firmly told him that it was her turn and he could go on the other wheel. Happily the other kid backed down and they could drive the truck together without further intervention. So proud of my little girl for handling that almost all by herself!!

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Maddie got to play too, before it got too crowded.

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It was unexpectedly chilly that morning, and I was relieved to be able to dig out some warmer clothes from both girls' closets. The fact that they could match was a happy bonus, they looked adorable.

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This other little girl loved Maddie and followed us around for quite a while. Kids just love babies!

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Anna and Shane playing in the moon dough.

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Anna was pretending to bake a birthday cake.

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Apparently "Anna, go sit next to the baby and smile so I can take a picture" means "Tackle the baby."

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More birthday cake!! Can you tell this girl is ready for September 23rd to roll around?

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Thanks for a fun day, Melissa and Shane! We can't wait to go back again soon!