Saturday, April 21, 2012

am i dreaming?

"Mama, am I dreaming? For REAL mama, is this a dream???"  Graham excitedly asked over and over as his albino feet touched real oceanic sand for the first time, and it went for miles, the water more blue than his little mind could have dreamt and it was all too much....he just stood with his mouth gaped open and stared, a lot to take in for an almost 6 year old.  I was so glad we waited.  Waited to take our kids on vacation that they would remember the moment.  It was magic.  Everything we wanted it to be.  A long few months of discussing over and over are they too young still? Will they whine the whole time and torture us? Will it really be fun for all of us?  Will they even care? Or just want to go home.  Finally we pulled the trigger last minute, Jeremy could FINALLY get away from work for a bit and we could escape.  I was nervous, being 7 months pregnant, leaving our baby Nolan and taking the other two, we hadn't ever done that.  I knew it was right, Nolan is into EVERYTHING and we needed a trip with some quality one on one with our boy and girl, before our next baby comes and well, let's be honest, when all hell breaks lose.

I'm not gonna lie, up until about 20 minutes before I was going to take all of Nolan's things throw them in our suitcases and bring him with.  He's such a little lover, his snuggles, he's babbling, his little chubby cheeks that need smooching all day every day, it's hard to leave that behind.  And how would he do? He cries if you walk by him and don't pick him up, if you leave the room...his bottom lip quivers if you hand him over to someone he doesn't would HE do?  But, still after being sick with THE worst cold I have ever endured, I could seriously write an entire blog post on this beast, which still has me down, but not out.  I needed rest, sun and fun with our first two big kids.  They made us parents, taught us the differences of boys and girls, rough and gentle, they educated us on all areas of parenting and they deserved some special time to get lavished with attention.  So, thanks to the generosity of my dad and his wife, we were able to go, knowing Nolan would be adored and smooched appropriately.

Every little thing about this trip from the first arrival at the airport, to the checking in at security, to boarding our plane and taking the seats, it was amazing.  I was too little to remember the first time I flew, so never remember being so enamored by the idea of it.  I was blessed to have parents, that took risks, explored the world and traveled to exotic places, especially 30 years ago, when it was done less than now.  I learned a lot from all of that, and also remember complaining a lot about leaving home and really just wanting to stay home.  My favorite trip of my life was WI Dells.  I know right?  I went on cruises, Mexico, England, but the trip I wanted to re-do the most was WI Dells.  And I knew why.  It wasn't about the location, exotic, far plane rides, nope, it was about the time and energy my parents spent with me.

So, as parents, Jeremy has wanted to take the kids long ago.  But for me, I would rather wait, until we can truly just embrace it and have fun with them.  And plus, I have always felt it really important to take at least one trip a year the two of us, to re-connect and fall in love again....needed after a few kids and 13 years together.  But, this year it was time, and it felt right, well despite being so flipping sick I could barely pack and get myself together.  Since I was sick and 7 months preggo we decided against any "theme parks" way too much walking and hot for this mama, I know buzz kill!  So we went down to Marco Island in FL.  It was ALL that we wanted and needed it to be.  We had been to FL numerous times, and it's funny it all seems to be the same tacky hotels and restaurants and people, but Marco is more like Naples, clean, sophisticated, yet still FL cheese factor, perfection!  Our resort was amazing and as I said, Graham really couldn't stop saying, "am I dreaming?" He probably said it 5 times the first day and then a couple the next, until he finally realized he wasn't!  It was priceless.

The kids were in heaven.  To have our attention, fully, dedicated to them, daddy throwing them in the air, giving them "dolphin" rides around the pool...over and over and over, he couldn't stop...he would come out for a few minutes to sit with me and then he got sucked back in, he was in heaven too, it's so great to watch it all unfold.  When your face muscles are sore from smiling so much, your stomach hurts from laughing so hard, you don't want to shut your eyes at night, because another day is ending and you don't want it was that kind of vacation.  When even waiting for our rental mini-van, (which the kids are still talking about and insist we get!) we still had FUN....splashing in the fountain at the airport!

And all my fears of bratty, ungrateful little boogers who tell us then want to leave and throw tantrums, well, they were no where to be found... Jeremy paid me the biggest compliment of any mama's life and said, "you've done a really good job with them...", it melted my heart.  Not that he doesn't raise them with me, but he knows in the end who all the discipline and day in and day out work falls upon and for me, it was a tear welling, grateful moment, of recognition that only a stay at home mom can truly appreciate.  They were awesome, did they whine, sure, did they fight, sure,  but all in all, they were the best kids.  They went to fancy dinners at night and sat quietly and ate the lettuce they called, "weeds" :).  They tried Sea Bass and Mahi Mahi well ok with some ice cream bribery.

Mostly they enjoyed the bottles of Sprite at a dive restaurant we went to and the crayons and drawing on big paper at the fancy ones.

On our way driving to Marco, all of a sudden I saw it...a sign for Isles of Capri, I paused picked up my phone and found it, a post from my favorite blogger of the place she cherishes the is her heaven....well, I HAD to see what it was all about, so we ventured off a short 10 minute drive and there we found not at all what we were expecting...a thatched roof bar, with a teeny tiny strip of sand that one can barely call a beach tucked away in a laid back marina....huh? I was confused, but hauled our towels and beach toys just the same, determined to see what she saw in this place...

It was a busy day on a tiny little scrap of beach, as there were kayak races...and honestly, still not quite sure where the charm and heaven is, but we all find ours in different places, right?  When I see this...I feel it...

Naps with daddy in fluffy feather pillows, 

smiling, happy faces, with herbs stuck in teeth...:)

Finding fun in parking lot mirrors...

pure joy on a little slice of sand...

or the worlds biggest hotel bathtub...

Planning to sleep all night on the rooftop veranda with daddy...(after some police sirens, plan was averted)

swinging on tire swing till you puke...ok well that happened once, we learned our lesson, for real!

searching for the perfect shells under each little piece of sand....

giggling watching daddy wear Graham's sunglasses...

getting thrown high into the sky and falling into the waves of the ocean....

piggy back rides...

furry friends that we tell our secrets to.

Kisses and cuddles from mama and capturing it all in priceless photos...

Every little bit was a piece of heaven for us.  We found it in everything we did this trip and we just treasured our time with our two.  It was odd being a family of 4 for 5 days.  It felt weird and different and then strangely perfect too.  We missed Nolan, we talked about him often and wished he were with.  We also talked and dreamt about the new little "alien" inside mama right is Graham's Alien face :)

Then, as a last minute surprise decision, we had a couple hours to spend before the airport and decided on a last minute 4D was fun, to see the baby and see our big babies looking on, it's still unreal to us that we are soon to be a family of six.  But either way, we will be taking trips with our older ones alone again, it was precious time that we all will treasure.


Running races in empty terminals before the flight, no shoes on I know GROSS! 

And when we returned home, to a bright sunny day and this beautiful boy, who missed his favorite sister oh so much....we had to make up for lost kisses....

and show off our new teeth!

play with our friends we missed

And remember how good home is too.


  1. Looks like it was a lot of fun...And having a large family myself with a wide age range I totally agree with the fact that every once in a while it is only fair to the older kids for us parents to ditch the younger ones and really be able to enjoy the time with our kids without having to fuss over toddlers and babies. You have a very beautiful family :)

    1. Jenny- who knew it was so necessary to take the older ones, so fun! And I am SO glad to see/hear Russell is back from surgery and doing well, so scary! I love reading all of his adventures on your blog as well as seeing your beautiful family! :)

  2. WOW what beautiful photos. It's so wonderful that you and your beautiful family had a wonderful getaway. These will be some endearing memories for your little ones. I really enjoyed reading your post and looking through the photos. SO glad I found your blog through SITS and will be following it as well. Happy Sunday!! BTW love the soundtrack! :)

  3. Sounds so fabulous. Memories forever! I also love the soundtrack.


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