Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rosemary Beach

We just got back from our first family vacation- just the three of us.  I've grown up going to Seaside since I was a kid, and really have never ventured out of the perfectly-planned community that Seaside is.  I'd really never heard of Rosemary Beach until the last time we went to Seaside, and had never seen it until we arrived last Wednesday.  It was the sweetest time to be together as a family.  The mornings were early, and the days were full of activity, but I think Clay would agree that we will treasure our first little trip forever.

 After a 4 hour drive, we made it to our condo at Rosemary Beach.
We were so excited to be there, and absolutely loved where we stayed!

 Dinner at Cowgirl Kitchen the first night.

 Please excuse the body outline on the sidewalk behind us.
It was part of their Halloween Festival.

 We even had time to watch the sunset on the beach.

Our condo was right above a coffee shop where I would have coffee in the mornings.

 We made it on the beach every morning by 8:30ish.
The weather was incredible- hot enough that all of us went swimming in the ocean!

Clay swimming in the ocean.

 Last time at the beach, George had a love-hate relationship with the sand/beach in general.
This time it was all love, all the time.
I'm really thankful for this since we're heading to Charleston next week!

 We walked to this little restaurant called George's for lunch the first day.
We really went because it was named George's, and then found it to be this little culinary heaven at the beach.  George really hammed it up for everyone there, and he was the hit of the lunch hour.

 After a stroller + crib nap, we headed to the indoor pool.

 We came here everyday!  It was a heated pool, and heated pool deck, and attached to a little park.
Plus, we had the pool to ourselves every time we went, and George loved hearing his voice echo.

It's hard to tell in this picture, but George LOVED Rosemary Beach.

We went to a nice dinner on Thursday night, since they had an early bird special...and we always eat early enough to be considered 'early birds'.
George was pretty worn out, so he wasn't in the mood to sit quietly, but we had a delicious dinner and then hit the hay early that night.

 I did not exaggerate when I say that our mornings started early.
This picture was taken after George's early-morning wake-up call.
I can't bring myself to admit what time we woke up each morning on our vacation.

 But George's heart was on the beach, and he needed to spend as much time as he could taking it all in.

 He even went exploring- and loved every inch of the beach.

 He settled for the pool, but we all knew it just put a band-aid over the hole in his heart for the sand and ocean air.

The swing was the only thing that would cure his longing for the beach.
He is truly obsessed with swinging, and pitches a huge fit when it's time to stop.
I worry that one day someone is going to call the police thinking I'm a kidnapper, because that's the look of betrayal George gives us when it's time to stop swinging.

 This could be my second favorite picture of the trip (#1 to follow...)

 Our best dinner was at La Cocina near Rosemary Beach- it was awesome!
We even had time to have some dessert- George's favorite, and catch another sunset on the beach.
It was such a great day.

 Sunset over Rosemary Beach.

 The condo we rented came with two bikes, and the little shop next to our building rented these nifty little kid carriers.  We decided to bike to Seaside for the morning, and I am so glad we did.  This was my most favorite memory from the trip.  Clay and I laughed and talked, it was just so peaceful.
George loved his little chariot, too!

THIS is my most favorite picture from the trip.
We found a playground as soon as we got to Seaside so George could play and swing (of course), and Clay had to get in on the fun, too.  I love how captivated they are by the other.

 George was just a little nugget last time we were at this playground (in March) and now he's walking across the suspension bridge.  I think this day could have been the best day of George's life so far.
But we'll have to ask him about that on a later day.

Please tell me he'll always want me to hold him and giggle with me, right?

 On Sunday morning before we started packing, we went to get some donuts from Charlie's Donut Truck down the street in Alys Beach.  We walked up to the truck and George took one look at the freshly made pastries and started doing his sign for 'please'.  These donuts were worth every single calorie that was crammed into those things.

George agreed.

Because Clay is the best husband of all time, and a car-packer-extraordinnaire, he sent George and me to the playground while he packed up everything in the car.  George was pretty excited to get one more swing in before a long car ride home.

Here's a picture of Clay's best work, in my opinion:

Trips with babies are a lot of work.  We all came home and slept for 12+ hours Sunday night, and are still catching up on our sleep.  But I would not trade any amount of sleep for the memories we made together as a family in the four days we were away.  Clay and I laughed until we cried at one point.  George got to have fun with both of us on his time, and on his own schedule.  Uninterrupted time is such a rare commodity in life, and I am thankful to be married to someone who finds it important to carve that out for our family.  I will never stop being thankful for a husband and a son who are my two best friends in the world, and I am thankful for the uninterrupted time we were able to have together at Rosemary Beach.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Last Two Weeks.

I just realized that I haven't looked at our blog in the last two weeks.
I feel like Clay's birthday was yesterday, and somehow, we're almost to November!
I even thought about doing a blog post about my deeper thoughts on life.  Then I got distracted and forgot all about it.  So for today, here are the pictures I've captured over the past two weeks.
I feel like that's more fun anyways, right?!

We celebrated Clay's birthday with the Cochran's with a trip to the Springville Pumpkin Patch.
Brace yourself for the cuteness that follows.

We went to Boo at the Zoo with Saty, Aunt Erie and Rogers.
I'll be totally honest, and share my opinion that it was way over-rated, and a little nauseating.
The carousel went backwards, had a strobe light and a black light.
Lesson learned for next year.

Then it was picture day for George at Mother's Day Out.  When I went to pick him up, they had a little present for me, and even though I know that George had just about no hand in making it, I'll probably keep it out year-round.  Clay has a hard time with my inability to part with gifts from old students- no matter how ugly the gift is.  I can't imagine what our house will look like in a few years if I never part with George's crafts.

Then we realized that Halloween was getting close, and Clay wanted to do a trial run of George's costume.  Clay really wanted him to be a Lumberjack.  We've decided that he's a 'Cochran version' of a lumberjack, meaning that he will have no beard, and no hat.  
Plus most lumberjacks wear tan keds, right?

Right around George's birthday, he seemed really excited to try walking.  Now he's pretty much giving up altogether on walking, but I know he will one day.  In the meantime, my arms grow stronger and stronger everyday carrying around a 22+ pound kiddo.
Total digression.
But we are okay with it.

Yesterday we took some family pics at my parents' house for Christmas cards.
I know a lot of people don't share my love for coordinating smocked outfits, but I can't get enough of it.

Lastly, Harper is very hot and cold with George.  Sometimes she loves playing with him, other times she could move to California and not be far enough away from George.
So the other day I heard a squeal of excitement from George, and here's how I found them.
I can't tell who looks more guilty, but I love this picture.

We are going on a little family vacation and I could not be more excited to get away with my two favorite people!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Birthday.

Today is a special day in our little family.  
It is Clay's birthday!  
As someone who grew up counting down the days/hours/minutes until my birthday, it always baffles me that Clay not only doesn't want to make a fuss about his birthday, but would actually prefer if it was skipped altogether.  I used to spend weeks making up a birthday list, and Clay would rather no one gave him a single thing.  I think I've been telling him for years (after we were engaged...I didn't want to scare him off) how for my thirtieth birthday I wanted him to throw me a surprise party in Seaside with all of my best friends.  On his birthday tonight he's at a class at our church.  

I say all of this because, Clay, you are the most genuinely humble person I know.  Daily you show me what it looks to put every person in your life above yourself.  You live a life above reproach, and everyday I am thankful for the way you lead me to the Lord, and lead our family in every decision.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." Philippians 4:8

You carved this in a photo box you made me in high school.  I'm not sure there is a verse that more accurately describes the way you live your life.  Because of the way you pursue the Lord, George and I rest securely in His love that binds our little family together.  I am humbled by the way you pray over our family daily.  I am encouraged by the way you pursue me, and the way you believe in me.  You make life so much fun, even on days that are not fun.  Today, I celebrate the father you are to George, the husband you are to me, and the follower you are of Christ.  Happy Birthday, Clay!

...and now for a trip down memory lane.

Mr. Mike with Clay on October 8, 1983.

 Denver trip 2007

Off-night from Camp Winnataska 2007

 Eric's Wedding 2007.
I can't pass up an opportunity to show of the kilt.

Visit to Berry.

November 17, 2007.
The night we got engaged.

Best week ever.
Honeymoon 2008.

DC Trip 2009

Jackson Hole 2009

The Phoenix Era...2009

 Boston 2010.  Go Sox!

First family picture.  2011.

Best.  Dad.  Ever.

Birthday lunch, 2012.

Happy Birthday, Clay!  I hope you feel as loved and cherished as you make me feel every day of the year.  You are so special to me.