Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beach Trip ~ Oak Island, NC

Almost ten years ago, in September 2004, seven of my mommy friends and I, along with our fifteen children (all four and under) spent four days together in Isle of Palms. We even enjoyed a nice dinner in Charleston (at Hank's ~ that's one of the funniest things that's ever happened to us!) and took a carriage ride before having ice cream. We had SO much fun!

We enjoyed it so much that it became an annual trip! The next three summers were spent at North Myrtle Beach and Long Beach , and our group varied, but since 2008 it's been the same five families.
Topsail Island 2008 ~ It really does seem like yesterday! How cute are they?!

In 2009, our group grew when Andrew and Gabi were born! We stayed near Hunting Island Beach ~ we really enjoyed Beaufort, but the beach was quite rocky. We still had lots of fun ~ we even climbed to the top of the Hunting Island Lighthouse!
Oh, how I loved those cheeks!!
The girls loved to wear their matching bathing suits! We didn't plan this ~ it just so happened that they each had a polka dot bathing suit!

Two years ago, Jenny and her family built a new house on Oak Island, after tearing down the one they owned that was built in the 1940's. She's been so sweet to invite us to stay there, and we love it! It's one of our favorite things about the summer ~ all of our children go to different schools, so we enjoy spending a week together each year! I love the way the kids love each other ~ they just pick up right where they've left off ~ they're more like cousins than friends!
We were excited to be back on Oak Island a few weeks ago! We spent most of our days on the beach, but one day we took the ferry from Southport over to Fort Fisher, and then we drove up to Wilmington for lunch, a little shopping, and ice cream.
It was the first time I had driven my car onto a ferry, and it was really cool!
These handsome boys have been best friends their entire lives. They loved climbing on the jetty, and then this happened...
 They were waiting for Jenny to take their picture, and a wave crashed on the rocks behind them, soaking them! They were such good sports!
 Anna Camille, Avery, and Ali Grace
 Abi and Gabi
Lauren, Andrew, and Jonathan
Emma, Cade, and Yates
 We enjoyed lunch at The George on the Riverwalk (eating outside until it started raining!), where we had a great view of the USS North Carolina Battleship just across the Cape Fear River. The riverwalk was so beautiful!
 Another evening, we went shopping and had dinner at the The Frying Pan in Southport, and it was delicious! They have THE BEST hushpuppies! We also made sure to visit Flavas Ice Cream Shop ~ so, so yummy! I love that little coastal town ~ it's so quaint and beautiful!
If you've seen the movie, Safe Haven, you might recognize this beautiful home!

We spent most of our time enjoying the beach, but there were lots of other fun things for the kids to do as well! I'll let the pictures tell the story...
We always have SO much fun together! We're truly blessed to have such special friends!

Monday, August 18, 2014

4th of July

We've been blessed with such a fun summer with family and friends. As Andrew would say, "We've been on lots of adventures!" I absolutely love having my kids home with me in the summer, and I cherish all the memories we've made!

We always celebrate the 4th of July at the lake. When I was growing up, my parents always took us to Lake Chatuge (we camped ~ usually for two weeks around the 4th), and the tradition has continued with our kids (my parents now have a trailer at the lake, which we LOVE!).
There were lots and lots of tube rides...
Andrew is too funny! He was having SO much fun!
There was also quite a bit of skiing... in the evening, just before we are "slick water" skiiers! ;)

We also enjoyed watching the fireworks from the boat. I wish I could have gotten a pretty picture of all the boats after dark...I love seeing all of the lights on the lake!
~ a pretty sunset before the fireworks ~
Lauren and her Grammy...all dressed in their red, white, and blue!
~ fun with sparklers ~
 Brendan brought along some of his own fireworks, and some of them were really cool! Andrew and Grayson were right in the middle of the action...with their ears covered!
Getting creative with their "slow ride" behind the pontoon boat!
~ Cousins... and best friends ~
Best buddies ~ he is blessed with such a sweet sister!
Love that smile!
Could they be any cuter?!
 Is there anything sweeter?!
He was one happy boy ~ he loves dogs SO much! 
That wraps up our week at the lake!
Pictures from our Oak Island adventures are coming soon!