Destin Family Vaca 2015

Lots of fun memories made in Destin this year! We stayed at probably one of our favorite places. We stayed at Crystal Dunes on the ground level with a walk out straight to the beach! We try to stay on the water each year, and even though it’s more expensive, it’s just a life saver when you have small kids who whine about having to hold a towel on the way to the beach.  This place wasn’t super luxury, but it was close to everything  and had a decent outdoor pool and hot tub.  We love the larger high rise condos, and mega pools with zero entry but they’re always set pretty far back from the water. This one was nice because even though it didn’t have fancy amenities, it was so nice to be close to the water and just open the sliding door and hear the waves morning, noon and night!

We skipped the last week of school, missing field day and a few other fun events in order to beat the rush, and save money in the process.  The prices skyrocket the following week.  This is the last year we’ll be able to miss school since Parker will be in Kindergarten next year, so we took advantage of it!  The only downside is that with the smaller crowds, sometimes they don’t offer as many boat tours as they do with the larger groups.  So this time instead of doing a snorkel cruise and shelling tour, like we’ve done in years past, we opted to do a pirate cruise since it was offered at a time that worked better for our schedule.  That was really our only scheduled thing that happened during our trip.  That and the date night… and we’ll get to that later.  So, other than the pirate cruise, we just did went to the beach, pool, visited Destin Commons, etc. We asked the kids if they wanted to do the Aquarium, and they didn’t want to. So… we didn’t force it. We just took our time and relaxed at the condo between our beaching, eating, pooling, going to dinner, waking up and repeating…  It was amazing!

As for pictures during our trip… I started to use my DSLR, but then I didn’t want to lug it around, so I mainly used my iPhone 6.  I just didn’t want to risk getting a bunch of sand in it, or not being able to enjoy my time in the water, for fear that it was going to get stolen. So, I left it behind and brought my phone that was more portable and easier to conceal.  I’m also three weeks late in posting this, so I have not edited my photos, but that’s okay!  It’s either I post my unedited photos in all their imperfections, or my posts don’t get done.

One of my very favorite  days of our trip was Mother’s Day.  For obvious reasons, because I felt a little more celebrated and appreciated, but one of the things I really loved was visiting Baytowne Warf.  We found a fun restaurant overlooking the bay, and they had live music. They played some of my favorite beach tunes and the kids were laughing and dancing. It was the best!

The kids really loved the Buccaneer pirate cruise.  We would’ve loved to have done the snorkle cruise where we go shelling, go down to the jetties and ride the kayak, but their timing just wasn’t good during our trip. The pirate cruise was definitely the highlight of the trip in the eyes of the kids. They loved it!  It wasn’t too bad for the parents either since we got to enjoy some adult beverages and just let the kids have fun with several planned activities they had on the boat with the pirates!

We made some great memories during our trip!  The kids did have a few moments of grumpiness that I would credit to the lack of sleep and excitement of the vaca and the expectations that came along with it.  We found a sitter one night to go out to dinner (thanks to a referral from a neighbor who used to live in the area), and Dan and I enjoyed a fun evening alone without the kids in Destin.  We went to McGuire’s Irish pub and ate dinner, had drinks, and then enjoyed a nice walk in Harbor Walk where we had a funny character drawn of us.  When we got home, we found out that the kids were less than well behaved with the sitter.  We were so embarrassed that they didn’t behave.  We of course disciplined them by removing privileges, but we were just really bummed and disappointed that they represented our family in such a bad way.  It’s just a reminder that even when you do the best you can to teach and raise your kids the right way, they’re still just kids, and they are full of sin and mistakes sometimes. So we didn’t dwell on it, we dealt with it and moved on, but it may be the last time we do a sitter on vacation. Especially one that our kids don’t know.

This is probably our last trip to Destin for a while.  We will have a kindergartener next year who will have to abide by ‘normal school’ scheduling.  It’s just so expensive during the summer peak times, so we’re not sure if we’ll be able to swing it for a while. We plan to go to NC and PA next year to visit family and get our beach fix that way, although we know it won’t be the same. We really enjoyed the beach time we had on the Emerald coast. Until we meet again!

St. Aidan’s Summer Concert

We will be sad to leave this preschool this year.  We decided that the commute to Alpharetta was just too much for us, so we have enrolled the boys in a school that is closer to our home for next year.  It’s bitter sweet for sure.  We absolutely love the little concerts they have the kids put on for the family!  They are super sweet, and reminds me how precious our little ones are. Love, love, love them! Hoping they have little programs at Parkway where they will be going next year.

The boys love to perform.  They aren’t shy in the least bit! Parker is a bit more outgoing than Mason, but Mason is our  musical one. Any given day, you’ll hear Mason singing a tune and dancing to his own beat.  I love that about him. Parker loves singing too, but more so to be the center of attention, we rarely hear him singing on his own without being prompted to do so.  Each of the kids’ class did a few songs and they were just precious in them!

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Music Saturday

I’m going to join my friend Danielle over at Danielle’s Dish and post my Music Saturday. Yesterday while Parker, Mason and I were having our little jam session, listening to my shuffle, this song came on. I’ve heard it a hundred times, but it was just the kind of positive thinking that I needed.

Music Saturday

So… My friend Danielle at Danielle’s Dish is posting a Music Saturday. So, I thought I’d link up and share my fav. Okay…two this time. I couldn’t choose!

Here’s the first… Is this not freegin hilarious? Lord help me if I ever have a diva daughter.

Believe it or not, I like the following because of its dance-ablility. I just love dancing with my little guy Parker, and when I hear the Kid Bop version of the following song, It makes me want to go to Kangazoom and jump around and celebrate the end of the week.

GNO & the morning after

Thursday night I had a great time hanging out with Melissa, Julie and Julie’s neighbor Myra.  We had a delicious dinner at Pure Taqueria where we got our mexican fix, and then it was off to see Sheryl Crow.   I really love the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.  It’s so close to home, it’s clean, new, easy to park…and the best part was, we paid for lawn seats and we ended up with REAL seats!  As we entered and had our tickets scanned, a uniformed employee approached us and asked us if we’d like to have real seats instead of lawn.  Yay!  Colbie Caillat opened for the pop star, and she was really good.  I have to admit that one of her popular songs is a little too bubbly for my taste, but she was much more chill live than she is on the radio.  Not bad for someone who got their start on myspace, of all places.  Sheryl put on a great show.  She had all of her classic hits that we all know and love, plus her bluesie new songs that definitely have a 70’s disco vibe.  There was one song that I really liked called Eye to Eye, that has a beach reggae beat to it (shocker right?).  So, that’ll be the next addition to my iTunes list for sure.  The crowd was a bit interesting.  I was the DD, so maybe I just noticed how funny the ladies were dancing because of my less than intoxicated mental state and I wasn’t tipsy enough to join in, but I’m pretty sure that fist pumping isn’t considered a formal Sheryl Crow fan dance move.  We had fun laughing at them for sure.  We didn’t see many men there, but I did smell the stench of cigar smell that permeated the air.  Well, that’s a different smell than the smoke I used to smell at the old concerts I would go to.  So, either I’m getting old, or I used to go to some crazy concerts back in the day…  I think, it’s a little of both.

The morning after I went to my favorite bi-annual consignment sale.  All 4 kids always has some incredibly reduced price merchandise.  With that in mind, I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and woke up bright and early after the late night out with the girls, slipped on my running shoes, packed my water, two hamper bags, and grabbed my purse and ran out the door barely looking presentable.  I got to Marietta (about a 40 minute drive) around 8:05, proud of how early I was since there were only two people in line, and proceeded to grab my stuff and head for the entrance.  Then I had a freak out session.  I looked through my purse to grab my wallet and it wasn’t there.  Cursing myself for all of the receipts, toys, baby shoes, and lip gloss I had scattered among my purse/diaper/life luggage/baggage bag I found a lonesome debit card.  Yes! Yes!!  I remembered that I took my debit card out of my wallet the night before because I considered not taking my purse into the concert, but decided to just take my purse…but in a rush, I didn’t put it back in my wallet.  Thank you Lord! So, I rushed up to the bank to withdraw some cash (in case they would ask for ID, which I didn’t have) and came back just in time for the sale at 8:15.  A little bummed because there were about 20 people ahead of me in line, but I was still able to score some awesome deals.  I got about 30 outfits for the fall in 12-18 month sizes, toys and books.  I love that I can buy someone else’s used toys and clothes that appear to be brand new for less than half the price.  It meets both my passions…recycling and thriftiness!

Wanna be like Jack

I crave a simple life.  I for one, am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to being caught up in social networking, reality TV, forums and the brainless hoopla that goes along with living in the year 2010.  I would love to just unplug… meditate… relax…breathe easy….loosen up…sit back, and actually enjoy all that life has to offer, but focusing on the simple things, and getting down to the bare bones. You know what kind of person I’m talking about…the easy going type.  The one who wears flip flops, worn jeans and says things like it’s all good and no worries and actually means it.  Without a care in the world, lives and loves life.  Where schedules and planning go out the window and intuition and passion take over.  I want that life. I would LOVE to have that life.

When I think of this, one person that comes to mind is Jack Johnson.  He’s SO chill isn’t he?  I need to tap into his energy.  Anyone that knows me knows how much I love me some Jack Johnson music.  One of my favorite songs is Banana Pancakes.  A song about enjoying a rainy day and pretending that it’s the weekend and just enjoying each other’s company. 

The telephone is singing
Ringing it’s too early
Don’t pick it up
We don’t need to we got everything
We need right here
And everything we need is enough
Just so easy
When the whole world fits inside of your arms
Don’t really need to pay attention to the alarm
Wake up slow, yeah wake up slow

I downloaded his new album To the Sea on iTunes and LOVE it.  It’s a little bluesier (is that even a word?) and my two favorites so far are “At or with Me” and “From the Clouds”, but as I listen to it more, I’m sure my favorites will change.  Parker and I had a good ol’ time playing and listening to some Jack Johnson.  It was so much more refreshing than the typical annoying TV background noise.  He was totally diggin’ the music too. A little boy after his own Mama’s heart!  Maybe we can make “music” time a more regular occurrence.  It beats the heck outta Sesame Street songs.

I’m hoping that this new music will help channel a more carefree, easy going side me; a side of me that will be more laid back, aspiring NOT to sweat the small stuff.