Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Last Day...

So the last full day of our trip, we rented a boat to explore the many islands around Marco Island. Lacy and I lasted the morning with the kids and the boys enjoyed the boat for the rest of the day... but all together, we were able to see some gorgeous houses on the water, some dolphins, closer than I ever have, and stop at a really beautiful, much less frequented beach to swim and search for sea shells. This is Sophia on her way to swim in the gorgeous, clear, WARM water. Did I mention this is the gulf? So the water must have been like high 90's at least. It was warmer than bath water one of the nights. Nuts.

Sophia helping Ross drive the boat; and Ross just lookin'... well, like I said, I guess I have a thing for a handsome man driving a boat.

My beautiful sister, Joe, and Joseph. Millie stayed home that day, and Joseph wasn't feeling so great after catching Sophia's cold (sorry Lace!), but was the sweetest little trooper.

Demolishing a peach after a hunger-inducing day in the sun.
Ross and Sophia enjoying the water...
Joe, searching for sea-shells as always :), thanks for giving me the good ones Joe. There really are amazing shells over there, a different exerience than our SD beaches I'm used to.

And HERE are the dolphins. Nuts right?! We saw them a ways away from the boat and drove near them. All of a sudden we realize they're swimming in our wake and keeping right up with the boat, I don't know how they didn't hit us, or get run over, or land on the deck, it was almost a little scary, but SO cool. Sophia and Joseph loved it!.... more than me for sure, it was all for them, I was really cool and calm and not at all catching flies with my mouth agape for ten minutes straight. Pretty neat.
Just some cute ones of my sunkissed, blue eyed girl.

Joseph liked to take the lead, and hung out at the front of the boat with the wind in his face. Super cute.
Our little family. Crazy to think next summer will include one more smile.
This may have been the perfect family vacation (minus the travel time.) A great condo, beach, pool, good weather, tropics, and Lacy, Joe, and their family; I couldn't have asked for more. I only wish my sweet sister lived closer... I'm missing sharing a room in high-school and the roomate days in college. And now we have kids the same age...and would have so much fun living closer...It's times like this our country seems too big. We miss you guys already Lacy and Joe. Thanks for being such great hosts!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Still reminiscing...

Collecting sea shells...

Ross, Sophia, Joe, and Joseph- out on the sandbar.

While swimming in the warm sun, within minutes, dark clouds blew in with a cold breeze and we had to wrap up and run from the storm. It was quite dramatic... and really fun seeing as we come from the land of no storms. You can't really tell in the picture, but that's why Sophia's letting me hold her all wrapped up.
Enjoying Daddy... or "Raw!" (Ross), as she sometimes calls him. (The mimicking is beginning.)

Enjoying the sunset...

Two adorably dirty, little, dirty-blondes.

Did I mention that Sophia loves the water? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that that's all we've done all summer out here. But she's been abnormally fearless in the water since last summer when she was just 9 months to a year. It was scary then because she wasn't coordinated enough to use floaties or anything but wanted to be let go of. Total water-lover. I've realized that she loves it beyond her months, especially when we get comments and gasps from strangers when we let her jump in with her floaties without catching her. She's always loved going under water and always hated being held on-to in the pool, and now that we discovered floaties, she can be FREE! She loves it. It made me a little nervous in the ocean since it is... the ocean, and is rather large, and she wasn't wearing her floaties and still likes to be free. So I know it looks like we left her out in the middle of the ocean unsupervised, but I'm pretty sure Ross just stepped out of the frame. She's our little fish.
So Monday thru Wednesday were pretty much filled with beach and pool time, which I've just about covered in pictures. (I can't promise there won't be stragglers for weeks to come, when I'm wishing I was somewhere with natural water.) But the last full day of our trip was spent on a boat exploring the many islands around Marco Island. You can imagine how many pictures I took considering there were two cute kids in life jackets, a handsome husband driving a boat (something very appealing about that to me :)) and a very up-close and personal dolphin experience. I think I'll save those for another post.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

More Marco

I felt like an obsessed mother... but every moment seemed a priceless photo moment with this precious girl.

Now that I'm home, I really don't know where to begin, there's just so many pictures and moments. In a nutshell, it really was perfect, with the exception of the length. We came inches within extending the trip thru Sunday (wish we had just paid the extra from the beginning). Ross was actually on the phone with the airline as I was sulkingly packing our bags... but since the cost of changing our flight was a bit higher than we expected, $1,037 to be exact, we loaded up the van and started our three-legged journey home. (Yes, as in, three flights, two lay overs, and 11 1/2 hours of travel with a 23 month old.)

Here are some captured moments:
Surviving the flight there: thank you, huge bag of snacks, little DVD player, and Little Mermaid. It was incredibly challenging, but could have been much worse, we're counting our blessings.

Joseph turned two on the trip-- after pool and beach on Saturday, we had his Diego Birthday party-- a total hit, especially because they had new toys to enjoy all week long. Well planned, Lace.

This is Sunday night when we went for a walk on the beach and watched the sunset. We expected sweaty and balmy and got perfect and breezy. I couldn't get over how different the beach was there than Southern California. Sophia wore her water shoes the whole time because the sand is covered with tons of broken shells... crazy because when you scraped them aside, the sand beneath was fine and white and beautiful... like cookie dough-- with lots of sugar. I wanted to eat it.

My pictures are taking too long to put on blogger--- I'll have to continue my in- depth coverage of Marco Island later. Don't worry... there's still 5 days of fun to record. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A post from Marco Island

Funny expressions, but two gorgeous people on a gorgeous night on the beach right outside our condo.

Our most appreciated hosts! Their whole lovely family of...yes four.

Sophia opening her "birthday presents" from Lacy and Joe at Joseph's birthday party.

THIS is baby Millie. I love her.

Ross and Sophia running to the water as fast as they can to go swimming. :)

After sneaking in to the neighboring Marriott's pool.

Does it really need a caption?

So perhaps one quick update from Marco Island won't lead anyone to believe I'm having less fun than I am, just because I'm still taking time for a post. The boys went to reserve a boat for tomorrow, the kids are napping, and Lacy's hanging with Millie, so I thought it was a good time to escape to the "common room" for a little cyber-time. Plus, I have of course taken a million pictures and thought I may as well share a couple or I'm never going to get them all in once I get home.

Marco Island is more beautiful than Lacy described... we've seen fantastic thunder and lightening storms, clear gorgeous blue skies, puffy white clouds, sparkling, WARM water, an insane amount of shells on the the beach, lizards, fish, dolphins, and so many different breeds of palm trees and plant-life we would never see in the desert. Sophia has loved every second; waking up to her cousin Joseph and all his great toys, and spending the rest of the day either in the pool or the bath-like ocean like the fish that she is. It's been perfect. Just enough stormy mornings to feel justified in a bit of lounging, but mostly, perfect vacation weather to keep sun-screened, and suited up all day long... which really is the point of a vacation as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

80 Degrees and Happy as Clams

So did you see (or should I say hear) my newest addition? Yup- I stole the idea and how-to (form a playlist) from Sarah Smylie, Rebecca's ...sister-in-law? I would snoop at her blog occasionally and couldnt' leave once I got there because she had so much great music playing in the background. So hopefully mine will work. If you get the red error message in the playlist, you might just need to hit refresh. Let me know if it works for you. Thankyou Sarah!

The pictures: they look like nothing special, but on Sunday we had to go to Yucaipa, which is about an hour--and 35 degrees-- away, to drop off my dad's jeep and trailer that we had brought the sectional in. Sophia's in jammies and church shoes, and all we had was Ross' blackberry to snap a couple of pictures, but I just had to document the happiness that comes from an hour in 80 degree weather as opposed to the 118 degree evening we'd left behind. To be able to sit outside as a family right now... *sigh*. We just hung out on a grassy hill at the church there, with a true warm, summer night's breeze on our faces, and Ross taught Sophia how to roll down the hill and squeal "weeee". The grass was thick and cushy and there were trees! Trees that create real shade!

I really do love aspects of the desert. But the summer is not one of them. And Yucaipa is not the cure or anything, there are some pretty funky neighborhoods with some extremely tattoo'd motorcyclists riding throughout, (although they were very nice and waved to Sophia.) But I have so much envy for those who live in "real" places, with shade, and sidewalks and grass that grows in unmanicured corners and doesn't need to be replanted twice a year. Even those with neighbors that keep their kiddie pools and trampolines in the front yard.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My little love bug

Just a moment earlier, she was giving me Eskimo kisses and talking to me nose-to-nose with the sweetest intensity... I was in heaven. Ross tried to take a picture with his new blackberry to capture the moment, and for once, she stopped what she was doing and looked up and smiled for the camera. For once, I hadn't wanted her to. But the memory of the moment is still the same for me, so it's going on the blog (even though it's not the most flattering of me... but what is when you're 21 weeks pregnant and even your ears feel 12 pounds heavier?)

We leave this Friday for Florida to spend a week with Lacy, Joe, Joseph, and Millie in a condo on Marco Island! Needless to say, I am SO so so so so excited. A whole week with my husband off of work, Lacy and Joe as company, Millie to hold in my arms for the first time, the beach, and a pool for my little girl who could live in the water, and a buddy/cousin to enjoy it all with. Regardless of how much sweating Lacy is trying to prepare me for in that southern humidity we're not accustomed to, it sounds like pure heaven on earth. Four days and counting.