Holy buckets Batman, it's February 23rd!!! Twelve days ago that sweet little airline stewardess was telling us to turn off our electronic devices and prepare for landing.
But in hind sight I think that was actually just a dream during my (impossible) inflight catnap. The reality is I came to as we were drop kicked out of the back of that plane. Like a cargo delivery. At Mach 10 somewhere over south Asheville.
Somehow in these 12 short days we accomplished doctors appointments, all day school volunteering commitments, music practices and performances, a required school day on a Sunday, a major church redecorating project, a birthday, and company visiting.
Thank you to my peeps. When you would smile and ask, "how was your trip," it would make me slow down long enough for my hair to stop flying mid chaotic run, and my mind to catch up with itself. Those were the moments amid the craziness I would take a breath and reflect on the trip that already seems like it was months ago. I would feel that calm. Even if just for a moment in my reflection.
~The turquoise waves, that warm sun that never fails to deliver steroids to my freckles, the sounds of laughter and squeals from my monkeys in the ocean, and most importantly, the uninterrupted family time~
Those two weeks deliver. Every. Single. Time. It's magical, it the purest, most simple form. We slow down as close to a full stop as you can get. And we just take it in.
Well hello there Mr. Sunshine. Oh how we've been waiting for you.
We celebrated the arrival of family. And family was flowing deep. The blood kind, the extended family kind, and the resort kind. I look forward to these reunions as much as I do digging my toes into the sand that first time each year. Each January we see so many of the same families around the pool. We oooh and ahhh over how big the kids have gotten, catch up on the years events, play games together, swim together, and swap "I've got the kids" duties. It's amazing, with a big ole capital A.
2012 was the year of the "Baggo" competitions. I wondered what all the commotion was about one afternoon...only to find my son immersed in resort family. I seriously love these people. Because when you love and include my children you've got my heart. Resort family against resort family, fathers against sons, husbands against wives....game on.
*Celebration chest bump*
Also new in 2012: Torpedo chasing at dusk with Uncle Marcus. Operation "Off The Grid".....
Now you see them.....
Now you don't.
And while they practiced their military maneuvers, I chased the dancing lights of the night.
Shark tooth hunting. It's one of my favorite afternoon activities. Hidden treasures those little suckers are. It's like the ultimate Easter egg hunt, beach style.
Photography adventures with my brother. PRICELESS. We invited others to tag along, but as his wife Rachel put it; "No thanks. Because you guys will say it's for like 20 minutes, and I'm done after 15. And the reality is it's more like 2 hours."
But our families are the bomb. And they support our photo giddiness as we run off into the night like kids, and then set our alarms for pre-dawn. And it was SO worth it. Because I got award winning shots? Heck no. Because I was with him, and he was with me. Doing what we love and celebrating the rare time we get to do it together.
This may very well be the moment I named my tripod. When I grab that pistol grip I feel all "Top Gun"ish. Get in the cross hairs of my lens and your MINE. And the tripod? Craziness. Secret contortionist. So when I spun around and saw this? I flat cracked up. Brotherly inspiration.
MAVERICK. Known for his arrogant rule bending attitude
Because you can NEVER be too cool to get the shot. And I'm all about bending me some rules.
The ocean waves called my kiddos this year, louder than ever before. They couldn't seem to get enough. Maybe it was the thrill of perfecting the timing of catching a wave and riding it all the way to shore. Maybe the new found confidence that you really can face a wave head on that would surely take you out. But take a good breath, close your eyes, get low and push forward, and you'll find yourself safe on the other side. Or maybe it was just the lure of that yellow flag. THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND AND GO FOR IT.
Happy Hour. Nuff said.
For days my D man watched the afternoon game of sand volleyball aching to play. He's bold, and not afraid to ask to join a game. But unfortunately the ref said no. I'm sure the idea is to keep the competition at an "adult" level. Referee translation = It's adult play, and we wouldn't want you to get hurt.
They gathered like clockwork and he would sit on the side lines watching the games. Contently dying. As parents, we let it be. There's nothing worse than a set of parents rescuing their kids from simple disappointment. But low and behold, with 4 days left, Mr. Blue Trunks ~ aka resort family ~ announced to the ref, "He's on MY team."
Let the games begin.
Let's just say he hung in just fine.
And the grand finale? The resort sista who asked Kailey girl to step in for her because she needed to attend to her happy hour beverage. Girlfriend served the final 6 points winning the game, as everyone cheered and pumped her shy self up to a confident smile. Turns out, she's got a little game of her own.
And that smile on sista's face? It matched the one on my own. Resort family baby.
The last day, last moments of sunlight, and last minutes of the camera battery. An unplanned mother daughter photo shoot on the beach. Photo booth style. We propped the camera on the lifeguard stand with someone's leftover pack of gum, set the timer, and threw caution to the wind one last time.
706 pictures later.
A lifetime of memories.
Blood family. Extended family. Resort family.
And I think we've finally landed.