Monday, August 27, 2012

First Grade: Ready or Not, Here We Come!

After an amazing summer, it is time to go back to school. Afton enjoyed shopping for supplies and getting ready for the first day. I can hardly believe how fast she is growing up!

Waking up early was a little hard. But I made a special breakfast per Afton's request. (If you read Bernstein Bear books- you might recognize this!)

Then we snapped a few photos and headed to school.

Maisy will be staying home again this year. But she still likes to get in on the 'back to school' excitement ;) 
 Smiles with friends before heading to class.

Outside class, the nerves set in and there were some tears.
 But change is always a little hard at first. And we know this will be a great year!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's Still Summer!

After our big trip to Destin, it was kind of hard to come home! But with several weeks of summer still remaining, we are savoring every moment. The girls have finally started sleeping in. And since most of our activities are winding down, we have been able to take our time and move at our pace :) Some mornings, our pjs stay on for quite a while!

The garden that the girls planted has really taken off. Sunflowers and cucumbers have popped up.

We have been swimming almost every day. Even Penny has joined in on the fun.

 Afton's cheerleading started back up. I am coaching again this year and we have some sweet friends returning to the squad.

Maisy is determined to participate as well, so she put together a uniform of hand-me downs. (Aren't those the best kind?!)

One morning, Jenn, Emmie and Analeigh met us at the 'Let's Pretend Tea Parties' for cupcakes and dress-up. The girls were in heaven!

 Maisy chose one dress and wore it happily the entire time.

Afton must have tried on 10 different ensembles!

 Their personalities make me laugh.

 And since it is around the corner, we have done a little back to school shopping. Afton is really excited for 1st grade.

Miss Maisy will stay home with me for one more year. Why rush a good thing?!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our Trip to Destin- Summer 2012

We just returned from nine days of rest and relaxation-- our annual trip to Destin, Florida. Growing up, my parents had taken me a few times. And then we were living in New Orleans, we made several trips to the "Emerald Isle" with Afton. Now that we are living in North Texas and about 13 hours away, we still make the drive. I think Destin is the most beautiful beach in the continental US. 

We always break up the drive a bit. 13 hours in the car is looooong, so we made the trek from Dallas to New Orleans. The eight hours in the car (along with the help of books, coloring, games, snacks, and movies) isn't really that bad. Jeff likes to do the driving, so I get to read and keep the girls happy.

Breakfast at Starbucks
Crossing the Mississippi
Made it to LA
After visiting my dear friend Nichole we made a quick stop to Lake Ponchatrain and then settled into our hotel for the night. The next morning, we stopped for beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and then completed the last leg of the trip-an easy 4.5 hour drive.

This was our first year to stay at the Corral Reef Club, but we will definitely be staying there again. Our condo was on the first floor with it's own 'yard' and just a short walk from the beach. This is was nice especially with little ones. Running back to the condo to grab a forgotten snack or toy was no big deal! And at nap time, I relaxed on the porch with a book while the girls rested inside.

Our condo was a one bedroom. It had a 'jack n jill' bath with a shower/tub. The girls shared bunk-beds in the hall. (This was a big hit!) There was a door separating the sleeping quarters from the family room/kitchen. Which was so nice in the evenings- we could close the door and watch tv and talk while the girls slept. The kitchen had everything we needed. And most importantly, there was a washer/dryer, which we used a lot! 

We ate breakfast in the condo each morning and had coffee on the patio. Then we played on the beach for a few hours. For lunch, we came back up to the condo and ate a simple lunch on the patio. Some days Maisy would nap after lunch, but mostly she kept up. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Around 3 or 4pm we called it a day. After showering and laying around a bit, we headed out for dinner. Eating out every night was a treat for the girls-- and us!
This year we ate at:
-The Broken Egg Cafe (we had lunch here on a rainy day)

-Hog's Breath
-Rotolo's Pizza
-The Crazy Lobster

 We definitely made the most of the beach. I couldn't keep Afton out of the water! And Maisy loved splashing, floating and even running along the shore. We were on the beach all day- in the water, on the sand, under the umbrella. When we booked at the Corral Reef, we knew they did have a pool, but only a small one. This was fine with us. We swim in the pool at home, we drove to Florida to do the beach! 

Besides the usual floating on waves, boogie boarding, and making sand castles, we also flew kites, went on shell hunts, and dug for buried treasure. We also ate a lot of snacks, met a few new friends, and took some 'cat naps' under the umbrella. 

 At night, after dinner we got ice cream, played mini-golf, and the girls jumped on trampolines. My favorite evening activity was walking on the beach. After it got dark, we grabbed flashlights and buckets and went searching for sand crabs. They were white, the color of the sand, and so tiny. We chased them with the flashlights and then Jeff scooped them up in the bucket. He even caught a few that were not so tiny. At the end of our walk, we let them go and watched them run back into the ocean. 

The weather was beautiful, but we did get about 1 day and half of rain. On our rainy day, we played board games, went out to lunch, and shopped for souvenirs. We enjoyed our little outing and then just relaxed on the couch and watched the Olympics. After the rain, we took a walk on the beach. The water looked beautiful.

The trip was just what we all needed. We spent a lot of time together and really enjoyed not having a schedule. The girls didn't even want to come home! 

I put together a movie of our trip-- click on this link to see it!

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