Vacation Photos

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It’s hard to believe but Sunday makes a month since we’ve been on vacation. I know you’re jealous 🙂 Yes, we’ve been spending our days lounging by the pool, swimming and for the most part relaxing. It’s as much of a vacation as a mom can get. My parents have graciously hosted us for weeks, they have fed us and put up with us and for our size family that’s saying a lot!

This is my view just about every day:

My bathing beauties:

When only mommy is in FL things are a little more calm – kids jumping in and hanging on me, sure but nothing like this:

Or this:

And I certainly don’t do this:

Daddy is FAR more fun than mommy:

I’ve also had a chance to spend lots of time with my favorite niece, Aubree. Wow, she’s gotten so big since I last saw her! She’s a full six months now. Half a year gone already. Looking at my own babies it kills me to see how fast time goes.

I was blessed this time around to get to take care of her overnight (she got up for a little bit) and then a whole day while her mommy worked. Of course, with 2 long naps it didn’t feel like much of a day (boy do I miss naps!!).

While we did do a LOT of swimming – so much so that the all the girls can now swim the entire pool without any vests or other floatation devices – it’s not all we did. My mom and I spent a weekend in Orlando at The Gospel Coaltion National Women’s Conference. We were able to meet up with women from my church in Virginia and spend a whole crazy weekend walking in the rain (so much rain!) and listening to preaching, teaching and fabulous music from Keith and Kristyn Getty. Since Kirk was in Virginia and my mom and I were in Orlando it left my dad home alone with five kids. He did great! The kids LOVED having a whole weekend with Grandpa and I am sooo thankful that he was willing and able to care for all of them while I was away. Thank you Dad!

This past Monday we visited Weeki Wachee – the only place I know of you can see “real, live mermaids” – sadly, these mermaids need oxygen and due to a problem with their air houses we were only able to see about two minutes of one show. Very disappointed that the rest was cancelled!

Our two minutes of mermaid show:

Fortunately for us mermaids aren’t the only attraction. We also took a river boat ride, saw peacocks all over the park and our favorite part, the water slides!

The big kids spent the afternoon on the slides while the little girls spent their time going in and out of the frigid water (because it’s spring water it stays at a cool 74 degrees year round – unlike the pool water which reached close to 90!)

And since it happens to once again be July (I can’t believe it either!) we had a Florida family and friends celebration for Kaitlyn’s 12th birthday. So hard to believe that this beautiful girl was once my tiny baby. Twelve years has surely flown by.

At 12 Kaitlyn still has a sweet spirit. She’s funny and fun to be around. I’m so proud to be her mom.

And I know my dad is proud to be her grandpa:

This year, we celebrated the 4th of July in Florida and at my parents home.

The girls holding sparklers and enjoying fireworks was a far cry from their first 4th of July five years ago:

And today we celebrated Kaitlyn’s birthday in a really big way.  She got her ears pierced! She was certainly nervous about the whole idea. It’s only been in recent months where she was open to the idea itself, before that she was way to scared to even consider it.

Here’s the before – feeling nervous:

Getting prepared:

Clinging to Daddy for help. “Is this going to hurt?!”

Nope, not at all! Once the first one was over with and she realized there is very little pain involved with ear piercing all was right with the world again and ear #2 was a piece of cake. Here’s one thrilled little girl – so happy and relieved that she got them pierced. Now that it’s done she’s quite excited about the whole earring this.

And tonight, a special dinner treat – we got to visit with another set of triplets! These are little ones – just 8 months old – it sure was fun to have my girls see baby triplets and to show them what it was like when they were small. It was a crazy reminder of what life was like for us when the girls were that age and just how much screaming goes on. While it still makes me sad that my girls have grown up so much, I do NOT miss all the crying and craziness of triplet babies.

I can’t believe 4 weeks have passed since school ended, we loaded up our big, white van and travelled south. We were blessed with the time we spent with our family. We will miss them greatly and look forward to seeing them again soon!

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