Vacationing On the Gulf: Our Summer Kickoff

Last summer, Asa and I planned a trip to Gulfport, Mississippi WITHOUT the kids and looking back, I am completely shocked that it happened. Between the kids' strep throat, fevers, and body rashes; not to mention the MULTIPLE people left in charge switching shifts to care for them, well, I'm in awe. [To the other Glass Family, we completely still owe you for all you did for us that week!!! Holy goodness we are forever grateful!!!] 

Anyway, one of my dear friends Chelcey, hooked us up in a Courtyard Hotel because she has family ties here, and it was everything we needed, and more. A suite with great air conditioning, a giant pool outside, and amazingly friendly staff--not to mention the OCEAN being directly across the street. We had such a sweet time that we knew we'd bring our kids back, if we could. Lo and behold, arrangements were made for this summer, and we've had this trip on the books for months. We drove ten hours from Louisville all the way here, with only two very short stops. Pierson (turns 5 in two weeks) and Reese (3.5) are constantly amazing me with their travel skills!!! Minimal complaining, several naps, good lunches, and lots of movies--we made it! 

So, how's it been? 

It's been GREAT. We stayed in another suite, with two adjoining rooms, and we brought a queen sized air mattress for Reese. Pierson used the pull-out sofa for his bed, and they slept side by side every night. Between hours spent at the pool and beach, our littles one took amazing two hour plus naps EVERY day. Sunshine + water = the BEST nap equation. 

The first night, we walked on over to Shaggy's Restaurant, one of our favorites from last summer because of the atmosphere. It has an amazing deck and patio, and you can hear the waves crashing on the beach right across from you as you eat. Two of our other dinners were spent at Tony's Brick Oven Pizzeria, where the kids were given fresh dough to play with; and Asa and I indulged in freshly cooked pizza and/or pasta. It's definitely our favorite FOOD of the trip, but we love both restaurants. One night we ordered Dominos Pizza to the room and sat in bed in our pajamas, watching a movie and completely vegging out. Figuring out food in a room with no kitchen was a little tricky, but it all completely worked out. Their breakfasts and lunches we were able to do in the room, and of course, all the snacks galore. 

Gulfport is a quiet town, recovering from 2005's Hurricane Katrina. MOST of the town was completely demolished by that storm, including over 40 libraries, and so many other businesses. There are a lot of spaces for sale, that have been empty for SO long. Asa and I daydream about buying one of the newly built craftsman homes here and using it as a vacation rental. With restaurants within walking distance, and our kids being able TO walk the distance, it's been such a fun trip for all of us. I never would have fathomed that our 3 and 4-year old would do SO well being in a brand new place, ten hours from home, sleeping well, and staying in good spirits, but I guess that goes to show you how clueless I am? 

We aren't in another country or traveling around Europe, but we're doing just fine exploring what we have in the U.S and I think we're enjoying every minute! North and South Carolinas this past spring, Michigan often, and now Mississippi as a family--how cool is that?? 

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite pictures. I actually didn't take that many, (I know, you're scoffing), and only used my camera a couple days out of the trip. I had wanted to take *so* many more, but it did rain, a LOT, so I'm in love with what we did get :) I also didn't wash my hair like, the entire time, and now I'm convinced I just need to live on or close to an ocean soooooooo. 

Precious Keepsakes from Lisa Leonard's Jewelry

Every year for Christmas or our anniversary, my husband has asked, "Would you like any jewelry?" Up until now (the past month), I just haven't seen anything that I thought I would consistently wear. I am not what I would call an 'accessory gal,' or someone who wears bracelets or earrings, etc. That all changed when I discovered Lisa Leonard and her BEAUTIFUL shop. 

It didn't hurt that I saw a bunch of these beauties floating around my Instagram feed, and when I saw her sterling silver stacked rings, I knew those were it. Hand molded and customizable, they are honest to goodness my favorite accessories that I've worn in YEARS, besides my wedding ring. 

These rings can be customized with words or a short phrase, and they can be stacked for a modern and chic accessorized look. I love having Pierson and Reese's name right on my fingers; every time I look down to type or write, I see them, and I think they're the most heart-felt jewelry a mama could wear. 

I actually received these rings right around Mother's Day, and they meant (and will forever mean) SO much to me. What is it about Motherhood that sometimes makes us mamas so emotional? When you see your children's names, do you immediately think back to finding out when they were in your belly? Or the labor and delivery? The first weeks and months, the many milestones, the fact that they REFUSE to slow down growing up wise?! 

Lisa [the creator and founder of this brand] is a beautiful soul. Her story about her OWN journey of motherhood is touching, emotional, raw, and incredibly heartfelt. I'm blessed to be a part of her business; to have received these rings and to promote her story. 

Being Pierson and Reese's mama is one of my greatest callings. I believe that God is telling a beautiful story through my children, and I am honored to walk in front of them, to guide and direct them in this great big world. There is something magical about this season of life, probably about the the many NEXT seasons of life, and Lisa Leonard is 100% about embracing the magic. Please, check out her website, her blog, and read part of her family's story. I haven't taken these rings off since I got them, and I am forever grateful I stumbled upon her business through the world of social media!