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. 

Books, Bunnies, and a BIG TGIF

This has been the longest/shortest week ever. I'm not sure how it's Friday, yet some of our days have felt incredibly long. Some things I've wondered this week: do other moms completely lose their patience? We have some incredibly sweet moments, but come Friday (today) I legit had to call Asa at work to talk with Pierson because I was at my wits END. Anyway, that's perhaps another blog post...and I'm getting this one up later than usual, so I may or may not be even MORE worn out as I try to figure out the good things to say about these five days ;) 

The kids had so much fun decorating for Easter this month and I love how excited they were with some of their crafts [hence why I'm sharing some Easter photos a tad late.]

We spent 99% of our days at our dining room table, but I love it. It's where I read my devotions, journal, and often where we read our Bible stories in the morning. As you all know, I am pro-every-single-holiday so with Earth Day being tomorrow, we did some lessons this week. We talked about the importance of recycling, deciphering what goes in the garbage, and ways to keep the world clean. Pierson impressed me with his sorting and gluing skills; I had a little glimpse into his upcoming kindergarten days :( Sammy is pictured because he has been cracking us UP getting into our fabric boxes, trying to steal the kids craft pom pom balls. Look at his crazy eyes!

The kids got some new books this week, Kingdom of You, and we LOVE them. They are personalized with their names, their favorite things (pasta and ice cream, and superheroes and princesses!), and the pages are full of color and fascinating pictures. I read to both Pierson and Reese their individual stories, and they loved finding their names throughout the pages. If you haven't yet checked out this company Lost My Name, I highly recommend them and their books!

This afternoon was a long one waiting for Daddy to get home... but it was filled with laughter, drinks at the faucet (his favorite thing to do because his cool big cousin/best friend Arie showed him how, haha!!) and princess spins in the dining room. And last but not least, Reese got an adorable new toy, Chloe the Bunny, from Cuddle and Kind. When one doll is bought, ten meals are given to children in need--how awesome is that?!