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Its been a few months since I was down at my fave place doing shoots with these amazing kiddos


And their little brother Oakley


Their mom was so cool- 8 kiddos. And they live at 30A


And Oakley?- the coolest dude ever


I was just happy Blake wasn’t there because this orange Jimmy??? Sweetness. He would have been going nuts.


But there were other cute kids too


It was my first time staying at Alys beach- usually we stay at Watersound.


Every community is so different but so freaking cool


When we moved to NC I was afraid we would never go to 30A again. Since we had beaches 2 hours away.


NC beaches don’t compare to 30A beaches. At all.


And these pics don’t relate to this post. At all.


Except that they were taken at my fave place ever. The place I would pack it all up and move tomorrow if I could.


I almost don’t want to talk about 30A- because it is already so crowded. If people only knew how awesome it is it would be even more crazy packed.


So Shhhh keep it quiet


I wish I was raising my kids there. I can’t imagine a more awesome childhood


I have soooo many more pictures that I need to go through from the Savvy workshop. More to come!


Oh and 30A? I will see you in 5 days. Can. not. wait.

Amy Jo - These young girls are beautiful. And their fashion sense is amazing….maybe I need to start taking little ones with me on shopping trips. Their taste is impeccable.

Elizabeth's - Is this by Rosemary beach? I saw a show recently on HGTV with Vern Kip and he was building a Beach house holy moly! Adorable town and the homes? TO DIE FOR!!!


No doubt about it- my kids have big thick heads of hair.


Like uncontrollable big thick heads of hair. Most of them curly, except for Cole. I’m sure his will turn curly too.


This is the longest Blake’s hair has ever been.


He cut it right before his lax tourney. I don’t think his helmet was fitting very well


Our trampoline needed new pads and sides after Austin and friends ripped a big hole in the net. It’s the third set this trampoline has had. Eva says they are no longer allowed on “her” trampoline.


She’s the boss.

Hannah - Duh. She IS the boss :)

Eva Bonita

My sweet little hot-headed Latina is supposed to start Kindergarten this Fall.


I have been on the fence about if I should send her or give her another year. Her birthday was in April. She should go. But I knew there were bigger issues I needed to look into. Like her inability to focus on a task. Or her impulsiveness. Or her issues with other kids….


I tried to go thru the usual channels to get things figured out but when I realized it would be a 6 plus month process I decided to pay out of pocket and get the ball rolling.


So we sent her to what we called her “feelings doctor” to get some answers. Turns out my girly tested very high on the ADHD scale.

I know a lot of people wouldn’t put this info out there but here’s the deal- if your kid needs help, you should never be afraid to get it. Or ashamed of it. Because if you are, they will be too. And that’s not cool.

I know Eva has been through so much, so many moves and houses and with all her toys still in storage- that would be a lot for any kid to take. But for a kid like her it has been extra hard. We see brief glimpses of the kid she could be, and often says she wants to be… but 90% of the time she is on over-drive. She actually asked for help. She told her doctor that kids don’t like her because she is too rough and that makes her sad. I knew that already, but hearing her doctor tell us that SHE knows it too and voiced it made me cry.

As I often say, parenting is not an easy gig. And this year has been hard. Living in hotels, with friends, in rentals, If I wasn’t crazy before I certainly am now.

We have been back in our house- indoor camping for a couple weeks but moving back out again this weekend for two weeks while the floors get finished. I know all of this affects her.

I am ready to settle. To pick up my camera- because when I don’t have that outlet I lose all sense of who I am and what I like to do. And then I take it out on everyone else.

And I make this face that my girly makes when I take too many pictures of her


I think I am going to take 3 out of 4 kids to the beach for a week- it’s better than 2 weeks in a local hotel. I’m not thrilled about the idea of doing it solo but it’s the beach- and nothing is better than that.


Jennifer Niksich - You are an amazing mother! Way to go on getting Eva the help she needs and wants. Too many times parents try to hide or ignore the fact that their child needs help. You realize that Eva needs and wants help. She is getting both now. Now she is going to be able to be the REAL Eva that has been hiding behind behaviors/feelings she didn’t recognize or now how to cope with.

Gretchen P - You and Andy are amazing parents! All of your kiddos are blessed to have you! I know all to well about the ADHD thing. Robbie was diagnosed in 1st grade. I get it. It is not always easy. There is lots of information out there, and it will take time to decide what works best for you and E. Be patient, and even on the hardest days, know better days are coming. I promise. I look at how far we’ve come with Robbie, and I am amazed. You all will navigate this, and be better for it. I know we don’t know each other that well, but if you just need to vent, I am a great listener.

Amber - We went through this very same situation with our L. She had some serious sensory issues and wasn’t the best in socializing either. Her birthday was also in April and we made the decision to wait an extra year for kindergarten. It was honestly, one of the harder decisions we have made for her, but it is not one we regret at all. While she is one of the oldest in the class, it isn’t by much. Lots of kids have May or summer birthdays in our district so it is pretty much a non-issue. The added maturity of an extra year has given her a little boost in the social-skills area and her academics have been much better than I think they would have been otherwise. Every teacher I talked to (and there were a lot) said you won’t regret the extra year but you might regret starting her to early.

I would love to know who the psychologist you saw was. I wonder that L might have a little inattentive ADD on top of the sensory stuff and I need to get an evaluation started before her IEP expires in early spring.

Jules M - Thank you for sharing. You are a mom that knows that your child is going through something. That she needs some help. That you need to figure it out. You have seen her struggle. I hope that having this information will help you guide her towards things that will help. She is a beautiful girl & this is such a big step in the right direction. Good luck. Enjoy the beach.

Hannah - I always tell the kids you only hide what you are embarrassed of and if your embarrassed than it tells others its something negative, but if you admit it and own it, then it looses it’s power. She is awesome…that never changes.

Sophia’s BFF was supposed to start K the year before Sophia {her birthday is in May, Sophia in September} but her mom held her back for some of the same reasons and instead of struggling she has really thrived. I sometimes wish I had held Dmitry back {he’s an April birthday} I think it would have made the earlier years easier for him and that would have carried over into more confidence…because he lacks it. But I didn’t, not entirly for the right reasons, but we learned a lot together and he’s doing well now. I think whatever road you take, you’ll make the best of it.

Enjoy the beach. Do you need a family photographer? I know of a chubby, lame but totally awesome photographer who could really use a beach vacation ;) I need a home update soon!

Theresa - Eva is so lucky to have you as a mother. The fact that you are so willing to share something so many would much rather hide under the rug is a true testament to character. No matter what decision you reach about starting E this year or next, she will do awesome. Thanks for sharing.

The last of the beach

I really wish we were sitting there waiting for the ferry to Bald Head Island right now.


It’s such a cool place.


Instead these two boys are working today, laying sod.


Eva is begging to go to the pool but it’s so hot, and it will be so crowded. And I’m tired from a weekend in Cincinnati watching Blake in a lax tournament. We all decided that we have had enough of Cincy to last at least 3 years. But he played well, and lots of people told me that he is one of the nicest kids they have ever met. I’m proud of him. The team took 2nd place.


I am actually planning another trip out of town- we have to get out of the house again so they can do the hardwood floors. The beach is calling my name.


I need to do a house update soon. Maybe after the granite gets delivered on Thursday.


Austin is now running 17 miles a day. Dude is crazy.


I can’t believe the summer is almost over


I could use another couple of months


The final days at the beach flew by


Boys played some beach lax



And the girly danced


And that was the end of Topsail 2014



Tiffany - Another Summer almost down…and no trips:( Can’t wait to see the house update.


Hannah - These are awesome!

Sorry for the quietness, I’ve been reading…just not communicating. I would love a week at the beach. It’s just not happening this summer…I can’t even seem to get a weekend away, which is crazy.

Elizabeths - I love last pic of Andy and Eva. What a great shot! I’m hoping for one more last trip even if it’s an overnight weekend stay and I can’t wait for the house pics YIPPIE!!!