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1st day of school

I think everyone is in agreement that this summer flew by


All the boys are out the door, and now it’s just me and the girly.


And she’s sleeping in.


I was chatting with a friend this morning about how elementary school seems to go slow, and then flies once they hit middle school.


As we settle back into our home and life I can’t tell you how happy I am that I still have little ones in the house.


No doubt it was hard when we were living out of suitcases with no structure. But things are settling down and everyone seems to be getting back into the family groove.


Which is good because boy have I missed it.


I have learned a lot over the last year.


And happily moving forward.

1st day of 11th grade. Unbelievable

1st day of 9th grade- He just rolled out of bed, can you tell?

And first day of 5th.

Looking forward to a great school year!

Oh- and for those that asked me on my blog or via email about where we stay at the beach- we usually stay at Watersound Beach. There are a few different places called watersound but wtaersound beach is the only one we have stayed at. We have rented both houses and condos there. It is a gated community. Pros are that golf carts and bikes usually come with houses, it’s on the beach side of 30A, and the kids can roam around without really worrying about them. Lots of pools and a very cool beach club pool. Cons are it’s kinda pricey.

This past trip we stayed in the Rosemary/Seacrest area. Pros are that it’s less expensive, more things for the olders to walk to (shops restaurants, etc). Cons are it’s more crowded and it’s on the other side of 30A (which all communities are except watersound beach).

We find all our places on VRBO. We have had great luck with it and the places are always better in person than in the pics. Here are a few of my posts tagged with watersound. Watercolor (we have never stayed here but it’s cool too), and Seaside.

Hannah - Can I just say I am a little mad that summer is over? I don’t feel like I really got a summer. I need to have some fun…like a family vacation or something. Seriously.

Today is Dmitry’s first day of 11th grade too. How did that happen? Today is the first day they are back to school together… I am already ready to run away ;)

PS: I love the front door!!

A little more

This was our first day- after long hours in the car…. The first day is usually the best. But this trip had so many great days.

I enjoyed my two week break. It was needed

I love being at the beach- it clears my head.

Yesterday as our first pod was delivered and we started unpacking stuff that I haven’t seen in a year and a half I realized that living the way we have has made me feel so vulnerable. Seeing my stuff again gave me a comfort I haven’t felt in a very long time.

Such history. So many good times.

One of the great things about having a blog is to see where you have been and where you want to go. And I miss what I had. I miss our home. Our home life.

Because this is what is so important to me.

Austin heading out for a run in our gorgeous beach neighborhood.

I love my family more than anything in the world.

It has been a rough year and a half.

Taking a step back is what I needed.

And as we settle slowly back into our house and start to feel a sense of home that we haven’t felt in a couple years there is a peace that makes me very happy.

So many new changes ahead- Andy changing jobs, deciding Eva needs another year of preschool, total refocus- total moving on.

These pics were taken with my Samsung nx300. no editing. just capturing:)

I will talk about where we stay in my next post- since some of you have asked.

Jules M - I too love the beach. I’m so glad that you were able to take the family & some friends to relax in your happy place. I swear that there is something in that salty air that just relaxes us. You take a deep breath in & exhale all of the worries. Good luck as you settle back at home & continue to finish the house. Keep those you love closest to you & let them support you as you need it. I’ll bet that they know how much you appreciate it & support them when they need you. Good luck as school starts. I can’t believe that we have been buying school supplies already!

Rosemary Beach


Since we had to be out of our house for 2 weeks while they did the hardwood floors I decided to take the kids and few friends to the beach.


7 boys and 1 girl and 1 mom.


As crazy as that sounds it turned out to be a great week.


All the kids got a long great and the olders were very helpful.


The water was so clear the kids spent the entire week in the water fishing and boating.


This crab was not happy about being caught


I love this pic of these two


The crab gave Austin a good pinch before he took him back to the ocean.


More to come

elizabeths08 - Wow you are brave taking all those kids to the beach. At least they are all old enough to watch themselves…no serious babysitting going on. Looks like a great time! Your the coolest mom!

dani - can you share the details on the place you rented in FL? we did the OBX last yr…rented a cabin in WI on a lake this yr and looking for another gem….
we like you travel with other families and kids and that place looks like heaven!!! cant wait to see pics of the new house…congrats on finally getting in

hannah - Love Love Love. You really shine at teh beach :)

Last Day

Today is our last full day at the beach. I am so glad I was down here instead of stuck in a hotel at home. All 8 kids were great- it was a perfect way to wrap up summer.

When I took the dogs to the farm the garden was looking great- plan to raid it on the way back home.

She looks like such a big girl…. still trying to decide on K or pre-K for her. Going down to the wire on this one.

Farm Pretties

Awkward adolescent

Blake wants an El Camino for his first car- the kid is an original that’s for sure.

The island granite got delivered while I was gone. It’s called Super White- but really more gray.

We stop at a hotel on the way to the beach and these boys dissect a firecracker that they found along the way

She is a bed hog

The water is so clear they can see fish, rays, and sand dollars.


The youngers

Headed out to pick up chicks

Words not needed…

Date night

To the beach we go


Back at home my floors get stained

Austin runs twice a day- one night his buds joined him

But not these two

late night snorkeling

it’s not ugly here

A rare moment of peace

wish 5pm could look like this every day

Little friend

The crazy two

My new barn door

Off to enjoy the sun and waves- love it here. But ready to head home and get my house put together!

Lisa - How did you keep all those boy children fed? :-)

hannah - These look awesome. I need beach. I really, really, really need a vacation. Really.

Can’t wait to see the house.