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Topsail Island

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Our week at the beach flew by. Seriously.

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It was low-key vacay and sometimes those are the best kind

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It wasn’t always easy- I would be lying if I said it was.

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But when you travel with kiddos that is the way it goes.

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It has been a hard year. No doubt about it.

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Sometimes it’s good to get away.

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I am hoping things are on the up-swing. It’s sorta time.

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But for now….

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I am thankful for a friend that I can laugh with like no other

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A daughter that I hope to get a good diagnosis for soon- but that still loves life like no other

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A great house that will hopefully be done soon…

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And these beaches that replenish me when I need it.

Melanie - The pics are just beautiful!

Jules - Looks like a beautiful place. I’m so glad that you had a great friend to replenish your soul. May the next few months bring many good things, more information, a finished house, peace.

Beach

This was my second time to Topsail and all in all it was a pretty solid week.

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It’s not always easy taking 6 kiddos to the beach- and expecting the littles to get along at all times.

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Because they won’t. And that’s why it is good to have big kids as well.

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To simply remind you that there are ups and downs but at the end of the day- this time flies.

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There was a time when I thought I wanted a ton of kids.

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And someone asked me recently if I wanted more kids.

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Um no. 4 is enough. My plate is so full

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Because I do have my 5th baby in this girl….

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I am tapped out. There is just no other way around it.

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And while I love these kiddos more than anything in the world, it’s time to refocus a bit on myself.

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I am happy I started my family relatively young- because I have fun with my older boys like nothing else.

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But I am 100 percent realizing that I need to figure out myself as well. What’s next.

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And did I mention that my oldest turned 17? Do you realize how close to 20 that is??

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I will never forget the day I had him.. thinking I was too young, that I had no idea what I was doing, that I seriously wasn’t prepared….

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But it’s all good. He teaches me new things every day.

When Blake makes his joker face….

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These pics were all taken with my small samsung nx30 or whatever it is called. I haven’t gone through my big camera pics yet. Back to hotel living. Hoping things settle down soon.

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Elizabeth - You look so pretty in all your pics! Don’t ya just love the beach? I never get tired of it.

Living on High

One of my good friends has a cool historic house right smack dab in the middle of our historic small town and it’s a fun place to hang.

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I was trying to remember which day I moved in. I don’t remember- it just flows.

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She stayed with us right after they sold their old house and couldn’t move into their new/old house so we have done this before. Plus we have traveled together about 5 times now. It somehow works.

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We had two kids out (her youngest and my oldest) so that has helped us all living in confined spaces. Her house is still being remodeled as well.

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I LOVE the location of her house as it is totally opposite my country 2 acre setting- which is only a few blocks away (I know- crazy).

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Here I sit outside, people watch, walk to food, live the urban life. Somewhat.

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This has been a tough year- I thought last year was sorta bad but this year kinda trumped it. And for those of you that are gonna come out of the woodwork and flail me please just save it. I know I am blessed. But this year has pushed me in ways I had no idea I could be pushed. And I am still trying to work it out in my head.

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The above pic may quite possibly be one of my fave pics ever. She pushes me so hard every.single.day. But I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

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At the end of the day I am thankful for good friends that take my kid to the lake to have the time of his life with his buds, good friends that take my rowdy crew in when they know I am going crazy in a hotel, good parents that take my dogs because the hotel wouldn’t allow them…

And to the crappy landlords from the house I just rented- have you heard about karma?

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So tonight I take the good and the bad and all things in between. And know I am blessed.

Gretchen P - you are allowed to have a bad year! the great thing is, even on the worst of days, you find something positive-the silver lining! I hope the rest of the renovation goes quickly, and you all can feel settled. It has been a long time coming. you are focused on all the right things, friends and family!! Enjoy having the kiddos home for the summer!

Elizabeths - YES you are blessed and so are the kids to have you and Andy! It’s gonna be worth the wait when all the chaos has settled and you have your life back to normal :)

Farm two

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More planting beans

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I could hear these babies chirping for food and their Mama nearby and I took a pic of the nest and then pulled it up on my computer and oh- is that a snake??

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The neighbors cows were all lined up

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Sometimes it’s good to sit in a pasture and think.

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And watch your happy farm dogs

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Even the big guy came out to help plant

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The first pear

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more planting

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And more spring

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Barn love

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This is how you play baseball when you don’t have a ball or bat- you use rocks and a piece of wood

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Barn doors are cool

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Photo creds to Blake for grabbing this shot of me and Coley man

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The sunroom addition is done…

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Adios farm, see ya soon.

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Laura H - Such gorgeous pictures! I love old barns!

Hannah - I love that first picture. It feels like home.

The snake, Ick. Don’t look now, but one of your dogs pooped a starbucks for you ;)

Yes to the old barns and stick/rock ball.

Susan - The new addition looks great. Might be time for me to start giving Mike some ideas about one here.

kristen - That snake pic just made me sad!!! Love the rest of your pics – what a special place. Did you grow up there?

When you need to clear your head….

You head to the farm.

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Sigh- even Cole gets it- he says the scenery is amazing. It is. Even when you forget to pack clothes for everyone and the sister has to wear the brother undies. Because you are living in multiple houses. And who knows where her undies are??

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Sometimes you want to go away- to sit in a pasture and think

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You can do that here

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Even when you have your freaky kids with you

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The farm is a great place to be

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Spring at the farm is perfect. New growth everywhere.

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And then we planted beans

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My dad loves his garden- nothing better than a summer organic garden

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More tomorrow

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hannah - These pictures are gorgeous. I love when you pick up your big girl camera.

I still didn’t realize Eva had on her big boys until she turned and faced the camera :)

Farms are awesome~