We have been beaching it up for the past week in South Carolina. Shout out to the Palmetto State, you are beautiful.
Each year my husband’s side makes the pilgrimage for a week of fun, sun, laughter, crying, whining, food & drinks (oh, lots of drinks) and little to no relaxing. Yes, you read it right – little to no relaxing. What all vacations are made of!
Oh, and there were selfies. Lots and lots of selfies!
We take it in great stride. It has not always been this way and won’t always either. In fact, this is the 10th summer I have spent with his side ocean front and many, many years were spent staying out late, bar hopping, shopping for cute cover-ups and suits (for hours, not minutes), dining out often and staying on the beach from sun up to practically sundown.
8 Adults. 8 Children (Ages 7 and under) and 1 House. Yes, 1 house. What the hell are we thinking? I swear I question our sanity each year as we load up the SUV’s and truck, and place sleeping babies in their car seats and take bets on how long until – “Are we there yet?” begins or complete meltdowns and bribery take place. The trip is long, even for us adults. Although, the kids were champs, except for my nephew, Sam. I think he puked about 4 times along I-95. Just kidding. Not about the puke, but about the champ comment. In reality, he can take the crown for longest car ride ever for a car sick little boy.
My sister-in-law, Amie wins the most-creative-mom award for entertaining her kiddies with a small toy on the hour. Unlike Nathan and I who purchased a portable DVD player and three DVD’s and popped that sucker in the moment Lo made her first peep. Anyways, Amie shopped at the local Dollar General before we left and gift wrapped coloring books, stickers, small figures, etc and allowed the kids to select one as each hour passed – all 9 long hours. So, take note, fellow parents of little kids, as you plan a long roadtrip. Just calculate better. Amie missed an hour so we had to convenience them dinner was one of their gifts!
I made the point to someone that driving to South Carolina was sort of like having a baby. The trip is painful like delivery. The beach week is delightful like the baby and the whole experience is so worth it that you do it over and over again, forgetting the upfront pain (hence, why women have more than one child and why this growing family keeps going back for more and more).
The week flew by. But, it always does when you are on vacation. Time is never enough. You feel selfish for wanting more and yet deserving for not having enough. Or, at least we do! When you work so hard all year and await this one week yearly, you can feel selfish with your time and money. Vacation almost becomes a celebration of all your hard work.
My daughter woke up screaming in pure joy each morning when she heard her cousins outside our bedroom door.
We also successfully went out for, wait for it – lunch. Which could have been like a tornado hitting a house but we managed to get through it with minimal wind damage. One child dive bombed off a chair sideways and most-creative-mom, Amie, turned into most-easily-persuaded-mom and then morphed into thank-the-heavens-you-think-of-this-crap-mom, purchasing cotton candy and rainbow popcorn PRE-lunch for us all to snack on at the table. I think for 2 minutes all of us were in our dining room seats eating, but as meltdowns began to occur an adult and child would pop-out. Hey, small victories, right? This was one.
Somehow we also managed a birthday party for the family “triplets.” Really a set of identical twin boys and an ornery red head girl who all shared their third birthday just days a part.
It helps that us adults enjoy our morning bloody marys and afternoon Corona’s with lime, because when the chaos hit a high and the majority of our children were whining like baby birds waiting for Momma Bird to drop a worm, we would look across the madness, open the refrigerator or uncork some wine and just laugh.
So, I am not refreshed for Monday morning – sorry, world! I am not richer – much poorer and I am not relaxed, oh the opposite – I am pretty beat.
I am; however, content, grateful and fulfilled.
We have given our Lo girl and along with our family, our 7 nieces and nephews some amazing memories. We do it all for the kids right? And, us too! We laughed much, we ate well, raised our glasses, got some serious tans (y’all I looked like Casper pre-vacation) and were able to carve out time some much needed family time.