Saturday morning I got up and packed the car. We drove by the hospital to drop off Dr. J's call toiletries that he forgot at home and give him goodbye kisses. We headed off to the beach. The three hour drive was a little nuts. The first two hours were great but the third Cheetah started asking to be let out of her seat and the kids in the back started fighting. I started to wonder what I was thinking. Then we got to the beach. I gathered my four kids, towels, sand toys, and water bottles. Captain E carried our small cooler loaded with snacks. The beach was crowded but there was plenty of places to set up. We had three awesome hours:
We built sand castles. Played in the water. Buried Captain E. Buried Captain E and Cheetah in an even bigger hole. Dug out a huge hole by the surf and tried to make a bath tub. Splashed each other. Ate snacks. Drank lake water (Cheetah...ewe gross!). Did splits in the surf (Peach). Practiced our back stroke (Captain E). Practiced our free style and diving (Captain E and Gigi). Dragged a gigantic stick into the surf (Captain E, Gigi, Peach, Cheetah). Danced in the water with a gigantic stick (Peach). Sprayed each other with water guns. Skipped rocks. Collected cool looking rocks. Sun bathed. Got wet, rolled in the sand, then ran into the lake to clean off, repeat a 100 times.
It was a blast. My kids all loved the water, the sand, the rocks, the waves, the beach. They were so happy to be there and I was so happy to make them happy. They were nice to each other, played well, and for the most part minded the mommy. Then I looked at my phone and realized it was five o'clock. I decided to take the kids up to the car, get them dinner, dressed, and back to the beach for pictures. Good thing too because Gigi had pulled a Tegaderm bandage off her leg and was bleeding everywhere! We limped up to the van with all our goods. I was looking for clean water and some toilet paper to clean off her leg when my phone rang. "Hey," Jessica said, "Where are you?" "Oh just standing by the car, getting ready to get my kids dressed." "Oh," she says, "My session finished a few minutes early. Do you want me to come over and help you get the kids ready?" "What time is it?" I asked. Turns out my phone hadn't adjusted to the time change and it was actually 6:15. OH BOY!
So Jessica came over. She helped dress my daughters. She combed their hair and put their barrettes in. She laughed with me when I realized I'd forgotten Captain E's underwear and he was going to have to go commando. She handed me tp as I cleaned Gigi's bloody leg off. She held up a towel to protect my privacy while I stripped in the parking lot. No way I was going back in those bathrooms! Sand, beach, lake water, hundreds of visitors, they just were not the best. She waited with my kids while I rounded up a ranger that could put a real Band-aid on Gigi's bleeding leg that once I cleaned I'd just covered with Vaseline and a piece of tp. Then she carried my kids with me up hills and through sand. She is an amazing photographer and an awesome friend. We took pictures on the dunes and in the water. My kids were serious, they were laughing, they were cracking up and being silly. After she took me back to the van, helped me get the kids all tucked away and then headed off to find her next appointment. Captain E told me in the car coming home, "I just hope some of those goofy ones turn out." We drove the three hours home stopping only twice, once for Gas, food, and a potty break, and then a second time so Gigi and Peach could pee on the side of the road just 2 miles from a rest stop because they just couldn't hold it a second longer. Everyone was happy but exhausted when we pulled in at 11:30. Today I got a Facebook sampling of some of the shots she took. I actual got teared up looking at them. Sure I'm a little sad Dr. J couldn't be there with us. Jessica joked we should Awkward Family Photo vignette him into the corner, but I AM IN LOVE WITH THESE SHOTS and so glad that we had the opportunity to take them. They were SO WORTH the drive. I'd like to point out that these are after a three hour drive, three hours in the sun playing on the beach, with not a speck of makeup. Either I'm a model or Jessica is a wizard photographer ;-) Man I love them! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do because they are going to be our Christmas Card shots and I can't wait to get some put up in my house! I love them, I love them, I love them, I do!!!!
Photos taken by Jessica Vaughn Photography