Tuesday, September 28, 2010

in pictures::day six and the final sunrise

Well, I have finally reached the end of reliving my beach vacation. It was nice to spend the week looking through the pictures and remembering all of the fun we had. Here, at home, it's been raining pretty much since last Sunday. No, make that Saturday night. We had a short reprieve on Tuesday afternoon and it was lovely and fall-ish and perfect for an impromptu playdate. Then Wednesday it rained hard all day long and all night. This morning...it was still raining, then finally around lunch time it stopped. The birds started singing and the sky lightened up a little. It's still very cloudy but not raining. I promise I'm not complaining about the rain...we needed it. It hasn't rained in over a month. I just like to ease into things instead of being bombarded for a the better part of a week. Anyway, here are the pictures from our last day at the beach.
I did not change the coloring in this sunrise picture. It really was a beautiful purplish blue with a pink stripe...awesome!
After breakfast we went down to the farmer's market and the boardwalk.
Here's a family shot from Saturday night as the sun was setting. Everything was packed up and we were enjoying the evening on the balcony.
On Sunday morning we got to see one more gorgeous sunrise.
this one taken from the balcony

this one taken from beach level
Ah yes, and before we left I had to get one more shot of the girls.
To read more about our last day on vacation you can click here.
Posted by Picasa

Summer is over. I know this. I hung on to it as long as I could. But now it's time for me to embrace fall. I cannot deny that it is upon us...it's almost October, for crying out loud! Time for sweatshirts, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and yarn. Hmmm, yarn. I need a new project.
Happy Thursday xoANG

Monday, September 27, 2010

in pictures::day five

Day five. I am almost finished reliving my vacation. It already feels like we were at the beach months ago, but it was only a week ago. Today it's 59 degrees and rainy...not at all beach like. If you want to read more on day five click here.
We took the ferry across to South Port. A fun ride with beautiful views.
We strolled around South Port and saw lots of butterflies.
We drove down the road to Oak Island. It was beautiful. We love it there.
Happy Monday xo ANG

Sunday, September 26, 2010

in pictures::day four

Ah, day four. To read what we did on day four just click here and here.

This is the morning I went for a jog on the beach before everyone woke up. The sunrise was breathtaking. Thankfully, Tim captured this one for me.
Before lunch we went for a walk around Lake Park. We enjoyed the feathered friends.

The girls under a willow tree at Lake Park.

After a relaxed morning of rest we made sure to hit the beach in the afternoon.

As you can tell, the girls absolutely love it!

The waves were big and fun to play in all afternoon.
It was a good day. Happy Sunday xo ANG

Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 24, 2010

in pictures::day three

If you would like to read what I posted at the end of day three just click here. Now, here some pictures from that day.

the magnificent sunrise

me and my girls at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher...the stickers on their shirts are of the albino alligator, Luna...very cool

This alligator was staring Tim down. I thought he was going to yawn or something but what he did was snap his jaws loudly and quickly...and it was a little scary!

the amazing octopus that seemed to be showing off for the camera

on the walkway outside of the aquarium...a palm, a turtle family, a butterfly, and some Venus flytraps

a few more fascinating creatures at the aquarium
the girls enjoying the afternoon surf, some dolphins , and a pretty shell
And this might just be my favorite shot of the entire vacation...my family jumping the waves together having a great time!
happy friday...xo ANG

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

in pictures::day two

Here are a few highlights from day two of our vacation...Monday the 14th.
the sunrise
the digging and building
the warming up after wave jumping

the late afternoon walk at Fort Fisher beach

discovering a new playground

enjoying the warm sun

the more standard beach pictures...sea oats, sandpipers, and a lovely white feather in the sand...probably from a seagull.
If you want to read about day two, click here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

in pictures::day one

Now that we are back at home I can share some vacation pictures with you. I took an inexcusable excessive record-breaking extraordinary amount of pictures so I will just choose some highlights from each day. These photos are from the day we arrived. If you'd like to read about day one, click here.

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

No vacation is complete without a picture of my feet in the sand, a beautiful, little shell, a little fish found in the surf, and some sort of bee. Bee? Yes, I almost stepped on that thing. It was alive and the stinger was quite large. Lucky for me the next wave took him out to sea!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

if only i could bottle it

and enjoy the smell of the beachy air all year. Today was our last day at the beach. We went to the community/farmer's market this morning down at lake park. It was nice to see all the fresh veggies and talk with some of the local crafters. I met lady who made jewelry...the girls bought their first dangle earrings, I met a lady who made handmade soap, she was nice but her soap was pricey, I also met a painter. She had a dog with her and the girls really enjoyed petting him and feeding him treats. Then we headed to the boardwalk, got a fresh homemade doughnut from Britt's, the best local doughnut joint. I had to wait in line and I ordered one doughnut. The girl said, "dozen?". Nope, just one. The people in line in front of me and behind me ordered by the dozen and looked at me like I was crazy. Oh sure, I'm a little crazy, but I'm crazy with fewer calories. Let me tell you it would have been easy to eat at least six with one cup of coffee, but one was just fine. I shared it with the my girls. We savored it and it put krispy kreme to shame. We enjoyed a nice stroll on the boardwalk then headed to the beach. The 'no swimming' flag was flying today. The surfers were out in force. The waves were huge, the current was strong, but we had a great time playing on the beach. Some huge, dark storm clouds rolled in, the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped. The girls knew this was the last day and they wanted to go to the pool one more time, so we went to the pool. The clouds blew over, the sun reappeared, the temperature got warmer, and the pool water was nice and warm. We had a great time swimming. Then showers, a late lunch, and rest time. We hit a few beach shops before dinner, cleaned up the condo, packed up everything, and had time to spare for playing and soaking up the last of the ocean view. Tomorrow we'll be heading home in the morning. We are ready for home, but it sure would be nice if I could bottle that wonderful salty air so when it's cold and dreary this winter I could breathe in the ocean air. happy saturday. xoANG

Friday, September 17, 2010

if she had seen it coming

she wouldn't have wiped out in the waves. Yep, my newly brave, ocean loving big girl got tossed around by the waves today.(my little ocean lover wiped out several times over the course of our vacation...and loved every second of it) After rest time we headed down to the beach. The waves were big, the undertow was strong, but the fun was irresistible. The normal water play is jump the incoming wave, sit down, let the wave push you up the beach...jump up to get to the next wave in time to jump it and repeat the whole thing. All was going fine until she didn't get to her feet fast enough and the wave that pushed her up on the beach started sucking her back down toward the ocean where a rather large wave was coming in. Tim was right there beside her so she was fine...shocked, covered in sand, but fine. There was no crying or fear...maybe just a little extra caution and diligent awareness of the incoming waves. The tide was coming in and the surfers were everywhere. The girls stayed with me playing in the waves while Tim went out into the water. We watched him get covered by wave after wave. At one point there was a swell coming up behind him and in it I saw a rather large fin..just as I was about to freak out thinking it was a shark three or four more appeared and I realized it was a bunch of dolphins. They frolicked and played in the water about 10 feet behind him. It was very exciting to see.
Now, this morning bright and early we caught the ferry to Southport. The ferry ride was nice and relaxing. The scenery was beautiful and the girls really enjoyed the ride. We spent the morning walking around the quaint little town of Southport, then we drove over to Oak Island and visited the lighthouse then drove up and down the island. I really love Oak Island, it's such a simple, non-touristy island with beautiful beaches. Then we caught the ferry back to Pleasure Island which has Carolina Beach, where we have been, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher. We had some lunch and rest time...and well, you know the beach story. After our time on the beach we headed to the pool for a little while before dinner. The pool water was nice and warm because it was hot today. Then it was showers and dinner and time admiring and cleaning our collection of shells. Now everyone is tucked into bed to get some much needed sleep. Tomorrow is our last full day of vacation. We don't have any plans...just soak up as much beach as we can, then Sunday we'll be heading home. My brain is tired today so I feel like this post is very incoherent. I'm not going to reread it before I post it, I'll just do a spell check and I hope it makes sense. happy Friday. xo ANG

Thursday, September 16, 2010

if i could have guessed

how today was going to turn out...I would have been so wrong. Today was wonderful in it's own way. The weather was absolutely gorgeous again today. Every day has been sunny and warm with a slight breeze. It's like an everlasting summer. Miss O woke this morning feeling, well, like she had a cold. A very mild cold. Her nose was not longer runny and she looked so much better. She was tired but cheerful. We had planned on taking the ferry to Southport today, but we opted for a morning of complete lounging. We colored and read books and watched the ocean and found PBS so the girls could watch some cartoons. Then before lunch we went to lake park for some fresh air and sunshine. We just took a leisurely stroll around the lake and enjoyed the ducks with all of their waddling and quacking. We saw some pretty flowers and a snake slithering around. No alligators though. As we walked O's head cleared and she perked up quite a bit. After a nice lunch and rest time where much napping was enjoyed we headed down to the beach. It was high tide, the waves were getting quite large, the surfers were out in force, the girls played, and jumped, and were pushed around by the waves for a solid two hours. Then up to the condo for showers and dinner on the balcony. O felt so much better. Her head was clearing up, her eyes were no longer watery, she had her energy back. The girls played nicely together until it was time for bed. All is quiet now. The plan for tomorrow, Lord willing, is that we will ride the ferry. Sleep tight friends. Happy Thursday. xo ANG

if everything was perfect

we would have missed out on some wonderful family time. Ah yes, yesterday was not perfect, not part of my plan, not what I had envisioned, not what I would have chosen...but God knows better. The day started beautifully. I got up before the sunrise and went for a run on the beach. First of all, I haven't gone for a run for quite a while. It went pretty well...being at sea level is great. Oh, it was difficult, but good. Then on the way back I got to watch to sun rise. Oh, beautiful sunrise. The shrimp boats were right off the beach, lights on, nets out. They were surrounded by seagulls and pelicans, and oh yes, some dolphins . There were a few people on the beach, many of whom stopped in their tracks to watch the sun come up. I kept on running...keeping my eye on the sky, but being sure not to burn a hole in my retinas from staring at the rising sun. When I got back to the condo it was very apparent that my big girl woke up with a cold. Yes, a cold. Seriously? We haven't had colds in over a year...probably close to 2 years. It started off pretty mild though and she said she felt fine. We headed down to the beach for a few hours and the girls spent nearly the whole time jumping the waves. Oh, they have been having so much fun. I just love that they love the beach. After choosing a few shells and digging a few holes in the sand we headed to the pool. Exhausted and fully clogged miss O didn't last in the pool very long. She wrapped up in a towel and sunned herself like a lizard. After showers and lunch there was rest time. Not much napping happened but at least there was rest. We had planned on heading to the boardwalk or lake park after rest time but the cold was making O feel pretty bad so we just hung out and enjoyed the view. We colored, built with legos, listened to music, and played battleship. A new game for the girls and boy was it fun. Can I just say...I lost...both times. She sank my battleship, my aircraft carrier, my patrol boat, my weapons platform, and my submarine! She even rescued her captured man (a new addition) on the first try. It was such a nice time to chat and play and have fun together. Had we kept our original plans we would not have had such a sweet time together. So I guess the day ended up perfect anyway. Yep, even with a cold and piles of tissues we enjoyed the day just as God had designed it for us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

if you have ever doubted

that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful, Creator of everything then you really should take a family vacation. Go to an aquarium and see some of the creatures that exist below the surface of the ocean. Oh, and take a look at a sunrise. I know the rotation of the earth is not something we think about very often, but when I'm at the beach and see where sky meets ocean and then I see the sun come up, it's nothing short of majestic. Then there are sea shells. Little, beautiful, colorful shells. The design, perfect habitats for bizarre creatures in the sea. Then there's the guy getting ready to tow our car. Yes, that's right. After rest time today we suited up and headed down to the beach for some playing in the waves and when we reached the bottom of the stairs there was a man hooking up his truck to our car. Our parking pass wasn't visible but we were the only car parked under our building and we are the only occupants in the whole building right now. Really? Didn't think to check if we were really staying here and not parking illegally. God's sovereignty was evident to me in the timing of our going down to the beach. On a normal day we would have gone down a good 30 minutes later, but today...today two minutes would have made a huge difference. Two minutes later our car would have been gone. We would have had some panic and anger. We would have paid who knows how much to get our car back. But I sit here thankful, mindful, and more aware of God's hand in every aspect of our lives...no matter how small. So if you ever doubt God's greatness go on a vacation and really look around. Better yet, where you sit right now, look around, think about your day, see God's hand at work....from the butterflies lighting on your flowers to the way your children play together, from the crescent moon lighting up the night sky to the way water flows from your spigot when you need it to wash the dishes or fill a glass. Be mindful, be aware, be thankful, and be glorifying to the One who created us and all things. All is quiet now after an eventful day. happy tuesday. xo ANG

Monday, September 13, 2010

if you like that kinda thing

sand between your toes. Do you like that? That first walk on the beach when the sand is warm and soft. Or maybe that smooshy sand that lets you sink down a little more each time the waves crash on your feet and splash you up to your knees. Yes, I like that kinda thing and we did a lot of that today. Then to the pool we went for lots of swimming, jumping in, racing, and reaching for the dive sticks. Too soon it was time for showers, lunch, and rest time. Hmmm...maybe not enough rest today. The grumbling, whining, and fretting surfaced this afternoon...nothing a good heart check and an attitude check can't fix. Then off to a newly discovered playground, a little more beach, dinner on the balcony and it was time to call it a night. A little quiet coloring rounded out the day quite nicely. All is quiet now.
Okay, if you don't like that kinda thing, the sand that is, it's probably because sand sticks to you even after hours in the pool, or the pockets full of sand, the sand in the car, sand stuck to the beach chairs. Oh, or maybe it's that powdery feeling left behind after a day at the beach. Me, I don't mind those things at all. It's part of the deal, the vacation experience. And you know, months from now when it's 20 degrees and I need to find my ice scraper in the trunk of my car but instead I find little forgotten piles of sand, I'll remember the warmth of the sun, the feeling of the sand between my toes, and the treasured time with my family at the beach. Maybe it'll take the sting out of winter, maybe not. But, yea, I like that kinda thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

if only you could smell the air

We made it. We are officially on vacation. Yesterday was a day of packing, list checking, gluten free bread baking, and more packing. This morning we arose before the crack of dawn, piled into the car, and hit the road. To my dismay, the coffee shop that is a road trip tradition, was not open yet. Yikes! No coffee at 6am as we drove down the road. We'll stop somewhere else and grab a cup, he said. That statement was not a reassuring one since it was coming from the person that likes to reach the vacation destination with as few stops as possible....none would be preferred, but today we made it with just one pit stop....and that wasn't for coffee. We arrived here around 11am, stopped by the grocery store to grab some essentials, and finally reached the condo. The car was unloaded, the things were mostly unpacked, and it hit me. Why in the world did I feel so tired, lethargic, wiped out. Oh, right, no morning coffee. A problem easily solved...two cups later and I felt much better. Lunch was consumed, the sun came out, rest time was enjoyed and then down to the beach we went. The water was like glass with nice little waves coming in for the girls to play in. The temperature was nice a warm, the ocean was like bath water, the sand filled the girls' bathing suits. After an hour or so frolicking on the beach we headed for the pool showers to rinse off the sand, then since we were there we decided to spend some time in the pool. The girls swam and jumped and splashed and squealed. Pure delight. Showers, dinner on the balcony, a little playing and it was time for bed. I'm beat. The girls haven't made a peep since I tucked them in...they're pretty beat, too. Off to bed for me as well. I look forward to enjoying a cup of coffee first thing in the morning...on the balcony...breathing in the glorious salty air...before we head down to the beach. Happy Sunday. xoANG

Thursday, September 9, 2010

you capture::signs

I stopped to take notice of a few things this week. Signs of things to come.
a tiny crocheted sweater (yarn-sugar&cream white and warm brown/free pattern-"Everyday is a New Sweater Day" from Rima of Yarny Days...also on Ravelry) and hat in the works -the sign of a fall baby...no, not mine
(f/5 - iso200 - 1/5sec.)

beautiful fabric - the sign of a new skirt or dress to be made soon

beach chairs drying in the sun after a good cleaning - the sign of our much anticipated vacation

Oh, then there was this sign that I found quite humorous. My kids?...not so much.
There are more signs over at I Should Be Folding Laundry. Happy Thursday. xoANG

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Here is a picture from three years ago when we were at Carolina Beach, NC.While we were at the beach we went over to the state park to look for venus fly traps. We didn't find any, but we had so much fun on the trails seeing a lot of new plants and flowers, as well as some big spiders and shiny beetles.
We are preparing for another trip to the same great place, but this time instead of having those tiny little turkeys with us, we'll be accompanied by these two fabulous big kids.

Yikes! Where has the time gone? They have grown and changed so much over the past three years. Must focus. Must enjoy today. Must savor every moment. Happy Tuesday. xoANG

Friday, September 3, 2010

{this moment}

Inspired by Amanda, I share this moment from our day at the sprayground with you.

happy weekend. xo ANG

Thursday, September 2, 2010

tomatoes and those who eat them

Speaking of tomatoes, my grape, cherry, and lemon tomatoes have made a comeback. That super hot summer put everything on hold, and well, the deer feast didn't help either. But now, we've been getting tons of rain as well as copious amounts of dew every night so my tomatoes are thriving. So much so that it's like a jungle. We can pick a nice bowl full of tomatoes every day now and usually while picking I eat one or two. Delicious. This one, however, will eat as many as she can pick. So that lovely line of tomatoes you see at the top of this post didn't make it into the house. I'm not complaining. She loves her veggies, and fresh from the garden, too. Then, there's this guy...several of them actually. I am thankful it's late in the season and we've enjoyed lots of our homegrowns before the tomato hornworms found our yard. He enjoyed several tomatoes much like he enjoyed this one. But he got his. Take a look at him now. They all kind of look like this now. Gross, yet fascinating. A fly or parasitic wasp has decided to use him as a growing and feeding station for their larvae. Ah, the cycle of life...a beautiful thing...and a great science lesson! Happy Thursday. xoANG