Hello, friends. I’m back.

Well, hello there.  I’m glad to see you.  It’s been awhile.

You may have gathered from the sporadic nature of my posts in May and June that I was drowning a little bit. Drowning is too strong a word, but I was definitely treading water as fast as I could and couldn’t stop to write about it.

Now I’m back from a week on the beach and a weekend in the mountains, and I feel more like myself. Hopeful. Mostly content. Like tackling the mountain of laundry won’t quite do me in.

I’m here to ramble a bit about our vacations and how good it is to be home. Will you have a cup of tea with me?

Our beach trip was preceded by a panicked email from our rental company. Repairs on our unit (from last fall’s hurricane) weren’t finished, and they needed to move us to a different house. I spent a few days mad that they were moving us half a mile from the rest of Sam’s family and further from the beach… and then I got over it. The space worked well (good beds!) and we still were able to spend every day on the beach in way form or another. What was I all worked up about?

We spent the week:

feeding seagulls…
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burying cousins…
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walking at night…
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with the kids…
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and without…
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It had been 2 years since our last trip to the beach, and the kids were so much more independent than before.  It made for a much more relaxed week. I tried a few new things this year:

I bought flowers for our house. Every day I looked at them on the table and felt happy.

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I ran more.  And instead of focusing on how far or fast I was running, I stopped and took photos.

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I worried less about how many episodes of Friends the kids watched, and spent my time reading instead.

I polled everyone in our family before we went about what they wanted to do while we were there, and then we made (most) of those things happen early on. The only thing on the list we couldn’t do was spend a day at the National Seashore, which was my item. And you know what? That was okay, too. I allowed myself a little time to grieve it, and then I enjoyed what I had, which was pretty incredible.

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Next time we go- whenever that is- I plan to rent this bike and ride around town all week, except for when I’m reading books or walking on the beach.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with the final weekend of our trip, which we spent two thousand miles further west with more water.

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Grateful: Beach edition

There was much to be thankful for on our vacation.  From a list of so many, I am thankful for:

  • sand castles
  • the shade tent
  • dolphins (no photo… instead, I have 500 photos of the still water after the dolphins had submerged themselves again)
  • swimming
  • ice cream
  • hot runs
  • the paddleboard
  • a nature walk
  • cousins
  • the Labyrinth at high tide
  • zumba

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Beach Nature Study

We’re back from the beach.  One of my favorite days was right at the end, when we took the kids (and their cousins) on a walk at low tide.  I love seeing the world through their eyes.

We saw a huge jellyfish. (Better to see it on the sand than have it find you in the water!)
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We think these are crab poop.  Don’t they look just like chocolate sprinkles?
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And then there were all these horseshoe crabs. First one, then lots of pairs. “Oh they’re best friends!” Well, sort of…
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So here’s the site we found to inform us about the life cycle of the horseshoe crab.

And I think a sandpiper?
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Have you been doing any nature study (formal or informal)? I’d love to see it.

For more summer nature study, check out Nature Study Monday at Fisher Academy International.