Okaloosa Island 2014: Part 2

Catch up HERE if you missed the first part of our first family trip to the beach.

Tuesday, October 14th: We started out our 3rd morning with plans to eat at The Donut Hole for breakfast, but on this day the boys actually slept in. We didn’t get there until almost 9 and by then, the line was out the door.  So we went on down the road to The Pancakery, where we quickly discovered that we weren’t going to get immediate seating anywhere.  We decided to wait it out and browse the store next door….where Cute Cute came into our lives.

Once we got seated and ordered our food, I started messing with Dexter’s hair to get it out of his eyes. As you can see, he wasn’t happy until we slicked it all over to the side like… you guessed it… Bruce Wayne.  He’s so silly.

Dexters Hair10-14-14IMG_4531YUM!

After breakfast, I realized that we were pretty close to a couple of other places I had hoped to visit – The Village of Baytowne Wharf and the Disney outlet store (I’d never been to an outlet store before). I fell in love with Baytowne Wharf, it was so cute and colorful.

10-14-14IMG_4535 10-14-14IMG_4539 A little boo boo briefly interrupted our fun.

10-14-14IMG_4541 10-14-14IMG_4572 10-14-14IMG_4595 10-14-14IMG_4604 10-14-14ss_121842 10-14-14ss_121908 10-14-14ss_121919 10-14-14ss_123733 10-14-14ss_123846


We didn’t buy anything but it was fun to look. One of the boys’ favorite things to do at home (and therefore, anywhere) is go to a playground.  A big reason that we wanted to go to Baytowne Wharf was because I read they had an awesome one. Well, they did…or at least it looked like it. But it was closed for repairs. We were so disappointed.  I did a quick search on my phone and found another local park. We didn’t stay for a very long time because it was getting hot and late and we were ready to get back to the room for lunch and then get to the beach. BUT, it sure was different playing on the sand! It felt kind of weird to imagine ourselves as locals, just taking our kids to the playground. Ah, to live at the beach!

10-14-14ss_135934 10-14-14ss_13533010-14-14IMG_4615 10-14-14IMG_4619

10-14-14ss_161746 10-14-14IMG_4625 10-14-14ss_170344

It was in the high 70s but the wind was so strong that it felt pretty chilly when you got out of the water.  We got to the beach later this day because of all our morning adventures so the boys were pretty tired. So tired that they both fell asleep right on the beach for an hour or so.  We didn’t have any plan for the evening so we ended up wandering to the fishing pier just in time for sunset.

10-14-14IMG_4637 10-14-14IMG_4648 10-14-14IMG_4654 10-14-14IMG_4659 10-14-14ss_182807 10-14-14ss_182822 10-14-14ss_182918 10-14-14ss_184928

I think, if my memory serves me, that we ate in our condo that night since we’d gone out for breakfast. I didn’t take any pictures the rest of the night so that’s probably a good guess.  🙂  This was a great day…very laid back and no plan in place, we just wandered from one thing to the next without rushing at all.  So that was Tuesday.

This was our first family vacation, just the four of us. We went to Disney a year earlier, but with 6 other people. That was an amazingly fun vacation, but this was special in it’s own way.  Taking vacations is something that’s a priority to me, for my family. For myself. Some of my favorite and brightest childhood memories are from fun family vacations. I cherish those times – remembering my mom and dad so carefree and happy.  Lots of trips with lots of wandering from thing to thing, never knowing what was in store for us next. Something I don’t think I’ve mentioned here is that my mom, sister (and her family), and me & Ryan all went to this same beautiful area of Florida just 5 months after my Dad died. We couldn’t bear the thought of having a “normal” Christmas at home without him so soon after losing him.  Many sights and sounds reminded me of that time in my life – feeling guilty for being there (and enjoying it) while knowing at the same time that he wouldn’t have wanted us to sit around sobbing because he was gone.  Old memories, new memories. I hope there are lots of family vacations in our future.

More from this trip coming soon.




catch the moment: week forty-five

Another week has zipped by and it’s getting colder and darker and more wintery-er.  Yuck. It was a good week with a “date” theme, apparently.

Linking up with Mindi, Sarah, and Stephanie for week 45 of Catch the Moment 365.

309/365: Wednesday, November 5th – just a typical evening around our household. Ryan and Theo digging through tubs of Legos while Dexter wears his “Batman cape.” 11-05-14

310/365: Thursday, November 6th – Mommy/Son date night in the Oak Room at the boys’ Montessori school.  Theo showed me a couple of his favorite jobs, including this spider one.11-06-14

311/365: Friday, November 7th – Mommy/Friend date night at Scotty’s.11-07-14

312/365: Saturday, November 8th – a Mommy/Daddy date night…yeah, at the home improvement store. This was before we met some friends for dinner and I didn’t want to carry my camera with me so I snapped a quick pic of the day of this unwilling model. 11-08-14

313/365: Sunday, November 9th – While the kids are away, mommy and daddy will…work. Finally got the 3rd window in our kitchen painted. Moving on to the new backsplash soon! Things are finally starting to shape up. 11-09-14

314/365: Monday, November 10th – Finally, no cars behind me on my way home and I could stop and take a picture of this beautiful home’s entrance. 11-10-14

315/365: Tuesday, November 11th – Haircuts for the boys. 11-11-14


So that’s it for week 45 – not many weeks left in this year or this project. Which picture is your favorite from this week? Mine is 310- Theo in action (and deep concentration) at school.




just when i think he’s not a baby anymore

On vacation, we let the boys pick out a few small souvenirs here and there.  One day we were waiting for our table at breakfast and wandered to the super cheesy beach shop next door. The kind with hermit crabs, a million ugly t-shirts, shell necklaces, and knee boards; they are all the same. While perusing, Theo came across this little stuffed animal and started carrying it around the store. It was a smaller version of another one there but he thought the little one was cute. He started talking to the thing (what is it supposed to be?) in a baby voice – the same one he uses when he talks to the cats.  When it was about time to leave, I told him he needed to put the toy back and he instantly protested.  He begged for it and at $6, I couldn’t say no. I figured it would turn into a told-ya-so life lesson that I could rub in his face, for lack of a better term.



Theo instantly named this thing “Cute Cute” and carried it around the condo for the rest of the week. He never asked to take it places with us, but would think and talk about Cute Cute while we were out and about. Even after acquiring other (and seemingly more interesting) souvenirs, he kept going back to Cute Cute – his favorite.

This boy, that is obsessed with Legos and dying to watch shows that are way too old for him, fell in love with a stuffed animal.  He sleeps with it every night. He says and does adorable things for Cute Cute. For instance, on Halloween, he said she would get too cold trick or treating so he sat her on the couch and covered her up so she could be there waiting on him when we got back. He sleeps with her (yes, she’s a girl).


Just when I think he’s growing up way too fast, he does something that puts me right back in my place. He brings a little Cute Cute into our lives. He’s still a baby in a lot of ways. One day he’ll be really embarrassed about all of this, but I don’t care. He’ll always be my baby and that’s all that matters. For now, I am going to embrace and hang onto anything I can that reminds me of how small he still really is.