Friday, July 11, 2014

OBX 2014

**Picture alert - massive quantity**  First I'm a little excited that I'm actually posting this within a month of coming home... rather than a year later!  It's the small things!  For the second year we went to Outer Bank, NC (Corolla specifically) with our good friends from Ohio .  We had 20 people in the house but it never really felt too crowded.  Seven kids and four sets of grandparents kind of evened it out.  I was going to copy and post some of Theresa's great pictures but just decided to link her blog about the beach instead.  This year we got a house with an elevator to accommodate my mom's mobility issues and it made a HUGE difference.  I was so happy that she was able to get in and out of the house so much easier and wasn't trapped on the 3rd floor.  Not that being trapped on the 3rd floor with an ocean view is a horrible place to be... it was just so much better for my mom. 
This year we had the same crew as last year plus Theresa's mom, Theresa's brother and a friend of his.  Everyone really gets along so well it made for a pretty perfect week.  And it started out with a bang!  I was hosting an end of the school year party for Sierra and six of her friends and hadn't even started packing on Friday evening to leave Saturday morning.  Theresa called to say that Shawn had to fill in for someone at work Saturday so they couldn't come down til Sunday.  I was completely shocked and so bummed I didn't even know what to say.  She  got off the phone pretty quickly.  A few minutes later I heard male voices in my backyard and looked from our upstairs window to see two teenage boys walking through my yard.  I was pretty concerned since I had a house full of girls.  I ran downstairs and there was Shawn standing in my kitchen.  I was so completely confused for a few seconds.  Then I put two and two together that they were surprising me! (The teenage boys were Theresa's brother and his friend)  I kinda freaked out!  They were totally speaking my love language!  I love, love, love surprises!!  Apparently they had been planning this with my parents for a couple of months!  It was the absolute best way to start out our vacation.  They spent the night with my parents and we all got to caravan down to the beach together (until some of us *cough, cough* got a little misguided).
The rest of our trip was just about as good.  The house was perfect for us.  Our first full day was gorgeous and we got sunburned.  Most of the week was sunny and cloudy mix with some rain here and there.  Nice enough for us to be outside when we wanted but rainy enough to not get fried again.  We found an awesome little beer garden just down the road from the neighborhood that we managed to get to three times.  The "young" adults got a night out for dinner.  Plenty of trips for ice cream and Duck Donuts and nights out to crab hunt.  Some of the crew went crab fishing while my dad and I took a 9 mile bike ride. Theresa and I got to run a few times.  The four older girls are pretty self sufficient when they were in the house and the three littles had a lot of fun playing together with minimal drama.  It was probably one of the most relaxing vacations that we've had since we had kids... and we got to do it with some of our favorite people, our framily!  We really can't ask for more.
Loved getting my mom onto the sand

Lots of boogy boarding

Collecting water for the castle

Shawn and the littles

Happy heart

It's a good thing we brought all of the noodles for the kids

Completely unintentional but this made me crack up when I saw it

These kiddos got a lot of joy out of shooting us onlookers standing on the upper deck

A lot!

What's a beach trip without a bike ride?

Testing out lighting for family pictures the next day.  I had a great model to work with!

Hunting some crabs

The turtle gang #thuglife

Another favorite... bumper cars

These girls were vicious on the track

Timbuck II ice cream

Luau cuties
Theresa went all out for her Hawaiian themed dinner

Getting creative with the camera.  Or something.


It was cold this day!

I feel like we should see Pamela Anderson in her red suit running behind Cadence!

This girl loves to write her name

Wait?! Is that Kevin digging a hole?!

These dolphins came out to play.  I've never seen anything like it at the beach!
It's hard to see but that's two jumping at the same time


Beautiful moon

They came so close

Loved the sun's reflection on the horizon

 Got up in time to see the sunrise
Clouds obscured a bit but it was still  pretty

...and quite zen

I think they may have been doing yoga

And throwing sand at the ocean

The young adults going out

It was a full double rainbow... so cool!  Mother Nature's gift after the rain

Deep conversations

This either ended in hysterical laughing or tears

Went on a tour with Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Pretty neat

Someone getting a shower?


The girls loved hanging with Grandma Carol

Infamous Beer Garden

Can't miss the ice cream truck

Sunrise on our last day. Can't wait to do it again next year!