Sunday, April 12, 2015

We Totally Booked out of Town....

 So did that really just happen?  Why, yes, yes it did!    Alright this is the deal.  I posted a while ago about wanting to get away.  Blah blah blah.  I can't even begin to tell you how God had this in the works the entire time.  I spent so many hours crying and complaining and whining and being jealous and having a pity party.  God must have been looking down on me rubbing His hands together and saying," Have patience, my child."
 For starters I complained about not having a vehicle big enough to fit our family.  It has been a sore spot in my heart for a year now.  If we needed to go anywhere as a family we would squish, double buckle or take two vehicles.  That plain just stunk.  On a whim 2 weeks ago Dan and I went to look at a van that could seat 12.  12 you say?!?!?  YES 12!  Well, because I am super optimistic on everything (ahem..sarcasm) I went expecting to be disappointed.  Instead we were blown away.  I cried.  A car we could all fit in?  No way.  Long story short...we traded in our minivan for our new box on wheels.  It is basically a work van with passenger seats, but it has seat belts and air bags and windows and 12 seats and it is just perfect!  I sat in the van and prayed before we went ahead with it. I prayed that if God wanted us to have the van He would allow it to go smoothly. If it wasn't a good idea for us, I prayed He would put up a road block.  All went super smoothly.
 Boom....God had that all along.
 A few weeks back when we took our trip to IKEA I made the girls try on 10 different swim suits.  I couldn't decide.  I finally decided and made the purchase online when they were on sale and with an extra coupon and free shipping....and that is what they got in their Easter Baskets.  God knew all along just how soon we would be using them.  Boom....He had that too.
 Last week was the only week we had NO commitments.  (except 2 things Dan forgot about!)  It happened like this.  Dan and I were driving back from my mom's house on Easter Sunday around 4:30/5:00 ish.  Abbie was turing 10 the next day and we wanted to do something special for her.  We didn't know what to do.  My brother and his wife were in Alabama already on vacation and I jokingly texted her telling her we could totally still come.  (why wouldn't anyone want our family of 9 to crash their vacation, right?)  And so our journey began.  We got home and I made a few calls.  There was one room left at the place my brother was staying.  Hmmmm....what should we do?  So we did what any logical family would do....we totally booked out of town.  We told the kids to pack a small duffle bag with minimal clothes and necessities only.  2 hours later we left.  Friends took our dog within one hour and we put a huge bowl of food out for the cats.  We had just turned in our boiler for metal scrap that week and left with a little bit of cash and headed for the open road.  We drove all night long.  The kids were awesome.  Like really awesome.
 We rolled in on Monday late afternoon, unloaded as fast as we could and headed down to the ocean.  What an amazing sight!  To see your kids experience the ocean, most for the first time, was seriously the best.  Within 10 minutes of being in the ocean...a certain child of mine...whom I had already warned to remove her glasses...lost her glasses in the ocean.  Gone. Forever.  I tried to hold it together as best as I could.  I wanted to run away crying because I knew what this meant.  I spent the next half hour calling around looking for a place to purchase new glasses.  Molly can't see very well without them so not getting her a replacement pair was not even an option.  We headed a half hour out to find a Lens Crafters and used all our spending money on new glasses.  And you know what?  I think that made the trip even better.  We couldn't spend our money on souvenirs or things we didn't need.  What we needed was the ocean.  And that is what we got.
 For three days we spent our day on the beach.  The place we stayed also had a outdoor pool and and indoor pool and we frequented all of them.  The suits remained permanently damp.  I can't tell you how many times we did was constant.
 We built a giant ninja turtle in the sand.  The boys buried themsleves.  The older girls body surfed and jumped waves for hours and hours.  We hunted ghost crabs and came home with buckets of seashells.
 I almost finished a book.  We all got burned a little.  We went through 4 bottles of sunscreen.
 The kids held a crab.  We caught a squid.  We caught jelly fish.  We saw dolphins.  We ate not so healthy meals.

We simply laid around.  The kids played a game in the ocean and would call out names for the waves.  A shark was a huge wave and everytime a huge wave came they would yell, SHARK.  Good thing the waves are so loud that others couldn't hear the word shark being called out!  That could have been bad!  The kids bonded and played so nicely.  Gavin and Griffin chased each other with dead jelly fish and sandy hands.  Griffin love having to get sunscreen on his buttcrack because his suit wouldn't stay up.

I could go on and on.  I have TONS more pictures.  I think I will do a second post with more because I just can't pick some and not show some of the other great ones!

I think the best thing about this trip was that I couldn't plan.  I know that sounds super weird.  I am a planner.  I like to have things lined up and know what to do and how to get there and what we will need.  I didn't have time to do any of that.  And off we went.  16 hours there.  We had beautiful weather, sunshine, fog, and warmth.  All of the things I had been longing for and God provided.  I am trying to process the past week.  It is hard to believe any of that just happened.  It did and I am SO thankful that we booked it and got a break and developed a love for the gulf shores.  We don't need stuff...we just need the beach.  I can't wait to "book out of town" again.

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