Monday, April 24, 2017

An electronic free trip to paradise!

Well, it happened.  We booked out of town again to Orange Beach, Alabama.  This time it was a bit more planned than our last vacation (you can read about how we left for a vacation in under 2 hours HERE).  I don't want to be that person that brags about how awesome their vacation was and how beautiful that weather was and how amazing their kids are...but I might just have to do that a little bit.    So last year we had planned to go back to Alabama on Easter Sunday just like we had done the year before.  We kept talking about it, even started saving in our vacation jar.  However, something kept us from ever booking a condo.  Mainly, we didn't have the money...but something felt "off."  We never ended booking our condo which was a huge blessing to us.  I ended up getting a really bad Diverticulitis infection on Easter Sunday (the day we should have been leaving) and I was miserable that entire week.  There was no way we would have been able to go and we would have lost out on our condo God was way ahead of us in that one for sure!  
Back in December we started looking at VRBO for a condo on Orange Beach to rent.  We couldn't leave until after I was done working on Easter Sunday which would put us in Alabama after the drive on Monday...which my friends, was the start of their "off season."  You know what that means??  No spring break crowds and MUCH cheaper prices.  Yahoo!  We rented a condo that sleeps 10 people right on the ocean for the price of a hotel joke.  It. Was. The. Best!  I have shared the link with so many people...and the place was perfection.  
 We left around 12:15 on Easter Sunday and made the drive to paradise.  We told our kids from early on that we were doing a no electronic vacation.  Our kids don't have phones, but we do have one with an iPod and a few iPads that they all can share.  We decided to go tech free and it turned out to be the best decision for the trip!
Abbie and Sadie decided to make each of the kids "state bags."  For every state we drove through when we crossed the state line, they would give out a state bag filled with goodies to help the kids make it through each state.  The even spent their own money on buying things for the bags!  I can't tell you how awesome the drive was both there and back for us.  No fighting occurred.  Rounds of go fish were played.  They giggled.  They read books to each other.  They played games and we sang Ben Rector songs together.  No one fought over an iPad.  No one constantly begged us to see our phones or watch a movie.  It was simply simple.  We looked for licenses plates with a map one of the kids printed out.  We ate junk food to keep us awake.  We even pulled over at a rest stop to try and sleep...but who were we kidding?  That lasted about 30 minutes before we pulled right back out of that rest stop!  
 We pulled in early in the morning and made a mad dash for the ocean.  Get. My. Feet. In. The. Sand!
We played.  We swam.  We jumped waves.  We went ghost crabbing.  We saw dolphins.  We ate more junk food.  

 We went to the souvenir shops and ate custard.  We played mini golf and saw the Blue Angels.

We read books by the pool (well, I did) and the kids put layer after of sunscreen on. 

 I knew I wanted to take pictures of them at the beach but we really didn't plan outfits or anything.  I told them to put something nice on and this is what I got.  Remember the years of matching outfits and matching swimsutis for us?  Yeah, those are gone.  However, I am loving these mismatched outfit times just as much!

 We tried to recreate our jumping picture from 2 years ago.  Although we didn't master the perfect shot, we sure had a lot of fun trying!  Jump after jump.  No eyes even were rolled during the process!

 It truly was a vacation of a lifetime.  I highly recommend Orange beach.  White soft sand filled with sea shells and sun!

 And just like that....our kids have grown up.  I am experiencing a whole new set of emotions as Molly is getting ready to graduate from grade school.  Everyone tells you the time flies by when your kids are little and you are in snot and diaper land....and then in a blink of an eye, they aren't your babies anymore.  So here they are.....Our crazy wild kids that I am blessed to have call me "mom." (Not in age order!)



And then there is this guy.  Love of my life.  Dad of the year.  

 We spent 5 nights in paradise.  We slept with our balcony door opened every night and listened to the waves crash.  My heart was full.  My head was rested.  My kids were happy.  We had no practices to drive to.  We had no work to worry about.  We spent time together.  We made some of the best memories together.  I am so thankful that we did this.

I have lots more pics to share and details on our trip which I will share later....but for now....I gotta run kids to soccer and ballet....back to life, back to reality!  

I belong by the ocean....until we see each other again!  Don't be surprised if we move to Alabama one day.  It has my heart!