Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Week, Three Boys and a Whole Lotta Sand

For the first time in 8 years, our annual trip to the beach with Steve's family did not involve a cross-country plane ride. Oh what a difference no jet lag makes. Although taking 3 boys to the beach is much trickier than 2, it seems like we were all a smidge more content this year. Luke used to run screaming from the beach as a toddler and now he jumps right in the surf, eager to keep up with his cousins. He really improved his board-riding skills, thanks to the helpful hints from numerous extended family members.

This about sums up Eli's beach week adventures. He was mostly Mr. Mellow, just hanging out in the water or loading a water bottle with goopy sand. I will say that he probably ate his weight in sand as we are still seeing the remnants of said consumption. It's lovely. He quickly figured out that Grandma and his auntie would walk him anywhere and he progressed from barely walking with both hands held to walking cautiously with his auntie, only holding one hand. He has a long ways to go but is showing signs of walking independently soon.

My niece, nephews and their numerous cousins have mostly graduated from digging in the sand and have moved on to spending hours in the surf. This is one of my nephews going back for more.

Andy has not progressed to riding the waves and had a challenging week. He is still captivated by cars, trucks and trains yet was just curious enough about the activity around him that he wanted to take part. He lasted about 10 minutes on his board, just one monster wave and he would run screaming for the beach. We often joke that lives in a place we call "Andy world", making up stories with his trucks and acting them out. It felt like he spent the whole week in the sand with this truck, yet his frustration with the ocean was clearly evident. On our last morning, I finally coaxed him into the waves and he splashed around confidently as if he was made for the water. Andy is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

It wouldn't be a week at the beach if we didn't dig a hole. When Luke wasn't in the water he was building a fort and daring the ocean to wash it away. Most of his projects partially survived high tide. This was his final build before we went home. He was quite proud and insisted on posing. We had a wonderful week with our family and just like previous years, there are so many pictures I failed to take. We savored naps on the porch in the rocking chairs and hanging out under the gazebo at Grandma and Grandpa's. We read, chatted with visitors after the boys were asleep, enjoyed numerous entertaining performances by our multi-talented aunts, uncles and cousins...such a blessing to be a part of a fabulous family.

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