Sunday, May 29, 2016

Gulf shores

For Lorelai and Laynie's first birthdays I needed a change of scenery. The holidays were extremely hard on me emotionally. I had a really hard time and I knew their birthday would be much of the same so I convinced Adam to take a trip just the 5 of us. Unfortunately my mom's birthday also happens to be Laynie's day. And I knew myself and knew that I would be grieving that day and didn't want to put that on my mom again for another year. So we decided to escape our harsh reality and go somewhere that always makes me happy...the beach. God Bless my beautiful husband for always giving me what I need. We decided on Gulf Shores since neither of us had been there and I've always wanted to go. 

So we decided (or me) to leave late tuesday night and drive through the night so the kids would sleep. In order to make this happen I decided to let Landon forward face for the first time. After all he was almost 2.5 years old so I suppose that was long enough. The boys really did well on the drive. Lincoln slept like a champ. Landon on the other hand woke up several times screaming, which he does even when he sleeps in a bed, so all par for the course. and of course Lorelai slept like the little champ that she is. 

off we go!
We got to Gulf Shores around 8 am. Our check in time wasn't until 3. But I had talked to the lady we were renting from and she agreed to let us check in around noon. I figured 4 hours wouldn't be to hard to kill time with. But since we were there so early we decided to go straight to the beach! I officially got all 3 kiddos to the beach before their first birthdays!!! Last year was so crazy we didn't get a chance to take a vacation like we had planned.
its so pretty!
My favorite place is a beach!

All kiddos at the beach for the first time Lincoln was 6 months, Landon was 3 and Lola was 11 

First time on the beach

The boys had a blast running on the beach and dipping their toes in the sand. Landon was a little skittish about it at first but eventually warmed up to putting his toes in. Lincoln was a lot more daring which is surprising.

so excited for the beach.

Starting his love for the beach early

toes in the sand

love it

Landon is scared for his life

Love these 3 who refuse to look at the camera

doesn't mind sand day 1. 
Then of course our rebel son fell into the water. Mind you this is the first of march and its only 65degrees. The water was freezing and the air was not much warmer. Thankful I knew where we had clothes and we quickly got him changed, and the car's heat on. But this obviously abruptly ended our beach time and we decided to go to breakfast, then we did a little grocery shopping and I texted the owner of our rental and she allowed us to go a little earlier which was perfect!!!

Oh sweet Lando
Once we got to the condo we all took a nap, because mind you I for one had been awake for over 24 hours and adam only had slept for 3-4 hours in the car.

baby girl passed out
After our nap we ordered some dinner and then headed back to the beach which was only a 5-10 minute walk from our condo. We let the boys play on the beach and play in the sand while Lorelai and I enjoyed some snuggles.

Playing in the sand

Love my husband and how he plays with the kids

Baby girl and I walked on the beach

The boys had a blast in the sand and I just love that we did all the cliche things like bury them in the sand and build sand castles.

When we got home that night the boys and I made cupcakes! My sister had gotten me a sprinkles cupcake mix and I brought it with us to make!! SO delicious. Not as good as fresh but they hit the spot. The boys had so much fun with it. They just love to bake and I love that we are sharing our joy for cooking on to them. 
love these crazies

they may have eaten a little batter. ;)

Day 2 was our beautiful girls birthday. She woke up and was in a precious mood. We did a sweet little photo shoot in some outfits that a friend made for her. It's been a great year, a hard year, but the best year yet 

Such a happy baby
 The day was more overcast and dreary. I had this beautiful picture in my head of these awesome pictures of her smiling and giddy on the beach. Well she decided that she did not like the beach this day. The boys enjoyed playing on the beach again but Miss Thing not so much and she screamed every time I put her down. 

Shes still cute

only way she wouldn't scream was on my lap

not having it, we even had strangers trying to get her to smile!
Lunch on the beach
building sand castles with dad
We even went home for lunch, had a nap and then went back to the beach to try again for the pictures...she was not having it! But we did at least get a family picture :)

This picture makes me laugh

oh baby girl

family picture ;)

Oh baby girl we love you
Once we got her off the beach she was all smiles and giddy.

We also had a birthday celebration just us. We had cupcakes and takeout and sang to our girls. I just can't believe they are one!

Oh I like this stuff

She cracks me up
we then went putt putting with the boys and they had a blast!

putt putting

Laynie's Angelversary came and it was quite the emotional day. I was filled with all sorts of emotions. It was good for my soul to be on the beach and with the kids and Adam. I felt so much more at peace than I thought I would. The weather was beautiful and the boys really loved playing on the beach and in the sand! It made my heart happy to see them enjoying themselves.

Shes seriously like this 90% of the time

Daddy and his girl
mommy and baby toes in the sand

love my boy Lando

The Chafin family

sleepy girl
To celebrate our Angel I wanted to use those Chinese fire lanterns. Well I found out they were not legal in Gulf Shores so I thought balloons would be a good alternative. Well a wild goose chase ensued. We went to 4 different stores before we found a place that had balloons! I was a little disappointed because my original plan was to set them off at 8:38pm but with us trying to find the balloons it set us behind a bit. The boys really loved the balloons and I had to tie them to their wrists to hopefully get them from flying off. But of course Lincoln wanted the pink balloon and he let it go too early and was really upset about it.

We Miss you Laynie Renee Kennedy!

Adam gave Lincoln his balloon but he was still upset about it. 

The Boys releasing their balloons

Now the girls turn!

Oh sweet Laynie it's just not the same without you
Saturday we were going to head home. So we packed up everything in the van. Got ice for the coolers and had breakfast out. I thought it would be better to leave in the afternoon so the boys would sleep for a bit and not drive all the way through the day so we went to the super cute Zoo they had! It was sort of fun to see some different animals that they don't have here in the Indy Zoo.

packing up to go home

baby wearing for the win

checking out the animals

They thought the little goats were pretty cool 

sweet baby

so proud! He was a little scared, but went up to the donkey!

checking him out!

sleepy babe

These kids have my heart

Tired Lando

After about an hour in the car after the zoo, I look back and saw that this sweet boy had fallen asleep. The ride was somewhat peaceful for a while!

due to me not wanting to clean all the parts of Lorelai's bottles in a public bathroom I came up with this. I had Adam buy a large thing of water and I cleaned all her bottles in the car! Something about public bathrooms and cleaning bottles just really grossed me out. So every 3 hours we stopped for hot water, or I turned the heat on full blast to thaw out some milk and make her bottles. One perk to bottle feeding vs. breastfeeding is not stopping all the time to feed, I just fed her right in her carseat. 

my "sink"

One time Lorelai began to cough and got choked up so she refluxed pretty bad. It was super sad to watch because there wasn't a whole lot I could do. We were driving up I65 going 70+ miles per hour and I didn't really want her out of her car seat. But we got to a gas station finally and I got her changed. But she clearly wanted to be cuddled so I just held her hand and she calmed down. She just melts me with her sweetness.

The boys overall did great in the car. Adam drove the whole way and we only had to stop a few times to eat and let the boys run around! It was overall a perfect trip! The boys just loved the beach and talk about it all the time! They can't wait to go back. It was a great way to celebrate a year that challenged us in so many ways. It was a great way to celebrate our girls. It was just what my heart needed to get through. I'm so grateful for this family of mine!

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