We just recently returned from a vacation at Emerald Isle, NC. We met up with three other families that we retreated with last year this time. To say we enjoyed ourselves would be the understatement of the year. I hope and pray this will continue to be annual getaway for many years to come.
We had to leave our sweet foster kiddos with respite providers as they had to remain in town for their weekly visitation with their birth mother. Leaving them and our puppy, Jasper, was not easy, but we knew we needed this time away as a family.
There were eighteen of us. Two mamas are expecting (not me), so there should be more to add to the mix when we meet again. There ten kids ranging from eleven down to two. There was never a dull moment; lots of play and laughter, beach fun, good food, great music, and just sharing lots of life within those moments together.
The weather was gorgeous. I don’t believe the sky could have been any bluer. The beach was so long, wide and inviting. There were pelicans and dolphins diving in the water, sea gulls to feed and watch, shells and sea life to identify, collect, and/or admire. The wonder never ceased. So many memories were made.
Madelyn with Arianna in front of the beach house.
I love this photo. These kids were sitting and cheering on their dads as they took to the cold surf. You should have heard them when they saw their dads take a wave in on their boogie boards. On this particular day, actually the only one, it was very windy. The waves were fierce. 🙂
Daniel seems to attract children. Whenever I spend time with him and his family, the kids just flock to him. He loves to field their questions and just play with them. Here he is with a bunch of them in front of the ocean just talking.
Here’s our Julian. Couldn’t be happier. This child loves the sea and loves to dig in the sand.
Sweet Madelyn getting down and dirty digging a hole with her buddies.
Here’s Scott, Dan and Daniel covering up a few kids in the sand.
Julian and Ellen try a hand at the game of horse shoes.
Brady enjoying a little snack on the beach close to Mom.
Kalen is a hard worker, even on vacation you’ll find him searching for things and working on something. I love watching this guy at the beach.
Maddie and Kalen getting buried in the sand. They found this to be both fun and warm.
What a gorgeous picture of friendship. This is Ellen and Julian testing the water with their toes.
Kalen shares a sea treasure with Daniel (again, always interested).
Maddie is holding Sylvia in this photo. Sylvie was such a delightful little playmate for all of us to enjoy. We are so thankful for her.
Madelyn stayed in this spot admiring and feeding the sea gulls for what seemed like hours. Her stillness was so inviting to the birds. Tears came to my eyes as I watched my daughter delight in this unique opportunity.
Scott and Jason pulled the boys for a fun ride in the tide.
This is a precious picture for many reasons. A couple of those reasons are that Brayden and Sylvie are great friends. They are close in age and make quite a duo. Here you see them sitting with their sides seeming to be glued together. Also, you’ll see Sylvie in this picture holding something out. Yes, well, some of the kids found a bat on the beach and picked it up with a shovel. Well, the bat was whole and quite magnificent lying limp fully intact on the shovel. So, Sylvie was taking a turn with this little creature, admiring it I am sure. Yes, the little guy was dead. But, to the kids, it was still worth admiring. If you refer to our previous trip together (Surf City), you’ll see some dead fish in my boys’ hands. Yep, kids will be kids. Nature is a wonder.
These two Bulluck boys were a hoot. Here you see Alder and Heath jamming on the beach to a Dan Zanes tune.
Sylvie, Julian and Brayden watching the dolphins.
Arianna and Jen
Janet and Sylvie checking out a jellyfish.
Scott being playful with Madelyn.
Our beautiful friend, Ellen.
Joren ( the little blondie at the top) making us all crack up. He was being a funny guy and the girls were just giggling up a storm. Of course, he loved that.
Mr. Horse shoes, I mean … Scott enjoys this game so much. This can be added to the list of all the things that he is good at. He got to play several games with his buds.