We just got back from our annual beach trip birthday extravaganza! And, it was amazing.
Since big parties are a bit too much for Logan we head to the beach instead (oh, I cannot express how much I LOVE this!). We are usually there for her actual birthday, but it fell on the week of Jack’s Swim Champs (he placed in all 3 strokes!), so we decided to go the following week so we could enjoy all 7 days there. This way we also got to celebrate with three grandparents and her great aunt, Linda (who is a saint, and we are SO happy to have her!). My mom was not there…she and my little sister, Britt, were in Florida at the USTA (United States Twirling Association) Nationals. My grandmother, Gogo, was inducted into the USTA Hall of Fame! I’m hoping my mom will write about that, because it is pretty awesome. And, very fitting that it was on Logan’s birthday. She reminds me so much of Gogo. She was even her for her very first Halloween!
Anyway, we have tested several beaches over the years, and our favorite is North Topsail Beach. Last year we found the perfect house for us, and that’s where we headed again. The kids love this house. Wes, in fact, has been talking about the “beach house” since April. So much so that his teachers thought we had a beach house, and told us to enjoy it all summer when school let out. One day, teachers, one day. The house sits across the street from the ocean, and right on a canal. The best part is the private dock. We spent hours out there fishing, crabbing and kayaking. It really is the best of both worlds.
We packed up my SUV and David’s truck and were on our way! Girls in mine, boys in the truck. Driving alone with Logan is bliss! We watched her favorite movies, and giggling and singing along. I joked that wild man was driving David crazy with all of his car demands, and Logan knew exactly what I was talking about, and found it just as funny as I did 🙂 And, sure enough, we were right. Poor boys.
We arrived a little later than we would have liked, but had enough light to get out on the dock. The boys excitedly talked about our plans for the week, and at one point I thought they were going to fall off the dock with pure joy. Even Logan was getting in to it. With that, we headed inside to get the rooms ready for bed.
We need to bring our 4th child when traveling with Logan…her bed. It has been our saving grace, and she loves it! This thing is almost perfect. We use it on the floor instead of on top of the bed, which requires some rearranging of the furniture. Once that is done we need to pad the areas around the bed, both inside and out. She is an acrobat in her sleep, and I don’t want her getting hurt or stuck between the cracks (which has happened, and it is not fun). This thing should come with a custom blow up mattress so it’s a perfect fit every time. Hmm.
Thankfully everyone slept and we were all eager to get out on the beach! It was perfect weather, and the waves were just right. Logan was a little nervous as we were walking down, but as soon as she saw the water she lessened her death grip on my neck. I’ve always felt incredibly calm and at peace when I’m at the coast, and after this week, I know Logan feels the same. Growing up surrounded by water on Long Island is something I truly miss, and it makes me sad that my kids don’t get to experience it daily like I did. But, they all LOVE the water, which makes my heart happy.
Logan’s favorite thing to do at the beach is to sit right where the waves come rushing in…the spot where the water rushes right back into the ocean and leaves treasures and little creatures. The sensory experience is like no other. The sound of the waves coming in, the refreshing water crashing over your legs, the dizzy feeling you get when the water rushes back in, the wet sand that is left behind (and sometimes in your mouth…yikes), the salty taste…all is a sensory dream for her. The smiles and giggles here are priceless, and makes me never want to leave.
When she has had enough of this she likes to sit under the umbrella on her beach chair and “Logan” towel from PBK (thanks, Britt!), and listen to the Moana soundtrack on her cool little portable speaker. (Check this thing out in my products page. Another Pitt mom told me about it, and we take it everywhere! Music is a big calming factor for our kids.) Oh, Moana, you are a life saver. When we first sat in the water she was again a little nervous. One of her favorite lines in the movie, which always gives her a smile, is when Moana says, “the ocean is a friend of mine”. Well, I said that to her when she was looking unsure, and she started to laugh and smile. That’s all she needed. Just a little reminder 🙂
Jack and Wes can never get enough of the waves. Jack has perfected his boogie boarding skills and may be ready for surfing this summer. Wes is fearless and was literally tackling the waves. He loved playing “Sea Shell” with me…you sit in the water where the waves crash before going to shore, letting them tumble you around like a sea shell. Super fun, but man you get sand everywhere.
The rest of the week was a little rough in the water. There were rip currents and choppy waves, but it was a great learning experience for the boys. We always talked about how to get out of scary situations in the water, and Jack tested it out with success. I remember my dad throwing us into rip currents when we were younger, just so we would know how to get out. Don’t worry folks, he was a lifeguard at Jones Beach in NY and was right next to us. These are skills my boys will have for sure.
When we weren’t on the beach we were on the dock fishing, or out kayaking. Wes made his maiden voyage and loved every second. He is quite the chatterbox on the water! He pointed out every jumping fish, every bird, and was mesmerized at the oysters growing on a beached boat trailer. He could have spent all day exploring, which also made my heart happy. One of my favorite things is to find sea treasures, and spotting them by kayak was just as fun!
Logan has yet to venture on the kayak. We have to come up with some sort of seat belt that can be safely released if needed. She could have sat in between my legs, but when she gets excited her arms and legs go everywhere…not ideal for paddling. She had fun watching though and taking it all in. David and I took shifts with the boys and the kayak, and I think she enjoyed the one on one time with each of us.
I’m going to gush about David for a moment here. This man is our world, and I thank God for him every day. I couldn’t imagine anyone else I’d rather have a life with, and couldn’t dream up a more perfect father for these crazies. He is fun, genuine, smart, kind and a man of his word, to name a few. He proves it every day, but goes above and beyond on trips. He turns into a little kid again, and has the best time, which makes us all have the best time. I can load him up with all of the beach gear, plus a kid, and he never complains. He swims out as far as you want him to, will throw you up into the sky on demand, and he will dance to make you laugh. He is determined to make everything run smoothly, even when there are some big obstacles. Ha, a couple come to mind here.
The boys got bait for the crabs, and headed out to the dock to put the trap in. Well, the rope had seen it’s last day, and the trap sank. Well, David stripped down and jumped in to save it! I didn’t see it happen, but I just so happened to look out the back deck to check on them, and I see the boys walking back, laughing, and David in his underwear. I for sure thought he fell in, but he was just saving the day as usual.
Then, the next day it was raining, and when it cleared we went out to check the waves. We somehow locked ourselves out, and it was getting dark. We checked all the doors we could get to, all of them locked. I called the realty place and left a message. When I turned the corner to tell them the grim news of the place being closed I see David’s legs disappear onto the second floor balcony. The boys are standing there with their jaws dropped! A few moments later the front door opens and the flexing begins, haha! We were in! I am very thankful for his strength and athletic abilities often, but especially in times like these. Well done, SL, well done 😉
Anyway, what I love most about Topsail is that there is not much to do other than enjoying the water and each other. It is not overly crowded, and there aren’t a ton of activities that we feel obligated to do. The beach is perfect, the food is great (especially when you catch it yourselves!), the people are kind, we don’t feel rushed and do as we please. We laughed, played, snuggled and truly enjoyed our time together. The kids were great, but Logan blew us away. There was not one tantrum or meltdown, she slept through the night all week, woke up happy and stayed that way. She was a trooper and a joy. We really felt like a “normal” family. No one was left behind (except for the kayaking), and we all enjoyed things TOGETHER. That my friends is very rare for us. It was as if we got a glimpse into the future that a cure would give us. It was amazing, and I didn’t want it to end. For those of you reading that have “normal” families, don’t ever take that for granted. You are able to enjoy much more together, which means everything. It is a freedom that we strive for, and hopefully will get one day soon.
I’ve been thinking about how happy Logan was all week, which has been such a change from the past month. Maybe she needed a vacation as much as we all did, or maybe she just needs the beach like I do. Either way, I’m going to make it a point to get back as much as we can. Or, someday, just move to the coast!
Happy 6th Birthday, Sweet Patoots! Thank you for being mine and showing me what pure joy and love truly is.