I look at this sweet face today, feeling like I blinked and five years had gone by. I can still see the sweet little expressions she made when she was a baby, and she still seems to somehow melt into my lap the same way. Just with longer legs.
Every year we take Logan to the beach for her birthday, and this was the best year yet! We ventured two and a half hours away to North Topsail Beach, NC. I had only been once when I was in college, and it was just as beautiful as I remembered. The beaches are long and sandy, filled with great shells and the occasional shark tooth. It’s not very crowded, and it is quiet. There really isn’t much to do other than enjoy the beaches and the water. It was just what we all needed.
We literally waited until the last minute to book the perfect house (typical McCauley side coming out!). We signed the contract on Friday evening, and headed down on Monday morning. We would have went down on Saturday, but Jack had swim champs that weekend, and there was no way he was missing that!
We stayed at a house called “Sea Glass”. It was on the sound side, with a beautiful endless dock, and right across the street from the beach. The views were impeccable. On the front decks there were beautiful ocean views, and on the back decks you were drawn into the serenity of the sound. The house came equipped with all the beach gear you need, kayaks, a clammer (!), two crab traps, and just about everything you need for a relaxing week.
In true Bomar vacation style, it stormed the first afternoon we were there, which was ok. It cleared up by the evening and gave us this stunning sunset. The kids stood silent as we watched the sun get lower and lower. Even Logan was mesmerized.
We spent the week playing in the sand and water, fishing, crabbing, kayaking, and just enjoying our family. There really is something to be said about vacationing somewhere where there is not a ton of stuff and activities thrown in your face. We didn’t feel obligated to see all that there is to see, and do all that there is to do. There were a few museums to choose from, and a putt-putt place, but that may have been it. I’m sure there was more, but we just didn’t seek it out. If we were bored in the afternoon we made our own fun, and it was perfect!
Logan had such a great time this year! Last year she was a bit cranky, and I blame it on the sleeping situation. She still fit in her pack-n-play, and that was our only safe sleeping option for her. I know it was not comfortable, and I know how I get when I don’t get a restful sleep. Well, this year I found basically a portable version of her bed! It’s called the Privacy Pop, and it was a life saver!!! She slept long and well in that baby, and woke up happy and ready to play! I wish I could say the same for Wes. He was put in the pack-n-play and ended up in our bed in the middle of just about every night. Our own little bed bug.
Logan’s favorite thing to do was to sit on the waters edge on the beach and let the waves crash over her. The pure excitement in her face when the waves came splashing in was priceless. The giggles that came out were infectious! She explored the sand with her fingers and toes, and loved the salty taste on her lips. The whole experience was therapy for her…sensory, OT, and even PT when she had to use her core to not get tumbled over when a big wave came in. I wonder if we can bill our insurance for this 😉 She even made a little friend. There was a family staying close to us with a girl her age, and was as sweet as could be. She played with Logan in the waves and shared her freeze pops and mermaid Barbie. I cannot tell you how great this felt to watch. Logan can be intimidating for kids, in a way. She looks “normal”, but I think her fun loving loud self gives away her disguise. Some kids find it strange I guess, but some kids see past it and want to join in her fun. Hopefully everyone will eventually want to escape into her world, even for just a moment.
The boys had an equally fantastic time! Jack is our little fish and up and coming surfer for sure. He is fearless in the water, and can dive into a wave like no other. Must be in his genes…my dad and grandfather were both ocean lifeguards on Long Island. This kid was smiling ear to ear on his boogie board. Wes would only go in with his floaties, then got tumbled by a wave and was done with wearing them. He cautiously stayed in waist high water the rest of the time.
I could share every little detail here, but it would be a bore to many. So, here are just some of my favorite memories from the trip:
*Evening strolls on the beach, watching Jack search for shells, watching Wes throw shells into the water (we told him it was “adult Swim” so he wouldn’t go in…haha!), and seeing Miss Logie take independent steps on the beach! Last year I posted about how one day she would be running on the beach with her brothers…we are almost there! She can walk about 15 steps on her own now, but walking on sand was a whole new experience.
*Teaching Jack how to fish and crab, and how to harvest mussels. Growing up on Long Island the sea was our farm, and I realize now that we didn’t really take full advantage of what was literally at our fingertips. He was so excited to check the crab trap every day!
*Kayaking with Jack and David. It was so peaceful and beautiful. We were the only ones out there, along with the jumping fish. Jack had never been, and now wants to do it again at Jordan Lake. Sign me up! I asked him how he knew how to even paddle, and he said, “from the Wii!”. Ha!
*Having my parents join us for the last couple of nights! Both of them were such beach bums back on LI, and they really haven’t been back to the beach since they moved to NC. I desperately wanted them to come the whole week to escape and relax, but we will take what we can get. They both were beaming at the beach, and we were all beaming that they were with us! Each kid has a unique relationship with both of them. My dad turns into a little prankster kid when he is with Jack, and it is seriously the best!
*Logan’s birthday celebration, of course! We all woke her up and sang to her (she has turned into a late sleeper!), and she giggled the whole time. We spent the morning at the beach, opened presents, had cake and went on an evening beach excursion. It was great! She has grown so much in the last year, in so many ways. She is more confident in herself, and it shows through her communication and the desire to move around independently. For a few months now she has been walking independently, but still needs someone to shadow her because she will fall. It’s pretty funny if you catch a glimpse of me walking behind her. I feel like a little old Italian lady chasing her cat. Which may just be me one day 🙂 Her eye contact is fantastic now, and her vision is so much better than a year ago. When I walk into a room she will go out of her way to look at me, and keep that gaze for much longer. Her cognitive abilities are amazing us every day too. We started a new communication device that uses her eyes to speak! It’s incredible, and I will share more on that later. Lot’s of stuff happening over here!
*Our last night’s feast! We harvested a ton of mussels and some oysters, caught some crabs, and stocked up on some Mahi Mahi and more crabs at the fish market. I forgot how much work goes in to catching your own food! Cleaning the mussels was a beast, and fighting the lethargic crabs into the pot was a bit heartbreaking. But, we ended up with an outstanding spread.
There are a ton more memories, but some things are better kept private. You know, save a few things that are precious to your family without having the world know, or without having to feel the need to overshare everything. But, thank you for letting me share a glimpse into our little girl’s fantastic celebration. She has made such great strides this year, and I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next!
Here are a few more pictures…
*You can find all of the travel products we used in my new Products page!