Saturday, August 22, 2015

Family Vacation 2015

Josh's cousin Amanda got married this summer in Amelia Island, Florida so we turned this event into our summer vacation with Josh's family. This was our first time doing a vacation with Josh's siblings and Mom, I'm glad we did it and had plenty of room for all the kiddos! (9 of them under age 7!!)

We wrongly, oh so wrongly, assumed the girls would sleep in the car on the drives back and forth. For the trip down we put the girls to bed at their usual time, and we followed around 10. With the car entirely packed, all we had to do when we got up was shower and grab the girls. We woke them up at 2am, and put them into the running car and pulled out of the driveway assuming we had a good 5 hours with them sleeping peacefully. Oh boy were we wrong. Gotta give Ella credit for her sheer will power to stay awake in the wee hours of the morning; she sang for me for the first 3 hours, finally falling asleep for a bit before Evie woke her up at 6:30. Ella, obviously, refused to nap later in the day, so it was a test of our patience, but overall they did very well, and I don't remember any tears. Amelia Island is very very Northern Florida - thank you Lord - so the trip was 14 hours including bathroom and food stops.
She packed away an entire banana in 2 minutes. I didn't believe her when she said all done and handed me the peel, I actually got out of my seat to look for the rest of the banana. We normally don't just hand her a banana, so this was an interesting turn of events.

A huge shout out to Ella's friend Landon for sharing a few toys with us for the drive - they were life savers!

The last hour of the drive was rough, I sat in the back, on top of the girls' chair's armrests. Yes, my bum did hurt. And little sweet girl would cry if I didn't hold her hand.
 We got there on late afternoon Saturday, so we unpacked and put the girls down.

Sunday was the big day with the beach wedding. It sprinkled a little but overall, great weather and the bride was absolutely gorgeous. So fun to celebrate as the entire Gillespie clan gathered. The girls both did great, Ella danced the night away with family and Evie ended up naked on the dance floor, we just couldn't cool her down - but they lasted until 10pm!

 Evie with Uncle Mike, Josh's Uncle

 Ella loves her some cupcake! They were absolutely amazing, so no one can blame her.
Josh's cousin, Jonathan (a groomsman in our wedding) and his wife Caitlin and daughter Raleigh

 Josh was a little weepy dancing with our girls, thoughts of some day dancing with them at their weddings - but lets get through the toddler years first!

dancing with my sweet nephew Philip
Aunt Kate and Evie
Ella spent most of her time dancing with Grandpa.
Caitlin, Me, Evie, Josh, Danielle, Jon, Ella.
Dancing with YaYa, and as an added bonus, she dress basically was glowing in the dark so it made it easy for me to spot her!

One highlight was getting family pictures taken, a birthday gift for my Mother-in-law. Although coordinating that many kids was a challenge at times, I think we got some good pictures for her - can't wait until we get the professional ones.

 sunglasses, because we are so cool!

 oh my heart be still. My whole world in one picture, I love them so.

 Evie loved the sand. Loved. Loved. Loved. Loved it. We seriously couldn't get her to stop playing with it long enough to look up at the camera. I'll be very impressed if the photographer captured anything better than this. It was love at first touch.

 I love the ocean and could stand in awe of it for hours, I loved catching a glimpse of her starring off as well.

 Looking for shells!

 I'm blessed a wonderful Mother-in-law!
On Tuesday we did a brunch with all the Gillespie ladies that were there - it was so fun to be together and continue celebrating Amanda. I'm so grateful for Josh's family and I enjoyed getting to know some of the cousins better. Kate and I split the crab cake sand which and the fish tacos - a first for me. I'm usually not a huge fan of fish, but I loved the tacos.
Caitlin, Kate, and Me

2 of my awesome sisters; Kate and Callie

our awesome table
The other days we mostly hung out at the pool 2 minutes form our townhome, it was quiet and perfect for kiddos. In my head the ocean seems fun with kids with age but between sun, sand, and salt the pool was a great blessing.

Ella was a little fish - she did a great job hanging with the bigger kids. It was fun to see her confidence grow the longer we were there and the more pool time she had.
wrinkly baby toes

We did do a beach morning on Wednesday, August 5th. Ella loved the waves and the sand. Evie slept in her pack-n-play for most of it, but did enjoy the waves when she got up. First time in the ocean for V.

Evelyn's first time in the ocean!
Riding the waves! Lazy girl let YaYa do all the work!

One night we went into the downtown of Amelia Island and walked around the shops and got our annual Christmas Ornament - a starfish.

When people see me out at a store or something and say to me "You have your arms full!" This is what I always picture - my arms full of blessings not stress and craziness.

We also went mini golfing on my birthday.

General Cousin silliness. Good for the soul.

For the drive back we decided not to interrupt slept, especially if it wouldn't help Ella, so we left at 8am. We were exhausted and talked about maybe stopping half way to sleep, but my awesome man powered through the drove the majority of the trip - it was such a blessing to be in our own beds that night. And have 2 days for laundry and getting reorganized back into my house, which I always remember how much I love it after I've been away.

And we went to Bojangles for the first time - it was definitely a hit!


  1. It looks like a lot of awesome memories were made!! The family photo at the wedding is so precious!

  2. Looks like a fantastic time! The selfie of you and Josh "downtown" is an awesome picture, and I LOVE the one of Josh and the girls from the family portrait session! So special!