I'd like to call it a second honeymoon but he didn't agree with that term and prefers to refer to our little jaunt to Florida as a "kidcation." Our first ever break from all the kids! Which, of course, was made completely possible by the wonderful Marmie and Poppa, who came down to Maryland to manage our household while we were gone.
We got some money back from our tax return and knew we only had a small window of time where all of our kids were old enough that we felt comfortable leaving them for a few days, and before I was about to commit to another year-plus of nursing a baby. And that moment just so happened to hit right around our seventh anniversary. We also had a standing invitation from Jon's grandparents who spend the winter in West Palm Beach, so that is where we headed!
|With our amazing hosts and marital heroes - Papa and Nana!|
|Taking off into the sunrise.|
Anyway, the other aspect that resembled our original honeymoon is the lack of pictures. Not that I wasn't entirely inspired to capture this momentous occasion but there are only so many photos one can take of palm trees, beaches, toes in the sand and sunshine. And the occasional hold-your-arm-out-to-get-a-photo-of-the-happy-couple shot. Unfortunately, during the moments that I really wanted to capture - like paddle-boarding and kayaking - I couldn't have a camera with me. I'll do my best with word illustrations.
Paddle-boarding is something I've always wanted to try so when Jon's cousin Jackie and her husband (who also live in the West Palm area) suggested it we were all in, also joining us was Jon's other cousin Phil (who was visiting his sister Jackie) and his friend Ryan. We rented equipment for an hour from a local surf shop and headed out to a tributary of the Inter-coastal Waterway. It was actually much, much easier than I anticipated. Unlike surfing or wakeboarding, I got up on the board right away. And the paddling itself wasn't difficult at all. I was surprised at how sore my ankles got after a while though. And I'm sure you're all wondering, no I technically did not fall during the normal course of our jaunt. But at the very end, when we returned to the dock a few minutes before our boards were due and had some time to kill, Cousin Phil and I were attempting to stand on the boards with one leg. And I got a little nervous when Jon came up behind me ... and got tossed. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't half landed on the board. And if the other half of me wasn't in grimy, oil-swirled, boat-refuse water ... I scurried back on the board in a hot second.
|The only picture I have of paddle boarding. In case there's any doubt, the girl in the bikini is NOT me.|
I felt bad about leaving my Littles over Easter but it was the only time that worked with both Marmie and Poppa and our schedules. I knew the grandparents would give the kids a good holiday and we got to spend Easter Sunday with Nana and Papa at their church.
|Love this tree behind the church!|
Nana also served up a fabulous Easter dinner for us, the cousins and some friends. And of course, we can't forget the Egg Fights. This year's champion was Cousin Jackie!
|This reminded me of the statues/busts as Chatsworth, England (where the Pemberley scenes were filmed for the most recent "Pride and Prejudice.)|
|I actually did bring a scarf along just to use while cruising, I just didn't use it in this picture.|
|Mike's grandparents condo.|
|Reading - my favorite beach activity.|
|Thankfully Jon had a few boys to play frisbee with one day.|
The other 3/5's of our family fared well back home. Actually, I was more worried about Marmie and Poppa than the kids. Six days with 3 under 5 is a lot for anyone, but especially for people who are used to spending their days in the peace and calm that is retirement. I only called every day. Except for the last day, because by that point the boys were getting on the phone and hearing their sweet little voices was making things a little difficult. As long as we stayed busy I didn't think about them too much. Although it didn't help that my mom gave me a book of prayers for your kids the day we left...
|Marmie and Poppa forgot to bring a camera, so this is the only picture we have of their version of Kidcation: my babies on Easter Sunday!|
|Hold up! Can't forget Baby #4, healthy and growing at 23 weeks.|
We pulled into the driveway a little after 11pm and, over some Marmie-made cookies and treats, swapped stories of our adventures. Of course, I had to check on my kids. And I didn't bother with turning the doorknob extra slow or skipping over the creaky board in Julia's room. So naturally she was up and reaching for me within two seconds... which is exactly what I wanted. We had some extra midnight cuddle time. And since we were the first two up in the morning we also had another chance to make up for lost time. Daddy needed a little more help getting awake but thankfully the boys were more than willing to jump right into our bed!
|There may have been promises of special beach treats for good listeners ...|