Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rosemary Beach Vacation!

Michael and I went to Rosemary Beach a few weeks ago!  The only other trip the two of us have taken together since the kids arrived was to Charleston for my childhood friend's wedding.  And while we had a blast in Charleston, I was a bridesmaid in the wedding so we spent half of the trip away from one another.  We decided it was time to take a real vacation with no agenda.

Well we had two things on our agenda: Sleep in and eat good food.

My family has traveled to Sanibel Island since I was two, so whenever I think about Florida my mind immediately goes there.  However, I'd heard so many great things about Rosemary Beach so I started researching it.   Four minutes later I yelled to Michael in the other room, "We're going to Rosemary!"  If you've never been, it's a little beach town close to Panama City and has the most gorgeous white sandy beaches.  People ride bikes everywhere, the shops are really nice (read: not touristy), and the food is amazing.

I looked on VRBO for houses to rent and came across a modern loft on top of Barrett's Square.  It was perfect so we booked it and then I stopped thinking about it until we got on the plane.

Ok, let's be honest, I thought about it all the time - especially when my toddlers were crying or constantly wanting something or constantly crying about wanting something.  But I didn't let myself plan anything.  And for those of you who know me, that is just crazy.  I used to make trip itineraries that brought Michael to his knees.  I really just wanted this to be relaxing and low stress.  The second we make reservations and appointments, relaxation goes out the window.

The place we stayed was above a few shops.  One was Fitz & Emme, a really cute children's boutique (they had coordinating seersucker b/g toddler swimsuits and if they weren't $80 each I would've bought them in a heartbeat) and the other was Amavida, a local coffee shop.  Basically my dream come true.  Here's a brief look at the rest of our trip...

Wednesday, April 15
Once we dropped off our bags in the room, we walked around Rosemary and visited the beach.  I think I exclaimed, "I am so excited to be here!!" 4,334 times.  Give or take.  We ate at The Red Bar for dinner and both of us had blackened grouper served with spinach and grits.  We later decided this was our favorite meal of the entire week.  Afterward we went to this popsicle stand right next to our place.  Michael had a key lime popsicle and mine was milk and cookies. These popsicles were legit - his actually had a graham cracker crust and mine had cookies.


Thursday, April 16
We started our day at the coffee shop (each day I ordered coffee and he ordered looseleaf tea and then we'd sit on our balcony and drink while constantly exclaiming how quiet it was).  While we were never really able to sleep in, waking up and realizing you have absolutely no responsibility for anyone other than yourself is a pretty great feeling.  We had brunch at Summer Kitchen and then spent a few hours on the beach.  It was a little overcast so neither of us wore sunscreen (I know, I KNOW).  Anywho, we both burned a little.  We didn't even care.  Once we showered and cleaned up, we went to Wild Olive for wine and a cheese plate.  This was probably our favorite memory of the trip.  When you have two toddlers, mid-afternoon cheese trays and wine are what dreams are made of.  It was perfect.

We walked around some more shops and then had dinner at George's that night.  Something I forgot to mention - we ate every meal outside.  That is always our rule if the weather is nice and it's an option.  Several people recommended George's and I would as well - so good and really pretty outdoor patio.

Since we'd already spent the entire day eating, we decided to continue that trend and go to La Crema - a tapas and chocolate bar - for dessert.  I ordered a mocha and we each got a different chocolate dessert.  I am certain we gained weight on Thursday.

Friday, April 17
We had our morning coffee and then drove to Seaside for an early lunch.  We ate at Great Southern where I had fried okra that was just straight up crazy.  Never seen anything like it.  Afterward, the weather was iffy so we (wait for it) went to a movie.  I know that sounds crazy to do on a vacation but before kids we LOVED going to the movies so we figured, "Why not?"

For dinner we ate at Paradis and since it was the last night of the trip, Michael got this amazing steak that I stared at the entire meal.  Total food envy.  We went back to our little popsicle stand and this time I got an orange/mango popsicle (he got the key lime again).

Even though we didn't get to sleep in most days, are you starting to understand how important food was to us on this trip?  Every meal was long - we savored being able to have great conversation and zero distractions.

Warning: The humidity was CRAZY.  I tried fixing my hair multiple times and finally gave up.  This conversation took place on Friday:
Me: I don't know if I even want to wash my hair today.
Michael: Are you just going to put it in a ponytail again because of how frizzy it's been?
Me: (Looks at Michael with mouth agape)
Michael: No! That's just what you've been saying! It looks great! It looks great.
Me: It's the humidity!!!!!

Saturday, April 18
When we woke up on Saturday, I was a little sad to be leaving but so excited to see the kids.  I told Michael this was such a nice change from previous vacations where I was just sad to leave.  Now we get a fun bonus upon returning! :)  We had our morning ritual of coffee (I purchased a mug as a souvenir) and then we packed up and said goodbye to Rosemary.  Someone had recommended The Bay, which was good but not our favorite.  This is very likely due to end-of-the-trip-blues.

A huge (HUGE) thank you goes out to both sets of grandparents for watching Jude & Sloane while we were away.  We know that is no easy task and we were so grateful for their help.  Michael and I decided that while we want most of our vacations to be with our kids, we want to take a couples trip every few years, just to remind ourselves how much fun we still have together.  Michael has always made our marriage a priority but I've definitely slacked since the kids arrived.  It was so nice to have this one-on-one time and I'm also excited the kids got to spend some quality time with their grandparents.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

52 Project | 12-14/52

52 Project | Weeks 12-14
March 15 - April 4, 2015

A few things I want to remember...

Yesterday morning we were playing outside and there were roly polies everywhere.  Sloane sat on a lawn chair and refused to move.  She shrieked, "More bugs!!" every single time she saw a new bug.  Meanwhile, Jude thought it was the best day ever and tried to squash as many as he could before I told him they were our friends and to be gentle with them.  From that moment on, he gingerly picked up each bug and placed it on the table. (Sloane: "More bugs!  More bugs!! More bugs mama!!)  These two could not be more different if they tried.

Right now Jude gets in trouble more than Sloane.  He's an amazing kid but his listening skills need some serious work.  Whenever he gets put in timeout, Sloane goes about her business and will occasionally ask "Where's Jude?" A few weeks ago, Sloane got in trouble several times in one day.  The first few times I corrected her (we were both sitting down),  Jude kept trying to climb in my lap.  The third time, I noticed it was deliberate.  Every time she got in trouble, Jude got right in my space, put both hands on my face so our noses were practically touching, and grinned.  He was doing his best to distract me so I couldn't get onto Sloane.  Sweetest brother ever.

Both kids have been "Super Star Singers" at Mother's Day Out (I'm quite positive the teacher goes down the list of classmates, but I'll take it).  As we were leaving MDO on Monday, the music teacher was standing outside their classroom and told me how much she enjoyed them.  She followed it with, "And they hold hands everywhere!  Anytime we go to a new place, they find each other and grab hands."  We hold hands A LOT simply because it's the rule whenever we're in a parking lot.  To hear they look for each other and grab onto each other made my day.

Sloane rarely says "Cece" anymore.  It's now Jude ("Ju").  A part of me is glad (seriously, what was up with Cece?) but the other part is a little sad.  It was such a cute nickname.  She still calls herself "Me" - I don't see that going away anytime soon.

Speaking of not going away ever, Pinky (Sloane's pig) never leaves her side.  We don't let Pinky go to public places but if Sloane's at home or in the car, Pinky is right next to her.  When Sloane goes through the grand list of people she loves, Pinky is always one of the first.  Not far behind is, "I love Me."  :)

Recently I was in the kitchen and they were playing in separate rooms.  Jude walked into the living room and Sloane casually said, "Hi Ju."  He replied, "Hi Schloane."  I don't know why but it made me so happy.

While it doesn't happen as much as it used to, Jude & Sloane still love to sleep in the same bed.  He always goes to her and she never seems to mind unless he wakes her up.  I will never get tired of seeing them share a bed.

I know I say this all the time, but this is such a fun age.  Jude & Sloane will always be my kids, but now they're my buddies too.  I'm honest with anyone who asks - this is also the hardest age for me.  I am physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day.  They get upset for the silliest reasons.  I lose my temper far more than I should.  I ask them for forgiveness every single day.  They apologize to each other every single day (per their mom's request).  We're a work in progress.  :)  But they are, by far, the best work.


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