Changes…

The past week has brought with it changes… changes that I didn’t feel quite ready for.

(Who am I kidding? I’m truly not a fan of change. Like ever.)

First there was the move from the crib to the toddler bed on Saturday for Matthew …

toddler bed, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
toddler bed, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child

And yesterday brought big changes for Katie.

First came her first real haircut at my regular hair salon… 5 inches gone within 10 minutes.

haircut

Then, in the evening, before I had even completely wrapped my brain around how much a simple haircut aged her, she lost her first tooth. 

First lost tooth

But that smile right there?

And Matthew’s sheer joy over being in a big boy bed?

Well, I’m going to tuck those memories away for when the next big changes come.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll greet them with more a bit more grace.

Because I’m starting to see how well they welcome change.

And how can I not be happy about that?

10 Lessons learned while camping

A few days of camping in the woods teaches you a few things…

  1. If the weather forecaster predicts that temps will reach 105 degrees, what she really means is it will be 827 degrees with a heat index of 3 billion.
  2. When your newly-potty trained 3-year-old son poops in his panties in the 100 degree tent, you will, for a not-so-fleeting moment, completely understand the concept of having a “least favorite child.”
  3. $3.99 flip flops from Old Navy are a complete rip off.
  4. When removed from your laptop, iPhone and iPad, you’ll notice things that you wouldn’t have otherwise. On your morning swim, you’ll notice a mother goose on the lake with her 11 babies following close behind. In the afternoon, you’ll hear the laughter from children playing at the lake carried on the breeze. In the late evening, you’ll smell S’mores from three campsites down.
  5. Bees suck. The end.
  6. Legos in the tent will simultaneously be the best idea you’ve ever had (an hour of peaceful playtime in the afternoon) and the worst idea you’ve ever had (stepping on a stray block at 11pm, when you’re making your way to your cot).
  7. When the campground’s general store sells pint-sized “small” ice creams for $1.99, you will quickly come to realize that it really is possible to eat too much ice cream.
  8. Even when you feel like you’re a veteran camper and that you have a solid system in place, camping is still a ton of work. It’s worth it, but wow, it is so much work.
  9. No shower is more fantastic than the one you take when you get home from 3 days spent camping. 
  10. There is something magical about exposing your children to the joys of camping. If you ever worry that you aren’t giving your children the quintessential summer, give them a handful glow bracelets, a couple of flashlights and roast up some marshmallows. Then sit back and smile because none of you will forget those moments.

DSC_1473

trucks

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glow bracelets

child in tent, girl in tent

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Family medicine

After a spring filled with school activities, never-ending lunch packing and school drop off and pick up, our family was truly counting the days until the school year finally came to a close so we could have things finally loosen up a bit.

And almost as soon as they did? We did the only thing we could possibly do; We packed our bags and ran off to Dillon Beach for a long, much-needed weekend!

For three days, the four of us walked on the beach, stared at the sunset, soaked up the sun and piled into one big bed for snuggles and giggles.

It was exactly what we needed and an amazing way to set the tone for the entire summer ahead.

From the moment we arrived at the house, we were in love…

Dillon Beach vacation rental, Tide Pool, Tide Pool exterior, beach house

Matthew took his job of investigating the entire house very seriously…

Little boy

And while he was off exploring, I got lost in the kitchen. The fantastic, bright, well-appointed kitchen. Ahhh… bliss.

And by get lost, I mean I unpacked the wine I brought with me. See it, just to the left of the sink… by the Keurig (!!!)?

Dillon Beach vacation rental, Tide Pool Kitchen

Oh look.. and another bottle just there to the right of the amazing stove.

Dillon Beach Vacation Rental, Tide Pool

Katie went in search of the perfect room. First she liked this one, but…

Dillon Beach vacation rental

… then she saw this one and settled in and staked her claim.

Tide Pool, Dillon Beach

But, let’s be real. We didn’t go to the beach to hang out inside. We quickly headed outside to enjoy the deck.

girl at beach

And this smile? Oh, that one came from so deep inside.

girl at beach

Removed from friends, schedules and everything else that goes along with our normal, crazy routine, Katie and Matthew reconnected with one another in a way that left their parents a little bit choked up and a whole lot grateful.

Siblings

The kids were so excited to see this guy as we were hanging out on the deck.

doe, deer, dillon beach

One of the lovely things about a weekend away is there’s plenty of time for playing with oversized checkers and hanging out on the couch (a super cozy couch, I might add!).

Dillon Beach Vacation Rental, Tide PoolDillon Beach Vacation Rental, Tide Pool

little girl

And who doesn’t love a good sunset?

Sunset Dillon Beach

Tide Pool view, Dillon Beach view, Dillon Beach Rental

While we have a no-sugar breakfast cereal policy at home, all bets are off when we’re on vacation. Matthew, allow me to introduce you to Fruit Loops! (Yes, that’s fantastic bed head.)

boy eating breakfast

If I could wake up to this view every day, I would never get any work done.

Tide Pool view, Dillon Beach view, Dillon Beach Rental

There’s nothing better than the beach for bringing a family back together, I’m certain of it. Maybe it’s the peaceful sound of the waves? The lack of shoes and schedules?

Dillon Beach sunset girl on beach

And the best way to cap off a day in the sand is an evening in the tub. With a view. Seriously, do you see that view?

beach house with view, bathroom with view beach house with view, bathroom with view

I can’t say enough about how much fun we had and how much good it did for our souls to escape for the weekend.

Loose gravel

I stand here in the same spot I’ve stood in for twenty-nine months now.

Occasionally, I’ve paced.

Always, I’ve hoped.

But I’ve stood here on solid ground.

Twenty-nine months of trying for just one more baby.

If I inch close to the edge of the hill, there’s a patch of loose gravel.

And I know that if I place my foot there, it will give way and I will tumble.

I have worried that if I give up hope and step on that patch, I may not survive the fall.

For all these months, I have avoided it.

Kept my distance.

But now, I’m inching closer.

With my toes, I push at the edge of the loose gravel and I watch the small stones tumble, gaining speed until they finally settle at the bottom of the hill.

The fall, while fast, ends peacefully.

I know that I can’t stand here forever.

I think that I’m ready to take that step.

And for the first time, I feel like once I reach the bottom, I will be okay.

Perhaps even better than okay.

Remnants and hints

It is nearly midnight.

I just got home from a night filled with laughter and friends.

Craig has left the light on over the bar, where Katie’s completed homework sits, waiting to be tucked into her backpack in the morning.

Matthew’s Woody and Buzz Lightyear figures lay beside Katie’s homework, waiting for familiar 3-year-old hands.

Now I will close up my computer, lock up the house, turn off the lights and go upstairs to cover little bodies and slide into bed beside the one that waits for me.

This is joy.

These small things that make up this life that we’ve built.

Small remnants of moments lived and hints of more to come.

And I am so very grateful.

There are random moments – tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children’s rooms – when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.

–Elizabeth Berg, The Art of Mending

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About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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