Beeson Family Vaca | Digging the Beach… literally.

If I could wake up every morning and walk down to the beach, wow. That would be awesome! Our rental house was just a few (ahem… 207) steps down to a lovely private beach. As soon as all the kids finished eating breakfast we climbed down to spend a few hours playing in the sand. Please note: you can thank my dad for any and all good pics from this point forward. I will take credit for all the average or below average photos.  :o)

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Ruby and Clara were thrilled every morning to wake up and see their cousins Lydia and Norah were still there too. The girls played so well together – especially when the playing involved the buckets, shovels, and watering cans that their Grammy brought for them.072813 Lydia Ruby  1 IMG_2677

It was a wee bit windy and chilly that first day, but that didn’t stop Ryan from rocking the bro-tank on the beach. I couldn’t be more in love with that man.

IMG_2683Aaron and John dug a huge hole for the kids to play in. It grew so large that at one point I feared we would lose a child in the depths… Uncles are fun.IMG_2687 IMG_2686

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And of course, pretty much every evening included delicious grilled food, meticulously planned and prepared by John, Aaron and Ryan. Nothing like it.VACA Beach 2013 1 _52

Buckets of Treasures and Piles of Pumpkins

We started vacation off right – exploring Grammy and Papa’s woods. My mom got Ruby and Lydia special buckets to collect all their “treasures” and all week-long those girls found leaves, acorns, pinecones, rocks, and other treasures to fill those buckets.

Clara is crazy for cats. She squealed and screamed with excitement every time Kitty came within view of the house. The feeling was not mutual.

Ruby and Lydia wore these princess dresses over their clothes most days. They would sit in the windowsill and watch their daddy and uncles outside. I love that these little cousins love each other so much.

Ryan’s shorts and boots were a highlight of the trip for me.

Later that day, we went to the pumpkin patch. Angela, John, Lydia and Norah win the prize for best family photo by the pumpkin. Lydia’s cute face peeking out and Norah giving the stare-down. So great.

My dad is the photographer extraordinaire who can be credited with any and all good pics I post over the next few days. You can see a lot more of his photography and read his words of wisdom over on his blog www.markbeeson.com.

In closing, as is typical when Ryan, Aaron and John are together, the grill was hot and the wings were too!

Family Vaca at Cox Cottage

Each summer since Ryan and I started having babies, his parents have blessed us with a week at their cottage in Michigan to reconnect as a family. This summer was no exception. Last week was filled with sunshine, bike rides, floating around on the pontoon, swimming, kayaking, grilling out and spending time together without TV or Internet to distract us. It was beautiful. The weather was gorgeous on Monday so we spent the day on the pontoon – parked at the dock mostly, because it was so windy. Then the temps started dropping and by dinner time we all had our jeans and sweatshirts on. We continued adding more and more clothing throughout the night and into the day on Tuesday. BRRRRrrrr.

The chilly temps didn’t stop us from enjoying a family bike ride around the lake. (I’m amazed at how slimming that yellow sweatshirt looked on me!”

Ryan grilled us a delicious dinner, then surprised Ruby with a trip to the Dairy King for an ice cream cone even though it was past bedtime. Ruby was in heaven.

First she smelled the ice cream, then she dug right in!

Weekend with Bryan and Michelle

VACATION!! Woo-Hoo! We loaded up the van (Grizwold-style) and enjoyed a gorgeous Pure Michigan sunset on our drive up to Cox Cottage.

Our friends/neighbors from Chicago, Bryan and Michelle joined us at Ryan’s parent’s cottage for the first weekend of our vacation. It was a spontaneously perfect alignment of calendars that ended up with them being able to drive over from Chicago on the same night that we drove up from Columbus. There is nothing like relaxed time spent with good friends. We had no agenda, no plans, didn’t need to go anywhere or do anything – we just hung out together. It was so good and we were reminded how precious our friendship is.

Their little baby Elliot is not such a baby anymore! He and Ruby spent hours playing with buckets of water in the yard.

Ryan and Bryan took Ruby and Elliot on the kayaks and we spent time floating around on the pontoon, sitting in the sunshine, and of course, grilling and consuming delicious food.

Thanks so much for making the drive guys! We loved seeing your faces and can’t wait to meet baby #2 in a few months!!

Food. Food. Food.

We had some delicious food and got to sit around the table with some incredible people while we were in Florida. Our first stop after landing at the airport was lunch with Aaron and Tracy at 4 Rivers Smokehouse. It’s amazing. We literally drove straight there from the airport. Ha!

Saturday night after going to Summit Church and hearing my cousin Isaac preach, we met up with my cousin Joel and his wife Lizzy, Rob and Kristy-Lee, and Sterling and Rachel at Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen. This place is all the rage. I had some kind of delicious sausage po’ boy type thing.

My face hurt from laughing so much at that dinner. Ryan was on fire with his story-telling. Joel is one of the funniest people on the planet. Joel and Ryan sat beside each other and entertained the rest of us. We laughed and laughed. Whew. It was awesome.

Sunday Ryan and Aaron fired up the grill and created a feast of BBQ and Buffalo wings. They were perfect. Seriously so so good.

Can’t forget our evening at Seito Sushi!

After fishing on Tuesday we ate an early dinner at the ShipYard Emporium (which I mistakenly called the Boat House all week)

Thursday morning I got to have breakfast at First Watch with my Aunt Becky. Spending an hour with her is like a refreshing jolt of rejuvenation. Whenever I am with her, I want to be more like her because she is seriously one of the most instinctively encouraging people on the planet. You will gain wisdom for living from my Aunt Becky’s blog. Check it out.

Also, her book “Why Her” will help you be the Daughter-In-Law you hope you’ll have / Mother-In-Law you wish you had. Read it!

Thursday night Robbie and Kristy-Lee came over for more grilling. We have annual pics of Rob, Aaron, and Ryan grilling. You can see last year’s classic grilling pic here. This year they each picked their own meat from a store called “The Meat House“. Doesn’t it sound super-manly to buy your meat from the meat house? After grilling all 3 pieces to perfection they cut them up for all of us to share. It was really great – I can’t decide which cut of steak was my favorite.

Friday afternoon we met my cousin Josh and his son Noah at 4River’s for more smokehouse deliciousness. I love getting to spend time with my florida cousins. So thankful for my family – near and far.

Pretty much we ate like it was going out of style. Ah, vacation.