Sunday, August 18th
Hutton woke up earlier than I expected on the first morning at the Beach House (I've debated between calling this the Beach House or the Lake House and have ultimately decided Beach House brings with it even more peaceful feelings for me than Lake House. And thus, The House will now be referred to as the Beach House.) And shortly after we were up and rolling Em and Drew and the girls came downstairs, we made pancakes, got the coffee going and then we all convened on the deck. It's nearly impossible not to convene on the deck each morning when this is your view.
Lucy had a wagon full of beach toys that she was wheeling around the yard and I think Hutt might have felt a little jealous that he didn't have a "place to collect all of the things." He suddenly disappeared and came out carrying this basket. These baskets sit by the doors inside and they hold rocks to keep the doors open and the dust pan for easy tidying. Hutt quickly unloaded those items and came out with the basket slung in the crook of his arm. "Whatcha doin' Hutt?" I asked him "You look like Little Red Riding Hood." His eyes perked up and he had an idea - "I'm going FOX hunting!" and then he set out to collect all the necessary tools to fox hunt.
When Keaton came outside and heard Hutty was fox hunting he decided they needed proper hunting attire and the camo sweatshirts were adorned.
The boys hunted fox for quite some time that morning. Their coolers were full to the brim before they took a break to admire the lake.
It couldn't have been even 10 am before the girls were in their bathing suits and playing in the sand.
When Em and I first started tentatively laying out plans for the week we knew that a day at home, on the beach, would be in order for Sunday after the long drive the day before. If we hadn't made this decision, I'm certain the kids would have.
The description of the house said the beach was easily accessible with a short boardwalk and leading path to the smooth shore area. Em and I read that over and over but we weren't exactly sure what that meant. It basically meant this: right outside the back door is a little slice of heaven.
This could not have been a more perfect arrangement for the kids. This beautiful, sandy beach was right there and yet far enough away that they could play outside without us worrying about them getting in the water. And the lake, oh man, I can not say enough good things about the location of this house on the lake. It was tucked nicely into a little cove. There were waves, but most days they were nice gentle ones, and it was shallow for so long. The kids could really run in water, splash and play and not need to worry about when they could no longer touch the bottom. I could spend every single day of the summer on this beach and not tire of it. And I'm pretty sure the boys could too; the sandcastle and moat building began in earnest on Sunday morning.
While the big boys worked, Nolan ran around further up on shore (this was a good arrangement because Nolan likes to destroy things. Things like sandcastles.)
At lunchtime everyone came up to eat at the picnic table and that afternoon something magical happened: Collin took the boys into the bedroom for quiet time and everyone fell asleep.
This meant Mama took her book out to one of the adirondeck chairs and read. In peace. For over an hour.
After a few chapters I felt like I should go start working on dinner, but I just couldn't leave this serenity. It was exactly what I needed to start, truly, relaxing.
When naps were over and dinner had been started, Collin offered to take over the cooking while all of the rest of us headed back to the beach for some more splashing and playing and sand castle building.
Bedtime came easily on Sunday night as everyone was worn out from the water and sun; and just as the sun was setting, leaving a beautiful pink hue in the sky, the kids were closing their eyes.
After the sun went down and kids were sleeping softly, us parents joined together at the kitchen island. Saturday night had been margaritas and on Sunday Drew whipped up some delicious White Russians.
White Russians are one part amazing and two parts dangerous. Have you ever had a White Russian? It's like candy in a cup. Batch one went down quickly. Two and three followed with no problems until, suddenly, we ran into a problem - the vodka was empty. And so this is when Em posted this pic on Facebook with the title "what parents do when they run out of mixers."
It's safe to say things got a little crazy on Sunday night when the kids were in bed. Proof, here:
(Additional video evidence on Facebook)
While I might have had a little regret the next morning, the laughs that night (now, that I've recovered) were entirely worth it.