Amari Visits Us at the Beach

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I’m a little late on the update but Amber (aka Rapunzel) and her husband, Casey, and her baby (!!!!), Amari, visited us a few weeks ago. It was SO AWESOME to see family after such a long time of not seeing them. I nearly lost it over the cuteness that is Amari. I mean, look at those eyes!!! I think she got them from her Daddy.

Seeing your relatives when they live 679 miles away from you is hard. Seeing your family when they live 679 miles away during a pandemic is impossible. So this trip was a super sweet surprise. I think we’ve all felt starved for friends and family and as the reunions start to slowly trickle in it’s like waking up from a long depressing winter!

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Not to mention, CC was sporting bright pink hair which is kind of the OPPOSITE of depression. You may have heard that CC and my brother are splitting up. The rumors are true and they have filed for divorce. They still love and care for each other but have decided their marriage had an expiration date. These things happen. I’m sad for my brother but I’m happy that they are each getting to explore their own independence. I’m also really relieved that CC will stay in our lives and be just as much family as she ever was. I don’t know why I would ever worry that she wouldn’t but you know how divorces can have their fall-outs.

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Let’s get back to the BABY!!!! This trip was the first time I’d ever met Amari and her dad, Casey, and I am smitten with them both. I heard myself asking Amber if I could keep the baby which is really silly and of course I was joking but if I was a psychopath and didn’t have a rational grip on reality, I would seriously think about stealing that baby. I wanted to hold her and squish her and keep her forever! She is ADORABLE.

I guess, all babies are but I really do miss having a baby. I love having a teenager. Teenagers are a blast but I miss the baby that Bug was and it’s a deep sad part of me knowing that I’ll never have the chance to have a baby again. I know I should never say never but menopause is pretty final and I’m not up for adopting so I’m just going to have to wait to be a grandma or surround myself with other people’s babies.

Of course this report is not all about me and my feelings…this is also about Amari seeing the ocean for the first time! What an honor that we got to share her first experience at our beach, the very same beach the Bug grew up on and did all her firsts! First steps, first splashes, first sand-eating… the ocean is such a big part of our life.

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It’s also really cold and scary! Poor Amari. It’s a lot to take in when you are only ten months old. But she was a champ and bounced back from the initial shock with true McConnaughy vigor.

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To warm up we taught her how to build sand castles and eat sand, like you do.

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Me, being the Auntie that I am, had to give Amari a totally inappropriate present: a wooden espresso maker with small  parts that says “only for kids age three and up” on the box. Don’t worry, the small wooden parts will be put away until she’s old enough. I just couldn’t resist!!! My whole family knows I have a weakness for play coffee things. I’ve been jonesing to buy this miniature wooden coffee maker I saw at Nordstrom years ago but I don’t have any little kids in my life anymore so I haven’t been able to buy it. I’ve been pining after it forever!  I mean, I could just buy it for myself and start collecting toy coffee things but… I do already have a house full of stuff so that’s not really a very wise thing to do. BUT I AM TEMPTED!!!!

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Anyway, family, the beach… all the happy warm summer feelings. I’m sad they are gone but so thankful we got to spend the day with them. I miss em!

Beach Bucket List: Woods Cove

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I was thinking. I don’t really need to say anything about this post. I can just put the pictures up and that pretty much says it all. :)

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We didn’t intend to go to Woods Cove. It wasn’t on our white board list that I have scrawled about eight beach names on in black marker in the kitchen. We just ended up there. We drove south, found a neighborhood, found parking (a total lucky break) near some stairs to the beach and we went!

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Joon and I parked it on the sand and I set up shop painting.

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Poor Joon wished she had brought her swimsuit but it was an impromptu trip and we gave her no time to even think about it. At the time it seemed like it would be cold at the beach but you just never can predict how warm the sun will feel when you actually get there. Sixty-five degrees in the house can feel chilly but sixty-five degrees in the sun at the beach can feel perfect for sunbathing and then catching some waves after you’ve properly heated up.

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The waves were big at Woods Cove. I’m not sure if that’s because of the shape of the land and how the waves hit the sand or if it was just big wave weather that day. But it was really fun for Bug and her boyfriend to do a little bodysurfing. What was really cool was that there are really big rocks out in the surf that some braver swimmers swim out to and then jump off. Sometimes they are submerged completely in the water and it looks like they are Jesus walking on the water. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to play around rocks and waves but it was fun to watch.

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All in all it was a pretty good day. I really like this new bucket list tradition we’re up to. The kids and I agree that we don’t need to travel much this summer since we already live in a travel destination.

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I take pictures and paint postcards. They play in the waves and sand. It’s not a bad way to while away the days.

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Afterwards I took them to Rubys and they ate their weight in hamburgers and milkshakes. Teenagers CAN EAT!!!

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When we got back home the kids disappeared, each to their own world in their bedrooms and on their phones but they left behind the evidence of a good day. When I saw the towels and damp cut-offs draped over the chairs in our front patio I had to snap a picture because it felt so much like a good old clichéd summer snapshot. After the long pandemic winter I am so happy for summer, even though it technically isn’t here yet.