Last night we had a beautiful rainstorm in Birmingham that reminded me of our second night on Ocean Isle.
Most of the rain was offshore, but it sprinkled for a while on the beach, long enough to darken the sand.
Monday dawned nearly cloudless again, and the kids couldn't wait to spend the day on the beach. Those early days of the week, they can't get enough of it.
We were pretty surprised that Amelia even wanted to venture in on her own.
I mean, she always wanted one of us close by, but we practically had to drag her out of the water to get any rest. She LOVED it.
Big fan of watching her brothers body board.
And the boys were SO HAPPY to be allowed in the water to their hearts' content, after last year's shark-bait restrictions.
They rode and rode and rode the waves.
I was out there several of the days with them, either helping Amelia jump waves or just making sure the boys didn't drown, and I'm amazed they could keep going as long as they did. It's exhausting.
Gideon is younger than Amelia but was a total boss in the ocean and the pool!
And Jonah did great -- he loved riding in the float, but he's got a terrific attitude no matter what he's doing.
What a lovebug!
Amelia loved holding onto our hands and jumping waves, or -- better yet -- having me hold onto her under her arms and lift her up over the waves. THAT'S NOT EXHAUSTING AT ALL.
I learned a lesson with her on Monday: she rubbed her eyes so often that she rubbed all the sunscreen off of her cheeks and got a light sunburn. You can see it here.
The rest of the week I was careful to reapply the sunscreen to her cheeks throughout the day. She was QUICK to let me know I had let her down, though. "Why didjou wet me get a sunbane, Mommy?" #knifethroughmyheart
It's hard to believe how much the kids have all grown up ... we started this trip when the oldest ones were toddlers, and now they're teenagers.
This year high tide created a tall, sandy wall that stayed the entire week we were there. It was so pronounced that we had to dig steps in it every morning to get safely up and down to the ocean during the day. It might not look that tall from this angle:
But it was!
Every day when we came in for lunch, it was an opportunity to rinse off with the hose and take a dip in the pool. We hadn't been successful in getting Amelia to wear her "swimmer" at home, but I finally convinced her to try it at the beach -- and she swam with it on!
I cannot TELL you how nice it was not to spend every moment in the pool trying not to be drowned by a small child.
And after lunch, well, THAT was an opportunity for something else altogether.
I couldn't remember the last time I took a picture of all four of our kids together, so I managed to get a couple that Monday.
It's funny when you're used to relatively pale skin and then you see your kids really tan.
And these two, who love each other so much -- and whom I think favor each other with their natural highlights.
Before supper on Monday night, we looked over to see Amelia on the couch, sacked out with her iPad flat on her face.
Of course when she woke up later and walked over to me, I asked her if she'd had a good nap and she said, "I DIDN'T TAKE A NAP."
I showed her that picture on my phone. She said, "I WAS NOT ASWEEP."
I love it when they wake up from a nap in a great mood, don't you?
And Monday ended with a night swim for all except Jonah, Giddy and Amelia. STILL PLENTY OF KIDS IN THERE.
Have to say, these kids are so lucky to have each other. Cousin Camp is a great thing.