We escaped town over the Easter weekend, heading to the coast to meet up with three other wonderful families. It was surreal and awesome to all hang out together again- just like the old days, but with a swarm of kids racing around our legs this time! ;)
Most of our time was spent at the beach. It was glorious. When you live inland, you kinda forget how the beach is one of nature's most beautiful playgrounds... seeing the kids race along the shore, jump the waves, dig in the sand... it was just so nourishing for us all. A true time of rest, relaxation and refreshment (mixed in with the standard amount of relentless childcare, of course - no holiday rest from that!!) - but with good doses of time with friends, the load just seemed lighter. Seriously love these families!
The day we arrived at the beach for an afternoon play and early dinner, the kids thew themselves into the ocean (fully clothed). Somewhat of an analogy for how they throw themselves into life in general, I guess. Just having too much fun!
Post-dip recovery, cosily wrapped in a towel...
Oh, this image brings up all kinds of nostalgia.
Remember being a kid? Getting fish and chips after a fun day at the beach, clutching that plain paper package close and enjoying the emanating warmth (mmmm) and that intoxicating hot-chip scent (double mmmm)??
We gathered our families around a patchwork of blankets for a delicious, traditional fish & chips dinner - from a classic old-school 'take away shop' that still wrapped the whole meal in one big parcel (none of these fancy-shmancy separate cardboard boxes and paper bags, thanks very much!!). Cheap as chips, too ;) Delicious, classic, Australian beach dinner. Always a winner!
Shared with family and dear old friends, in view of God's beautiful coastal creation. I tell you, what could be better?
This little dude was certainly loving every moment. Oh, and Eli? Those half-moon eyes are your trademark. I love them!
We let him loose on the beach... we just kinda had to as we were hanging there every day! And we also had to let go of any ideas about controlling his sand-intake. Thankfully after a good couple mouthfuls, he quickly worked out it was not that tasty. And he loved scampering all over the dunes and along the shore.
But every now and then, we found him trying another mouthful of sand, just to double check the taste!!
Sand-consumption aside, I loved seeing him roam along that beautiful beach, my intrepid littlest explorer.
This guy loves the beach (he is a Perth boy after all), and he loves to play at the beach with his kids.
And I love watching him run, splash, dig, swim and explore with them, totally invested and involved in every moment. A beautiful fatherhood unfurling before my eyes.
This guy also celebrated his birthday on Easter Sunday. Being Easter, with kids and chocolate and church picnics and all that, plus being out of town, we didn't get to make much of a fuss on the day - and being Mark, he didn't expect or require much fuss but still...
we celebrate you and are so thankful for you, on your birthday and every other day of the year, my love! xx
ps never fear, further birthday celebrations awaited back at home!
Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2014.
More highlights from the week that was...
|Ella, Lily and Eli, racing into the ocean - fully clothed, fully prepared to have fun!|
|The chill finally set in at dusk and they snuggled into towels, while their rather unprepared mothers (not expecting any swimming to happen!) scrounged through the car for towels and clothing. Our jumpers was the best we could come up with!!|
|Fish and chips, the beach at dusk, dear friends and family. Let me tell you, this is the good life. What a wonderful evening it was!|
|Just happy to sit and take it all in...|
|Eli and Noah prepare to roll down the sand dune at dusk. If his profile on the left looks funny, it's because he is wearing Mark's jumper after soaking his clothes!|
|Lily and Ella, wrapped in their mother's jumpers, ready to roll down the dune.|
|Amazingly, they all nibbled half a chocolate bunny and decided that was enough!|
|He so carefully unwrapped his bunny. His hands caught my eye here. His beautiful hands are just looking so grown up.|
|After a lovely morning worshipping with a small church group, we all met up at this beautiful National Park/Beach for|
a Sunday picnic lunch - which recalled many church picnics of my childhood. None with views as stunning as this, however!!!
|A miracle - all three kids in the frame!!|
|The perfect hill for rolly-polly!|
|She watches carefully over her littlest brother.|
|A wonderful egg hunt was organised, and as we left our wicker easter baskets at home, plastic bags were called into|
duty as the kids hunted high and low for dozens of plastic eggs.
|She raced around, stuffing eggs in her bag as quick as a wink, but watching out that other kids found some too.|
|Watching Eli on the hunt was the cutest. He was so eager, intent, and excited.|
|The plastic eggs didn't quite all close properly and he was mostly concerned|
about them all being shut together correctly, not what was inside!!