Our Vacation That is Not Exactly a Vacation…

The sun is shining and the location is very beautiful. We merrily zoom past all the Disney billboards, and on this trip, we will not get sucked into the pressures of spending our money on Mickey Mouse-related activities.

This trip is more about living normal life…in a tropical location.

And so we spend our time enjoying the view while eating breakfast.

And going for walks.

We color with chalk…

And we have tropical tea parties beside waving palm trees:

Anika was happily reunited with her little Florida friend, whose grandparents live just down the street, so she ran off to play. Kaylia ran after her, crying hysterically, “I need my sister!”

Which sounds really sweet and loving, but it took me by surprise, since they spent the day fighting. (See, pictures can be deceiving….It may look like we’re having the perfect time, but it is not always happiness and unicorns in this land of sunshine.)

But anyway. We will carry on, and enjoy our sidewalk chalk and tea parties, and let that fuel us with the strength to get through the moments of life that are not quite so picture-worthy!

Bike Helmets, Tea Parties, and the Tisroc (May he live forever…)

Before Ben and I had kids, we thought we laughed often, and found many things to be enjoyable in the life we shared.

Then we had Anika, and we often wondered what in the world we ever laughed at before. She added so much joy and amusement to our lives that our previous existence seemed a little dull in comparison.

Now that we have Kaylia in our home, and we have two funny, silly, expressive and creative little girls running around, it feels like there is always something to laugh at, take pictures of, or secretly smile about as I turn away very quickly so that a serious girl with big eyes won’t know that all I want to do is burst out laughing.

And an Anika quote to end off with:

For those of you familiar with The Chronicles of Narnia, you might remember that in The Horse and His Boy, the king of Calormene is called “the Tisroc”, and every time someone says his name, they must also say, “may he live forever”.

Anika loves to take stories she knows well, and then add on to them and change them, so yesterday I happened to overhear a particularly gripping (and surprisingly violent!) sequel to The Horse and His Boy, in which the heroine shoots the Tisroc with her bow and arrow, and announces, “I KNEW he wouldn’t live forever!! And I just proved it!”

Tea Party

Anika and I made some cupcakes, and invited Chloe and Natasha over for a tea party. It was kind of for Kaylia’s birthday, since we hadn’t done anything to celebrate it with the kids at camp because of everybody being gone so much. And it was kind of just for the fun of getting dressed up and having a fun snack on a beautiful day. With lots of bugs. We finished the rest of our party inside!

Anika had requested that her guests dress up in fancy dresses for the tea party, but I loved it that Natasha showed up as a pumpkin! With a bear mask. It was a fun afternoon, and since Aidan and Quianna weren’t around, we have an excuse to do it again!