CSB 2k13

the beach.

it was our 9th (!) year in a row going with our campus minister from georgia tech's family, the harpers,  to cape san blas in florida. these jokers are our 3rd family and we love them oh so much. and this beach is the undiscovered gem of the planet. 

it was slightly difficult this year due to rains that would be useful only in an ark-floating scenario pouring down on about half of the days we were there, but we still had no work, lots of naughty foods (swiss cake rolls! whole milk! sugar bubbles!), amazing restaurant excursions, and our best people all there so we couldn't (and didnt!) complain.

i got a little emotional about grayson (the 16 year old baby harper) this year. we first got invited to go on the trip with the harpers in 2005 (back when we were just boyfriend/girlfriend. jesse slept in the living room and i slept with tiny grayson) because rick wanted someone to be able to keep gray-gray occupied and not drowned or annoying. for the record, even an 8 year old gray wasnt annoying. i LOVED hanging out with him (he named jesse "lady hair." such was his genius) and he was my little buddy. he still is, even if he WAY isnt little anymore, but the weird flip flop that has taken place in who takes care of whom at the beach is a little tear-jerking.

i think this is the only pic i have of the beach year 1 (it might be year 2 though). look at the teeny everyones!

and here is gray on the exact same beach last week:

mindjob and my heart is inside-out!!!!

and just to move out of emotional nostalgia with some old treasure:

oh dear. no, THIS was year one. i know because jesse doesnt have a ring on and we were married all but 2 of these trips. and i dont think i have even an engagement ring on either (and there is NO WAY i would have done this--sun-in--to my hair if my wedding was two months away) so we must have been just dating therefore YEAR ONE, 2005. meaningless mystery solved.  sorry about my hair, guys.

ok here's a billion pics from this year's vacay.

 look what the tide washed in.

i assure you, you are NOT ready for this jelly.

 up at sunrise...gonna need some coffee.

 oh man. the beach is the BEST wearer-out of kids. four hour naps every day! i'll have a to-go order of ocean, please.

 just a couple of dudes super secure in their sexuality.

 she is not amused by how long it's taking bruncle (brother-uncle) donovan to put another flower in her hair

judah was welcomed into the horrifying male world of chafing on this trip so we had to improvise a speedo for him (or just let him go naked a bunch...which we also did).

 the big boys play bocce. is carrying kryptonite in your pocket cheating?

 so layla loves sand and its many topographical variations. any hillock she could lay on or hole she could snuggle in was a happy place for her. seriously she would maintain these positions for minutes at a time.

custom built for her

also being buried is a thrill

 probably my fave pic of her ever?

 there's my cheesing lady. 

 bruncle grayson obliges with a full body bury. (and twerks it out in the process)

 doing some sit ups while buried

 never miss an opportunity to stomp him

multitasking: kite flying and sand burial

cold foam. what a rush.

those are bocce balls. like 10 lbs each. go ahead and be impressed.

it's a gulf coast turtleneck

legs much?

beach robot

she's serious about hydration

 adonis in the clouds

 i was SHOCKED when i heard them playing happily and creatively together. they were cooking crabs here, obviously.

 really excited about soft shell crab for dinner. she loved it because she's so cool.

 we got some hand me down raw oysters from a neighboring table. we usually go for baked, but were up for a slimy mollusk adventure. #hardcore.

 lucky oyster.

lots of smooching

 the matriarch and patriarch of CSB

 they refused a smooch because of too cool.

my menfolk

 we're also too mature for silly smooches now.

i mean it's not year 3 (in 2007) anymore:

24 and 10 and BFF

PSYCH OUR BOND WILL NEVER END! (even if muscle tone does)

 rice is serious too

layla holding court in the parking lot

 jack the toad. judah had a bucket that he told me he and daddy had "captured a pet" in. i assumed it would be a crab and was prepared to pretend be surprised when he brought it over to me. i stuck my face in the bucket and saw this beast and about lost my mind. 

 ok thats adorable, if blurry.

 two more toads. (NOT JACK! HE WOULD NEVER) judah swung into nature theorist here, "dey are bruders. he's giving him a piggy back ride!" oh my.

 dude can swim like a fish. 

classic jump-through-the-donut-float game.

 a hilarious game of "i'm garrett and youre judah now"

 treasonous skies (yeah we got dumped on right after this)

 jesse was legitimately upset about abandoning his castle in-progress but them skies were threatening!

it's possible that we're related

and this chick is JUST as awesome on a coast as she is mainland.

 spooky blue eyes mesmerized by the tides.

hey you know what will test your faith in your child's swimming skills? the SEA! with a crazy riptide and judah's need for vengeance against every wave, i was tightly wound watching him do this for hours a day.

saying goodbye

so help me if that toad taught him to smoke.

gimme 5

"guh to ya mama!"

next are a bunch of pics with a dratted foggy lens. we always do family pics the last night on the beach but the weather was looking ROUGH so we just did them on the boardwalk in case we needed to bolt. we'll see if that was the right choice:

couldnt you just?

EEK! this guy is gonna be a great catch for some chick...if she can get past layla

hilarious traditional pic of the "big boys" holding their swinging baby brother. its fun now because grayson is the tallest of them all at 6'2. but that wont stop us! (that hideous shirt might, though)

2007 versus 2013. hahahaha puberty can surprise us all, sometimes.

they love their mumsy

whoops. the 2013 version is updside down. in the rain panic we forgot that oldest is supposed to go on top.

sprinkles ensued as we tried valiantly for a fam pic

way more accurate

 obligatory macho man pic

2007 version

 layla cant help but be drawn into the vortex of testosterone.

and then we got annihilated. (i had a tiny umbrella to keep the camera safe)

 please note jesse bolting ahead and leaving his children behind in the deluge. let's file that under "we trust the bruncles" and not "abandonment"

haha. soaked (ok, ill say it. garretts belly pose is weird.)

the end. see ya in year 10, CSB!


  1. Oh My Gosh! We stayed there last year! (I'm 98%sure it's the same complex). We were by the pond, which totally had an alligator in it, and my cousins were freaked it would eat them (it was maybe 3 feet long, I doubt it could eat 8 year olds)

  2. Layla's hair on the beach pictures = Keight's daughter amazing.
    Judah + the frog! The first picture is my favey!
    Plus the piggy-back explanation.
    Also, DANG girl, that was a lot of photos!!!

    I love it when you go to the beach. Everyone gets all sunny and happy and sandy. Y'all are cute!

  3. What a great trip! Everyone is growing up way too fast!

  4. #1- Your kids are very adorable
    #2- Your comment about Garretts belly pose made me laugh out loud...for a couple minutes. I was thinking the same thing. I very much enjoy your sense of humor, thanks for sharing :)

    -Christine Barnes