I initially chose Saturday, September 13th as my “day” because that was the day that I was traveling home from Click Away and, in my mind, it was going to be a calm day of travel filled with amazing architecture, interesting light and composition, and the comforts of home at the end of a long day. Well, isn’t it funny how our perception can be so different from actual reality? In reality, my day turned out to be a day that was solely documented through selfie reflections in dirty windows, sitting on tarmacs and airplane wings. And…as we all know from our Instagram feeds…once you’ve seen one airplane wing, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Ha!
So, I made the decision to document a couple of days later in an effort not to bore everyone. I flew from Salt Lake City to the Florida panhandle where my family was waiting for me for our annual beach get-away. These are truly some of the best days of the year for our family and I knew I would cherish the images of our day together.
My day starts at 6:15 am when my youngest decides that it is time to rise and shine. She usually sleeps later than that at home, but we are in a different time zone and she is sleeping in a Pack ‘N Play right next to me. Any chance of her falling back asleep is immediately thrown out the window when she realizes that she has a couple of new roommates. I decide to make the best of this early morning wake up call and capture some images of just her which is a rare feat these days.
As we are shooting these, I realize that outside the sky is absolutely amazing. It looks like it might rain at any second so we run out to the shore before the clouds open up on us…but once we get outside, I realize that it actually looks like nicer weather is coming in.
After getting some pictures of her and enjoying our early morning on the beach together, we head back inside where everyone else is beginning to wake up. My awesome husband, who keeps us so well fed (seriously…if cooking was left up to me my poor family would probably starve to death), gets to work on breakfast and decides that we should have freshly squeezed lemonade with breakfast. This quickly becomes a family affair and everyone pitches in to help squeeze lemons, make a simple syrup and taste test. Obviously, the initial batch was just a bit too sour. More sugar stat!
(What? You guys don’t have one kid running around in just a diaper with a glitter tattoo of a dragon on his stomach and another kid who insists on wearing a flannel nightgown while at the beach? This situation is a perfect illustration of one of my favorite sayings, “Some battles are just NOT worth fighting!)
After breakfast, we quickly clean up and I run a bag of trash to the garbage. I leave the door cracked on my way out and my little guy decided he wants to come out and help me. How could I resist not capturing this?! (and I have a feeling these images will find there way back out when he starts dating!)
On our way back to the house, we look out at the ocean and are so excited to see a couple of dolphins just lazily swimming by (please excuse the quality of this image – I was kicking myself for not having a better long distance lens with me!). We actually saw schools of dolphins every single day of our trip and it blew my mind each and every time!
After dolphin watching for a bit, we head inside and get ready for the day. Since it is still kind of dreary out, my oldest and I make plans to go explore the surrounding beach towns with some friends who are also at the beach with us this week. We have a blast exploring, shopping and having ice cream…until one of us gets a big, huge blister and has a full on melt-down.
After the epic meltdown, we head back to the beach house just as the sun is beginning to come out. While we’ve been gone, the little ones have gone down for their naps and we come home to a calm house. We decide that it is time to dip our toes in the water, so we get lathered and suited up and head out to enjoy an afternoon on the beach. Annie’s toe is still hurting her, so we decide to take a walk down the beach. We have a blast and are even able to find a perfect sand dollar.
Around this time, the littles wake up from their naps and it is now beach time for everyone! We run inside to get them ready and we are back on the beach in no time. Harrison, our sweet “middle child”, is particularly afraid of the ocean this trip. He is quite content lounging in his pool right beside the ocean, thankyouverymuch. So, that is were he spent most of his days (and I’d be totally lying if said that I didn’t just start singing “chillin’ at nights and relaxin’ all cool” after typing the last sentence. +2 points for anyone who gets that reference! Ha!).
The afternoon is perfection. Everyone is in awesome moods (for the most part), had great naps, and are getting along with one another. A trifecto of awesome family time, if you will! This is amazing!! (and short lived…)
We realize it is getting later and later and we have a family photography session tonight that we need to get ready for. As we begin packing up our beach gear, this dog runs by. Y’all, this dog seriously made my day and I’m lucky that I just happened to have my camera in my hand because if I hadn’t, I would have never been able to capture him. I am almost certain that I have never seen an animal happier to be alive. His joy over terrorizing the seagulls gave me a huge smile as we went inside for the evening. (I know the sequence below seems like it is out of order, but if you start on the right and then work your way towards the left, that is exactly how I viewed him zooming by me).
Once we get back inside, everyone eats dinner (a very healthy dinner of macaroni and cheese and hotdogs, might I add. Ha! Don’t judge!) and gets showered. I get to work ironing clothes for our family session with Kansas Pitts Photography. We have about one hour to get five people fed, showered and looking presentable. Things are hectic, but we somehow make it all work. I put the kids in the car in their underwear out of fear that they might wrinkle their clothes and I now have a deep appreciation for everything my clients do in order to prepare for a shoot with me.
We make it to our session on time and I’m thrilled to meet Kansas. I’ve been a long-time admirer of her work and was so happy that we were able to schedule a session with her while we were in town. She has the patience of a saint and she really was able to utilize her patience on my family during our session. My kids were terrible, y’all. Like really bad. Remember how I said Harrison hated the ocean? Well, he REALLY hated it tonight. And, remember how Annie got that blister earlier today? Well, the protective layer of skin came off right before our session started so any salt water that got on her foot caused her to go into hysterics. It was quite an interesting shoot…and only makes me think of another one of my many sayings…”If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry…” See what I mean? (photo credit: Kansas Pitts)
Even though my children were not the most cooperative, Kansas is a photography genius and the images that I’ve seen from our session so far make any pain and anguish that was felt so incredibly worth it. I will cherish these images forever.
After our session, we head back to our house and begin getting the kids in bed. My husband and I then get ourselves ready to go out for a fun night with friends. All of the schools in our area are on Fall Break, so we have quite a few friends who are vacationing in the same area this week. In addition, our go-to babysitter from home is also in Florida and is headed over to keep our rug rats. We are excited to get to have some adult time tonight and we quickly meet up with everyone at The Red Bar where we have a phenomenal meal, listen to awesome live music and enjoy wonderful company.
As we wrap up dinner, I snap my last picture of the day…one of just me. It has been a long day, but a truly wonderful day. I go to sleep tonight with a fresh reminder of just how lucky I am to have a life filled with these people who I love so much and wonderful opportunities to spend such awesome quality time together. Thank you so much for tagging along on my day!