The beach. Words can't even describe how amazing it was to be back at the beach. My parents and brother Todd drove from Tennessee to Virginia Beach this summer, and I had wished so badly we could have made it. They sent some pictures from the beach, and my heart ached for my family and the beach. I've really missed them this summer, and it sounds a little silly but visiting the beach in California made me feel close to them. We went to the beach all the time growing up. I grew up in Virginia until high school, and we always went to Virginia Beach. We just hung out there all day everyday. It was glorious. Gosh, I'm getting all teary-eyed even writing about it. We would bring our beach chairs up to the edge of where the ocean and beach met and would let the waves crash on our toes. I remember being amazed at what the salt water did to the sand as it receded back into the ocean, leaving imprints in the wet sand. My mom always says that two of God's greatest creations are the sand and sea.
I remember throwing a football with my dad and brothers. We would make runs and play defense on each other trying to swat the football out of each others hands or make a sweet interception. The beach will always remind me of my parents. I miss them. Then we would walk up the boardwalk. Walk and walk and walk. I loved it. We'd pop in on some shops and look at all the funny souvenirs. And we'd always wrap it up with some ice cream. Dad wouldn't have it any other way. I attribute my love for ice cream to my dad.
When we went to Zuma Beach in California with my sister-in-law Heidi and her family, needless to say, I thought of my own family. A lot. I missed them so badly but had a blast with Heidi, Ben, and their beautiful family. Plus it was fun to create some new memories with my own little family.
There's a picture of my dad with me as a little baby at the edge of the beach. He's holding my hand and pointing out to the ocean. In the photo, my head is just as bald as Reese's is now. I thought of that picture, as I watched Todd carry Reese into the water and walk down the shore with her in tow. It was really sweet to see. I love my family. I can't even describe how much I love to spend time with them and be with them. Nothing brings me more joy than watching my baby girl and her daddy spend time together. Todd was really cute with Reese, and it was fun for both of us to experience the beach with her. Her very first beach visit! And many more to come.
Aside from my own family, we were in great company. I couldn't have asked for more relaxing days at the beach with great people. Ben and Heidi are hilarious, kind, and so easy to talk to. I felt a bit of a connection to them as they busted out some speakers and a little John Mayer. Oh how I love me some John Mayer.
Elsie, Teddy, and Maddie were really fun to watch too. They play so well together and each have their own unique personality. It made me so excited to see how our family will grow over time and how our kids will come into their own. How they will grow and how their personalities will start to shine through. I can't wait!
Everyday at the beach, Reese loved it! Not one complaint. She was soaking up the rays, playing with her toys, and eating sand. When it was time for naps we walked her up the beach in the ergo carrier and she was OUT. Once we came back though, we tried to put her to sleep in the pack n play under an umbrella on the beach, but she couldn't quite get to sleep again with all the excitement going on around her. But we just left her in there to play with her toys, and she was happy as a clam. Love our little girl. She seriously was happy as can be. She was constantly smiling and just happy to be there! It made it such an enjoyable time, and we were grateful! We were a little worried about being at the beach all day because of naps, but she was a champ.
Man, just talking about it, makes me wanna pack up camp and head back to the beach for good. Maybe one day!
Hope y'all have a great day, and find time to enjoy the little things around you. I'm trying to do that more lately. Trying to make my days more meaningful and spend more quality time with the people I love.
Happy Wednesday Y'all!
XO, Ashton Tilton