We just returned from a week long trip to the beach on Saturday! It went by way too quickly, but we had a great time! I'm pretty sure my oldest son would opt to live there if possible.
Here are a few highlights from our trip
Luke loves the water and the beach with all of his heart. It is truly his happy place. Nothing compares to the smile on his face when he is playing in the ocean. When he found out we were nearing the end of our stay he had tears in his eyes. :( It makes me so sad to break the news to him each year. He recovered unexpectedly well though. His autism lends to him experiencing great deals of anxiety and having trouble accepting certain situations gracefully. The topic tends to just stay in his mind and it is just more difficult for him to move past it then the typical child. Last year there was a bit of a damper on the night after he learned we'd be headed back home. This year it took much less time for him to willingly accept the news. He has a good rest of the day on the beach and a great last night on the boardwalk! I really wanted to get an Old Time family photo taken, but I left it until the last night and I didn't want to push my luck lol. We are hoping to make it back for a long weekend, so hopefully we will squeeze one in then!
Cole is the more apprehensive child, not to be mistaken for careful though lol. He just worries a bit more than his brother and sister. He was very concerned about sharks existing far out in the ocean. I personally don't blame him. Swimming in the ocean makes me a little nervous as well. We saw dolphins that came up pretty close to the shore. Closer than I'd ever seen them in all the years we've visited!
Emily had a blast and loved the sand as you can see. At one point she was just curled up laying in the sand like a little crab. The kids enjoyed taking walks on the beach and collecting little shells and rocks with my husband. Of course we spent most of our nights on the boardwalk riding the rides. Emily was able to ride a lot more than I anticipated. She is tall for her age. She expressed a great need accompanied by an embarrassing tantrum to ride the log flume. She is the most strong willed child out of all of them which is saying a lot as they are all on the stubborn side. I decided against it as I really don't think it's an appropriate choice for someone still in diapers! Which is another thing we've been working on. We've made very little progress so far with the potty training, but had a little breakthrough a couple days ago. I think her recent stay in the hospital threw us off schedule a bit as far as that topic is concerned. Oh well we will get there eventually!
This is going to be the last year they can all ride this little boat together! Luke was just short of being too tall to fit!
Boardwalk pizza is always the best!
I bought this adorable butterfly garland in a boutique on the boardwalk. I need to take an up close photo as this one just doesn't do it justice. They are hand painted with glitter and painted on colored feathers. I made sure to hang it out of my little wrecking ball's reach aka Emily.
Love this picture of the boys.
Paper roses I made for Luke's teachers. Luke has such an amazing support team at school and he will be moving on to 3rd grade next year. Which also means a new teacher. He has been in the same autistic support class from kindergarten -2nd grade. Next year will be big changes, but I expect him to adjust well. He has always transitioned well over the tears from early intervention preschool to elementary school switching off to extended school year, etc. Which I am so grateful for! The dedication his teacher has offered over the years is immeasurable . The classroom aides and therapists are so much more than I could have ever hoped for. I hope we are as lucky next year!
On the last day of school Luke was sent home with a little book full of compliments from his 2nd grade peers. He was integrated into the regular ed 2nd grade for the morning meeting, specials and other projects. The comments were the sweetest things I've ever read. I'll admit a couple of them actually made me cry. The children are so accepting and welcoming and I've witnessed them do what they can to include and help Luke feel more comfortable. They are proud of him when he accomplishes things and let him know. I just love the program he is in.
If you'd like to learn more about the art of crafting paper flowers I highly recommend you check out my sweet friend Rachael's website www.appetitepaper.com
Her work is stunning and she is so helpful and just totally awesome. She offers paper flower guides, tips, ideas, and more on her site! She also offers custom flowers for events or bouquets you can purchase for your own home or gifts! In fact she is actually currently having a really great sale on her adorable anemone bouquets. They would be perfect for a little hostess/ housewarming gift.
I mean just look at the paper peonies she created. Can you even believe how gorgeous they are?!
If your looking to brush up on your baking skills I'm also going to recommend this amazing book! The Sweetapolita Bake Book. The photos are so beautiful and it is packed with delicious cake recipes, icings, tutorials and design ideas! I'm in love with it.
Here are some recent cakes I've made.