Hey friends! The weekend passed by in a flash over here and I hope it was a good one for you. It was our final Florida weekend of the summer and we made the most of it!
Friday night’s plans were inspired by my mom and Chase! Last summer, my mom planned a “Shirt Day” for all of her grandkids complete with a few white t-shirts for everyone to decorate with fabric markets, puffy paints and tie dye. Everyone had the best time decorating their shirts and wore them all year long so Mae’s Shirt Day returned for a second time this year!
Last week everyone in our family tie-dyed t-shirts and then the grandkids also decorated tees in their own creative ways. (One little hack: We helped the kids out by ripping pages out of coloring books to trace their selected drawings onto their shirts with puffy paints for them to then decorate so it wasn’t a complete mess!)
On Friday night, we all donned our tie dye shirts for an evening inspired by Chase: A seafood boil! (Chase’s appetite and desire to try new foods — specifically seafood — has increased rather dramatically from his baby and toddler days much to my extreme excitement and relief.) Chase requested clams and oysters one night during our Florida visit and on Friday night, we planned a big seafood boil and dug into the most delicious assortment of shellfish, corn, carrots, potatoes and even some lobster my dad brought back from a past spearfishing trip to the Florida Keys!
It was delicious and enjoying the seafood and homemade cake for dessert in our tie dye was one of my favorite memories of the summer so far!
Our gang slept over at my parents’ place on Friday night because the boys were up late and Ryan had an early-morning bike ride planned with my dad at 6:30 a.m. While Ryan and my dad set out on their ride, my mom and I hung with the boys and read books and did science experiments.
My sister’s mother-in-law arrived in town Friday night and came to our seafood boil and was kind enough to bring Chase this science kit as a belated birthday gift which was a huge hit!
I also took the boys on a lizard walk and we sweat our faces off. I lived in Florida for 11 years (I moved to Florida with my family from Illinois the summer after I graduated from high school) but the intense heat at 9:30 a.m. still surprises me sometimes. The boys and I arrived back from our lizard walk about three minutes before my dad and Ryan returned from their ride and we were greeted with quite a nostalgic display!
My mom made the “biscuit donuts” she used to make in the mornings after my sister and I would have sleepovers with our friends when we were kids. The boys were thrilled and I was in heaven digging into one of my childhood favorites!
To make the donuts, my mom cuts canned biscuit dough into pieces and fries them in a neutral oil (typically vegetable or canola oil). Then it’s up to all of us to top them with whatever toppings we choose! She had a selection of various icings, powdered sugar, cinnamon-sugar, glaze (my favorite) and plain sugar. It was fun to watch the boys come up with creative toppings for their donuts and Rhett seemed to think a little bit of everything was the best option!
Once we were all full, we changed into our bathing suits, slathered on sunscreen and headed off to the beach and pool with my family for the rest of the afternoon.
(Bikini: Maaji — it’s the reverse side of the green one I wear and it’s on super sale! Top here + Bottoms here / Beach hat: Target / Sunglasses: QUAY — my color is on sale for $25 today! / Ryder’s Rash Guard: Amazon / Swim Trunks: Janie & Jack)
All of our boys have truly embraced the ocean in new ways on this trip and it’s been amazing to watch! Ryan and I had Chase, Ryder and Rhett outfitted in their lifejackets and out past the initial crashing waves into slightly deeper water (stomach-deep for us) and they were in heaven floating and riding the waves into the shore.
Even Rhett was all about the deeper water in the ocean which shouldn’t shock us at the his point because he’s water-obsessed! The tricky thing with Rhett right now is that he wants to put his face in the ocean water like he does in the pool but the salt water burns his eyes, so he comes up yelling, “Eyes! Eyes!” until we wipe his eyes clear of the salt water. He then repeats this one million times. EYES! EYES!
Once our beach time was done, we played in the pool at my parents’ place and the boys insisted my dad be a “sea monster” and try to catch them one million times.
Eventually Rhett needed a (very late) nap and we put him down at my parents’ place and then took my mom and dad up on their offer to cover the “nap trap” while we took the big kids to the pet store to get crickets for Lucky.
We then popped into our rental house for a few hours and the boys played and hung out with their leopard gecko while Ryan and I started to get some things organized around the house since we’ll be heading back to North Carolina late next week. Once Rhett was up we ordered pizza for dinner and called it an early night!
On Sunday morning, Ryan and I took the boys to St. Augustine for brunch which was such a nice treat! St. Augustine is one of my favorite places in Florida (it’s where my sister and Ross got married!) and it is just so charming and fun! We’re hoping to return later this week with my family because we promised the boys a trip to the Alligator Farm before we leave.
Once we arrived back in Jacksonville, I had some pictures I needed to take for an Instagram collaboration and we knocked them out in record time!
Despite the fact that it felt like the surface of the sun outside in Florida on Sunday, our big kids couldn’t resist a quick game of soccer with Ryan on the field near where we snapped our pictures.
Chase and Ryder were a sweaty mess after their mini game and were all about it when Ryan and I suggested a quick trip to Jeremiah’s for gelati.
It was our one millionth trip to Jeremiah’s this summer and it’s still just as magical as our first trip. We grabbed gelatis for all of us as well as my parents and then hit the beach for our final summer Sunday of surf and sand with my family.
Sometimes the beach with kids can feel like WORK (okay, most of the time it feels this way since our kids are still fairly young) but sometimes the boys are a little more content to play in the sand and NOT run up and down the whole beach or fly into the surf and that’s how they were on Sunday. This made our beach time feel sliiightly more relaxed which was lovely! Oh happy day!
Our post-beach pool time was especially fun on Sunday because I ordered a waterproof pouch for my phone which allowed us to take underwater pictures and videos!
It definitely works better for videos than pictures underwater (above water pictures work really well though) and the boys got a huge kick out of it.
We wrapped up our Sunday with a family dinner and homemade cookies from my sister’s crew!
Plans for this week are all over the place as we’re determined to get in as much family time and Florida fun as possible before we head back to North Carolina at the end of the week. Chase starts school on Monday (HOW!?) so we’re on a mission to make the most of the remainder of our summer. I hope you all have a great Monday!!
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