Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend GetAWAY

Well, we're back and boy did we have a BALL. Here's the long (and I mean LOOONG) awaited post with pictures and a rundown of our adventures.
Major props to Summer who gave me the idea. She called me on Wednesday asking me what I was gonna do this weekend and I said..."Hmmm, I really wanna run away but I don't know where to go. The kids have Friday off and this weekend is supposed to be beautiful. I don't wanna drive for more than 4 hours but then again, maybe I should just stay home because I have my church class to teach on Sunday and all..." To my surprise, Summer had ALL the answers. She said, "This Sunday is stake conference so...yay for that. And I know the PERFECT place for you to run away and it's only a TWO hour drive!"
SO she tells me about this fabulous place in Myrtle beach called Dunes Village Resort. It's perfect. Only 2 hours away. A condo so Isaak has his own bedroom. Indoor waterpark so it's not too cold to swim. AND on the beach....LOVELY. I called and booked our stay immediately. The 50% Winter discount was irresistible! I decided to keep the vacation location a secret from the kids and surprise them when we got there.
When I called to book the lady asked, "How many adults?" ONE, I said. "How many children?" FOUR, I said. The she says to me, " many adults again?" I know right? ONE. Just me :) Am I crazy? Yes...if you ONLY knew.
We got to Myrtle Beach Friday at about 2pm and stopped to grab some groceries before heading to our condo. Once we got in, the cable television was vacation ENOUGH for the kids. Pure heaven for them. I almost couldn't pry them away. We let Isaak nap before heading downstairs so they got a good amount of TV while we waited.

Although the TV was nice, I headed for the balcony to enjoy the sound of the peaceful ocean. I sat alone, just enjoying MY time.

I also made some yummy buffalo chicken dip and ate it with my favorite Kettle cooked crinkle cut chips (recipe thanks to Kristen). Could life get ANY better?

When Isaak woke up he showed us ALL how excited he was for his very first swimming adventure!

The waterpark was amazing! A lazy river with cars to float around in.

A kiddie pool.

The kids were SO surprised and enjoyed their swimming!

Isaak and I watched all the kids and enjoyed snacks while we watched.

Here are a couple pictures of the play areas.

Slides, hot tubs, lazy river...

A basketball area which surprisingly, Jake LOVED and played with most of the evening.

When we were all tired out, after several hours of our swim, we went back to the room to get cozy and have dinner. I made a delicious Aussie Chicken found HERE and it was to DIE for. SOOO yummy! We drank coke outta fancy cups and enjoyed conversation with each other about how exciting our day had been.

After dinner we got in our beds to enjoy some TV. The boys slept in the pullout couch bed, me and Kora in our own room and Isaak in his own room. The room was cold and it was SOOOO cozy.

I made yummy smores treats found HERE to gobble up while we watched TV.

I loved seeing these friends each time I visited the bathroom.

The next day we decided to visit the OTHER waterpark in the second tower of the resort. We planned to spend most of the day there and then go out for dinner that night. I made Miah pose for this picture only to get the hoochies in the background. They seriously thought they were hot stuff, soo funny. All of their belly buttons were pierced and they wore bikini's that were about 3 sizes too small. If one of them got up...they would ALL get up. They followed each other like a long train around the place. It was almost too funny to be real. I think someone should have told these girls that the entire place is INDOORS. No sunglasses needed.

This was my favorite day because I REALLY got to just sit and watch my kids play. I felt really proud and reflective this day. I thought about how brave Miah was being in the water. He never once acted scared or started crying. I realized that he has grown so much since we adopted him. I get on to him for stupid things a lot of the time just because it annoys me and I really shouldn't. I was so happy to see him having fun without being nervous. I love that he is so forgiving and so thankful alllll the time. And he never forgets to say it either. He told me many times on the trip that since he was 4, he wasn't going to be scared of anything anymore. I didn't really believe him when he said it, but he wasn't kidding. I loved that I could see him actually trying to NOT be scared.
I loved watching my Jake play basketball with these brothers. I was proud that he has the personality that he does. He wasn't afraid to be apart of the game even though he was the only white boy. The other white boys all just stood back and waited for the brothers' game to be over but not Jake. I love that he's cool like that. I love that he is such a helper to me and does SO much for our little family when our Dad is missing. I loved watching him tip the valet, hold the door open for all of us and look after his siblings. I love that I can go places with all of these guys and if I need to get up and go to the restroom by myself...I can. I love that I know they are all VERY good kids, with manners. I love that about them.
I love my Jake and all he does.
I loved watching Kora be the little mom of the group. I loved seeing how she made sure that NO ONE was left out or left behind. Even other kids in the pool whom we didn't know. She would make sure they played in her group or didn't fall down the stairs. She held their hands and would cheer for them when they did something amazing! She would make them smile when they were sad or help them find their mom when they were lost. She used to just be my little Koko but I realized as I watched her that she's my BIG Koko now.
I needed this trip so bad because lately I've been feeling like such a terrible mom. I feel like all I do is yell and scream and ground and fight with everyone. I feel like everyday is a constant battle to just "get through". Being on this trip and seeing each of my children's individual personalities shine made me realize that I need to just take things a little more easy. They ARE listening...that's obvious in the way they act when I'm NOT there breathing down their neck. I can still be the strict mom I am without being the angry mom and I know the effects will be even greater. As I sat there, I promised to myself to be more fun and to smile more to each child, to hug them and kiss them more. To not be so in a rush all the time. To be patient and kind and forgiving. To remember that they ARE kids.

While I watched and reflected, Izey and I rocked out to music just loving each other.

Until he fell asleep and then I sat just staring at him. What a blessing he is to my life. How sweet and precious he is and always will be. I feel like he brings out so much joy in each of the kids. First thing in the morning the kids come straight to Isaak to kiss and hug all over him. He makes them smile and laugh and he brightens ALL of our days.

Saturday was my favorite day of the trip. I learned so much about myself as a mother. About what I want to change with myself and about what I admire most about each child. I'm always going to be the strict mom that I am. I just am. That's just me and I feel like being strict is good because my children know how to behave. BUT, I will try to lighten up when it's not important to be strict.
That night we went out to dinner at PF Changs. The food was BETTER than good. It was so YUMMY and it had been WAY too long. My kids were perfect as usual!
Here are the meat eaters...

...and the non meat eaters.

On Sunday we checked out at 11am and spent the afternoon on the beach after we grabbed some delicious Krispy Kreme's. This was Isaak's first time IN the actual sand. He loved it. He only put one mouthful to his lips and HATED it. He spent the rest of the time picking it up and watching it run through his tiny fingers. (Yes he's wearing the same thing as last night but only because he had just ONE outfit left and I wanted him to wear it on the way home so he wouldn't be all sandy).

The kids were busy the ENTIRE time building and digging and searching for seashells.

Now THIS picture may look like nothing but a view to most of you. BUT, if you click on it you will see what I like to call, "BRAVE". My Miah usually starts shaking and freaking out as SOON as he even SEES the ocean but not today folks...not today because he's FOUR. He never ONCE acted nervous but instead would go way out into the ocean by himself to get buckets of water.
Brave I tell you.

I chilled on the blanket with Isaak listening to tunes and eating granola bars and bananas.

We spent about 3 hours on the beach before heading back home to Jville. The trip was EXACTLY what ALL of us needed. My favorite quotes from the trip are...
"I don't know WHY we lived at that vacation but I want to go back." -Miah
"I am LOVING this!" -Kora
"People are so much nicer these days because of pollution." -Jake
(whatever that means)
When we got home Isaak had trouble getting to sleep and was being SUPER awnery. In our experience (and we're pretty experienced since we do have THREE of them) boys start acting naughty when their hair gets too long. As soon as we get it chopped, they get back to their sweet self. So at 9:30pm, I was tired and had enough of Isaak's shenanigans. I got the clippers out and chopped him his first REAL haircut. A Marine cut, like his brothers of course.
He loved it so much he couldn't stop being spunky about it.
With little sunburnt cheeks and nose I thought he was the cutest tiny Marine I've ever seen.

And didn't prove to be true? Oh yes...once again, when the hair is cut, the boy becomes sweet. He only stayed awake long enoug for me to snap the shots of the little beaker (which is who I think he looks like now). By 10pm...he was fast asleep in dreamland.

I have some videos to show you but blogger is being stupid. Check back for those later.


Candace said...

Wow! I know you feel refreshed! I have a friend who went to that place three times last month with her family! I know it's the same place, because I've seen like 500 of her pictures that look just like yours of the lazy river, boats, etc....

I sure hope you posted those recipes on our recipe blog, I haven't checked it yet... I was too nosey to know just what kept you away from us all weekend! :)

I'm a strict mom too, and just to throw my two cents in there... I think we're doing the right thing. I get so annoyed with parents who don't teach their kids how to act. So, good job, Mom! :)

Candace said...

WEll, I am so disappointed.. you did not post those recipes on our blog! Whatever...

Amanda said...

I have been waiting all day for that:) And it was worth the wait! You are so brave yourself. I would never take P and L to the beach alone....I would pack the whole house....and..well...and...we all know I don't travel:)

I am glad you had a great time...I loved all the reflection:) And WHY did you let Izey get sunburned??!!! He is a perfect baby to travel so well and take naps everywhere:)

Amanda said...

were the smores as good as they looked?

Goodnight moon said...

Okay, so I will admitt this, only because I am pregnant of course.......but I had to get the tissue's out! Yes, thats right, I cried!

I am feeling the same way with my kids. I feel like all I do is yell at them because I want them to be perfect ALL the time...and like you said, "they ARE kids".

Thanks for all the reflections! I know I have told you this before, but you truely are such a great mom!!!! I've seen you in action, and your awesome! And your kids are awesome too!!!!!

I think I need to run away too!!!!

Laura said...

How awesome. I'm glad that it worked out and everyone had fun in and outta the sun. I was waiting and crossing my fingers the whole post that there would be no bad drama like a flat tire or lost kid or something. Does pollution melt away mean brain cells? .
I think it's funny you think you're strict, because I think that you're laid back. maybe you're more of a behind the scenes strict. or strict about certain things. Either way, you're doing FAB. Pat yourself on the bum. oops. i mean back.

Bonnie said...

I'm so glad that you're back!
That resort looks awesome! O would love an indoor water park right about now! I wish I could take the kids away for some of that fun, but I think that I might go crazy. You are one brave mama!

As for the haircut.. well I can't imagine Isaak being ornery much less awnery... whatever that is :-) I think you may have been around Amber way too long!

I'm glad that you put so many pictures up, I was starting to forget their beautiful faces!

Bonnie said...

Oh, and what's this about a recipe blog... I was never invited! That's crap, total crap!

Valinda said...

That sounds fabulous! I'm so happy to hear you got away and your kids were great. They are so sweet and it's a good thing to be reminded of that once in a while! I think I need one of those vacations. :)

***** said...

Congratulations on a well deserved Holiday. We thought of you throughout the weekend and hoped you would have a great time. Thanks for sharing the pictures and your thoughts. There are no ends to vacations, just beginnings of plans for the next one. MA and SE.

tiffanyg said...

What a great way to run away!! I'm glad you had a great time with your children.
P.S. I love PF Changs!

Carolina said...

While reading your post...I felt so relaxed!! You have a great writing skill...believe it!!

You are doing the greatest work which is being a mother and I'm glad you were able to see the fruits of your labor with different eyes!

The beach looked amazing and glad you got away...and so glad I was right and knew you would let us in on ALLL THE DETAILS!!

Dana said...

That looked like the best vaca ever. I am so glad you all are feeling better. Just getting away and do wonders. What was your chicken dip receipe?

Adam & Brandi said...

So glad you are back! But more importantly, I am so glad that you had a great vacation getaway. You deserved it, we all do! We just got back from vacation too but we went where there was more snow, so I can't "really" relate. But we too had a lot of fun just getting away. I will definitely have to remember the whole short hair thing down the road. Who'da thought? Oh, I bet you feel safer at home now having a BRAVE 4 year old around all the time. ;) That is just too cute! Well now that you are feeling all nice and refresheed I am sure it won't be too long before we see another one of your weekly wanna be's! hehehe Take your time. ;)

Lindsay said...

one of the best posts... EVER. I loved all the pictures.. and i'm so proud of my miah. :) and izey is getting so big!!! :/

Sara said...

looks like a well needed relaxing weekend...I almost went there too! How funny that would have been!
and there's nothing wrong with being strict.....obviously what you're doing is working!

Paige said...

I LOVED this post. Thanks, Jessica!

Froggylady said...

I am so glad you had such an awesome rejuvenating weekend!

Anonymous said...

how glad u guys got to just relax.

Anonymous said...

so jealous.

Deanna said...

So glad you had a nice time and are back. I was worried about you for a while there. You are a great mom!

Unknown said...

Wow. You were a busy lady! How delightfully impulsive. I'm so glad you had fun, and I loved hearing about each of your children's special characteristics! :)

David and Teresa said...

What a wonderful family vacation. Looks like Jakob has the longest arms hanging on that basketball goal.
Did you have the beach to yourself? It sure looked like it. Miah is getting so brave. I love Issak's new hair cut. Kora is such a mother. Your whole family is just beautiful. Where did you get that strict stuff? You are a wonderful Mom. Love Dad

Chablis said...

Oh my gosh!!! This is exactly what I need right now. Do you know of any warm beaches near Anchorage??

I find myself being the SAME mom, especially when my hubby is away too. "Just getting through" the days is not working.

Way to go. Looks like so much fun.

Jess said...

I know everybody already said this, but I'm refreshed by this post too! The resort looks amazing. Let's ditch the Outer Banks this summer and go back to this baby.

Okay, I had to get out the tissues as well! And I'm not even preggo like Amber. I think you are an incredible mom; I have really learned a lot from your example. I love how in this post you detail all of your kiddos personalities and why you love them and why they are so great. And they are! And you are great too.

I miss you.

Glad you had such a wonderful weekend. The pics of Izey rock. I want to kiss his precious little face. I love marine haircuts!

Anonymous said...

OOH, the kids look sooo happy in all teh photos. Good for you and being brave with just the kiddies. You are such a liar about not being able to handle the "single mommyness" that will eventually be a part of your life. You are super mom/wifey. I love that you loved the place.