I've been sitting on this blog post for about a month, waiting for Chris to transfer his photos from his camera to the computer. But now, finally, I can tell you about our summer beach vacation!
Oh, what a week we had in North Carolina, on Topsail Island, which is my happy place. Again, we rented a house right on the beach. My cousin Liesl flew into Wilmington, and ta da! We were off to a fabulous start.
Each year, I never succeed in adequately conveying our time in Topsail. It’s my favorite place, and the ocean and sand and weathered wood decks and dune grass and pelicans and seashells and salty humidity and wide openness of water just brings my innate uptightness down several (important) notches.
For those who want the family album how-I-spent-my-summer-vacation slideshow, Chris uploaded photos HERE: http://www.thishofmannlife.com/Topsail-2015/
We had fabulous weather, with one stormy afternoon that made for excellent reading time. Nobody got sick or hurt. The girls got along with each other, LOVED Liesl, and on the whole behaved quite well.
With Liesl there, Chris and I were able to go on a date night, which was fabulously wonderful. Liesl is as low-maintenance as they come, and she was a big help with the girls. And I loved getting to hang out with her on the beach, beers in hand, yaking yaking yaking.
Charlotte and Lorelei embodied seaside joy, building sandcastles, making sand cupcakes (Melissa and Doug “baking” and cupcake set meant for the beach—Best Toy Investment EVER), splashing and playing in tidal pools, collecting shells, and making mud soup. Neither girl feared the ocean (finally!); in fact, Lorelei had to be carefully monitored to ensure she wasn’t swept out to sea. Such fearlessness. The girls played together beautifully, with only a handful of “that’s mine!” tug-of-wars. As Lorelei’s independence grows, the beach vacations are getting increasingly enjoyable. Two years ago, when Lorelei was 9 months old and my parents joined us at the beach, my dad pointed out that that year would be the worst year kid-wise. It would get easier and easier. And so it has.
Watching the girls frolic was one of the greatest heart-clutching, oh-my-girls joys this trip gave. Lorelei runs like a running back, head down and with total determination to power through anything in her path. Charlotte, however, runs, skips, twirls, and dances her way from one spot to the next. During one family walk, she unexpectedly burst into a joy-filled run down the beach. She ran, gleefully and carelessly for about a half mile, hair streaming behind her, bare feet carrying her away.
We didn’t use a single swim diaper for Lorelei, which bodes well for eventual potty training success. Only a couple accidents. Quite the relief, to see such progress on that score.
Chris read lots and mostly disconnected from work.
Leaving was a bittersweet affair; I struggle to leave my precious beach each year. As Charlotte said wistfully, watching us pack up, “I love the beach so, so much. I wish I could live here.”
Me too, baby girl. Me too.
Okay, bookshelf time. Charlotte and Lorelei have been enthralled with the goofy story, Dragons Love Tacos. It's bizarre and silly and therefore wonderful. The girls LOVE it.
Charlotte and I also started Lady Lollipop. It's a very sweet story about a spoiled princess and . . . a pig. A good transitional chapter book that I highly recommend.
Me, I finished George Eliot's Silas Marner, which improved in the second half for me. I still liked Adam Bede better (even if it IS almost 700 pages), though I admit Silas Marner is a more tightly contained story (as tightly contained as the perpetually scene-setting Eliot can do).
I also finished Hausfrau (oh, hooray), which I simply did not much like. Believe you me, I've read my share of bored-wife literature, and this one is just not as good as everyone is saying it is. It's just not.