Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Play Dates at the Beach

Dallas and I have been married for almost 6 years now, which means I have had to endure the infamous "busy season" six years and counting.  The first few busy seasons were fine due to working full time in California and not having any kids.  Even the first busy season with Daxton seemed fine, because it allowed me endless time to snuggle with my baby and hang with friends.  This busy season has been a bit more difficult.  Daxton is at a much more demanding age, we're in a new area, and we're still in the process of meeting people.  One of the only reasons Daxton and I were able to make it through February, was because of these amazing girls pictured below.  Over the course of these last few months, I've had the amazing opportunity to solidify incredible relationships with these girls and their children.  It's been fun to watch Daxton start to interact and play with others around him.

Another major help through busy season is the endless sun and gorgeous weather.  Usually busy season hits in the dead of winter, which in Northern California meant lots of rain for 2 straight months, but here it is a much different story.  Almost everyday we've been outside exploring nature.  The humidity disappeared and the sun remained constant...what more could a person ask for!?

Several of our weekly play dates have been at the beach.  Being a short 15 minute driving distance from our home, we were all too happy to meet up with friends and hang out at the various beaches lining the South Florida coastline.  A popular beach with most of the girls is Dania beach, due to it's easy access parking lot, bathrooms, and short distance to the water.  It's not my favorite, since we've usually been there when there's seaweed, but any day at the beach is fine by me!

Our camp setup with lots of toys and snacks for the little ones... 

Brooke, Macy, Julian, Joey, and Daxton all get along really well together.  It's so nice to be able to sit back and simply relax at the beach.  This day in particular was even more relaxing because Daxton didn't want to get in the mommy running after him to make sure he doesn't drown!

The kids had a blast building sand castles, digging large holes, and playing with their sand toys.  Macy was pretty funny staking claim to one of our beach chairs as if her life depended on it.

Sisters Macy and Brooke

Little buddies, Julian and Joey

My little beach bum, Daxton

 Another beach we've frequented often over the past few months is Fort Lauderdale beach.  It's a bit closer for me and a little better maintained, since it's right next to several hotels, but you do have to cross a rather busy street and walk further to get to the water.
We usually go in the mornings around 9:30am, set up camp, and play til around 1 or 2 depending on how long the kids last.  We have quite the routine now, packing in lots of fun things on his stroller, baby powder to help with sand, and yummy snacks for the kiddos.  I still can't believe this is our life now.  It feels so surreal to be able to plan play dates at such beautiful beaches!
 Since the sun is ever constant, I have converted to beach umbrellas, 100spf sunscreen, and swim shirts!  I remember when we first moved here my aunt told us that true Floridians are never tan.  I can totally see why now!  You have to have constant protection or you'd get burnt everywhere you went. 

Here are just a few pictures from some of our adventures at the beach this winter...

Eating grapes on his royal throne!
One thing I've learned is if something gets dropped in the sand, washing it off with salt water never hurts...

Yeah he has absolutely no clue how good he has it!
Lounging in the sun, grapes on his lap, sand on his face, sunglasses in place, being able to run in and out of the warm ocean...
I absolutely love our lives here in South Florida!

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