By The Seashore

Hatteras Island, N.C

We spent our last week of Summer vacation by the ocean with family...spending our everyday hunkered down in the sand...dipping toes in cool water and equal parts hiding pale skin from the sun and trying to convince Phoebe Girl to get into the pool. There were seashell hunts by day and big family dinners by night...sore thighs from scaling the lighthouse (Max came with me this year!) and lots of moments to breathe in salty air and feel forever thankful for another beautiful summer together.

summer's end in hatteras

Hatteras, N.C- August 2014

Max started back to school last week and we're slowly falling back into old rhythms and routines. We managed to squeeze in one last week away at the beach before school and it was a fine way of soaking up all the last good bits that summer has to offer. Lazing in the sand, bouncing between sun and shade, seashell hunting and wave crashing and the best time hiding out with family. Max is our forever fish--brave and fearless, while Phoebe prefers streaking on the beach and chasing crabs and keeping a stern eye on the water.

The ocean is an endless gift of salt and's certainly not lost on this Midwestern gal.

hatteras island

we're back from our week with the waves and the sand. i'm still digging bits of sand out of phoebe's's such a comfort. a small and funny reminder of where we've been. we spent all of our time lazing about...holed up with matt's beautiful family in a beach house...bobbing around in the ocean and watching bee scuttle around the beach like a tiny bird. i gathered my weight in seashells and painted a little and fell asleep every night to the sounds and rhythms of the water. not too shabby! not one bit! a girl could get used to such a way of living...

next week my max is off to 3rd grade and life picks back up where we left it. hatteras was the perfect way to send off our summer...

cape hatteras

our week away in cape hatteras was as blissful and quiet and restful as any time i've ever had. it was the perfect end of summer escape.
vacations usually come with a stuffed itinerary...things to do and see and taste and smell and not enough time for any of it. and often times we come home feeling more exhausted then before we left. but this one, this one was a laid back kind of trip. we fell into a beachy way of living from day one...where the only plan was to just sit and be and the only routine was sunscreen and a late lunch.
we hid away in a giant sandcastle of a house on the beach with matt's dad and step mom, brothers, aunt and uncle and cousins. matt's family is wonderful with traditions! they've been coming to cape hatteras for years and years. being all together became our own little beach commune...with homemade dinner every night around a large table, late night bonfires on the beach, and plenty of hands taking care of the little ones.
we stayed on the beach all week long, leaving only for quick grocery store runs and for matt to take me to the hatteras lighthouse. i had never been up in a lighthouse before! 
the rest of the time was spent under an umbrella with sand in our toes and salty wet hair. there were lots of book reading and knitting and friendship bracelet making...bocce ball and kite flying and poker games. i collected seashells like a 5 year old...they were like amazing little treasures each one! i couldn't pass them up. days after being back, i'm still finding them in random pockets. 

i woke up early a few mornings to be alone on the walk and paint and think. painting by the ocean is something i remember reading out of a children's book when i was was about a girl who painted on the sand dunes. i've always had an ache to try it. i found the perfect spot on the top of a dune and 10 year old katie was beside herself! it was just like the book...painting on a sand dune...listening to the ocean move...getting bits of sand stuck in the paint and washing out the brushes in ocean water.

growing up i've always been a little bit timid about the ocean. it's so alive...constantly moving and pulling. i got such a kick out of seeing how fearless max was with it. he took to the salty water like a shiny fish...darting around, getting carried up in the waves. he shark fished with the older boys and effortlessly boogie boarded on waves that sent me crashing into the ocean floor (i've got the scrapes and broken tailbone to prove it). 
 it's a hoot finding out your son is a real beach bum at heart. and i guess we all kind of were.
it did my heart some good to start this new summer tradition with max and matt.
new memories of ghost crab hunting and sandcastle smashing...moving to a slower rhythm and being with family in one of the most beautiful places around.
now that's how you end a summer!

p.s. keep your fingers crossed for max. he starts his new school tomorrow! i'm a bit of a ball of nerves for him.
first grade, make way!

easy breezy

 i woke up this morning in my own bed...hidden bits of stowaway sand in our sheets and the sound of waves still crashing in my mind.
we had a wonderful week away! cape hatteras was even more beautiful than i could have dreamed up.
there are lots of photos to sort through and unpacking to do...and baby boy starts his first day of first grade at a new school this week! a busy last few days of summer. which is good...i'm just the worst at long goodbyes.
i'll be back tomorrow with way too many beach pictures and stories...shark fishing, ghost crabs, boogie boarding injuries and sand stuck in the ungodliest of places. 

happy happy monday, loves!

sway me like the sea

happy friday, loves!
we're currently on the road on our way to cape hatteras. it's been years and years since i've been able to take max on such a trip. i think getting to visit the ocean seems like the kindest way to say goodbye to our summer. and i'm planning on soaking up every last bit.
one of my favorite things about road trips is the music (and we'll need lots of it for this long long trip). 
i made a little mix tape for the ode to warm sunshine and the sea and sweet sweet summer. 
 ...something to hum to myself while max is burying me in the sand.

take good care of yourselves while i'm gone!
i'm going to try and gather enough seashells and souvenirs for every last one of us! and i've lined up a real special group of ladies to fill in for me while we're away...all dishing on the best parts of their summer.
please make them feel at home...spread the welcome mat!
 have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
be back in about a week or so...
north carolina or bust!