at the beach

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.  ~From the television show The Wonder Years


I am so tired, basically falling asleep over the keyboard, but I am determined to blog about our beach day because tomorrow is Caleb’s birthday; summer is flying by and I want my blog to keep up with it.  Jacob, Ethan, and Grace went to Six Flags on Saturday so Rich and I took David, Caleb, Seth, and Sarah to the beach.  It felt amazingly simple, to have just four children with us.  We stopped at Starbucks first and took them in with us to pick out a treat.  I had an oatmeal and a venti iced cinnamon dolce latte.  The drive to the shore was fun, feet up on the dash, and went by fast.  The kids were great  (about an hour or so). 
We parked and loaded ourselves with the beach things.  The sand was incredibly hot even with my flip flops on.  Rich got our shade tent up while I slathered sun screen on the children.  There were a lot of people there, but not too bad.  It’s fun to people watch.  The children got busy exploring and swimming.

Caleb collected shells and David collected rocks, like this one.  They were constantly bringing their finds to me, to admire.  They know I care. 

Seth took to the ocean in his typical style; no fear and tons of energy.  They only thing he hated was the taste of the ocean.  He is used to pond water and the salt was a complete shock to him.  For this reason, he doesn’t like the beach, he says.

David also is like a fish.  He can swim very very well and never uses a life jacket anymore.  He swam and swam.  Rich and I smiled to watch him (without him knowing).  I do think one of the best parts of parenting is getting to observe the children unnoticed.   David was the only one who wanted to go back to the beach the very next day.  Even though he got up with puffy, red eyes (from the water).

This is the time of year to stock up on next year’s bathing suits for the children.  My favorite brand is Land’s End, and I just got Sarah Joy a darling suit, size 4, and another one for next year which is navy with white polka dots.

I asked Rich to take some pictures with his iphone, too.  He took this one, I’m in the water with the boys and Sarah, who is very timid, stayed on shore to watch us. 

photo by Rich
photo by Rich

photo by Rich


photo by Rich


We took a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and two bags of chips.  We bought drinks at the beach.  I had a few magazines to look at and when Sarah got tired she would come lay down next to me and suck her finger…….we were at the beach for five hours!

On the way home, I took a self portrait and Sarah laughed.  The children all fell asleep and we stopped at the mall to eat at the food court.  I had a strawberry poppyseed salad from Panera.
We brought home half the beach with us and I’m still sweeping up sand. 

On Sunday, Rich took this picture of me and the kids.

Sometimes I’m so happy with my family I get tears in my eyes.  David, who is 10, doesn’t understand but I think he will, someday.

12 thoughts on “at the beach

  1. You look so beautiful in that self portrait in the car. I'm glad you had fun. Sarah is so cute when she sucks her finger. My Jack does the same thing…especially when his fingers are filthy. 🙂

  2. I had to laugh at the part about bringing the beach home with you. I remember those sandy days. What a mess but so worth the laughter and memories. Thank you for sharing your day with us.

  3. How fun! We love the beach and are blessed to live 20 minutes away. We spend the day. I read, my husband fishes and we chow down on Subway sandwiches. One of the most relaxing things to do!

  4. Oh the beach! I really hope we'll get there this summer. It's been so rainy here, it's impossible. Did the other children have a good day as well?

  5. I grew up with ponds (CT), but once married we moved to Florida. The sea-side beach is definately different. Each type of water has their own advantages. A pond doesn't have the waves to bob over (which my mother is quite happy with. she isn't keen on waves), but as you mentioned, the ocean is salty and there are jelly fish. Cold water creeks are yet a whole other adventure. I love them too as they snake through the woods.

  6. I do love that quote, Shanda! so, so true!! I thank God for the sweet memories I have! Your beach day looked so fun, and 5 hours of it sounds like heaven! We live miles and miles away from the nearest shore and it's great to be able to see it when people post about it! That is a very interesting rock David found, too! And, I hope Caleb has a grand birthday! Love your photos, each and every one! Thank you for sharing your special day with us, and for coming by my site and leaving that sweet comment! 🙂

  7. I love trips to the beach with the children! It's really the perfect place for them. Looks like you are having a fun summer Shanda!

    PS- Love the self portrait!
    PPS- I miss you on FB although I completely understand not wanting be on FB 🙂

  8. Rich is a super photographer too! I used to live at the beach and our poor mom had to deal with that sand all the time. It was a pain…Really! Glad you had such a nice time and took time so share your family with all of us. My grandkids will come in a few weeks and I plan to take them to the lake a lot and to the river. Kids love water. I will have to remember my camera. Lynn

  9. You do look so beautiful. Are you reverse aging? One of the kids on the wall. I am so glad you are happy and enjoying them. The wonder years indeed. I know you know, from your own love of family, it will continue, just in a different way. You and Rich have loved them, so it will continue!
    The beach day sounded delightful. So glad you kept it simple and enjoyed! My boys are so used to salt water, they are not so sure about lakes and ponds. So funny. Just what you are used to.

  10. I love the picture of you with Sarah in the background. 🙂 I feel so happy reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your family with us. I always feel like I am right there with you. I know what you mean about not wanting to miss writing something down. I feel like I missed writing about so many things while we were at the house. Time flies when you are having fun.

    I'm slowly catching up on all that I missed while I was away. Will have to continue reading your blog posts later, and I'm looking forward to it.

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

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