family beach day


Overheard, just now:

“MOM?  My face is hurting.”  ~Dave

“Your face is red.” ~Sarah


Yesterday was a lovely day to go to the beach.  Rich didn’t have to work, so as soon as we got out of bed we began getting ready to go.  This year we gave the children each their own bag to carry and it made things much easier.  Our youngest child is four years old now and what a difference it makes to do things (we’ve never had a four year old “baby”….another one has always come along by that time).  As a mother hen personality *without any babies to care for*, I was almost able to relax yesterday.  ALMOST.

We drove about an hour to get to the beach, with one stop to Dunkin Donuts.  When we arrived, we parked the vehicle and all walked along the shore to find a place to set up.  Rich went to go change, but the rest of us had worn our suits under our clothes and were able to get directly into the water.


Sarah took her life jacket but as she is afraid of getting water in her face, I let her spend some time without it, digging in the sand and sitting in the water on the very edge.  She had a great time which was a delight to see.  She didn’t rest or stop once all day, except to eat lunch.

Jacob did some walking with Ethan, and spent some time in our tent playing solitaire.  Toward the end of the day he played again like I haven’t seen him do in a while….he’s growing up….but I saw him dunking and throwing his little brothers, getting into a sand fight, and building a sand castle.


Seth had to wear his life jacket more often than Sarah did, because he had no fear of the water and wanting to swim and do everything his big brothers did.

We had a small tragedy with Seth.  Ethan, David, and had disappeared down the beach and I was nervous so I told Rich I would walk down to locate them.  I took little Seth with me and we went all the way down to the rock-formed fishing pier.  Caleb was playing on the other side in warm shallow water, but Dave and Ethan had swam out to a small “island” and were sitting on it, resting.  I decided to sit and wait for them, and keep an eye on them, since it was far from the shore and I was nervous about them swimming that distance without supervision.  Seth climbed down to play with Caleb but just as I sat down he slipped and cut his foot on something.  He made his way back up to me and his foot was dripping rapidly with blood.  I carried him down to the water’s edge to rinse it off and realized that he had sliced a deep one inch gash on the inside ball of his foot.

My own leg was wet and red with his blood and I had to wash myself off, too.  He was so brave and hardly cried, just made some distress noises as I told Caleb to run back to get Dad, so we could carry Seth back to our tent.  Thankfully, his foot stopped bleeding, which was a relief…but it was open and sore for the rest of the day.  We put him in the tent and he rested with me by his side, and Jacob and Grace were with us, too.  Rich went down to make sure Ethan and Dave came back okay.  I was upset for a little while (on the inside), shaking and so sad about Seth’s foot.  I was upset with E and D for going off like that, but I knew that they were safe and just having an adventure and it was fine.  I just hate that vulnerable feeling that my children could get hurt badly at any time, or we could lose one.

I didn’t say anything to the boys when they walked back with their Dad, they were fine and I didn’t want to ruin the joy they had in their experience.  But I did tell Ethan later on, when he was about to go off and do it again, to stay around with us.


“I’m sixteen why won’t mom let me swim a quarter of a mile out into the ocean!”  (he’s not really saying that but it makes a good caption)


We left Grace and Dave and went to get some lunch at a seafood place.  We stopped off at CVS so I could run in and get a bandage for Seth’s foot.  My stress dissipated when I was back in the car and realized that I had bought the largest bandages they had, because in my mommy mind Seth’s cut was HUGE and TERRIBLE, and needed a five inch square bandaid.  I wish you could have heard the things Jacob was mumbling when I asked him to put it on him.  I laughed to tears.  In order to use it, he had to put it up around Seth’s toes!  It never worked right, by the time we got back and he took his shoes back off the whole bandage came off with it.

Rich and I had a buttery lobster rolls for lunch, and whole red boiled potatoes.  Jacob had a mixed basket of fried seafood, and Ethan had crab legs.  We took back fried shrimp for Grace and Dave, who were happy and having fun together when we got back.



I like this picture because all seven children are in it.  Seth was tired of sitting on a towel so he swam some more, running with a pronounced limp.

Rich went for a nice beach run.  He also played catch with the football with Ethan and Seth.





Sarah had sand in every nook and cranny.  She found a pink pony tail holder in the water and kept it with so much happiness.  She also got to play with a little girl just her size, named Chloe.  Grace and I watched them play and they were so cute that Grace remarked that Sarah would have made a good twin.



Big brother Jacob threw sand at David and Caleb.

We left the beach at 5:30, which was a process in itself since we all had to rinse off and get changed into clean underthings.  I was in charge of Sarah and honestly, the sand didn’t come off until this morning’s bath.


After we left the ocean, we went to a bookstore.  It was an independent bookseller, and I like those shops the best because they are always so unique.  The bad part is you pay full price for books, unless you can find something on the clearance table.   I love this picture of the children waiting for Dad to finish buying Mom’s books.  David’s turning red with sunburn and yawning, Caleb and Ethan are looking at a “where’s waldo” book, and Sarah Joy is itching the sand out of her hair.



We went to a pizza place for dinner,  just down the road from the bookstore.



David’s face seemed to get redder and redder.  He used to suffer from mild eczema as a child and even now sunburns and rashes bother him more than the other children.



We sat at three tables.  The big kids played cards and Sarah dragged her chair over to be by Grace.  Rich was showing something to Jacob on his phone.  They had a pepperoni and meatball pizza at their table.

David, Seth, and Caleb sat at their own table with a cheese pizza.

Rich and I had clam pizza at our table.


At the end of a fun day.  It was about 8pm when Grace took this picture of the tired but happy parents.

We drove home in the rain, listening to Winnie the Pooh.


What We Did:

Hammonasset State Park; Connecticut residents pay 9 dollars a car on the weekdays to get in.

Lenny & Joes Fish Tale for lunch.  A casual fish fry place, with a small carousel in the back, and a creamy soft serve ice cream stand.

RJ Julia Booksellers; an independently owned bookstore with great books.

Bradley and Wall Gourmet Foods, for pizza.  When we were there last night the place was fully staffed by young college aged kids — they were busy, happy, and energetic.  The pizza was delicious, we ordered three large and came home with about half a pizza leftover.




10 thoughts on “family beach day

  1. What a beautiful day with the people you love the most! So glad seth didnt need the hospital! I can relate to everything in this story. Accidents, a 16 year old, and waiting in a bookstore, or anywhere for that matter lol.
    Thankyou for sharing your life with us! Love the sweet picture of you and your husband! 🙂

  2. I feel for your minor tragedy Shanda. When we were snorkeling off Western Australia just before returning to Pittsburgh, Sophie went off on her own into the ocean, and we couldn’t find her for at least twenty minutes or more. I was so upset … She is an excellent swimmer, better than we are, but I so hate that feeling that one of our kids might be in danger and we might be powerless to help them. Glad to hear the day turned out well.
    …One more thing, Cameron has the same problem with his skin, so he will sympathize with David!!

  3. I loved hearing about your time at the beach. We went to the beach a lot as a child, and it was also about an hour’s drive for us.

    I’m sorry Seth hurt his foot, but I’m glad he’s doing better and it wasn’t as bad as it seemed at first. The seafood sounds delicious! It’s one thing I’ll miss being further from the coast, now. It was plentiful and cheap down where we use to live.

    Sweet picture of you and Rich. 🙂

  4. sounds like a wonderful day! we recently spent a week long vacation with our three children,their spouses and eight grandkiddos. a few days,our whole crew went to the beach. lots of fun but this Grandma was constantly doing a head count! 🙂 not exactly relaxing…………..

  5. What a great family day, despite poor Seth cutting his foot. I guess all mom’s can relate. I chuckled when I read about the band aid you bought. My guys would tease me too. I think whole days together are so special. Such a good looking crew you have. Happy Summer!

  6. What a fun, fun day. Beach days are probably my most favorite! Our beach is Lake Michigan though, not the ocean….but, the lake looks a lot like the ocean, minus the salt!
    I wish we lived closer to the ocean…I so love it there.

    I know exactly what you mean about being able to relax (almost! 😉 without little ones. I have felt that way for the past few years since my youngest is 8. It’s so much easier when everyone can take care of themselves. You’re still busy, but in a different kind of way. It’s nice.
    Now this fall we will be back at the beginning with a new baby on the way!!! 🙂

    I too get nervous at the adventures my boys take! It’s hard having teenage boys who think they are invincible!
    Thanks for sharing your day…I now want seafood! Which is really hard to find around our area. 😉
    Happy Tuesday to you.

  7. Wonderful beach! Wonderful day. I hope Seth’s foot is making a good recovery. As mom’s, we tend to see the worst in every scrape, cut, and fall. Better the bandage was too big than too small, lol. And the day after, at home, is always lovely. Feels good to be home again. Happy Summer!

  8. What a sweet picture of you and rich!! and i loved reading all the details of your beach day!! with so many children there is always a minor tragedy of some sort:):) on our beach day the kids were swimming in a shallow little creek off the lake near the shore….there is a unmarked sudden drop off only about 3 meters wide and up to just above my head…well we didn’t know about it and my two littlest ones were swimming around happily when suddenly one went under…my other little girl just a year older noticed and went after her sister to pull her out and well…she is little too so they both went under….thankfully the broken post that used to hold the warning sign was right there and my the older one hung onto it while the younger one hung onto her…they are only 6 and 7 years old!!! I went running in and grabbed them both but couldn’t move and had to ask for help. it was quite frightening to say the least!!! the rest of the creek is only to their waist!!! who would have thought that it could be dangerous!!!

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