This year after the conference, we were lucky enough to have two wonderful families from Albuquerque visit us at our farm and then again at our in-law's beach house on the Jersey Shore. I have no pictures of them at the farm, though Jenny assures me that she got some good shots and Beth has some really cute ones, but I have some really wonderful photos from the beach. The weather was a bit breezy and chilly, but overall it was gorgeous and sunny and perfect. We spent our days basking in the sun and splashing in the water while our nights were spent drinking too much good wine and eating too much good food (yeah, there goes those 5 lbs I lost at the conference!). Though come to think of it, Jenny and I were really the only gluttons there—and Beth left without revealing a single vice. No fair! I mean, she doesn't even drink tea in the morning to wake up, making my two cups of ultra-strong Peet's coffee feel like speed or something. Sheesh.
Hosting such lovely ladies was a pleasure, and I'm so grateful to my in-law's for letting us have the house for the week! The kids had a blast, I think, and overall, they did a fabulous job playing, getting along, and finding solutions, considering that several of them had been on the road for 3 weeks, all of them had just been to a huge conference, most of us were dealing with varying stages of cold/ fever ick, and space was at a premium with nine people in the house!
Of course, the space on the beach goes on forever, and thank goodness for the wind and waves that allow little
girls to squeal and screech with sheer delight while protecting adult ears! Watching kids on the beach in September is one of my favorite things ever because, for me, there's little else that symbolizes such perfect freedom and joy. They have the whole beach to themselves while other kids are in school, and between the sand and the water, it's just kid heaven. When we arrived at the beach, one of the first things I did was begin digging a hole, and Beth naively asked what in the world I was doing. "If you dig it, they will come, Beth," as Emma and Eli demonstrate. Kids and sand and holes and waves—yup, heaven!