Our First Family Vacation

Well, I feel like every single blog post starts with something to the affect of "it's been so long". I saw another photographer make reference to feeling out of the loop since being in a year of baby bliss and I felt like she was saying exactly what I was thinking. Instead of going on and on, I'll just quickly repeat...I miss you, I love you, I need you, I have lots to say, lots of sessions to show, no extra time to do it, thank you for hanging around, don't give up on my blog yet. Baby bliss is the perfect way to describe it. What better way to say hi than my annual vacation recap.

IMG_0323
IMG_0323

Every year we visit the Tampa Bay area...Dunedin, FL to be exact. When we hit the causeway, we always comment that it feels like home. This year, we added a baby and lots of unknowns. We weren't sure if he would like it, if everyone on the flight would end up hating us, if he would adjust, etc. etc. After hearing about others experiences we were sure it would not be relaxing and we would be even more exhausted when we got home, but it would be worth it because we would make these life long memories. It didn't take long to realize that having him along made things different, but possibly even better than before. I will say that the first half of the vacation and the second half were completely different. Of course he adjusted. Of course he loved it. He loves people. He loves new things. He loves to explore. We were around new people most of the time and he was thrilled. He loved the beach, the sand, and the water. He loved it and it wore him out. He loved the never ending area to crawl. He napped on the beach and we relaxed. My heart melted with delight while I watched him prance down the beach with joy in his heart and splashed around as the water washed up on his legs. I loved every time he crawled up in my lap when he was ready for his 10:30 nap. I couldn't stop staring at him sleeping so deeply and just so relaxed. We soaked in the sun and got to enjoy our time with each other. It honestly couldn't have been better.

IMG_0372bw
IMG_0372bw
vacation2012b
vacation2012b

The next two are very similar, but taken on separate days. I just couldn't pick one.

IMG_0404
IMG_0404
vacation2012c
vacation2012c
vacation2012d
vacation2012d

One of my favorite things about FL, live oak trees.

IMG_0672bw
IMG_0672bw

Beach and wild flowers...yes thank you.

vacation2012k
vacation2012k
vacation2012j
vacation2012j
vacation2012i
vacation2012i
vacation2012h
vacation2012h
vacation2012g
vacation2012g
vacation2012f
vacation2012f
vacation2012e
vacation2012e

And my absolute favorite pictures from the trip are these next three. He's got Daddy's dance moves already.

IMG_0647
IMG_0647
vacation2012l
vacation2012l

When Tropical Storm Debby hung out just close enough to bring terrible wind, insane rain, and tornadoes, it kinda changed things a little. We were glued to the condo one full day and still wasn't able to go to the beach after that due to strong winds. We were still on vacation, away from the every day worries, and able to enjoy each other. The hard part was keeping things new and interesting for our wild child and keeping him away from the stairs. If you think about it though, it's moments like that where an opportunity is presented to truly create the life long memories. The most special memories are created when things are ideal. This is where we can all get creative. We're still learning this whole parenting thing, so our "keep baby entertained" skills are still developing.

We did build our very first fort. It was pitiful, but it was perfect. I'll always remember my husband's reluctancy, but his excitement once we got started. How we wondered how people did these with just couches. How did they hold them in place? Then how my heart melted when Steff crawled inside to hang out with his Daddy. You know those moments that make you stop? That was one of them. With Bret, I always called them the "I'm so in love with you" moments. I always sigh and breath it in. Now I guess it's the "I can't believe I'm a Mommy" moments with Steffen. In the quickness of every day life, it's nice to have moments that make you take the time to breath and enjoy what's right in front of you.

vacation2012m
vacation2012m

We did go to the beach a couple days to see the waves and to say bye to the Gulf.

IMG_0759bw
IMG_0759bw
IMG_0735bw
IMG_0735bw

Boxes were a big source of entertainment during this part of the trip.

IMG_0765
IMG_0765
vacation2012n
vacation2012n

So, despite the yucky weather, we did get to complete my favorite part of our trip, visiting our dear friend Stacey. I was so so excited to have our babies finally be able to play together and hold her sweet sweet baby C. I had high hopes that she would at least be his summer love, but considering he stole her toys, I'll put those wishes on the back burner for now. One of the most special parts of the trip was sitting outside with Stacey, nursing our babies to sleep, and chatting about their births and life since. I truly wish there weren't so many states between us, but I am thankful that the internet makes her feel just a little bit closer. I always say that I admire her and her sister Amy because they are such amazing mommas. I look to them for a constant source of inspiration and mommy tips (not to mention how much they've both meant to my photography as well with Amy being the one to introduce me to lifestyle photography and Stacey being there to answer my silly questions here and there).

IMG_9942
IMG_9942

Looky...my baby has curls!

IMG_9947bw
IMG_9947bw
IMG_3133
IMG_3133
vacation2012
vacation2012
vacation2012a
vacation2012a

Now for our vacation at a glance via the iPhone. Sadly, this is how most of our family pictures are taken these days. I'm so thankful to have it! So much love and xoxo,

Cilla