Saturday, March 2, 2013

February! Florida! Fun!

The time approached as it does every year - the Michigan winters - Grand Rapids especially - is so dark, gloomy, cloudy, cold, snowy, icy, depressing, blah blah blah... Every year, Brian and I get the itch to get OUT OF HERE.  (We also begin to second guess why we live here since neither of us ski, ice skate, snowboard, snowshoe, cross-country ski, make snow angels, etc). It's time for the annual pilgrimage to somewhere warm.  Lately, it seems that Brian and I have taken the kids on vacation one year and then rotate a trip in for ourselves - 2013 happened to be family year.  It just so happens that our vacation this year was following a massively sick January/February in the Murray household, so sunny weather seemed exactly what the doctor ordered.

One overwhelming thought prevented me from getting on the plane...

Flying with Evan.  Flying is painful, airports are a drab and security is annoying.  Adding in an energetic, enthusiastic yet stubborn 22-month old seemed like punishment.

But the sun called.  And so did our better judgement.

Flight one...he's somewhat skeptical. And has really short bangs.

This was Hour 2 of sprinting after Evan in the airport...and about 20 elevator rides later. 
Poor little bugger had just gotten over a bought of bronchitis a few days before we left.  The night before we left, I noticed that he had (yuck) all of the symptoms of pink eye.  I paged our amazing pediatrician, he called in eye drops and I was off to the nearest 24-hour pharmacy.  Crisis averted.

Until we got to the airport the next day.  After we had checked through security (and I paid $100 extra for my 62 pound suitcase - what a ripoff), we settled in for our wait.  And then I noticed all of the fluid that had accumulated in Evan's ear.  Due to the tubes in his ears, an infection will drain into the ear canal, but needs to be treated with ear drops.  Paged our physician again (who had to be so happy to hear from me on a Sunday, after already hearing from me on Saturday) who called in ear drops.  I left the airport, went to the pharmacy to grab the goods and headed back.

Let the trip begin.

So considering all of that nonsense, Evan did amazing on the flight.  Gavin and Cohen were great and very excited and safely made it to Remington Beach, Florida after 10 hours of travel.

Brian's parents, Ed and Cindy, rented a house for a month, right across from the beach.  Seeing Evan touch the sand and play in the Gulf for the first time was incredible. The boys had so much fun playing on the beach; seeing such big smiles and belly laughs is good for the soul; something you didn't realize you were missing until you see it.

Evan was hesitant of the sand until he realize it could be thrown/shoveled/kicked/moved.

Busy, busy.

My handsome boogie boarder.

Three little happy boys.
I'd love to share pictures of our whole family together, with Ed and Cindy, but the one night we took them, they didn't turn out.  But the weather was beautiful, the sun was shining and the wine was flowing.  Evan and I ran together on the beach every morning. I started Happy Hour every night at 5:00 pm (with or without companions) and slept until Evan woke up in the morning.  It was the first vacation in years without doctors appointments, surgeries or thoughts of surgery.  It was just time loving my husband, hugging my children and enjoying every moment with my family.

Celebrating Brian's Birthday on a Date Night at The Lobster Pot! (Look how long my hair is getting!)

Cohen eating alligator!  He loved it.

The three of them have such a special bond with each other.

Gavin, Evan and Cohen cuddling with Walter.

Our only family picture from our ENTIRE vacation.
Tricia and her entire family - Jim, Laney, Kylie and Jameson came down to Florida and their trip overlapped with us for a few days. I wish we could have spent more time with them but the second phase of our trip was waiting for us!

Evan and I headed over to Orlando to stay with my mom and dad and Meghan and Michael.  Instead of the beach, we spent time at the pool, visited with fabulous friends and family and had Happy Hour every night at 5:00 pm (no worries - always had companions when drinking with the Klines).

Evan and Nana proved to everyone they are best friends; actually, anytime Nana left the room, Evan followed along.  Evan's also a big fan of Boompa.  Evan actually prefers Nana and Boompa over everyone else (but they didn't want him to sleep in their room!)

I would love to show you how beautiful Meghan and Michael are, or happy group shots of Nana and Boompa with Evan, but again - I didn't take that many pictures.  I'm the worst. It's a good thing I don't have memory issues due to chemotherapy since I took "photographs" in my head - er, wait....

What I came away with is the overwhelming feeling that I am blessed.  I have all that I want in my life - the love of my best friend, healthy, beautiful children and incredible relationships with my family.  We have great jobs that allow us time off and the ability to take our family on vacation.  It's an amazing feeling.

Disclaimer: This feeling did escape me temporarily when Evan had a MAJOR meltdown on the flight home.  HUGE.  For SO LONG.  If I had to guess, he screamed for 40 minutes (but felt like 40 hours).  Huge tears, bright red face, thrashing in the seat we shared.  It was terrible.  So terrible, that I started crying too.  Ohmygoodness.  What freaking disasters.  Could you imagine sitting next to a screaming baby and then seeing his whack-a-doo mom start crying too?  While everyone was outwardly kind/smiling in judgment, I am sure they were thinking that I needed to get it together.  And that was how our trip ended.


  1. I am most certain that I would have been crying too had my 22 month old been having a meltdown too. LOVE your hair, beautiful as always. xo

  2. You hair looks fab, the weather looks fab and I am positive we could be best friends since your happy hour starts at 5 with or without company. We are planning a trip to florida in May and it will be my boys first flight. You have made me feel more confident we can do it. All the pictures of the beach have me itching to go now.

    Love all the pictures!