They got to touch a baby shark, a starfish, see lots of different jellyfish, and we even found Nemo! It’s a decent size aquarium and it was most definitely engaging for the kids. Their favorite might have been touching the starfish that they requested to go back one last time to touch them before we took off. My favorite were all the different jellyfish. They are just absolutely captivating to watch.
We headed back home before traffic got really bad, and we were going to take True to have a special birthday dinner, but all she wanted was salmon burgers that we already had at home. Thus, we just went straight home and salmon burgers is what she got! I did have a special cake waiting for her, so she got her birthday song and a chance to make her birthday wish. One of her other birthday requests was a ocean/mermaid/swimming themed party with her friends, but since her birthday was on a Friday, she had to wait until Sunday to fulfill that part of her birthday wish. There will be another post for that later, but I have to wait until my brother-in-law sends over the pictures.
Just looking at these pictures make my heart swell. I can’t believe my biggest girl is 7! That went by so fast!
If you’re looking at the pictures of me in the morning and thinking I totally got camera ready, yes, I did. Not for the camera though, but because Sunday mornings are tight with having to get dressed (and the four girls ready) to get out of the house and get to church on time, that I had already gotten up and started getting ready for church while I was waiting for my breakfast in bed. When they were ready, I hopped back in bed. After I ate, all I had to do was change out of my pajamas and we pretty much took off for church soon after that.
The rest of the day was perfectly simple and low key. We gathered with church family, then we met my family for lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant, where we pretty much stuffed our bellies. We made it home around 5, served the girls dinner, then had them in bed by 7 for their quiet (reading) time, and then Ben and I were relaxing in our room with sushi, frozen yogurt, and a movie by 8. I told Ben not to plan anything and I didn’t want anything. We’ve been working on house projects, so spending our money towards things for the house was a good enough present for me. I was just so happy to have a simple, stress-free day with my sweet family, so this Mama’s Day was exactly what this mama needed. As crazy as I get sometimes, I’m so thankful that these girls are mine and that I get to love, teach, and grow with them, even if there are a lot of bumps (sometimes it feels like major turbulence) on the road while doing so.
p.s. this was my favorite picture of the day. #stilllovethempolaroids
on me: top, modcloth (last year). shorts and belt, thrifted. shoes, madewell. on true: dress, c/o homespun vintage (brave wore the same one last week). on brave: dress, vintage. on soul: top, misha lulu. dress, c/o homespun vintage. on glow: dress, vintage. all their sandals are salt-water sandals.
When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, besides her request for a party (and all the specifics to go in it), she said, “Anything swimming, ocean, or mermaid.” Then she followed that up with, “You can just make me something mommy!” So make is what I did.
I ended up making her a mermaid doll and had Ben drill a hole in a little seashell the girls collected, and sewed that onto her head. She came out looking pretty sweet and quirky. I just knew True would love her. Then, we were going to get her another bathing suit, but then I came across these turquoise glittery sandals (for $10!) at the store, which seemed mermaid-ish, so I got that for her as well (we ended up not giving her a bathing suit).
With everything I had made, I was kind of thinking she needed a special birthday dress because having a special birthday dress is a must, right?! This was totally a last minute idea. I remembered I had this Heather Ross fabric from her “Mermaids” line that I have been holding onto for at least 3 years, so I took that out and went off into dress making. I kind of mimicked this dress I made for myself long ago, and thankfully it all came out fantastic on my first try. Good thing, because I wouldn’t have had anymore fabric had I messed up. We gave her all her gifts during breakfast and she was quite happy and thankful for all of it. We also gave her her first real Bible now that she is such an avid reader. It’s sweet because she’s been reading bits of it at night with Ben.
My mom doesn’t know the meaning of the word simple and when she plans for a meal, she goes all out. Always. In fact, my parents went to the port at 2am to get all the seafood as fresh as possible. 2AM!!! My parents are crazy! Somehow my mom has the talent to cook for 50 people all the time, when in fact there usually is only about 20 people coming, and all she makes is delicious. No joke. Neither my siblings or I got that talent of hers. She definitely has the gift of hospitality. Sadly, it didn’t rub off on me too much. I’m horrible at hospitality!
The girls got to do another egg hunt, we all had lots of fun feasting, and I had a blast eating crab. It’s one of my favorite things to eat. My hands get all stinky, I break shell with my teeth, and the juice splatters everywhere, but to me, it tastes so yummy. It was my request for the Easter meal. There was fried calamari, salmon, yellow tail, shrimp, mussels, and lots of fruit and desserts galore. We left with our tummies full, hearts happy, and very tired little girls. It was a wonderful day full of joy to celebrate the day our Lord has risen. We most definitely had a glorious Easter!church family, then hopping from Ben’s family to mine, so we made sure to do our own family Easter thing on Saturday. We went to Citrus State Park to go on a family picnic and do our egg hunt in an orange grove. Every time we have passed this park, True always wants to go and roam, but we never do, so we knew that a little time at the citrus park that afternoon was going to be perfect to celebrate Easter together.
It’s a massive orange grove, so we limited our eggs to one row and within 4 trees on each side of that row. Ben did a good job hiding the eggs and if we left some, then someone will get a surprise one day when they find it. The girls were totally into it, especially that little Glow. She watched what her big sisters were doing and she immediately knew what to do! It took us a bit of time to get situated after the girls ran around, Ben laying the eggs out, then doing the egg hunt, that we didn’t get to actually have our picnic. The park close time was earlier than we thought, so we had to skedaddle out of there. Instead, we drove down the road a bit, pulled over on the side of the road right next to the orange groves and had the picnic in our car. With 4 kids, you’ve gotta try and stay flexible when things don’t go as planned. I don’t always flex so easily, but this day, we all just rolled with it. Thankfully.
It’s a place not too far from us, so we’d love to go exploring more when we’re able to. Next time, we will be sure to allow for ample picnic time in the orange grove. Despite our picnic getting cut short, I think it’s obvious from these pictures that the girls still had the most lovely time. Wouldn’t you agree?!