It started out as an absolutely gorgeous day. The toddlers took a particular liking to the water right off the bat, and Molly and Heather were happy to indulge them.
Bless them. This is exhausting work.
E.J. and I were the last to arrive at the beach (he took a very long morning nap!), but jumped right in with the rest of the gang as soon as we got settled.
The whole group, minus our photographer Eric!
When we took a break from the water, we toasted my mom with delicious beverages and then ate some lunch.
Not only was this beach trip special because it was in celebration of my mom's birthday, but it was also the first time E.J. put his toes in the sand and the Gulf. (He has been to the beach once before, but just kicked it on our blanket that time!) He was decidedly unimpressed with everything but Eric and I enjoyed introducing him to beach life just the same.
He certainly has the relaxing part down!
Checking out the sand
There are few things cuter than sandy little baby toes.
Seemingly no opinion one way or the other about the water.
Family of four at the beach!
Meanwhile, the big kids played in the sand with Molly...
That Aunt Molly sure is fun!
My child decided it would be fun to lay down in the sand. Yeah, that was totally fun for everyone.
...while Heather tanned, as Heather tends to do...
HEATHER COME BACK YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.
...and E.J. made the rounds.
E.J. and his birthday Grammy
Ellie won't let Great Aunt Debbie get ALL of E.J.'s attention!
Then it was back in the water for a quick dip...
Molly and Santiago
Playing with Ellie
...before the imposing rainclouds sent us packing.
We gathered all our belongings (no small task when you hit the beach with kids...they tend to require a lot of stuff) and cleaned ourselves up a bit. Eric, Ellie, E.J. and I decided to call it a day so the kids could go home to nap, while the rest of the gang went across the street to the Hurricane for a drink.
I wish we could've stayed longer and sipped margaritas and celebrated with the rest of them, but such is life with little ones. And it was pretty quickly made clear that we chose wisely:
Passed out pretty much the moment his butt hit the carseat.
We had a great day at the beach with family! Mom, I hope you enjoyed your birthday!