I’m at the beach.
Actually, this is my 11th day at the beach.
So I think you already know what my thankfuls for this week are going to be. But as we wrap up our time here and prepare for just one last full day of fun, I have been reflecting and thinking over all I’ve been thankful for this week, and it might not be exactly what you’d expect.
Not that I’m entirely sure what that would be.
Regardless. Here is what I’ve been thankful for this week, in no particular order:
1. Swimming Pools. My kids, they like the actual beach pretty okay. Paxton used to be vehemently against it — he was too prissy for the sand on his feet and the waves splashing him. Now he is a fanatic and could spend all day there. Jaana, on the other hand, used to adore every single thing about the beach and could spend hours there. But somehow in the last year, her love has waned and the sand in her swimsuit thing has become a bit of a bother. So while we have enjoyed quality time with the beach, we have spent quantity time with the pool.
2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And introducing my tweeny girl to it for the first time and watching her die laughing at DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.
3. Aloe, Aquaphor and Advil. The second day here, I got a sunburn on my bottom lip. Yep, just the bottom. It was minor and took me awhile to notice because it didn’t hurt. And then one morning I woke up, and it looked as if it were I was a finalist on Lip Injections Gone Bad. I honestly was dying laughing because it was horribly swollen and the entire situation is so ironic. Because here’s the deal — of all the oh-so-many-places I could use some kind of surgical assistance, my lips is just not one of them. And I began wondering why I couldn’t have gotten burned on the stress wrinkle between my eyebrows so that it would puff up and fill itself out?
4. Getting Back on the Bike. Literally. I can’t tell you the last time I rode a bike. 17? 20? It has to have been at least 20 years. But Greg went for bike rides almost every morning, and after a few days of wogging/jogging at blissful sea level, I wanted to shake it up. Because I’m crazy like that. So I picked up a bike and went for a ride. And after a few hundred wobbly feet, I found my footing (wheeling?) and was off. It was just lovely. (Although I had to remember not to be like Meg Ryan in City of Angels and close my eyes and ride with my arms wide open.) (Because as I remember, that ends badly.)
5. Vitamin D. Cheers to getting it the natural way, and browning up in the process.
6. Alone Time. Y’all know my need to be alone is a most desperate need. And you probably also know that when your entire family goes to the beach, it’s an elusive find, like that bird Charles Muntz tries to find in Up. And somewhere around day seven, I started l-o-s-i-n-g my mind. And there’s not much to spare. So one afternoon, Greg took care of the kids and I ended up having two hours alone in the house. Alone. In the house. I showered without interruption and blew dry my hair in peace. I listened to the new Justin Timberlake album at full volume and danced around while I got ready. (Should I admit that part?) (The JT part, not the dancing part. I’m fine with the dancing part.) (Sigh.) And when I was done, I sat on my most favorite chair in the world (which happens to be here in this house) and finished a book. With the TV off and no bickering in the background. I think I lost five pounds, it was so freeing.
7. Fully Present. When you’re home in your own house, it’s hard to not give primary attention to the mounting dishes, the stinky laundry and the unswept floors. But on vacation, it’s a hall pass, is what it is. And since being here, I was able to let go of all the house stuff for awhile. And our time was spent snuggling, drinking coffee, reading books, watching movies, swimming, playing, shopping. Many afternoons, when Paxton would sleep and Greg would do work, Jaana and I would have Mommy-Daughter time. Sometimes at the pool, sometimes at the Barnes & Noble. Sometimes at the Steinmart. It was wonderful to be able to ignore the noise that tries to be louder than the moment and be fully present. I’m going to try and take that home with me.
8. Good Friends, Good Eats, Good Laughs. What’s better than vacationing at the beach? Vacationing at the beach when others you adore are there, too. And getting to spend quality time celebrating them and birthdays. And experiencing new restaurants. Kid-free. And new laughs to old stories. Stephen King is quoted as saying, “You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.” I love nothing more than chair plopping with dear friends.
9. Hair Tricks. Y’ALLLLLLLLLLLL. I accidentally discovered The Best thing that has made my hair sing. Backstory: the day I sunburned my bottom lip, I also sunburned my shoulders. Not terrible, but enough to make my bra straps hurt on them. (I know, TMI.) So after my shower I put my hair up and slathered Aquaphor on my shoulders. Then after I put my shirt on I took my hair down. Except that maybe it didn’t happen in the order I just listed. Because when I went to blow dry my hair, it would not dry on the ends. Not dry one bit. It was Aquaphor’d and goopy and stayed slicky. Which is exactly what I need with fine, stick straight hair in 1734% humidity. To try and rectify the situation without the agony of reshampooing, I picked up my dry shampoo bottle and sprayed all over my head until I developed the black lung. And do you know what happened to my slicky hair? It was transformed. TRANSFORMED! It was voluminous and full and very Housewives of Orange County-ish, which was very fitting because of the bottom lip situation.
10. Dressy Tees for $7. I got a couple of these shirts from Target on the way to the beach and they were on sale for just $7. (They look better in person.) (I got teal and cobalt, but the online names are too fancy.) (Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
And since it’s the 11th day here, I have to add one more:
11. Sleeping In. My daughter has slept in until 8 am every day. It’s Christmas in June, people.
To sum it all up, I think it’s safe to say that if I were to ever have to love anywhere with 1743% humidity again, in a heartbeat I’d choose Hilton Head Island. The place where dreams come true and miracles do happen. Where getting your lips done is as easy as stepping outside and your daughter stops waking with the sun.
When my brother has to wrap up a call or visit quickly, he always begins with “so check it out” which I find highly annoying in that I-adore-my-little-brother way.
So check it out.
The final game of the Heat v Spurs battle is on. And while I care squat about the game or the outcome, it does mean that it’s time for me to hunker into my chair and settle into my next book.
Love ya, mean it.
What are you thankful for this week?