Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Lake (Tips and Tweaks), The Shortest Beach Trip EVER

Good Wednesday morning!

ANNOUNCEMENT! ANNOUNCEMENT! ANNOUNCEMENT! - Beginning NEXT MONDAY, August 5, I will go back to the Monday AND Friday ONLY posting schedule.

I had a lot of catching up to do, so I broke my own rule and posted throughout the week.

Again, beginning MONDAY, August 5, I will only be posting Monday AND Friday!

But until then...

RANDOMNESS #1 - As the last 21 days of Summer heats up, I realize even though it has been a "different" kind of Summer for me and mine, we have still been able to check off a lot of activities from our Summer "To-Do" List.

Of course, I'm in panic mode now. I will be trying to cram in as much "family" as I possibly can between Austin's crazy two and three job work schedules, Josh's work and "moving to Hanceville" schedules and Roxie's "I have to be with my friends every minute or I will absolutely die," babysitting, dog sitting and Summer Reading schedules.

For those of you with small (or smaller) children, let me just tell you now... It gets a little more complicated as the nest begins to empty.

You might want to think about hiring an assistant.

Or joining a spa.

Or moving to a beach house for six weeks of every Summer.

(Because if you have a Beach House... they will come.)

RANDOMNESS #2 - The Shortest Beach Trip EVER - Mike and I decided Friday of our Lake Vacation to go to the beach for a VERY short amount of time. There was an opportunity. There was a place to stay. The kids weren't free to go, but we were.

We made arrangements to leave Thursday morning and return Saturday morning July 25 through July 27).


Believe it or not, Friday was perhaps the MOST beautiful day I've ever had on the beach. It wasn't hot and muggy. The water was completely and incredibly clear. Our private beach wasn't crowded at all.

If you had to pick one day in 2013 to go to the beach, Friday, July 26, 2013 was definitely THE day.

Today and tomorrow, I'll post the pic/narrative thing for ya!

Since it was technically a one-day trip, I won't scrapbook it chronologically. I organize it by subject matter...

Me and Mike
Sea Birds
Beach Umbrellas
Restaurants We Visited
Things We Didn't Do (But Maybe Next Time)
Things That Caught My Eye

I'll be sharing the Me and Mikie Section now...

I know there is only one picture of me, but you'll have to be satisfied with the one!

And now for the mesmerizing Beach Umbrella Section...

I bet you're feeling really good about your vacation pics right about now, aren't you?

Tomorrow, I think I'm going to share Sea Birds and Things We Didn't Do (But Maybe Next Time).

Yep. That sounds good to me!

Tips and Tweaks for the Lake Vacation

While the Annual Lake Vacation totally worked for Mike, Austin and Roxie, Josh and I need a little tweaking to make it TOTALLY work for us, too.

1. While the days were much more laid back than anything at home, I still did laundry and cooked dinner. It wasn't too much or anything like that, but the definition of a vacation for a Mom is usually "no cooking and no laundry."

To tweak this tiny detail, next year Austin, Josh and Roxie will all be given a night to cook.

Mikie will grill two nights, I will cook dinner one night and we will go out to eat one night.

Everyone will need to give me their menus and grocery lists before we leave on the trip, and I will assign them a night to prepare dinner.

Everyone will also be assigned ONE laundry day. On Roxie's laundry day, she will be responsible for gathering and washing ONE load. Drying the same load. Folding and putting away the laundry on or before midnight of her assigned day.

Austin and Josh will be assigned a laundry day, too.

See... It's already looking more like a "Mom Vacation."

2. We had days with guests and days without. I wouldn't mind adding another day of guests. Entertaining on the Lake is very, very easy. (We had hoped Bev and her family could come up one more time, but their schedule didn't permit... so maybe next year.)

3. Josh and Roxie need a little "Town Time," so next year, they will be encouraged to get out and explore. They can check out Guntersville, Boaz, Albertville, Huntsville and Scottsboro. They are the kids who actually get antsy if they have too much down time. Austin is the only one in our family who can instantly and totally "chill" for any length of time you give him. It's a gift.

4. While the cabin we stayed in was very nice, it had tiny, tiny bathrooms. We looked around when we were in the boat, and found another VRBO in the same area. It is a little larger, has two screened in back porches (and I'm assuming a little larger bathrooms).

We're checking into renting that specific house for our Second Annual Lake Vacation.

Other than the above-listed items, it was a really good way to spend a week.

Here are a just a few "tips" that work for The Faulkner Five.

1. We made muffins AND biscuits AND gravy every morning. You could choose between three different kinds of muffins, biscuit and gravy OR biscuit and jelly, three different kinds of Pop Tarts or four different kinds of cereal.

Since everyone gets up at different times, they can pick and choose from the above menu and easily warm their breakfast in the microwave, if necessary.

2. Lunch consisted of sandwiches, fruit and leftovers. When Mike grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken, we made sure he grilled extra, and I kept those items front and center in the fridge so they would be eaten quickly.

We ate lunch and dinner together.

3. I made one-pot meals for dinner, and instead of cooking several vegetables and bread, I served two or three different fruits and sliced tomatoes with each meal.

Sunday - Grilled Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
Monday - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Tuesday - Go-Out-to-Eat Night
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken/Loaded Baked Potatoes
Thursday - Baked Spaghetti
Friday - Chicken and Dumplings

Oh, and I promised to give you the Final Official Fish Count today, didn't I?

Mike - 19
Austin - 8
Josh - 2 (Remember... He had to come home earlier in the week.)
Roxie - 3

TOTAL - 32

Not bad!

I'll be back tomorrow morning with Part Two of The Shortest Beach Trip Ever and pics.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Thursday.


The Enchanting Belinda

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