Family Vacation: Charleston, South Carolina

Back in August, we headed South for my mom’s wedding.  Her and Mark got married on Folly Beach, which is about 20 minutes or so from Charleston.   It’s a super cute little beach town with fun little shops, restaurants and of course an amazing ocean view.

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We stayed at the Tides Hotel, which is one of the only hotels on this beach.  We enjoyed our stay and the wedding was held here too!

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We grabbed a quick dinner since the 4 of us were starving from traveling all day.  This was our first “officially on vacation” photo.

The kids enjoyed their kid friendly strawberry daqs.

Brooke was LOVING all of the seafood!

That night we checked out the beach and the kids of course loved swimming in the pool.

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The next morning we headed out for some girl time!! Pedicures and a tea room lunch with the bride to be…my mama!

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Brooke loved it.

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My sis and I snuck out to grab a quick “Folly Vice” at the beach bar.  Gosh it was tasty!

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Later that night was the rehearsal dinner.  We all had dinner & drinks at the Pier which was next door to our hotel…I never did get to walk that damn pier! haha

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After that we played in the ocean…I mean, figured out who went where for the next day!

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The wedding was beautiful! If you missed that post, you can catch up on that here.

We had a semi-early morning the following day as well, as we had a carriage ride/tour to catch.

The kids loved their new hats.

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They did pretty well on the carriage tour, but it was hot (obvi) and history isn’t exciting to them yet.  They did pretty well though!

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We had so much fun and were very grateful that my mom and Mark put together this activity for us to enjoy.  We only wish we had more time to go back and explore the old streets and sights!

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They loved getting to pet the horse.

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After that, we walked the market, hit up the Charleston tea & spice shop –yum!! We also enjoyed a nice lunch together on a rooftop–which I am totally blanking on. Mom?

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That was our final night in Charleston.  I believe I ordered this AMAZING Low Country dinner that night, which happened to be at our hotel restaurant.

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When we got up the next morning, Joe & I went off to Savannah, which I posted about here.

When we returned, we picked up the kiddos and checked into a Marriott in historic Charleston.  It ended up being a good place to walk to a lot of places!  We walked over to this BBQ joint which was quite delish!

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We made sure to make plenty of pit stops for ice cream, because, vacation.

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The next morning Joe found this amazing little French breakfast place, it was SO good!

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Brooke & Daddy basically had dessert for breakfast.

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I was pumped to have some Orangina!  It has been YEARS since I had this.  I’m thinking the last time was when we were in Paris on our honeymoon, 2010!

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We walked up to the market, hit up a Starbucks and let the kids rest here and there.  We stopped at this old water fountain and of course read the history all about it.

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We found some little Raw bar and the kids sort of ate whatever it was we ordered them.  Joe really enjoyed his lobster roll & I had a divine glass of rosé and some ceviché.

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That night we had a fancy dinner at the Charleston Hotel.  We all got dressed up and walked there.  On the way, Bradley kept seeing these bicycle guys and was throwing a FIT because he wanted to drive one!  We promised him on the way back to the hotel, we’d get one.

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The kids were PUMPED for their big bowls of popcorn!

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Mark, mom & us

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Our fun little ride back to the hotel.

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Overall Charleston is not extremely kid friendly, as it’s just a lot of walking, eating, history, and repeat.  I thought our 3 & 5 year olds did amazing!! They dined out at fancy restaurants and kept up with most activities.  My mom and Mark took them to the Aquarium the day Joe and I went to Boone Hall Plantation.

Joe and I had a drink at the Market Pavillion Rooftop bar that night and Saturday morning we went back home.

It really proved to us that we need to travel more.  Joe and I always went away a few times a year before kids and well, the idea of flying with babies terrified us.  We SO needed to get out and explore.  The kids are ready and it was so good for all of us to be in new places, get out of our routines and shake it up a little.

Not to mention, I really loved spending time with my mom.  We can’t wait to come back, or heck, just drop the kids off and keep heading South haha!!

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Be

I get asked quite often, how do you do it all?

I don’t.

I find that in this season of my life, I simply do the very best that I can each and every day.

I’ve always been a type A over-achiever.  I put more pressure on myself than my mom, dad, grandparents, teachers or anyone else I ever encountered ever did.  I like to be really great at things, not fail and I used to try to be perfect.

I will say I have officially thrown my perfectionist hat out the window.  I have my daughter to thank for that.  My husband would tell me not to stress over things and to stop beating myself up, but I would roll my eyes and still meticulously plan out certain events, meals, get togethers, and try to create that picture perfect scene that laid out in my head.

This was before Pinterest people!!

I will say that the first time I realized I really did have the power to control my own mental attitude, was walking down the aisle to marry my husband.

The DJ played MY song when my bridesmaids starting walking out.  I may have screamed and dropped the F bomb while waiting next to my father and the poor wedding coordinator.  They both looked at me like—what are we to do? Stop him? Tell him to re-do?  But I simple paused, took a deep breath and put a smile on my face.  I knew that if I walked down the aisle with a bitchy look on my face, my fiancé would NEVER marry me.  So I took it in stride, realized it was out of my control, and that at the end of the day, no one would know that it was a mess up.  In the end, we all walked down to, “Lucky” by Jason Mraz. I can laugh about it now, but really that moment was a huge turning point in my mental thinking.

A few years later, along came our beautiful baby girl.  As much as I tried, there was no trying to get her to conform to what I wanted.  She slept when she wanted, ate when she wanted and eventually potty trained when she wanted.  God used her to really show me that I am not in control and that all of the stress I put on myself to try and control things, was really really bad.

A few more years go by, we add a baby boy.  I totally thought I had this mom thing figured out!  Turns out, baby boy was a total different experience than baby girl.  He had terrible reflux, I had to stop nursing him after 8 weeks and switch him to Nutramigen formula, and I don’t think he fully slept through the night until well after the first year. Funny how things work…

In the last 10 years I have been with my husband, I have learned so much about myself, life, being a wife, and eventually a mother.  I fully admit I DO NOT have this whole thing figured out, but I have learned to give myself a lot of grace.  I have learned to laugh at myself.  I learned to be more open to experiences, situations and let go of the ideas of what I want people to be, and just let them be who they are.  Accept them, or don’t. I have begun to embrace the chaos of my messes and though it be tough at times, view the chaos as a blessing.  I turn on the jazz music on the surround sound.  I tackle my to do list, one thing at a time. I stop to do something for me, to fill my cup.  Like blogging; right now there are mountains of laundry to be done, but my fingers needed to feel the keys for a few moments…

My life is filled with oops, and uh-ohs.  I just learn to do my best, try very hard to do it with a smile and save the worries and stressors for when I really need to.

My word this year is “Be.” (Yes, I am a huge dork and pick out a word for each year…) It’s a simple word but when I find myself getting out of alignment, uppity, stressed, or freaking out (probably for no reason) I try to quickly check myself and breathe so that I can just be.

…be in the moment

…be still

…be happy

…be healthy

…be joyful

…be confident

…be grateful

….be humble

…be helpful

…be aware

…be present

…just be.

Stress is SO bad for us, and the more we can become aware of our thoughts and shut them down before they take us down the rabbit hole of angst, the better we will be.

My top 5 tips for getting back into alignment

  1. Let go of expectations and accept where you are.
  2. Do something that makes you happy, self love.
  3. Get outside, preferably barefoot (weather permitting)
  4. Sign off social media for a bit.
  5. Acknowledge how you feel, but then let it go.

I also truly believe who we spend our time talking to, listening to, reading about, watching, helps us form our thoughts.  I am human, I love a good TV drama, but I also love a peaceful and happy life.  Just making small changes over time helps our overall mindsets so much!

Is there something you find yourself doing, to just be?