Well, we’ve been doing a pretty crummy job of getting back in to the swing of things since getting home from vacation almost ten fourteen days ago. The sleep issues from my Friday post? I would chose those any day over the stomach issues that hit last Saturday and lasted all the way through Tuesday. That’ll really throw you for a loop. Also, sick babies are just the worst. So is puke in a car seat. #momlife

But talking about sick kids is not why were are here, friends. We’re here to recap the family vacation to Captiva Island over the first week of July which is much more pleasant, at least from where I’m sitting.

Camden was a real trooper in the car, he really only couldn’t hold it together the last 45 minutes or so of the trip. The drive to Captiva is about 14 hours from where we live before you factor in stopping (and you should factor in A LOT of stopping with a baby). We generally drive through the night but that makes me a nervous wreck so we decided to stop once we got to the Florida state line to get some sleep. That drive alone took 15 hours with holiday traffic and a wreck so I think that was the right decision.

Our car was literally packed from front to back (thank God we bought an SUV this year or we would have been driving down the highway with a car top carrier on the top of an Impala) because holy moly, it takes more than you would ever think to haul a baby to the beach for a week. I also  stuffed our car with anything and everything I could think of to entertain my one year old in the car. I’m going write a whole post about all that soon so stay tuned for that 😉

Now I think I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking:

We traveled with a total of 14 people so a house as much needed. We stayed in this house and it was perfect for us all to spread out. Baby proof, it was not, but I guess that was to be expected.

The house was just a short wagon ride to the beach!

We got our wagon and tent from our local Academy sports and I would say that they are both absolutely necessary! (And lol to the fact that Camden is sitting IN the wagon in this picture. This must have been the twelfth trip of the day. I was usually carrying him on my hip because that thing was jam packed with everything under the sun.)

This beautiful place has my heart!

Love my boys so much!

I tried to mentally prepare myself that Camden might hate the sand (he has serious issues with grass, insert eye roll here) but he did ok! He wasn’t super sure of himself and his walking abilities the first couple of days but he figured it out eventually.

Since he is early to bed, early to rise and the time difference is only an hour, I tried to keep Cam on his regular sleeping schedule while we were gone. That meant he was up at about 6:30 every morning and well before most everyone else in the house. Keeping a toddler quiet in a house full of sleeping people is not one of my favorite things to do so we would load up in the stroller and take little adventures every morning. We would hit the beach, the marina to see the boats and manatees, then head to get some coffee. Such a fun, special time with my boy!

He is my shadow in every sense of the word!

This was our first time being on the island for the 4th of July, which I was hesitant about because it’s a holiday I take very seriously. My one request was that we had to find a firework show. We ended up on a tiny (TINY) strip of beach over on Sanibel on the suggestion of a local where we could see three shows at the same time. Disappointed, I was not!

I’ve heard mixed reviews, but we loved our little collapsible pool. The sides to fold in easily but we didn’t really have any problems with that. Camden was content to sit in it for hours at a time some days splashing around and doing his thing which gave me a few minutes to relax.

We attempted a beach nap in the wagon the first few days but I quickly realized a happy, well rested baby at dinner was well worth packing it in from the beach a little earlier than normal.

Family photos happened one night! I’m still waiting (not patiently) to get them back and I am SO EXCITED. I think we got some really good ones! It stormed really bad for about two hours leading up to our sunset session which made me nervous, but also made for the most beautiful sunset of the entire trip once it blew over! Other than forgetting the bug spray and getting more mosquito bites in one hour than I have had my entire life combined and singing “If You’re Happy & You Know it” and “The Wheels on the Bus” about 1000x each, I think it went pretty well! #doitforthegram

So creepy. But this boy loved the marina!

Nathan and I opted out of going on the boat trip this year because we were both having anxiety over different aspects of it. It ended up being one of the better choices we made all week even though we both love Boat Day. The three of us spent the whole day on the beach relaxing (including a two hour nap on top of me for Cam) before cleaning up for the 4th festivities!

Two hours of nap = two hours of reading for mom. You won’t hear me complaining about that!

Don’t let the hesitation in his face confuse you. By the end of the week he was running face first into the water every time he got near enough. That made picture night pretty interesting 😉

Did you guys know? Shells are the yummiest thing you could ever put in your mouth!

Enjoying the beach with my boy!

Ps. Taking pictures of a one year old is HARD. I have 20 versions of this picture on my camera and he isn’t looking at the camera in any of them. Sigh.

Always so much fun at the Crab Races! We named our’s Frank the Tank and he was a dud. Maybe next year!

Loving the Crab Races!

This is the best we could do.


Overall,  it was an awesome trip full of fun and sweet memories, but let me just get real for one second – it was not all a walk in the park. Nathan was gone the whole week leading up to us leaving which left all the packing and prep on me, left him exhausted and stressed from work and travel, and left us both trying to figure out how to get back on the co-parenting train (which always happens when he’s been gone that long). Add in a lot of people (admittedly not our strongest suit) and the stress of a house full of baby hazards from top to bottom and it really took a toll on our first few days there. I don’t say that to complain, I’m beyond grateful we get to go on nice vacations with people we love, but just to be real. Nathan and I both learned a lot about what we value as a family, how we can do better next time, and the boundaries we need to set for ourselves to make sure our vacation reduces our stress, not induces panic attacks. When you know better, you do better, right?

Ps. I haven’t been able to bring myself to erase my count down to vacation chalkboard in our kitchen. Maybe I should just keep it going for the next one? 130 days until Orlando! 😉

Oh, one more thing. Are there any WordPress geniuses out there? My comments are no longer coming to my email making it super hard (harder than normal) for me to reply to you all. The forums are not helping at all. Any tips?

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Linking up with Biana, ErinKatie, and Jenna.


  1. Biana says

    What an absolutely perfect family vacation! I love the house that you guys stayed in! I love the photo of him napping on you at the beach!! xo, Biana

  2. says

    This looks AMAZING!!!! My husband and I love traveling and vacations! Props to you packing everything up, especially with a baby!! I am nervous for those days! They require so much stuff lol

  3. says

    Um, what is with our husbands because Brandon was gone the entire week before we left and I was a STRESSED OUT BALL OF MESS. Walker had swim lessons every day and karate twice that week before we left and I just, no. Never again. But yes, totally worth it all! We definitely don’t call them “vacations” with kids. They’re totally “trips.” But fun “trips” with lots of memories made. And all the praise hands to the wagon thing. Best investment ever!

  4. says

    I wish vacations didn’t cause stress! I don’t have kids yet but even leaving work for a week is so stressful! I’m glad you had a nice time though! Looks like such a beautiful place!

  5. Katie Elizabeth says

    Ahh I can’t wait to see your family pictures! I’m sure they turned out amazing! And I definitely feel you on fun things being exhausting/awesome/stressful/magical with a baby…. but hopefully when we look back on these years, we’ll only remember the awesome & magical parts 😉

  6. says

    Sorry about all the sickness stuff! That’s horrible! Sounds like it was a great trip, though! I think it’s so sweet you got some precious one-on-one time with Camden in those early morning adventures while everyone slept in…I would have been super grumpy to be up so early, so your positive outlook on it is just the sweetest!!


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