Hilton Head, SC

Mommy and Noah reading a book during a layover

The last week was exactly what this family needed! Ryan, Noah, and I went on vacation to Hilton Head, SC with Ryan's family. His mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces and nephews were all there. I joined his family after Ryan and I had been dating for only 18 months...I was 20 years old, so it was wild to be down there again...with a baby! :) After some GREAT advice from friends, we decided to fly down rather than make the long drive. Ryan's parents packed all of our gear (who knew a baby needed so much?!?!) and drove down, picking us up at the airport soon after our plane touched down. It was the best! You know those cooking shows when the person puts something in the oven, and TA-DAH, it's finished baking seconds later? Well, that's how I felt! We reached the Savannah airport and our family and bags were all magically there! :) Noah was such a good boy on the plane and during layovers. We took our Baby Bjorn carrier (this brand is worth the money you pay for it!) for Noah, which really worked out well. No pushing a stroller...or carrying a carseat. He just rode on the front of my body and slept comfortably there...like so:

When the plane would take off, if Noah was awake, I would just start nursing him...thanks to Ryan who would help cover me up. :) This helped with the pressure in Noah's ears. He usually fell asleep while feeding him, so I'd just let him sleep until it was time to land. If he started to fuss at all, I'd just start feeding him again to help him with the pressure changes again. It was easy as pie! In fact, I told Ryan that might be the easiest we travel until Noah's like ten years old. :) I've been assured by a friend that it can still be easy when their older, so I'm hopeful for many more peaceful trips ahead!

All week long, we just got to RELAX, RELAX, RELAX. Usually on vacation, I like to sleep in, hang out at the pool/beach, take naps, and then go out each day to do something fun. Having Noah has really changed that! I am so used to staying inside at home quite a bit and making trips out or doing fun things less often than before he was born, and honestly, I don't mind a bit! I really love spending time with him, and getting out to be with friends or to do something fun just once in a while is fine by me! Each day, Ryan's parents would watch Noah for a couple hours between feedings so that Ryan and I could go to the pool or beach. It was wonderful to just have that short break to get some sun and spend time with Ryan and his sister's family. :) We went out to eat a couple times with Ryan's family, and Noah was such a good boy! He just slept in his carseat the entire time, even at Fuddruckers (http://fuddruckers.com/), which was a REALLY loud restaurant. Kind of made us laugh at ourselves for asking people to be somewhat quiet while Noah took naps at the condo...hehe!

After dinner at Hugo's ... I love filet mignon and my husband (not necessarily in that order)!

One night, Ryan and I went to see Batman: The Dark Knight. It was INCREDIBLE! I highly recommend it! During the movie, I remember thinking to myself, "Let's just pretend that it's just Ryan and me again...that Noah was never born...and it's just the two of us out on a date." I honestly couldn't do it! As much as I tried to imagine it, Noah's sweet face just kept creeping into my mind. Then I realized...he has changed me. I don't think I had felt that way before...but he has. I'm someone I've never been before. I'm a mom. I'm Noah's mom. And just thinking that made me feel good inside! He has changed my heart...making me less selfish, more self-sacrificing, and more patient than I've ever been. It's funny how God can do that...take the person that you are and present you with experiences that change the very core of who you are and how you behave. My entire life, I have struggled with selfishness and patience. I don't know if it's any worse than anyone else (this is me being prideful...another thing I don't like), but those are two darker parts of me that have been difficult to swallow. Noah has helped me become a better person...challenged me to be better than I've ever been...so that I can be a good mother for him. I like that! My friend Beckie talked about those ideas in the video message she had for me (my Mother's Day gift from Ryan), and she was so right! It really resonated with me during my date night with Ryan...and it felt great!

Loungin' at the beach

We took Noah to the beach one morning. We had bought a little tent for him to nap in or hang out in if he was in a good mood. Unfortunately, Noah still hasn't figured out how to sleep well on his back without his swaddle blanket, so he didn't hang out in there for too long. Instead, we took a walk down the beach ang spent time together. On two other occasions, we took Noah to the pool. It was so fun! He had these cute little board shorts and a surfer shirt that Ryan picked out at Old Navy...too adorable! We weren't sure that how he'd take to the cold water, having never been in cold water before. He shivered for a few seconds at first, and then after that, he seemed to like it just fine! His little diaper made his butt float, so we'd just sway him back and forth in the water. He seemed to enjoy it, even though he was a stone face (see below) the whole time! It wasn't until the second time in the pool that he started to splash a little bit and began to show some different expressions. When it was time to get out of the pool with Noah, we would strip him naked, put on a fresh diaper, and wrap him up tight as a burrito in a towel. After the second time in the pool, Noah fell asleep before we even got to the elevator of our condo. All in all, the pool was a success, especially since he slept a TON the rest of the day!! :) Note to self...get that kid to our community pool!

I love my family!

How cute is that swim suit?!

Snug as a bug after getting out of the pool!

All cozy for his post-pool time nap!

This vacation with Ryan's family made me feel so excited to watch Noah grow up with his Tousins...I mean cousins. :) These are our nieces and nephew, Mady, Mikayla, and Micah. We were really excited to have a boy for Micah (age 3) to play with. Micah calls Noah "Baby Tousin (pronounced Tuzzin) Noah". It's SOOO cute! I can't wait to take pictures like this of the kids as they grow older together. This one below is definitely wedding slide show material!! I think that a lot...how pictures I'm taking now might be used in Noah's future wedding slide show. CRAZY!

You know what the absolute, hands down, best part of vacation was? Spending time with Ryan and Noah as a family. Ryan hasn't been able to be home with us since Noah was first born, and Noah was a completely different baby at that time. He has changed so much, and things are so much easier now! It gave Ryan the chance to bond with Noah...to spend more time with him, playing and hanging out. Ryan was such a huge help with baths, changing diapers, getting Noah down for naps, etc. It was just the time we needed as a family! I couldn't be happier with the family God has blessed me with, and I'm excited to go through life with Ryan and Noah at my side.

This is my happy ending.


dntill said...

Great photos and great to hear about your vacation. Sounds like it was a wonderful, relaxing time!!

michi.yamano said...

Makes me want to leave for vacation right now!

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