Though we feel well on our way into fall right now, two weeks ago on our little summer vacation, everything felt decidedly summery. We had some golden days at a cabin that my sister and her husband had rented right across from GRANDEE AND GRANDAD'S COTTAGE. Our kids were ecstatic to roam around with the dogs (Tymen, of course, pouring sand down Farley's back when we weren't well as over his own head), dig in the sand, and be taught by Auntie Kel how to throw big purple starfish back into the water. We ate tons of fresh fruit from the local Farmer's market, and ordered our days around the food that got potlucked together each day.

Having to take it easy, I sat my pregnant self down a lot and happily watched everyone play hard. It was so good to see Ben and Dano toss the frisbee on the beach and to watch the kids play with the happy contentment that comes with a shovel and a bucket and some glorious sun. I am a big believer in simple pleasures.

Here are a few of my favorite images from that time. Ah, summer.

This is my sweet niece, Quinn, who sported a bee hat for the first hour of the day or so, until a wee bit of chill was burned off by the sun.

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Sorry, baby. Consuming kisses are just a part of your life right now.

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Uncle Dano bought a ten pound box of blueberries from the local farmer's market which we ate with great enthusiasm. Ruby decides she can fit one perfectly into the spot that he missing tooth has left her.

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The kids and Ben slept (sort of) in a big tent pitched into the front yard. As we sat in the front room at night with the doors open, it was so funny to hear the hysteria and glee going on in there. Wild happiness at sleeping on an air mattress. Though I didn't make as much noise about it, I think I was every bit as happy to have a bed inside. Ben enjoys his morning joe...actually a great cup of coffee as Kelly had brought along her cappaccino machine. Hooray for modern conveniences!

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LOVE this one. Happy summertime feet. My boys were just FILTHY ten minutes after getting them out of their jammies and dressed each day. We bathed them each night but I wasn't about to change them every twenty minutes.

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I love how Ben is always so good at playing with our littles. He includes them all and teaches them to try new things. They adore him. IMG 3102 copy edited-1

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Ruby told me that she thought I looked really pretty in my sombrero.

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Then we'd stop somewhere, at sometime for lunch, which Kelly threw together. Thank goodness my family doesn't take me for a complete lump in these weeks that I have to pace myself with how much I am walking around. And I can always pick up a camera.....

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The afternoons consisted of book reading, cuddles, and once the littles were napping, the grown ups would have coffee. Kelly and I roamed down to Grandee's for some internet access and to munch on her snacks in the sunshine.

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Then it was time to piece together dinner. Dee and Kelly brought out whatever offerings sounded good that night and we all schlepped it down to the picnic table overlooking the ocean. The kids carried the easy stuff like sour cream and butter. I looked like a rockstar mummy when my kids were begging for more beet greens on this night.

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Then, as the adults finished up, the kids would chase the poor dogs around, try out the hammock and impatiently wait for Grandee's promised s'mores.

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Funny how at home I insist on washed hands before every meal but down by the fire pit my kids were covered with every germ imaginable, and it didn't concern me in the least.

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Oh yeah, worth the wait.

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See Jasper's flip flops on backwards as he leaned in to burn his marshmallow? Yes, that is a happy camper indeed, as his shirt declared.

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Thanks for letting us join you in your little piece of paradise, Kelly and Dano. We certainly plan on crashing in again next year...with another camper to try his first s'more.