Today we spent the longest 8 hours of our lives in the car with 2 little ones. Driving all day with a seven month old and a two and a half year old is not my idea of a fun day. Mamie, the baby, actually did pretty well despite pooping on three outfits in the car. Lilly, however, was not such a patient passenger. I think she told us she wanted to go home and play in her room and in her closet and sleep in her bed about a hundred times (she's quite the homebody). Then we had to answer about a million questions about her Cinderella movie she watched 4 times. Packing up and leaving for home is never fun anyway when you've been on vacation. We had our Yukon packed to the gills inside with a carrier on top--we had a stroller, wagon, exersaucer, pack & play, booster seat, beach toys, way too many clothes, and a bunch of other miscellaneous baby gear. It's all still in my kitchen, and the thought of unpacking it all in the morning is probably why I'm not in bed yet. We had a great time and the kids loved it, but I wouldn't exactly call it a "relaxing" vacation. This is our fifth year taking this trip with these couples, and each year it gets progressively less relaxing. We've gone from, "Table for 6" to "Party of 11" when we go to out to eat. It's absolutely wonderful and such a blessing, but also pretty comical. I look back at the picture I have on my refrigerator of me, Courtney, and Ashley at the beach before kids and wonder who those tan people were. Those people who took an hour getting themselves ready to go out to dinner at whatever time they wanted to. Those people who took a nap if they were tired from laying out. Those people who slept in until almost lunchtime. Those people who could jump in the car and go shop at the outlets without having to coordinate it with naptime. Those people who could walk out the door with a book and sunglasses and nothing else to go to the beach. Now, you have water wings, SPF 50 sunscreen, baby floats, a quilt, an umbrella, a baby pool for the beach, your camera, sippy cups, beach toys, 3 towels, hats, sunglasses, snacks, and you have to have a wagon to haul it all. It's exhausting, really. And, after a solid week at the beach, I do not even have a tan. But it was still worth every minute of it, and I know I'll gladly do it again next year. We'll all have great memories to look back on (and it sure does make us appreciate the nights we got to get a baysitter and go out by ourselves)!