Thursday, June 16, 2011

the beach.

jack likes to give hugs. so does ava. but they have a little bit of a love hate relationship. mostly love though. sara told me that ella had been talking about ava pretty much non stop the entire drive down. i love that she loves ava so much and they really only see each other a few times a year. but you would never. it really is incredible. most nights ella would ask if she could help us put ava to bed. so she would come in and say her prayers with us.  one night she even got to come with me when i laid ava down in her pack n play. big deal. if you watched the video then you might recall when ella said one of her favorite things about vacation is that ava might sleep with her. a sleepover clearly.  she asked every night if she could please sleep with baby ava. these girls are going to be close. no matter what the distance ella will get to have her sleep over with ava when they get older. i love a good sleepover and i am 27.
most nights we would stay on the beach as long as we could. it's the best time of the day. not so hot. not too busy. perfect for a little frisbee with unky, pop pop, and uncle tommy.
pop pop. thank you for making this vacation happen. we appreciate it so much. i love how ava says. "pop pop." it's precious. thank you for helping with ava and playing with her in the ocean and taking her to the pool. i love that these memories of the beach are starting so young. she will never know life without family vacations with her pop pop (and papa and oma next month). it really is so so special. thank you for praying. reading and commenting the blog. for visiting. for my nook. i loved that when we watched the vacation video you said your highlight of the week was dinner at margartiaville when we talked about me being sick and this past year. that was a highlight for me too. i like to relax and hang out. but i also love to go deep. hear people's hearts. be genuine and be real. thank you for praying for us while i was sick. you said it was probably the most you have ever prayed in your life. thanks for being committed to us. thanks for the extra hugs this week. just to tell me your liked my short hair and how healthy i looked and how grateful you are that i was healed. we are too. we love you.
capturing baby boy floyd. we are anxiously awaiting your soon arrival. 
ava is pretty attached to me. we are working on that. we are buddies. but this week changed a little bit. ava started cuddling up to daddy and since it's a special occurrence we had to document it. since getting home from the beach ava talks about daddy all the time and he is the first person she asks for in the morning or when she hears the front door open and goes running to get daddy. i love that.
ella. you are a very special little girl. you have loved baby ava since the second your mommy told you she was growing in my belly. i told sara that after spending a week with you at 3.5 years old i have figured out why you are such a special a little girl. although there are many reasons i want to share a few with you. you love people really deeply. you have a genuine concern for other people and at 3 that is unique and something to treasure. also thank you for telling me you liked me new hair cut and that you thought it was pretty. another glimpse of your thoughtful heart.  here were a few times this week where you would come up to me and say..."aunt libby i love you so much." one time was after we watched the video unky made of vacation and we were all a bit emotional and i said..."okay we need to get ava to bed quick." to which you say, "what about her prayers. can i help? oh, aunt libby i just love you. so much." my heart melted and i teared up thinking about how much i hope that our little ava will care for people the same way you do. so deeply. so intentionally. you share with ava. you let her pull your hair (which i do not condone. we are working on that). any time ava did something that she was not supposed would look at me and say, "it's okay aunt libby she is just a baby." you gave her a special gifts every morning. the first thing you asked in the morning was "where is ava? is she awake? can i go see her?" i am thankful you are her cousin. her only girl cousin. but already someone i hope she looks up to and wants to be like. pretty soon that age difference between you and ava wont seem so big. you will want to lay out together at the beach away from us. go shopping without us. meet boys (which we will not allow). probably hate wearing matching outfits (that will be a sad day sara). have sleepovers. tell secrets. and get to know each other and have a special relationship that only you two can have. unky and i are so thankful for you and your sweet life and how you growing up to be such a big girl. we love you ella.

babe. this vacation was a little different for us. figuring out that it is not necessarily relaxing all the time as we chase ava around the beach and play with her in the pool. last year she was not mobile yet so this week took on much more. it is much more about the kids and not us. which is ok. more than ok. it is the season of life we are in and we love it. but we can not really read, lay out, and talk like we have in the past. but it was good. just a different good. you spent so much time making videos and although i missed you coming to bed late on a few nights...please know how much i treasure those memories. that we will have forever.  i think we are becoming more and more of a team. with defined roles. i get ava out of her wet bathing suit for her nap. you make lunch. you start the bath i give her one and you get her dressed so i can get ready in peace for 3 minutes. we take turns running after ava and taking her in the ocean. it is great. it is a lot. it is tiring. but it is good. thankful to be well and celebrating with you. lets never stop. even when we forget. maybe for a second about the year we just had. lets always come back to what we are about and who we want to become. i love you and i love that you are funny. the funniest person i know. so thankful i have you.
matching dresses for the girls from one of our great sponsors. neve inspired.
my baby. this was our first vacation as a family since i was sick. what a joy it was to be with you and daddy for an entire week. no interruptions. just us. i love that. it is my most favorite time. kind of like when we get snowed into the river house back in december. i love seeing you in a new place. you thrived in to. loving the ocean, the sand, the pool, late night dinners, long naps in the afternoon because we wore you out. you have a lot of energy little one. sometimes it's hard to keep up. but i love that you are strong and independent. although this week showed me some things we need to work sharing, the occasional hit, etc. you are learning. how to share and how we just want to keep you safe. thank you for bringing such life and joy into our lives. it really is incredible. you are tough too. you fall and come right back up. all week pop pop said you reminded him of daddy when he was young. i think that is because you are always busy, strong willed, and sometimes not the best listener. but i also hope it means that you love adventure, love life, and love deeply. you are giving kisses more and more and i could just eat them up. i love you sweet ava.
the floyds. thanks for my i phone. that's about it. just kidding. thank you for loving us. through photography by sara. mail while i was sick. comments on the blog. that one time when you both came to visit and i accidentally booked your flights for the next month. opps. thanks for not being mad. for sending text messages. an impromptu trip to naples with us. because we like a blog. for praying. i know this whole c thing. i wont say the word sara since you hate it. was not easy. sara, you shared your heart with me a little on friday night as we packed to go home. thank you for checking on me often when i was sick. even if i did not pick up the phone or return a text. thank you for loving ava as if she were your own. we love the special ways you love our family. i count it such a gift to have an incredible family. but then i married justin and added another incredible family to my life. it is just a little bonus to marrying justin. thank you for loving me like a sister would. since you have said before that you never thought you would have a sister...but i hope you see that in me. i miss being close to my family after trips like this one. you have two pretty amazing kids. sorry that ava is not the best at sharing. pulled ella's hair and was maybe a little too rough for jack. we are working on it. we both really look up to you both on how you parent your kids. thanks for giving that to us. maybe without even knowing. we are thankful for all you have done for us. we love you.

thank you shirl for joining our journey from afar. with emails. texts. cards. blog comments and facebook messages i felt like you really took the time to let us know you were thinking about us and praying for us. we appreciate it so much. thank you for all your help this week with the kids. you really have a servants heart. especially when it came to the set up and taking down all the beach stuff everyday. specifically when it came to thunderstorms that easily would have blown it all away. you really served us well by taking the time to do that. we appreciate you.
sweet little jack. i love you. i love your smile and your sweet voice. you are talking, talking, talking and i love it. first off. sorry about ava. i know she can be a little much for you sometimes but i know you too will be good friends as you get older. i am excited to see you become more of a little man. you are such a risk taker. with playing in the ocean and jumping into the pool. it's incredible to see how much you have grown since last year. there is a big jump from 14 months to 26 months. you really are so sweet and loving and you give some real good wet kisses. we love you jack.
one of my favorite pictures of the week.
this week was about celebrating and that we did. 
until next year...


  1. I loved this post! Love the pic of you, Justin and Ava. So cute. Her face says it all. Happy. And I love that Pop Pop was wearing the Life is Good shirt. That too says it all.

  2. Libby, these are the sweetest family vacation pics I have ever seen. I love them all! So awesome that you got to soak in the love of your family and build wonderful memories. Life is good! God is great! love you, Barbara

  3. loved loved loved this post. and all i have to say is...
    YELLOW SWIMSUIT. holy moly your child is precious. so glad you had such an amazing time!! love you!

  4. Loved this sweet post! And Ava's yellow Monogrammed swimsuit, Could there be anything cuter?

  5. What a precious post. Ava is looking more like you I think, especially in the very first photo! So beautiful!
    Praise God for a wonderful family and sweet memories!


  6. Loved reading this. You are too kind to us (and to our babies) but we thank you very much for the compliments and the love. You are even more than a sister to are a best friend that just so happens to be related and what a blessing that is. We love you all so much and had such a great week vacationing with you. Ava is so beautiful and is such a joy and Jack is finally all healed up from her displays of affection (ha! Totally kidding!) I, too, hope they'll always be close.
    Thanks again.... Just for being you .... And for coming out of this with your same beautiful heart. I'm so thankful you're still you. It comforts me.
    Love you.

  7. Beautiful post Libby thank you for sharing.

  8. love reading this...I love that your celebrating life! you are so so sweet!

    ps...I saw that you got an iPhone?! And is that last picture of Ava an Instagram pic?? If so, email me your name on there so I can follow you! :) encthon(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Such beautiful pictures! Ava has the most beautiful eyes. I'm am so thankful that you have made it through this journey. God is sooo good!

    I have never met Sara's children, but knowing their mom, I know that those traits you are loving in Ella, come from her mom. Sara wasn't always aroung during my college time, since she was a few years older than me, and even though we weren't the bestest of friends, the thing I will always remember about Sara, is that she had an amazing heart, always.

    During your prayers this week, please say a prayer for a friend of mine that is battling leukemia...It's been a very long road for him, and we know that he is in God's hands now, and whatever is his will, will be.

    Have a wonderful fathers day weekend.

  10. Libby,
    What a great post. I will always remember this vacation as a celebration! Shirl and I had a wonderful time. It was so much fun to see E, J, and A play together..swim, and jump in the pool. They are all beach babies...I love that. Thank you for being a part of our vacation as well as our family. We all love you. i hope that you realize what an incredible person you are...wonderful wife and mother...sister-in-law...daughter-in-law and auntie. The lower case i is for you Lib. Thanks again for helping to make the week so's to next year!
    Pop Pop

  11. Libby, I just want to write a comment to let you know how much I appreciate the blog (it is amazing) but also you sharing your heart on the balcony Thursday morning. You never cease to amaze me how you can open up and share with those you love. Libby, I love you for that!! You have been through so much and really Libby, don’t be so hard on yourself. So many people are so busy looking around at others but I love the fact that you always are looking inward and being the best you can be. WOW!!!

    I truly think all of you are amazing and I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family; to fall in love with each of you in my own way and feel the love in return. “Thank you” You have always made me feel an important part and its people like you who make a true difference in this world! The Ryder family has taught me how to relax and enjoy life. I love that!!

    I keep coming back to your comment that I have a servant’s heart – “Thank you Libby! I take that as a compliment because for me, that is the most natural way to show my love and it brings me great joy; especially to those I love.

    The most precious thing as a mother has been my children and grandchildren. It is not easy for me to share them unless I trust 100%. I want to thank you and Sara both for loving me and trusting me enough to share your precious little ones. I love them as if they were my own.

    If there is any thought I would want to leave with you, it is to continue to love yourself. Reflect on the past and find peace with who you are and treasure it always. You are seriously an amazing woman. Thank you for being you!

    P.S. you are so right; Justin is the funniest man I know. (Please don’t tell Ted I said that!)

    Love you, Shirl


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