A mere two-and-a-half weeks ago (I know, bad blogger!) we were so blessed to go down south towards Los Angeles with my side of the family. The occasion was my "little" brother Elijah's Air Force commissioning-- but it ended up being an amazing excuse for some wonderful family time at the beach... and really, anywhere we were, all weekend long! You already know about some of our fun and adventures thanks to Miss Emma and her book, but I shall give you mt point of view too. I don't know that it will be half as entertaining and cute, but I'll do my best. :)
Friday was spent at the beach all day. Oh, it was so relaxing. The kids played, we all played, we got wet, we ran, we spun, we were silly, we soaked up the sun and the sand and the waves, we made sand castles, we buried Annabelle. I simply love the beach, and I love it even more when it is filled with people I love.
Saturday was the big event. It was held at Loyola Marymount University, which is positively a beautiful campus. The sun was out in full force that day and since we were sitting in the open air, it did get a little hot-- and some sunburns were acquired... including a few sunburned knees from us girls wearing dresses. Never have I been more inspired to sing "Down by the Bay". But I digress. The ceremony was, although long, quite interesting with all its formal military style. There was even a fighter jet "fly-by" right as the National Anthem was sung. Quite a moment! My favorite part, however, was when Elijah's turn came to stand on-stage and get sworn in. My mom, dad, and brother Josiah were able to go on stage and pin his bars on, he received his first salute from another officer, and then it was official-- Elijah is now a 2nd lieutenant in the US Air Force. My sisterly pride was full that day as I watched him in his blue uniform.
All in all, it was such a lovely time. I can't even tell you how much fun we had with these people we love. In all honesty, it was very very hard when they moved from California-- the distance felt so huge after living no more than 15 minutes apart from them my whole life. It was not an easy transition going from that to seeing them maybe once or twice a year. But, it is times like this particular weekend when I am grateful. Grateful that God has used this distance between us to bring us closer, because we know to soak up every minute we have together. Our time with each other is appreciated and precious in a different way now. And we get to be together for days on ends, with late nights and lots of fun in between. Oh yes, there are still times when the the miles between us is a great big ache in my heart, and I miss them terribly-- but it only serves to bring me even more joy when we see them again. And, as I lay there on our hotel bed sandwiched between my two sisters singing Colbie Caillat songs with all our hearts and lungs, I couldn't help but know that no matter what, our family will always be close... so very close.
Without further ado: pictures!
Grandma is a great wave-chasing buddy to the girls!
The photog twins, hard at work. There was quite a LOT of this going on. And yes, in case you are wondering, the sight of my dear dad in shorts is a rare one. I'm afraid we teased him mercilessly. Love you, Dad! :)
Mammacita and me
The new couple. They're quite cute together. I definitely approve! There was lots of digging and sand-castle making. The girls loved it!
This is what little Annabelle would do whenever we tried to set her down and put her feet anywhere near the water: she scrunched herself up into a tiny little ball and just hung there. It was so funny.
Eventually though, she got over her fear and got just as wet, if not more, than the rest of us. These next few showcase my silly siblings quite well. Of course, I am never silly. No indeed.
Not quite sure what we are doing here... WOOHOO!
Josiah was the only one brave enough to go in all the way!
Elijah and Lydia would rather not deal with the two of us on the end right now.
Workin' it. Can you believe that hottie is my sister?
Elijah's "bro" pose. That's my hat he's wearing. The scary thing is he almost looks as good as me in it...
Here we are at the commissioning. And here is 2nd Lt. Elijah Horner.
He might not admit it, but I KNOW he loves me. :)
All the ladies. Funnily enough, we each bought black and white dresses to wear for this occasion-- totally unplanned, but so fun for some stylin' pictures!
I love these girls. I love all of these people. Thanks for a great time, family!
If you want to see even MORE pictures, Jeremy posted quite a few GREAT ones over at his blog. He had a blast with his new camera, and I think he did a wonderful job. Mosey on over and take a peek, why don't you.