The sound of the waves rolling, sand between my toes, a warm breeze on my face, the smell of salty air, peaceful sunsets, endless smiles and laughter... these are all things that made me fall in love with the beach.  

I have gone to the Gulf Coast of Alabama for as long as I can remember.  As a little girl I remember making sand castles, body surfing in the ocean and collecting seashells during days that seemed to last forever.  As I got a little older, my love for the beach evolved into sitting in the sunshine reading while listening to the sounds of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley.  

When Forrest and I had our first daughter, we couldn't wait to introduce her to the beach. My parents had recently bought a house in Gulf Shores, and we were so excited to take her.  After about half of a day, we thought we had ruined our beach lives forever. Going to the beach with a baby was much different than what we were used to!  She ate the sand, wouldn't stay on the blanket we laid out for her and she certainly couldn't stay to watch the sun go down.  It didn't take us long to adapt and figure out how to enjoy the beach with our baby, and we continued to make it a frequent vacation destination as our family grew.  

Fast forward 11 years.  Now our three girls love the beach as much as we do.  Playing outside in the sand and the surf seems to bring them closer together.  Like most siblings, they have their moments when they fuss and fight, but at the beach those moments seem to happen less and less.  They make up stories about mermaids, bring us plates (frisbees) of pretend spaghetti and meatballs made from wet sand, turn cartwheels, collect seashells, and play in the water until their fingertips and toes are wrinkled.  They can barely hold their eyes open as we kiss their sun-kissed cheeks while tucking them into bed at the end of the day. The beach allows them to be innocent and free like the children they are.  

Beach Trip with Cousins 2015

I was so excited to see Mary Beth's creation of Beach Penny.  It's perfect... simple, casual, yet beautiful.  It reminds me of the beach life we love so much!