Monday, April 12, 2010

Paradise found!

Paradise is defined by webster as: A place of ideal beauty or loveliness.

On our spring break we went to Anna Maria Island. We fell in love! We found the place we will return, and return....and retire! The beauty of this place brought out the beauty in all of us! I love our children beyond words...on this trip I captured some of the beauty I get to see in them everyday...and wanted to share that with you!

Our son so intentional, sweet and full of LIFE! Wrote us a very sincere note and left it at the foot of our bed while we were sleeping on vacation. It reads..."Dear mom and dad-Thankyou for this wonderful vacation. I want you to know I want to become a serious fisherman. I would like all of the top line rods, reels and saltwater bait that you can find. This is what I want to do! I love you...C" Just like all of you we are often asking our children..."So what do you want to be when you grow up?"...Our son may have just found his answer... He was in paradise!

This little sweetie would get your camera...and then she- being the hilarious little 5 year old that she is, would say "snap a pose...snap a pose...." and she would do like 30 different poses (which I have photos of each one...but thought I would share just this one.)
 People stopped on the beach to watch her...she is so full of joy...she is contagious!
She was in paradise!

Fishing feet! My husband and my son had great father son time while reeling in tons of great fish! Paradise!

C with his first catch of the week...a blue fish...(it is actually frozen and staring at me when I open the freezer!)
Must be a man thing to want to look at what you have conquered...better than on the wall I suppose. Paradise...frozen paradise!

I took a bunch of this old fishing boat that is now docked by a reasturaunt. It was perfectly chippy and old and if I could have snagged it and put it up on my wall I would! I guess I can't mock the fisherman who do that same thing...I guess whatever you happen to want to look at! This Island was full of things old with chipping paint! Paradise!

As we waited for our fried fish dinner (which is a locals hang out...always the best...a fisherman gave us the tip)...we learned a new card game from mema and poppy (my parents). It is a card game called you know it? It was sooo much fun and perfect for the kids too...M our 5 year old won the first round!
Fried fish, family and fun! Paradise!

I have like hundrends of photos from our week. It is nearly impossible for me to narrow them down to share. I have sat through hours of friends photos from trips...lets all just agree it can be times even painful...but we sit through them because we love the people who took If you don't understand the above picture...just remember you love me...I LOVE this picture and will probably print it and put it in my house (wherever I can find a space). This old fishing boat rope was laying next to the old boat that had been docked (the old chippy one)...It looked as though some great fisherman had come in for the day and placed it there for the night and never returned...and it looks like it had been sitting there for decades! Paradise!

Watching our children with thier, swimming, laughing, playing cards, building sandcastles...making memories...Paradise!

C found this piece of crab trap of those treasures that a child finds and you know it has such value to them you promise to put it in a special place. Simple treasures...Paradise!

I know...sometimes there are no words...Paradise!

Paradise as defined by me: A family that I love with all of my being. Knowing that I love them unconditionally and that they love me without conditions as well. Knowing that the love, joy, laughter, pain and promise that comes from that kind of love is ours now and for eternity- together. Knowing that in each of the hearts and souls of the above lives Jesus, and all of His truths and promises! All of this...and crystal clear waters, white soft sand, the smell of salty air, the sound of the waves, the pitter patter of precious feet, giggles of joy and whispers of love!....Paradise!

Priceless..... crystal clear!


  1. perfect pictures. grateful you had a wonderful trip...but so glad you are home.

  2. Oh looks like you found paradise! What a happy looking family - you can see how much fun it was in all of your faces!

  3. OHMYGOODNESS! (That's me jumping up and down btw) I am so glad you discovered AMI. It's our home away from home and we're there about 2 months total out of the year. Your pictures are AWESOME. I try and tell everyone about AMI, and Vance is always like "do you want EVERYONE to start going there because it won't be the same laid back place then!" I can't help it. See, i'm rambling. We just booked 2 weeks over the 4th, and will be back in the fall for 1 or 2 more. Where did you stay? I'll shut up now... see, i really could go on and on...I'm SO glad you went!

  4. Beautiful shots! What a fun time and you did a great job capturing the moments.

  5. Wow, this place does look like paradise indeed.

    Enjoyed each picture, beautiful!!!

    So nice to meet you, I'll be back~

  6. Wow. I can tell that you had a very wonderful time. The pictures are so lovely. Just filled with happy smiles and a peaceful feeling! Very special. I love all the sunlight!

  7. Stopped by through Sweet shot,and I think Anna Maria island will be googled next. It looks amazing as do many of you photos. Love the family pic and the feet in water shot just to name a few!

  8. Tracey...what gorgeous pictures! I have lived in FL my whole life and have never been to Anna Maria...I think it will have to be a must on our list of places to go now! The first picture, I thought y'all were in the bahamas!
    Your family photo...absolutley beautiful!

  9. Thanks for sharing, it was not painful at all, great pictures, glad that it was wonderful!!!

  10. Beautiful pictures! It truly does look like paradise. LOVED the pictures of the boat and rope. Our kids (9 & 11) have taught their grandparents the golf card game. It's a great game to share with all ages.

  11. Beautiful!! Beautiful family, beautiful pictures and beautiful words. Love your blog!
    Lillie's Pad