|My "baby" brother and his new wife! Married in a lovely, quick outdoor ceremony at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront (our hometown).|
And then one of us turned a year older...
|Athos turned SIXTEEN! We had a low-key campfire party with smores, watermelon, sodas and LOTS of glow in the dark sticks.|
|Athos and his favorite girl. We embarrassed him by having a little family celebration before the party with cake and an out-of-tune rendition of "Happy Birthday".|
Then in mid-June our dear friends from Arkansas came to visit...we'll just call them the Arkan-sass 5. They aren't originally from Arkansas, just ended up there recently. The kids are more like cousins, in fact the adults all go by "Aunt" and "Uncle"....and really we are a lot like family, only no baggage. LOL! Erik and I met Arkan-sass Uncle through college friends...and then we all spent lots of time together in our early married days in the Wash., DC area. We try to see them once a year or so.
|Artemisia at the Shakespeare on The Green show (The Tempest - Athos was working crew for this show).|
|The two youngest from our families. Quite a few years apart (he's 10, she's 3), but they sure do enjoy each other's company!|
And then, FINALLY, it was time for the beach! We rented a house on Topsail Island, NC.
|Our walkway to the beach.|
|Lots of silliness and giggles on the porch under a beautiful beach sunset.|
|Arkan-sass Auntie with her eldest and youngest.|
|Arkan-sass Auntie and I goofing around in the kitchen.|
|Most of the gang goofing around while our tie-dye shirts dried. Yes, we tie dyed! It was a blast!|
|And we feasted! This must have been fajita (beef and shrimp) night. Oh, my the BEST fajita dry rub ever! Arkan-sass Auntie and Uncle put cinnamon in theirs along with the typical hispanic spices.|
|And more feasting! Among these two families, the dads love to cook, too! That makes the moms quite happy.|
|Awww...aren't they cute?|
|Athos and Arkan-sass eldest. These two are barely a year apart and good friends.|
|Artemisia showing us her surfing moves.|
|Kalliope and Arkan-sass middle enjoyed a lot of playtime this year.|
|We've shared early marriage, early parenthood, and now we share teen woes and wonders. We are both so glad our husbands met!|
|A proud daddy and his best girl. These two are thick as thieves.|
|Faramir looking a little lobstery. He's almost as pink as the sunset behind him.|
|There was a LOT of testosterone this year.|
|The younger kids collected these beautiful grey-blue, ocean-washed stones. I've got buckets full looking for a good craft project.|
One of us got to celebrate his beginning the journey to adulthood with a men-only beach evening culminating in a very impressive sword gift.
The last day we took some photos of our crazy group...
The girls being "pirate-y"
|The boys being "Captain Morgan-y"|
|The whole Pirate Crew|
|And the original pirates|
|The older boys designed the iron-on that we put on everyone's tie-dye shirts. ('92 is when all the adults started hanging out.)|
Before we knew it, we were celebrating Independence Day. We kept it low-key this year. The boys and I made a run to South Carolina for some fireworks and put on our own mini-show in the cul-de-sac with our next-door neighbors.
|Artemisia was brave with the sparklers!|
|Not bad for back-yard fireworks, huh?|
|Kalliope and her "twin" next door - they are just weeks apart in age and awfully cute together.|