Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weeks at Lake Erie

Hello lovely readers of Finding my Forever! 
I'm Genna from Freed at Last, where I blog about this transitional point in my life from girlfriend to wife and student to professional. You'll also see plenty of random rambling and pictures of my sweet furbaby Trigger while you're there.

I'm posting for Abbey while she's spending time on the beach with her fam, lucky duck!
In honor of her time being spent at the beach while I'm stuck at my desk in my office with no windows I thought I'd share my little corner of the beach with you.

Both my parents grew up around Lake Erie (my grandparents still live there) and our family is blessed enough to have a second home there as well.

The Lake has been our weekend get-a-way for as long as I can remember
Exhibit A: Baby Gen Gen on the beach
And no, you don't have to tell me that my neon fishy swim suit is rockin'! I know it. It was the 90s, people, cut my momma some slack.
On the beach with cousins and siblings. Me on the bottom left- excuse the boy hair cut, please
When I was little, my grandma would make this bomb homemade mac-n-cheese and I would always ask her for the recipe (even though I couldn't reach the stove). She would politely say no and remind me that if I had her mac-n-cheese too often, it wouldn't be so special anymore. That's how I think of the Lake. I can't be there that often because of work and school now that I've grown up, which makes it all the more special to me.
Then boyfriend (now fiance) and I at the Lake
We go up for holidays, birthdays and a few random days in between, but nothing like the weeks I spent there every summer as a kid.

Most recently my friends and I have made a point to go up for long weeks such as fall break.

Of course I have to take my little guy! He's a lab so he loves the water and digging in the sand...
So naturally he ends up with sand all over himself :)
Like really, how cute is he?
My favorite picture of him of all time
This place means the world to me and my family. Obviously the people I love most are there with me at some point or another, making it that much more special. But any place can be important to you and your loved ones, even a backyard, as long as you're making memories!
Sunset over the Lake on Easter
I hope you stop by my little corner of the Internet and say hello! I promise many adorable pictures of my furbaby if you do :)

Have a great trip, Abbey!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Family vacations to Myrtle Beach

Thanks so much to Shauna for guesting, I am worry free on the beach right about meow. (nope, doesn't matter what time you read it, I'm probably there. Please be sure to show her some love!

Hey everyone! I'm Shauna from Our Emerald City, where I talk about home design, plant based diets, green living, and traveling!  I also blog at theAwesomes, where I talk about my life with my husband!  Wow, that's a mouthful, isn't it?
Abbey is on vacation with her family today, going to their family's traditional vacation spot, so I wanted to talk about my family's regular destination: Myrtle Beach!
I've been traveling to Myrtle Beach every two years like clockwork since birth; in fact, this summer I should be there, but unfortunately I won't be making it this year!
Little toddler Shauna- I was blonde until I turned three!
My dad's family is from Myrtle Beach, and have lived there for long before it became a crazy tourist destination.  My great uncle owned a house one block off the beach that was the only one left in a mass of hotel chains.  You could see his woodsey little patch of property on every postcard! So every other summer, my parents, my brother and I trucked over for two weeks of sun, sand, and salt water!
My dad, granny, and Aunt Liz!
My dad back in the 60's
We always had the same schedule:  Each family member would lazily make their way down to our umbrella at the beach, we'd all hang out all day with various extended family, swimming, eating, reading, laying, and my favorite: boogie boarding.
I've never had an urge to learn to surf because I love to boogie board so much!  I both love and fear the ocean, so boogie boarding strikes a nice balance of having fun and not dying.
Although to be honest, most of my time was spent doing this:
I was actually a member of the Myrtle Beach library because I read so many books.  Ah, the days before Kindles.  My granny and I would share a Coke and read our books.
After a day of sun, we all made our way back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the town, and then we'd hit up the town's attractions each night.
You better believe we all dressed alike that day!
We might be visiting our favorite gift shop, the Gay Dolphin (real name)...
...or riding the rides at the amusement park...
...or hanging out at The Boardwalk, the outdoor mall.
And on every trip, we did mini golf.
Once we went to this awesome alligator farm, but it was way too ridiculously hot to enjoy.  This picture of it cracks me up; my brother and I are so cool ;)
Why am I wearing socks and sandals at the beach??
Tim's gotten to visit the beach twice now, and he loves it!  We always think it's hilarious how different our vacations were growing up.  His family did a lot of educational trips with lots of activities, and my family spent most our time laying on the beach.  Now that we're grown up, I always want to go do a million things, and Tim always wants to lay on the beach 24/7.  We do manage to find a nice balance between the two. 
Do you have any regular family vacation spots?  Can't wait to hear!  And don't forget to stop by theAwesomes and Our Emerald City!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beach book recommendations

Hey friends!

Today, my little sister Anna and I are off to New Jersey! As this is being published, we're probably actually in the air, flying to Philly!

Since I typically do a book post on Fridays, I thought it might be fun to leave you with some book recommendations for the beach!

Requirements for a beach book:
  • Light -- not too serious
  • Something you can put down and pick up again without forgetting everything
  • And of course, bonus points are awarded for funny books and for romance!

So without any further ado, here are some of my top beach reads!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen and The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
(Although any book by either author would work. Seriously. Two of my favs.)

My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler (obviously, this one's PG 13) and Matched by Ally Condie

What do I actually have in hand for the trip? 
Well, I'll be starting with these two gems, although I actually have six more (!) packed:

Not sure if either will fit the bill for a perfect beach read, but here's hoping they're good either way!

Happy reading and happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm going away!

Hey friends!

I am going going gone to the beach!

Well, I'm not actually gone, not yet. Today is a day of packing and running errands. Tomorrow my little sister Anna and I will be flying out bright and early (6:45 a.m.!!) to Philadelphia, where my cousin will pick us up and take us to Ortley Beach, New Jersey!

My aunt has a beach house and I've been going nearly every summer as long as I can remember... except for the past two summers. So I am SO pumped to be heading back this year!

A glimpse of years past at the beach:

We have eight hundred million cousin pictures.  I'm the one that's just a head on the far left, with a blue circle in the middle of my shirt in the middle picture, and in the yellow shirt in the far right picture.

Me and my mom, I'd guess I'm maybe 14? No idea, really.

My sisters, me, and my second cousin. I drew her a swimming suit, for modesty's sake.

And finally, the coolest picture I'll ever take at the beach, ever. This was at like, 2 am. We went back every night after at the same time and it was never this foggy or awesome again.

I can't even tell you how much this place means to my family. When I look through the pictures from all the summers I've been before, I can watch myself and my sisters grow up through the pictures. One year we still have a bowl cut and the very next it's gone and we're wearing two pieces. :)

Also, fun fact: Did any of you watch the first season of Jersey Shore? Our beach happens to be right next door to their boardwalk -- and I've been there every summer of my life, too. 

I'm so sorry to be leaving, especially since there's lots of newbies out there. Please stick around? I've got a post scheduled for tomorrow and then some AWESOME guest bloggers lined up to keep ya'll company while I"m gone. Please be nice to them?

Which reminds me... when I'm back, I'll be having a giveaway! I don't know what yet because I plan to buy stuffs in New Jersey! So as an extra incentive for you to be suuuper welcoming, I intend to count sincere comments on guest posts as extra entries!
I'm not sure how it'll work yet, but probably not a 1:1 ratio. I'll figure it out later. :) And by sincere, I mean none of that "That's neat!" baloney. Say something real!

So for the next week, forgive me for any late answers to emails. But really, would you be answering emails if you were here?

Happy almost weekend friends!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July swap goodies!

Hey all! Today is the link-up party for a summer swap I participated in, Christmas in July, and I'm excited to show you what I got! 

But first -- an announcement! I'm guest posting today over at Obviously Obsessed! Lucky Amber is off at the beach (just a couple days ahead of my beach trip!) and I filled in for her. You might remember Amber from when she guest posted for me. So head on over to read about what I think are the best ways to feel involved in the blogging community!

Now, onto the goodies!

This blog swap was hosted by the lovely Alyx, Celia and Daryl.

I was paired with Bhrett and here's what she sent me:

A hand made cross-stitch of a JRR Tolkein quote! She said she picked this because I told her I love to travel, and she made a good choice -- I absolutely adore this quote! I've also been planning to hang study abroad pictures from my trip and Pat's trip in our future room together, and I think this will go quite nicely :)

She also sent me this book:

The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss, which she found on my to-read list on Goodreads. I think it'll make a perfect beach book for my upcoming trip! (which I'll be posting about tomorrow!)

I'm very excited to dig in to this book, and to hang my new pretty in my new house!

Did any of you participate in the swap? I'll be looking for you in the link up!


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