The week after Dad died, Dave and the kids and I went straight to North Carolina to enjoy the beach with my parents and sisters. It was a little paradise of buffer between the haze of losing Dad and the inevitable merge back into real life.
We had the most gorgeous weather imaginable. It was in the 70's or low 80's almost every day, and the ocean was incredibly gentle for at least the first half of our stay. The swimmers among us were in the water every day except for one. God was very kind to us in this.
Our little camera broke in September, and I was not in much of a picture-taking mood whilst in Duck. Mostly we focused on soaking in the sun, surf, and love of our family. But Dave did warily allow me to borrow his phone and take a few pictures one morning, after I pinky swore not to drop it in the sand or the water. Of course, I managed to get my finger in most of the shots, so they're all funkily cropped now, but they're much better than nothing.
The kids were enormously content whenever I dug them a "pool" or "bath tub." They would spend endless energy to improve and maintain it until a proper wave came along to fill it up, and then--ahhh, happy splashing.
And my favorite shot, of Mom and Judah: