Last week we were at the beach with my husband’s family, and it was an amazing time of refreshing and fellowship, as it always is. We are truly blessed! This will be my third year going with his family to the beach (this is a yearly tradition for them), and I could not be more delighted to be included in their tradition… which I suppose has now become my own!
Usually, spending this time away is a good opportunity to reflect and re-group, but I have to admit that this year I had very little of that… perhaps it was the distraction of a busy little boy who gets Mom & Dad up at the crack of dawn ready to go down to the water?! 😉 hmmm…
Regardless, the time was a blessing. I was able to spend an evening sharing thoughts on life and faith with my Mother-in-law… catch up with cousin-friends who live really close to us, but we rarely get to see… spend a few evenings going out on sweet dates with my hubby 🙂 …and, of course spend a Ton of time soaking up some vitamin D and testing out our non-toxic sunscreen solutions!
Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves very much, and I thought I’d share
a few an annoyingly large amount of pics from our trip with you 😉 …along with our updates and comments on how our non-traditional sun protection ways have been working out for us!
Caught a pic of some “beach waves” 😉 … Beach Hair, Don’t Care!
One of our early mornings, we were just hanging out on the deck… and this friendly bird decided to hang out with us… so my hubby started snapping some pics…
It didn’t take long for him to notice us 😉
We found out later that he had taken up residence under the beach house, so… guess we were actually on his turf. woops.
…Tristan wasn’t exactly sure of the water at first. Honestly it took him a few days to really warm up to the idea, and we had two great days of getting to be in clear water, with calm waves, and lots of fishies which we thoroughly enjoyed! 🙂
There was a really gorgeous storm that we got to watch roll in one day… we had fun on the sand for as long as it was safe, then waited it out underneath the beach house. (Come to think of it, I don’t think it ever even actually rained!)
Waiting is so very hard…
But there was lots of entertainment happening just beyond the camera… 😉
Getting ready to go in to the fort and see the Blacksmith… (We were on Dauphin Island for those of you wondering.)
The pic above will be much less cool when you know that down that corridor, behind my son, are 10 “toilets” (wooden slats with holes in them) that were used to relieve over 400 men at the barracks… according to the sign posted, “the toilets would be ‘flushed’ once a day by the tide rolling in.” …You needed to know that, right?
Sweet, sleepy baby… nap time was good that day! 😉
Time for snow cones with these two cutie cousins!
And of course, more entertainment for the patient boys! 😉 It sure is fun to make them giggle… note the keenly accurate “monster” impression happening on the right!
The last two days at the beach we were inundated with Jelly Fish who had decided our beach was a good place to hang out… not so fun 🙁 …but we made the best of it.
Daddy decided to make a small “kiddie pool” so at least the kids could get a little water action. Not too shabby, eh? 😉
Finally got a mommy & baby shot… I’m pretty sure he’s complaining about the sand on his hands in this one (a week-long, futile struggle!) 😉
And of course, the best part of building a sand structure… is tearing it down! 😉
Our time at the beach was awesome, and it was so fun getting to see our Mr. Man slowly building courage to get in the ocean and enjoy the waves! I feel like he really grew this past week, not just physically, but cognitively and emotionally. It’s such a joy to watch him learn and grow!
…I’ll bet you’re still wondering how our sunscreen adventures went right? 😉
Update on our Non-Toxic Sun Protection Solutions (8/2014)
In case you missed it, at the beginning of summer I posted about how we would be doing things a little bit different this year and had chosen not to slather up with chemical-laden sunscreens. You can check out that post here.
It went really well, better than I had even anticipated actually. We took our fermented cod liver oil (almost) every morning, ate lots of antioxidant and omega-3 rich foods (like blueberries and fish), and when we were out in the full sun we slathered up with our non-toxic sunscreens.
So, here’s the thing, non-toxic sunscreens will make you look pasty white. I had read this, but hadn’t really experienced it in all it’s glory until we were at the beach. I verbalized a general disclaimer that my whiteness was a result of my sun protection, not because I was actually that scarily pale… and got a few skeptical nods of acceptance. Whatever… haters. I quickly got used to the fact that I’d be pasty for the majority of the week, and figured safety over vanity would be my rule.
We used Mexitan Tropical Sands SPF 30 All Natural Biodegradable Water Resistant Sunscreen & Green Screen Organic Sunscreen with SPF 32, and lathered up about once an hour while we were in full sun & especially when we were swimming. My personal favorite ended up being the Green Screen because it was just a bit smoother and easier to spread (this is pretty important when you’ve got a wiggly toddler, by the way!).
We were lucky to be right on the beach, so when the sun was too hot, we’d simply go right under the house (like a cabana), to seek shade. We also enlisted the aid of some very useful towels and clothing draped to conceal parts that may be feeling a bit more sun-drenched than others. And, on a few occasions I used some coconut oil when I knew we wouldn’t be out for all that long.
Was all the pasty whiteness worth it?
This is the first year (EVER) that I did not burn at the beach. I got a little pink here and there, which was my own fault, but the non-toxic sunscreens worked great, and the nutritional supplements definitely aided in prepping our skin, so that what sun we did get went straight to a golden tan.
I’m not gonna lie to you… it was not that fun having to smear on white paste all over, but it was totally worth it!
It is truly my hope that our experience will encourage you to seek better solutions for protecting yourself and your family from harmful sun damage, and please let me know if you have any other questions about what we are doing!
What kind of fun in the sun have you been having this summer? And, what kinds of sun protection have you been using?