Leighton’s 1st Beach Trip!


Last week, we took our first family vacation to one of my favorite places in the world, St. Augustine, FL. We hadn’t been there in almost two years due to our busy summer filled with weddings (and a baby on the way) last year, so I was just dying to get back down there. We got married in St. Augustine almost 7 years ago, and I’m so happy we got to take Leighton there for her first real vacation and first trip to the beach.


My mom joined us for our 6-day trip, and we couldn’t have been more thankful to have her there with us. Despite packing what felt like half of the house, driving a total of 7 hours each way due to a few stops for feedings, and Leighton not really wanting to nap in her pack n play while we were there, it was an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable trip — largely thanks to having an extra set of helping hands from my sweet mama. She truly is the most amazing grandmother to Leighton, and I’m so glad she got to come along on this fun trip.


The weather at the beach was really windy and cool when we arrived, so the first full day was instead spent shopping at the outlet mall and hanging out at the house enjoying the gorgeous beachfront view while we cooked a delicious dinner.


My mom’s family lives in Jacksonville, so I was really excited to spend a day in town visiting with my grandmother Nana, as well as my cousin and her littlest one, my uncle, and even my aunt, who came in from Tallahassee. I love that Nana got to see Miss L army-crawling around her living room (and ending up under the armchair) — she was just one month old the last time she saw her! We had a yummy lunch out, and although I wish we could have spent a lot more time with them, it was wonderful to get in a few hours together. My dad made the drive up for the night, so we had dinner out at his favorite St. Augustine seafood joint. Leighton had us rolling on the floor laughing when she tried lemons for the first time… her sour face was absolutely priceless! Craig is still laughing every time he sees the photo.


Thankfully, some warm weather finally made its debut for our last two days, so we took full advantage of the beach. It was a bit different than the beach days we’re used to…instead of plopping down in the sand with music, drinks, and magazines or books for the day, we were hauling out a baby pool and tons of little toys to keep L occupied for an hour or so before she’d inevitably get tired of that and need to go in for food or a nap. But it was really fun to see her play in the sand and dip her toes in the ocean for the very first time. She’d grab handfuls of sand (which is mostly crushed shells on this part of the coast), inspect the sand intently, and then let it fall… until she decided to taste it. Yuck! She did look pretty adorable in her little swimsuits and sunhat, though, and I think she enjoyed the beach!

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My sweet mom kept Leighton one night so we could enjoy a date night out in downtown St. Augustine, and it was a perfect night! We started off with dinner at The Columbia, one of our favorite restaurants when we’re in town. We love their sangria made tableside, their crunchy bread, the Chicken Salteado dish, and Craig’s new favorite – a chicken dish covered in manchego cheese. It was lovely to have a nice dinner that didn’t have to be rushed, and we even got to walk down to our other favorite little spot, The Tini Martini Bar, for some after dinner drinks. It’s located in a bed and breakfast on the water with a pretty view and great drinks.


On our last night, we tried a new place (to us) called Casa Maya, which is also downtown. We all sat outside on this really pretty, hidden patio and enjoyed the best margaritas and yummy guacamole. Leighton had fun watching the other diners and eavesdropping on their conversations. 🙂 We just had to stop by Cousteau’s, a funny little waffle sundae and milkshake bar, for a decadent dessert of a nutella and strawberry liege waffle and a milkshake. I mean, it’s vacation… so calories don’t count, right?


My parents have a photo of me as a baby at the beach house. I’m sitting on a bed wearing a ruffled pink bathing suit and a white sun hat and showcasing my impressive Buddha belly. I found a similar pink suit for Leighton a few months ago and we decided that we had to recreate this photo when we finally made it to the beach house with her. I love that we have this fun little comparison photo of the two of us at similar ages.

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I’m always so sad to leave my mom’s family’s beach house when our vacation comes to an end, and this time was no exception. Despite traveling with a 7 month old, it was a surprisingly relaxing trip, and we had so much fun just being together for several days. I’m with Leighton the majority of each week, but with Craig working, he only gets to spend quality time with her on the weekends. This was the most time he’s gotten to be with her since right after she was born, and you can’t put a price on that! She won’t remember her first beach trip, but her mommy and daddy (and grandma) will definitely have memories to last a lifetime.


Leighton @ 7 months


Weight: 18 lbs  (We don’t have another doctor’s appointment till 9 months, but we were there a couple times this week for illnesses… so we at least got her updated weight!)


Milestones: At 6 months and a week, she did her first army crawl!! Craig baited her with his iPhone, and I think she would have “crawled” all over the house after that thing. She has gotten progressively faster with each week. I think it’s time to start baby proofing! 

She’s starting to sit up unassisted and can quite a little while if she has a toy to keep her occupied.

We started stage 2 baby foods this month, and she’s tried all sorts of mixtures that included new foods like blueberries, corn, oranges, mango, spinach, apricots, zucchini, and turkey.

Likes: Our friends lent us their son’s walker (the kind they sit in), and she has loved scooting around in it! I’m surprised how much she’s able to move it already. It’s hilarious to watch her turn in circles or zoom across the room and bang into a wall or door with the walker. She’s loving the ability to be on the move even more!


Dislikes: She does NOT like being on her changing pad now because it requires her to stay still. I find this funny, as just a few short months ago, that was her favorite place to hang out! As soon as we lie her down, she tries to flip to her stomach and fly off the dresser… always keeping us on our toes. She also now dislikes being strapped into anything (car seat, stroller, etc) but will settle down once the strapping process is complete. I think she’d much rather be free to move around as she pleases, but that’s not gonna fly in the car! 🙂

Fun stuff  & firsts: Leighton donned the tiniest leprechaun hat for her first St. Patty’s Day! The weekend before the holiday, we spent the afternoon in Midtown watching the annual parade with various friends. Leighton thoroughly enjoyed hanging out in the Baby Bjorn, watching the parade go by from a 12th floor condo balcony, as well as walking down the street and collecting beads. 🙂


We started The Music Class in March, which is a 10-week semester of weekly classes (we’re doing the Music Pups for infants up through toddlers). We’ve been having so much fun listening and singing along to the songs, playing with instruments, dancing around, and just watching the older kids interact with our teacher, Mrs. Anna.

At just over 6 months, she learned how to blow raspberries, which is the most hilarious thing ever! She sticks out her tiny little tongue and does it over and over again. Another funny favorite is what we have deemed her “Elmer Fudd face.” I can’t accurately describe it, so I’ve included a photo below as an example. 🙂


We traveled to Nashville for Leighton’s first Easter at the end of March, and had a lovely long weekend filled with good food, family time, visiting friends, and of course Easter festivities. 


My current favorite nickname for her is Ladybug. She’s already in size 9 month pajamas and is wearing 6-9 month clothes for the most part. She’s also just moved up to size 3 diapers. 

This is certainly not fun, but she also got pink eye in both eyes, an ear infection, and a bad cold for the first time (all at the same time, no less). She’s a little trooper, though, and the only parts that seemed to bother her were taking the amoxicillin and having ointment put in her eyes 4x a day. She certainly looked and sounded pretty pitiful to us, though!

She also rode in a shopping cart for the first time this past week, and she loved sitting up and being able to check everything out while we shopped at Target. I have a feeling this is going to make my shopping trips a lot easier… until she’s big enough to grab everything off the shelves and demand that I buy them! 🙂

She has become quite the “busy baby” — always into something, intently inspecting anything she can get her hands on, and she won’t stay still for more than about 2 seconds. Her head is constantly on a swivel, wanting to check out everything in sight. Looks like we’re going to have our hands full! 


Leighton’s 6 month photo session

A couple weeks ago, we had a session with the lovely and talented Jenny Perry Photography for Leighton’s 6 months photos. We met her at Whittier Mill Park, which is near our house and one of my favorite spots for photo sessions with my clients. We had so much fun working with Jenny and exploring more parts of the park that we hadn’t been to before. Leighton was a little angel, smiling and laughing and even sitting up for the camera.

We just got our gallery back, and I couldn’t wait to share some of our favorites with everyone. It’s not often that I get to be the subject instead of the photographer, so this was a nice treat to have these photos taken with the two loves of my life. I’m head over heels for these photos and will cherish them forever!