Leaving Lanier.

Please don’t make me leave.

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I have not felt this relaxed in eight months.  I’ve been spoiled by hours and hours of downtime while the grandparents loved on Cullen.  I have swam, done at least a hundred underwater summersaults, and I’ve worked on my breaststroke.

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I have splashed, tickled toes, applied countless ounces of sunscreen to tiny pink cheeks, and snuggled with a slippery soggy little swimmer.

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I’ve had six uninterrupted days with Casey, and I’ve been able to watch him dunk, reassure, and gently encourage our little fish to embrace the water.

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With a few good naps under his belt and a few days to get used to it, Cullen started to get the hang of this whole lake scene.

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I feel pretty blessed to have a really flexible baby.  While I do my best to always respect his (loose) schedule and his needs, at the same time, Casey and I always hoped to continue to do the things we love – like travel, visit family, and spend a lot of time outdoors – once our little one arrived.

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Cullen was a total champ – being many miles from the comforts of home, three hours out of his normal time zone, and surrounded by many new faces and voices.  And yet he was his happy, smiling self all week long.  He slept (relatively) well at night, napped on the fly, and played so hard that he passed out like a newborn again.

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I credit most of it to him, but I think part of it is that we’ve had him out and about since a very early age.  We respect his needs for structure and downtime, but we also don’t just sit in our house.  We are really lucky he is such a laidback guy.

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It is so fun to watch him with his grandparents.  He absolutely lights up around them.  It’s bittersweet, and leaves me wishing we weren’t all so painfully far apart.  Best to just soak it all up and appreciate being together when we can!

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This vacation could not have come at a better time for us.  As Cullen has gotten more mobile and now demands more attention, I’ve felt pretty burnt out and overwhelmed these past few months.  This week allowed me to relax, recharge, and unplug.  The water makes me so happy, and sharing that with Cullen is something I’ve looked forward to for so long.

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I am so grateful for my awesome little family, and I can’t help but already look forward to many summers of family vacations to come.

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Cullen wasn’t a huge fan of just swimming and bobbing in the water, but we discovered the secret to helping him find his inner fish…

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Peekaboo from underwater.  You have never heard such precious baby giggles.

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Actually, you can.  Right here.  (Watch for the face plant at the end – oops!)

It’s our last night here, and we’re back to reality (and temps in the 60’s!) tomorrow.  But we’re headed home with so many great memories of a week spent with people we love.

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Until next summer!