Peace with Papa


There's something about the beach that just wears you out. In a good way, though. We've been down in Seacrest Beach since Sunday, and the weather's been amazing. Sloane, Hunter and the twins are having a blast playing with their cousins (my sister's children), and it's just nonstop action.

Chaos Central.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Today after lunch, everyone was going different directions -- some to the beach, some to the pool and others to relax and read. I looked up and had no idea where Sloane was. All of the other kids were accounted for, but Sloane was nowhere to be found.

I looked everywhere. The twins were asleep in our room, along with Hadley. My sister and her husband were on the balcony of their room reading and resting. Hunter was downstairs with his cousins playing games. My mother was in her room, reading her book. And my dad was on their balcony reading his.

But no Sloane.

Just as I was really starting to panic, my sister came down the stairs with her finger over her mouth, signaling me to be quiet...and follow her. We walked up the stairs and into my parents room, where she motioned for me to stick my head outside on the balcony where my father was reading.

And this is what I saw:

At some point, she'd changed into her new 4th of July dress and gone out on the balcony to be with my dad...aka "Papa." After watching the ocean and counting birds, my dad said she got rather quiet.

When he looked over at her, she was sound asleep on her blanket.

He pulled out his book and decided to read a bit with her fast asleep beside him.

Definitely one of the sweetest moments I've captured in a long, long time.

Regardless of how many fireworks displays we watch tonight in celebration of this fourth day in July, I don't think a single one of them could top what I witnessed a few minutes ago.

I hope you all have a 4th of July as happy and memorable as I...