Continuing from where I left off...
My next recollection of the vacation was at 11:30 AM Sunday morning. Instantly, I thought something was amiss...after all, it was Sunday, and my parents hadn't dragged us all out of bed to make it to church at 9. *
*side note here: my family has ALWAYS gone to a full block of church every Sunday, no matter our location. It didn't matter that we were on vacation in some obscure place and didn't know anyone--we went. This was the bane of my existence growing up (it seemed like no one else in the entire world went to more church than just Sacrament Meeting if it was a different ward than their own). Now, I understand their reasoning and plan on doing the same with my little family.
Anyway, I checked and double-checked the clock, figured that no one else knew what time it was, and set out to wake everyone else in the condo to see if they knew any more than I did (I'm sure they were all thrilled about this). Turns out my parents had some trouble locating a ward/branch in the vicinity of Myrtle Beach -- there was one that started at 9, but it was a ways away. They also woke up at 8:30 on Sunday morning, figured that even if they got everyone up, we'd never make it on time for a 9 AM meeting (not to mention the fact that we had all been awake for more than 24 hours the day before and were all still dead to the world), and made the executive decision to skip church JUST THIS ONCE. Shock and awe ensued.
So, we now had a day to completely recover. We ate breakfast, lounged, and even went back to sleep for a while. Before calling my brother, Nathan, in Liberia, we gave and received Mother's Day gifts. Kyle and Cole made me an adorable apron, my mom helped Kyle make a cute picture book for me, and my parents gave me a beautiful picture book about being a mother that I still can't even read out loud without bursting into incoherent tears. I learned there's nothing quite like hearing your little one tell you "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy."
We got Nathan on the phone around 3 PM, and the first order of business was for my baby brother, Daniel, to open his mission call. He had received it the previous Wednesday, decided to save it for Sunday so Nathan could hear it, and hid it away from the rest of us. It seemed to take FOREVER for him to get it open (I'm sure he was dawdling on purpose to heighten the anticipation) and read the all-important location:
Philippines Iloilo Mission
We were all a little floored. I don't think any of us expected it (why does that always seem to be the case? Missionaries always get sent to the last place you can think of). He will be speaking Tagalog and he enters the MTC on September 15.^
^Another side note: Cole and I spent about half an hour on the church website trying to find any information about Daniel's mission, and we've come to the conclusion that it doesn't officially exist yet. It's still not listed as a mission in the Philippines, and there haven't been any press releases lately announcing it. So, we think that Daniel will be one of the first missionaries in a brand new misison! Kind of cool, really...
Moving on...talking to Nathan was awesome! A few weeks previously he had been transferred from Sierra Leone to Monrovia, Liberia, so he had a lot of new experiences to share. He also spoke with a Sierra Leonian accent for us, which was pretty impressive. They speak primarily English and a language called Krio (which strongly resembles English) there, so his accent made him sound a little South African, a little Jamaican, and all awesome.
After the phone call was over, we rebelled a little further and went to the grocery store (gasp!) to pick up a few things we still needed for dinner. The menfolk were cooking for us for Mother's Day, and we didn't have to do anything but show up and eat (which was AMAZING). So, after getting back from the store, my mom, Stephanie, and I took Kyle for a walk by the beach.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day! The water was cool, the sand was soft, and it was the perfect temperature. Kyle insisted on keeping his flip-flops on--he didn't like the feeling of wet sand on his feet. He did like it when the waves came on to the shore and he got to walk in the water. He wouldn't let go of either my or my mom's hand, though...the waves still scared him enough to stay with us. :)
Here's a side view of me, 34 weeks pregnant...in case you want to see what a beached whale looks like (literally). :)
We walked a good ways up the beach before turning around. Kyle was really quiet the whole time we walked, even when we realized he had broken shell pieces stuck between his flip-flops and his foot (ouch!). We also got to see two of these guys:
Gross! I don't know how people step on jellyfish that have washed up on shore. They're pretty noticeable. We saw them from quite a ways away and gave them a wide berth (except to take a picture).
We got back to our condo and ate a delicious dinner -- bacon-wrapped steaks, baked potatoes, broccoli, rolls, salad, and apple-cinnamon cake. Yummy! While the boys cleaned up we lounged on the couch and watched a movie on TV (they had a bunch of chick-flicks playing back to back in honor of Mother's Day). We called it a night after too much later and went to bed, still managing to be tired after a day full of doing nothing.
In the next installment: beach day, mimosas (or not), baby tigers, and tacos.