77 In Life

Good Morning


This is what I saw this morning as I stepped outside with coffee in hand. It makes me want to sing of my Redeemer. We are pulling out this morning heading north and to say that I am anxious to return here is an understatement. We have had the most wonderful time, first at the beach, second at the bay.

Our first attempt at crabbing came up with a lonely little hermit crab…



But last night before dinner we reloaded the trap with stinky left over shrimp and after dinner we found our first catch… a crabby little blue crab and a fish that we helped find his way back into the water!




I’m going to have to find myself a trusty, handy, and easily transported tripod because shooting in the pitch dark isn’t easy without one. The pictures above were taken with a flashlight in one hand and camera in the other. I used our deck railing to shoot the full moon last night. {If anyone has tripod suggestions, I’m all ears… a little, portable one, I’ve got a big one.}


In the last couple of days we’ve realized that we are living in the middle of a bird watching oasis, considering we are “bird nerds” this makes us really excited. The kids share our enthusiasm and the little Rover, instead of asking for books at night, has been read the “The Naturalists Pocket Guide to Gulf Coast Birds”, a full-color, laminated pamphlet. Fine with me! And he is slowly learning that every bird is not an eagle.




After seeing a Great Blue Heron in our neighbors bird bath, I am considering returning with a bird bath of our own this summer. He,  at about 4 feet tall in all his grandeur, was perched on the bird bath having lots of refreshing drinks. It was an amusing sight!

I’m sure this is not very sanitary but considering the top drawer of my chest of drawers growing up was strictly filled with bird nests and feathers, I figure he’ll be alright.


Justin ran home Saturday to fetch our boat. And running home, by car, takes about 4 hours, but he had his mind set on it and it proved to be a worthwhile trip, although I might have slightly protested the idea. Our boat is not like any of the other boats I’ve seen here in Perdido Bay. We may change our names to Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer for the summer as we scoot around in our 1964 16 foot black aluminum Starcraft. But guess what folks, the yachts have nothing on our Starcraft! It gets us from point A to point B in the shallowest of waters and I only had to pull a few splinters out when our boating expedition was over! Justin assures me before summer he’ll have her rigged up with seats. We had a few folks point and laugh as we catted around the little islands, apparently thinking we were both deaf and blind.

As you can see the entrance to the water by the dock has a bulkhead, but we are thankful for shallow and clear water for the kids to play and swim in.


Our first stop was the little island directly across from our dock where a kind soul has left an Adirondack chair for me to sit in.


Just to give you an idea of what the Starcraft is up against in these waters see exihibit A below. Some of these boaters aren’t the courteous type, taking no thought of the giant wake they leave trailing behind that might rock people like us in a Starcraft to the point of nausea, or worse, throw us overboard.

Exibibit A.


I’ve never been one to use my middle finger but I may have to pull it out this summer.

After our first stop we decided to navigate around the other little islands, one of which is apparently the hot spot for parking and hanging out. Our captain assured me their pointing was due to envy… either of our boat or my outfit, it’s hard to say.


Rover managed to hold tight to Spiderman the entire time we were in the boat.


And our captain managed to put us right on top of a pod of happy & playful dolphins.



And I may have shot some video footage from my phone where you can hear me get really excited about dolphins and ask Justin if they’ve ever been known to come up and knock small watercraft over. I’m connected to the internet via my phone’s hot spot capabilities right now, which is fine for photographs but videos aren’t really an option! So, I’ll share once I get home with a faster connection.

And as soon as I can recover from my mom leaving, I’ll report back on part 1 of our trip… the BEACH!


It’s been really fun having her with us, she is a saint and we love her!!


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  • Whitney
    April 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I love the “exhibit A” picture. We know that feeling all too well. My husband has a great portable tripod. I’ll have to find out the name, but it contorts on anything b/c it bends and is tiny. He has put it on chairs, fixed the camera on a timer, and taken a pic of just us 2 when there’s no one else to take our pic, for example. It sounds like it may help you this summer!

  • Kellie
    April 18, 2011 at 11:20 am

    You will have so many wonderful memories from this summer!!!!!! No one ever believes me when I tell them that Orange Beach is 4 hours from Dothan – we never went there growing up b/c it was so far, but now that I live in Tuscaloosa, everyone goes there – it’s about 4 1/2 hours from here – crazy that it’s the same distance!!! All your pictures are so familiar!!!! I laughed out loud at that boat – size doesn’t matter – ya’ll will have so much fun in it – just wait and see!!!!

  • Beth {Embracing Twentysomething}
    April 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

    You have such a precious family, and these memories are times your children will talk about for years to come! I love the picture of Rover holding tight to Spiderman. 🙂 And the last picture of you and your mom – simply stunning!

  • Amanda
    April 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

    What an amazing looking place to spend the summer!

    Have you thought about a GorillaPod? We have one for our little point-and-shoot and another (slightly larger) one for our DSLR. They fit really easily into my bag and are great when you don’t want to haul around a giant tri-pod. The only downside is that you need to attach it to something stationary. I tried using it once in a lighthouse and stupidly attached it to the whirling light in the center (that vibrates a lot)… not a great result 🙂

  • Jenn
    April 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

    This looks like heaven! I was raised in Florida but now live in Atlanta and these picture are giving me serious beach-envy. Enjoy every minute, and thanks for sharing them with us! 🙂

  • Candice
    April 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

    What beach is this? It is beautiful and I am always on the lookout for new places to visit, that are affordable. We live in Simpsonville, SC. Love your blog and am new to it! 🙂 Thanks for all of your info!!!

    Candice Snyder

  • Julie
    April 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Oh my goodness, those dolphins are AMAZING! What a wonderful vacation!

  • Amy Brewer
    April 18, 2011 at 11:41 am

    What fun you are going to have this summer! I cannot believe this is the first summer we are not headed to Orange Beach, waiting and going for two weeks in October! I am envious of your time on the water. My parents have a place down there and I can’t convince them that next they need to buy a boat. Maybe that should be my contribution.
    As for a tripod, we just got one for a Christmas present from hubby’s brother and it is pretty awesome. It is a Targus and comes in a handy bag with a shoulder strap. Here it is on amazon:

    I hope you and Rover have been watching the Decorah Eagles nest. It is awesome and only slightly addicting.

  • paige
    April 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    oh darby….what an awesome adventure!! i would trade our crazy inland life right now with you and those rovers and the dolphins in a heartbeat!!

    can’t wait to see your summer blondies. ya’ll are just the cutest.
    guess this means cruising through d-town on our way to seaside to squeeze your neck is out, huh? 😉


  • Jennifer@afineromanceblog.blogspot.com
    April 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I have the earrings that you have on in the last pic! Now I love them even more. 😉

  • Amy
    April 18, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Beautiful Darby! I am looming forward to hearing about your adventures. As for tripods I have no advice. The only tip for shooting at night in manual mode is upping your ISO. I know some people say don’t up your ISO but I have never had a problem with getting really good shots when there is not enough light. Sorry to say my parents have a boat like the one that gave you all that wake. They are much more courteous though and they stare on the Chesepeak Bay. You are going to have the best summer and like another commenter said, boat size is all relative. It only matters who’s on it for how much you are going to enjoy it. 🙂

  • Megan
    April 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Gosh…that looks lovely. Sign me up!

  • Amy
    April 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Ugh, I meant looking forward to not looming. Smart phone strikes again!:-)

  • Tessa
    April 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

    oh Darby, those pictures are beautiful! Especially Rover squeezing Morgan so tight. What an adventure you’ll have this summer. If Morgan’s able to, she should think about keeping a journal. My Mum had my brother and I keep one every vacation. I think I was about 5 years old when I had my first. It was mostly drawings and very few words, but they are such a treasure to me still. It really helps bring all the memories back.


  • sherry
    April 18, 2011 at 11:56 am

    They are probably pointing to you saying, “Isn’t that Darby? OH MY GOODNESS, IT IS!!!!! Love her blog, I hope we get to meet her!”…at least that is what I would be saying;) Not one prone to envy, but I may be just a tad…so blessed to be able to have the summer with your family that you have before you! Can’t wait to tag along via the internet!

  • Jenny B
    April 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I am so thrilled to live vicariously through you this summer. My summers as a kid were all about freedom and the outdoors, and I really miss that for my kids. Living in the big city (San Francisco)summer is not quite the same, and it’s never the same just going on a week or two vacation. Living the beach life for months is a dream come true. Smart thinking of your hubby to get this job in the summer months, eh?

  • Melanie Marsh
    April 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    breathtaking! Makes me kind of regret deciding to buy a bigger family boat instead of going to the beach for vacation! You guys make boating on a little boat look so cool and fun…and I TOTALLY think it was your outfit they were envious of- HOT hoodie!
    That rover is so cute with his little spiderman- he always reminds me of my little jack!

  • Molly S
    April 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Looks like you spent some time at Robinson Island! Are y’all on Ono? If you’re looking for playmates for the summer, we’ll be there all July – with three girls 7, 4 and 1… Nothing like Perdido Bay! Many MANY summers spent there as a child and now an adult.

  • Heidi
    April 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    This is the best tripod ever!!! It is tiny and bendable so you can just put it on the porch railing. It has amazing reviews on amazon. You can put it in trees and all kinds of places!

  • Ivy Ruths
    April 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Darcy — I have to say i love your posts and your blogs! I get excited when they pop up in my reader – I’m a long time reader but don’t think i have commented in a while! Just wanted to give you a tip to look into the Gorilla Pod. We have two – one for our point and shoot and one for our DSL. You will LOVE it – and then you can be in a few photos too!

  • Brittaney
    April 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Your pictures make me want to pick up and leave for Orange Beach this minute! Your summer place is in the perfect spot! Here’s a few suggestions for your summer:
    1. Take your boat to Pirates Cove. The song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was written about the cheeseburger, so it’s a must try! And there’s a great beach area for the kids to play.
    2. Find someone with connections to Caribe and get a pass for the day. They have a lazy river, water slides, and tons of pools to play in- the kids will love it there! (Our wedding reception was held there, so it does have a special place in my heart.)
    3. Take lots of rides in search of dolphins. You’re almost guaranteed to see atleast 1 each trip. Last month one followed us for about 2 miles on the boat, jumping in it’s wake.
    4. Go to the other side of Robinson’s Island (the crowded island you visited). Let the kids hunt for hermit crabs- there are tons!
    Enjoy your summer in the most wonderful place in the world (I might be a little biased). I can’t wait make lots of trips down myself!

  • Anne W
    April 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Darby, I am so envious of the fun that is awaiting yall this summer! It looks like you’ve found a little piece of paradise!! Thanks so much for sharing all your adventures with us–I’m looking forward to reading along this summer. It’s always a highlight to sit down with my computer at naptime and see that there’s a new post on Fly Through our Window 🙂 I know you must get this a lot, but I so enjoy your blog and feel like I know you and your family. I hope it doesn’t sound creepy that sometimes I just wish I could give those sweet kiddos a hug in real life 🙂 ps. That picture of you and your mama is lovely, yall are two beautiful ladies.

  • Kate
    April 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I see a wonderful summer in your future and I look forward to many more blog posts of Starcraft, crab, and birds. Your children are going to have such fond memories of the time you all get to share in Florida this year.

  • Barbara
    April 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    When you posted pictures on your last entry I wondered if you were near Perdido Bay. I’ve grown up going there every summer and absolutely LOVE it! You are going to have the best summer. I’m just jealous that I can’t go for the whole summer like you….we normally only go for about a week at a time. If you ever go into Foley there is a cute little cheese farm off Hwy 98 that also has some small animals. There is also a drugstore in downtown Foley with the old time soda dispenser. Have a great summer! You should see plenty of dolphins, blue herons, and pelicans too!

  • The Mom
    April 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I grew up exploring Cinco Bayou in a john-boat my uncle had made. We also drew lots of stares and laughter from the “speed-boats” that blew by us, but I learned a great deal about the water and life in general in that tiny little boat. Count your blessings! You are so much closer to the water and can feel the pulse of life. There’s not much that will escape your notice! I hope you keep some oars stored under those bench seats, our tiny Evinrude would fail from time to time and that’s how I learned to manage a pair of oars! Even today I would prefer your tiny craft to a Taj Mahal yacht!

  • rhonda
    April 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Oh how thrilled I am for yall! You will make wonderful memories in that little boat of yours…Don’t mind the stares at all!! (Besides, you can get closer to the dolphins that way, right?!) Enjoy every second!!

  • Ashley
    April 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    AH great post 🙂 Reminds me of my husband’s boat and where we live. We too get points and laughs! Ha!
    Looks like you’re going to have a great summer!!!

  • Kathy brown
    April 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I happened upon your blog through Lenzie Lane’s. I happened to live in Orange Beach- what an awesome place to spend your summer! Enjoy your little boat- it will get you where you need to go! Lots of great places to visit down here- Lazy River at the Wharf is so much fun. Gulf Shores has a great little zoo. The list goes on and on. BTW- try some chicken necks or fish scraps for your crab traps. Marinas will give your their left-overs at the end of their trips. Have fun. Hope to see you guys on the island!
    Kathy Brown

  • Deanna
    April 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Your post had me laughing so hard I was in tears. Thank you for the smiles on a Monday! I hope you and your family have a wonderful time this summer – I’m green with envy! 🙂

  • dorajane
    April 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Darby! We, too, have an ‘antique’ boat that we use to navigate these yacht-filled waters. If you haven’t already discovered Pirate’s Cove, you must go….for the burgers and for the entertainment! Here is my post about it https://littleneesespieces.blogspot.com/2010/09/pirates-cove.html.

    You are going to have a blast this summer. And, if we happen to cross paths, I promise our boat won’t knock you overboard! 🙂

  • Kirsten Ostertag
    April 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Darby,
    I just wanted to say I love your blog. I feel like I have found a kindred online spirit! Ha ha! My Mom was actually the one who told me about your website and I have had so much fun reading through your archived entries (when time permits). Your family is so beautiful and the pictures you post with each story are amazing! I check in daily for updated posts – no pressure 😉
    As for tripods I would have to agree that the Gorilla is the way to go. You could practically hang it off of a hook on the ceiling if you needed to (I would love to see THAT picture BTW).
    Have a fabulous summer! I can’t wait to follow along with the other faithful readers.

  • cat moore
    April 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    beautiful pics, Darby! I’m envious of y’all living there this summer! How much fun! The kids are going to love it and you just might have to move there full time. 😉

  • JulieJ
    April 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    What a delightful summer yall are going to have! I can’t wait to be along for the ride 🙂 Thanks for sharing your life and photos with us, Darby!

  • kat
    April 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Wow, what a gorgeous spot. I can see why you are so excited to go back for the summer!!! I laughed out loud at the “using your middle finger” comment. Hilarious. About the tripod, my dad has a a little travel one that fits in his camera bag, I’ll ask him where he got it and let you know.

  • Shannon
    April 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Darby – I love your striped scarf – if you have a moment, please tell us where you picked it up! Your vacation looks like so much fun. And all those “big boats” should be laughing – your family got a much better view of all the dolphins, and they missed out!

  • Suzette
    April 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Gorgeous post! Love the photos so much!

  • Julie White
    April 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I just love everything about this post. We also have a “piece of heaven” on the Choctawhatchee Bay in South Walton. Enjoy your time and your kids will NEVER forget these moments “at the bay”! I grew up spending summers with my family at the bay in Fort Walton and we all STILL reminisce about it. Suggestion for the crab trap…chicken necks from the grocery store! Ask the butcher. You will be boiling supper before you know it!

  • ferdinando (aka andy)
    April 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    darby doll, i happened to notice that you nor the trusty captain were wearing your personal flotation devices (PFD)in the above picture. i will tell you i have heard quite frequently from the expert aka my wife that it is pointless to put children in PFD’s if you don’t intend to use one yourself. as she put it you can get bonked on the head and drown and then who will save you, and your children? i only point this out b/c i am now selling PFD’s that are hand sewn, full of poisonous non decaying Styrofoam coffee cups. if you’d like one just let me know! looks like you guys had a blast!!! enjoy your summer 🙂


    ferdinando (aka andy)

  • Melissa
    April 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    You are going to have an amazing summer! And you will rock that boat!! Love it.

  • Shannon
    April 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Darby! That picture of you and your mama at the end of your blog post is gorgeous. You are two hot mamas!

    I have a photo question for you…I invested in the Rebel T2i and the Tamron lens you suggested. How do I take awesome night time pictures of the moon like you did in this post?

    Your vacay looked nothing short of perfect and refreshing. So glad y’all could get away and get to go back!

  • Alli
    April 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    beautiful pictures Darby! it looks like you are really enjoying it there!

  • Elizabeth
    April 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Beautiful pictures! It makes me excited to start a family and take trips like this too!

  • Gail
    April 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    https://www.wvec.com/marketplace/microsite-content/eagle-cam.html Darby, This site is for Rover…HE will LOVE it!!! They will be tagging these babes on the 21st of this month! Enjoy…And, OH by the way…I think…The people passing are just thinking…”HOW darn cute those kids are and, how LUCKY Y’ALL are to be having such fun” Just enjoy this entire ride!!!! :O)

  • Jessica
    April 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Wow! You take the most amazing photographs! You’ve inspired me to start learning how to use my Nikon D3000 for more than just a point & shoot! Your new summer house & surroundings look fabulous & you guys are going to have so much fun! Do you have room for one more??!! 🙂

  • Abby Maddox
    April 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Just extremely happy about all of this post…except one part. While the sight of you all making such big memories makes my heart smile and the pictures are beautiful…I can’t help but want you to not have SO MUCH fun that you don’t come back 🙁

  • Joy
    April 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Looks like fun!! We just got back from vacation, too — to Key West!!

  • Melissab74
    April 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Ya’ll are going to have so much fun this summer! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

  • Beth
    April 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Darby, what a wonderful spot you guys have found! It will be a summer to remember! I just have to say that the 2nd to last pic of your three kids is absolutely gorgeous! Did you take that? That’s a framer! Have a great week!

  • Anna
    April 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Great portable & sturdy tripod: https://joby.com/gorillapod/slr/

  • cousin
    April 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Darby, I am soooo excited to come down! I think that boat will be perfect for us! Who needs a dumb yacht anyway!? Love you and all those sweet babies! XO

  • Amanda
    April 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Love the pictures, love the dolphins, love the starcraft (who needs a yacht?)! And, your little ones are just precious! You are bound to make a lifetime of wonderful memories this summer, enjoy every sunrise, every sunset, and all hour in between. Amanda

  • Kara
    April 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    looks beautiful 🙂 I feel a little like I’ve been on vacation now that I’ve seen your pictures! excited to hear all about your summer as it unfolds 🙂

  • Jill
    April 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I’m so glad y’all will be living in our “neck of the woods” this summer… Julie {your new little helper} is my younger sister and she had a blast with you and your cutie pies! She said you were just as cool in person as you seem on the blog. Thank you for “hiring” her and being so sweet… She will love on them as much as they can stand it! 🙂 And I love keeping up with your blog!

  • Abbie
    April 18, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    We have the GorillaPod and love it. It hooks on to just about anything!

  • Suzanne Perez
    April 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Beautiful pictures! I chuckled when I saw the one of Rover and Spiderman! Love it!

  • Amber E
    April 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    We just got back from Gulf Shores today! The gulf is a great place to be right now. Perfect weather! Looks like y’all are having a great time. I love your boat! It doesn’t matter how big it is, I bet your little family is making more memories than those folks on that house boat!

  • Lauren
    April 19, 2011 at 1:33 am

    your posts always have me laughing…. love the boat. who cares about the size anyway – ha… as long as memories are made and it works and everybody enjoys it… that’s all that matters! looks like fun times are ahead this summer for ya’ll!

  • Dana Keyes
    April 19, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Hey Darby! (I’m one of Erika’s clients.) I love your blog and wanted you to know about this live stream web cam site that I’m addicted to: https://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles It is 24/7 on an eagle’s nest that I’ll bet your little ones would love. If you look around on the site you can view the eggs hatching. Just thought you might enjoy.
    P.S. You and E have the most beautiful children! (but of course, from beautiful parents). 🙂

  • Lindsay Nicholls
    April 19, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Shut up!!!! i am so stinkin jealous. What a wonderful place to stay this summer. I know you and your children are excited about staying there! hope to see you wed!

  • Tiffany
    April 19, 2011 at 7:12 am

    I’ve been reading for a couple of years now, and I live in Summerdale, which is about 20 minutes north of Gulf Shores. First let me say, I’d never move any further north. Second, we have a 1984 Crestliner and I know what you mean about exhibit A. And lastly, if I actually see you in person, I may be more excited than you were about seeing dolphins!!!

  • beck
    April 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

    For all of y’all locals around Perdido, I was just wondering: is the Florabama still open? I’m a Dallas girl who has fantastic memories of visiting Perdido and fun nights at the Florabama but didn’t know if the hurricanes hauled it away? Have so much fun, Darby. My summer memories are filled with lil’ boats and I would love for my little ones to have the experiences yours will have this summer!

  • Lauren
    April 19, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I always thought boats were like trucks…the bigger they were, the more the person had to prove!

  • Lisa
    April 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

    The pictures are wonderful. I really love the sharpness of the one with your three children as well as the night shots. I have not sucessfully shot anything at night yet. Are you shooting on manual or auto setting and if auto which setting are you using?

  • Kristyn
    April 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

    We live near a lake in Texas and I can assure you the same comments are made here. We have a little boat that we cruise around the shore in but we are laughed at by the Ski boats! Ha! I guess boys and their toys never change.

  • Kate from Party Resources
    April 19, 2011 at 10:36 am

    It is 40 and raining here in Boston and these images are making me green with envy! You have the most adorable kids and I love the crabbing pics.

  • Laura @ LauraLikesDesign
    April 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Your kids are the most precious things ever! It looks like you had a really fun trip!

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    April 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    HOW FUN! This photo of all three babies on the beach is gorgeous!

  • allison
    April 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I am cracking up about the boat. I’ve spent the past 25 years of summer vacation in Perdido and it is WONDERFUL. You will love spending the whole summer there! Up until a few months ago we had a small Boston Whaler. That boat, which is made for the ocean & the bay was very ROCKY in the water so I can imagine how the waves were sending y’all on a fun ride in Justin’s boat! Whatever you do, do NOT go under the Perdido bridge out into the ocean. It will flip that boat faster than you can imagine!
    And BECK – the flora-bama is still open. They are in the process of rebuilding part of it – but it’s still the Flora-bama.
    Make sure to visit The Point to eat. “Bubba & Them” play on the weekends and they are very entertaining!
    What a fun experience for y’all!

  • erin
    April 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Love the photos! When I saw the picture of the dock in the sunrise, it made me think of my mom’s house in Gulf Shores. After reading, I see you are actually right there. Same view. Lucky you to spend the whole summer there! I’ll be summering in the freezing waters of the Atlantic in the Hamptons. I’d trade the ice cold water for the white sandy beaches and clear water of the Gulf any day. Enjoy!

  • Beth Mattei
    April 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Hey Darby,
    My name is Beth Bronaugh Mattei. I’m from Dothan and know Justin and his family very well. In fact, I think your sister-in-law, Donna was my brother’s first girlfriend in middle school!Ask her about Will Bronaugh. Your mother-in-law is best friends with Kathy Perreault who is my mother’s best friend (Did that make sense?) I also went to Auburn and knew Erika. I’m sure we met at Auburn it just seems like a million years ago! We live in Mobile now and spend just about every summer weekend at Orange Beach. My in-laws have a place at Needle Rush. We’re on the beach side but it’s so close to Perdido Bay that I think you must be nearby. You will probably have plenty of visiters this summer on the weekends but if your ever looking for something to do we have a three year old little girl and a six month old baby boy. We’d love to hang out and have great beach access and a pool. Feel free to email anytime. I love your blog by the way- such a cute family!! bethmattei@comcast.net

  • JWM
    April 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    So funny you and Erika split up with your parents for the week. That so sounds like my sister and I. We live next door to each other but you can always find one of our parents with one of us and the other with the other. You look like your dad and Erika looks like your mom. It’s so much fun to follow ya’lls blogs. I appreciate you sharing. I tried some petite fours last night to take to my sons pre-school class. I cut out green fondant crosses to put on them. They were delicious but looked like a 4 year old made them. I’m sure his one year old class didn’t mind. My icing wasn’t right I don’t think. I’m going to try again!

  • Melanie R
    April 20, 2011 at 5:08 am

    As far as the tripod… I have one I purchased from amazon for like $20-$30 and even as a professional photographer, I use it ALL THE TIME! Make sure your camera isn’t too heavy for it though. My Canon 7d is pushing it.
    Anyway, it’s aluminum (so lightweight,) comes with a bag with a strap you can throw over your shoulder, and sets up in a breeze (but not the first time, because the first time you feel like an idiot because you can’t figure it out.)

    GREAT pictures.

  • Debra
    April 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Darby…so thrilled you found a place for the summer.
    1…jealous you are there for the summer
    2…jealous you live only 4 hours from Perdido
    3…we will be in Perdido at Sandy Key for two weeks in June. Maybe we will run into each other.

    Enjoy the summer. What great memories for the kiddos!

  • tricia
    April 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Oh my goodness! Wall Street! We stayed there the week before you! LOVE it!!

  • TammyR
    April 24, 2011 at 8:15 am

    The boat story had me laughing out loud! I can SO relate to this. My husband’s grandfather built a boat years ago – a little fishing boat. My husband brought it down to Birmingham and we took it out on Lay Lake. I know the boat had sentimental value, but I took one look at it and the only “feeling” I could conjure was dread and embarrassment. He had the idea of ripping out the green carpet. I’m not sure what looked worse – the before or the after. He then removed the fishing chair at the front of the boat so I could have a place to lay out. A nice touch, indeed. We got to the boat launch and it wouldn’t crank! Long story short – I sat next to the pier while he went to a store to get some supplies to fix the motor. All the while nice boats were being lowered into the water and away they went. They sped right past me, maybe glancing over with a look of pity every once in a while. We did manage to get it going, and had a pretty fun day. A few old guys commented on the “nice boat”. I thought they had lost their minds! Anyway, it was fun for my husband to relive his memories on that boat of his fishing trips with his grandfather. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Sarah
    May 3, 2011 at 9:43 am

    what an incredible picture of your children at the end, wow that is one to cherish!

  • melody pengelly
    May 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    love that navy and white scarf in last pic, where did you find it?
    always enjoying your blog and our tees from ya!