I live for the beach and ocean. Some people love rain and clouds, others are happiest in the desert or mountains, and I have to have my beach and water to feel complete. The summer finally made it to the Northern California, which means no time can be wasted. 

Northern California beaches were a learning curve for me. Growing up "beach time" meant sizzling heat, warm milk-like sea and endless hours in the water until our lips turned blue ( and parents - purple from yelling at us to come out of the water) . Here, the beach time often means a jacket , and depending on where you go, it may also mean no swimming at all ( underwater currents) , but the sun, sand and the mood are so soothing, that it's impossible not love it, and I fell hard for it too. It's my little sanctuary, if you will, a place where I can gather my thoughts, relax and enjoy family time or alone time just the same.

We didn't think that the water would be warm enough for the swimming ( although it was ) , but here is the first REAL beach trip for the year in a picture-story:

** a decision where to dig and what to build is always the hardest one, am i right? **

** the men discussing the agenda for the morning ,and out of one million things planned , probably 99% got accomplished, "dig someone in the sand" included **

** i was enthusiastic to shed the jacket for about five minutes. that ocean breeze, you guys... #alwaysbringyourjacket

** the "napping place" set up, and an absolute "must" for the day, because a not-a-baby-almost-toddler is "very fun" when he/she doesn't nap. a blanket used to work when we had only 3 kids, but with 4+ there is always someone jumping around someone's head unless you put them in a secluded area :) **

** sand-chitectors. the orange shovel-holding one was the main creator **

** digging deep! **

** i don't know whether it is realization from experience that this cute baby stage is going to pass extremely fast, but every minute watching E explore is beyond fun. I know I am "the mom" and I am bias , but honestly, how can you not laugh when watching a baby sniff , touch and try to taste some sand and all of the reactions that come with it? Priceless **

** i know that "teen age" is knocking on the door, so i will take every minute while he still wants to hang out with us. any of you parents of older children - how did you stay "cool enough" for them?! i will take all the advice there is!  **

** daddy was THE man of the hour because he could build cool bridges and knock the towers down **

** snack set up. i swear kids eat best at the beaches, regardless of all the sand flying around. who is with me?! **

** my conclusion: all i need to do is to bring the beach home and i will never have a single wrinkly nose at the dinner table **

** we played it safe with this gentleman and wisely filled our resqueesables with the home prepped smoothies and soups. so glad we did - he touched nothing off the plate : SAND :):):) **

** i know it's practically a repeat, but i LOVE this picture . this is E to the "t": independent, eating, and STANDING. he won't sit lately. as if - none at all. i think the excitement of the upcoming "twos" is just too much to sit still **

** the "mommy for the day" , and i am soooooo grateful **

** i was too busy reading to get a snap of a napping babe, but a post-nap happy face is just as good! **

** shoes off and trying to figure out his feelings for that warm grainy thing under the toes. he was not too impressed **

** nothing a kiss or two couldn't fix though. he was out and running in 5 sec **

** but not before a healthy set of giggles. i wish i thought to record E counting " whaaaahh, toooo, twoooo... " ( 1, 2, 3 ) and the contagious giggles that followed. insta-mood booster. that's all **

** practically a teenager. from my side just one word : WHEN?! **

** abandoned nest. but i can't blame him - the ocean calls **

** a few more weeks and there is going to be another pair of shoes there ! still wrapping my head around that but can't wait at the same time! **

** for those that asked: my hat is from ASOS, jeans are Point Sur via JCrew, tee from Madewell and jacket is via Gilt. Shoes are Birkenstocks and Saltwater sandals; boys clothes are via Peek kids; girls dresses are from Kate Quinn organics*, Peek and Tea collection, lunch boxes are  SoYoung*,  colorful plates , mats and soons are Oogaa*, squeeze packets are ReSqueeze*, stroller is Bugaboo Buffalo Escape, "sleeping nook" is 4Moms Breeze* ( ps: 20% off sitewide with code 10ANNIVERSARY! ) if anything's forgotten - ask away!**

asterisk* c/o