Calista, 7 months old, November 2008
On Saturday afternoon I walked down to the headland with Calista. David had taken the older girls out in the car, so Calista was eagerly turning her head to every sound of children's voices. She loves being with her big sisters and misses them when they're not around. They had a good time watching men with remote-controlled airplanes and later a wedding party posing for pictures.

Yes, I was catering for a small group on the weekend, but it was within walking distance from the beach. So in between meals we caught some family time on the sand.

Lauren, November 2008
I worked in a proper commercial-grade kitchen, with huge bowls and appliances ready to make meals for hundreds of people. Of course, I was only looking after a dozen people, and other women had contributed pre-cooked meals which I only needed to heat up. The facilities (with a walk-in refrigerator) reminded me of ICA's dining hall and kitchen.

David and friends, November 2008
We ate at a row of tables in a large hall adjacent to the kitchen. There was a stage at one end, and the girls discovered some microphones which they loved playing with, interviewing each other ("What is your name?") and singing as part of "church".

Brioni, 2yo, Aisha, 3yo, + David, November 2008
David found two lizards dozing on a step outside the main hall and brought them in to show the girls.

Tallebudgera Creek, November 2008
On Sunday morning we reached the beach at about 7.30 in the morning. The sun was already hot, but the place was deserted for another hour or so. By 10 am, it was busy with families with small children, providing entertainment for our girls, and we enjoyed some good chats with other parents.

David + Brioni, 2yo, November 2008
David had an especially good time swimming with Brioni, who — at two — is more adventuresome than Aisha.

Aisha, November 2008
After sitting with me in the shade for a while, Aisha was soon ready to run and join David and Brioni in the water (though it took quite a bit of coaxing to get her out deep).

Calista, 7 months old, November 2008
Cali was happy to play in the sand, munching on twigs and chasing after a ball.

Brioni, 2yo, David, + Aisha, 3yo, November 2008
The water was really calm and shallow for quite a distance out.

We intended to head home on Sunday afternoon, but it was raining, which meant we couldn’t pack the trailer full of our gear. (Yes, we’ve found that we need to tow a trailer to go away for a weekend. It probably is overkill, but it means we can bring all those just-in-case items like Aisha’s bike, David’s scuba gear, the canoe, etc.)

So we didn’t leave until the middle of the night. One of the girls woke us up, so David and I decided to pack up and leave at about 2 a.m. We were able to bundle the sleeping girls into the car for the short drive home (45 minutes with hardly any traffic), and then we all went back to sleep in our own beds.

I was able to use the time after we got home to pick up some of the mess that I had walked out on. I put away the toys and dirty dishes and even tidied the desk. However, my efforts didn’t make an apparent difference to David because in the morning he couldn’t tell that I had cleaned anything up! (Or perhaps it reveals how crazy our house still is!)