Thank You’s Are In Order

If you read my blog in the past two weeks (or you can look back at it here, here, here, and here if you haven’t) then you’ve read about me going to the beach with a family I’ve babysat/known for the past 7ish years.  We went to Litchfield Beach and stayed at a house with so much beach inspired home decorating that I was just busting at the seams dreaming of my future home/apartment/dorm room.  There was a pool and porch and rocking chairs and we were only about one block from the beach.  The house was great, but the reason I enjoyed this trip so much more than I could put into words is because of the level of comfort, love, respect, and fun that I received from the Boltzes.

Here’s a picture of the family (minus Brammie- Madelyn and Jeremy’s grandma).  From left to right it’s Mark, Madelyn, Aileen, and Jeremy.

And here’s a picture of Brammie and Jeremy (and a random kid) riding on a golf cart after someone offered us a ride back to the house after seeing the turtles and alligators at the pond (way) down the street.

In honor of the Boltz family and the wonderful time I had two weeks ago, I want this post to be a big (read: long) thank you for allowing me to become part of their family even for just one week.  So here you go, Boltz family; a thank you letter to every family member, put online for the world to see how amazing you guys are (and maybe to convince my friends why I raved so much about this trip).


Hey Aileen-

I want to thank you for all those late night talks we were able to have.  I loved the “can-do” attitude you’ve got.  Sometimes I tend to think “it’s lost” rather than seeing it like you do and thinking “we’ll find it” and it was a good reminder that I need to look at all aspects of life, little and small, with that open attitude.

I also loved hearing about you and the books you’ve read.  I love that you’re reading a book on how to raise a gentleman and are willing to work at being the best mom you can be.  Because you’re already a pretty darn amazing mom.

You’re also so patient and I love how you turn nasty stuff like a bonked head into a positive situation (as much as you can) with stuff like “now why isn’t the tv on?” and “well I bet you’ll learn something in karate to help that”…

Thanks for ‘ooh’-ing and ‘ahh’-ing with me when I showed you my favorite blog ever, Young House Love (and my own humble blog).  Now I know when I get my own place exactly who to turn to when I need someone to bounce home improvement and decorating ideas off of.  I also loved shopping around with you and Brammie that one day- l.o.v.e. the beachy decorating vibe.

And I have to give you a big shoutout for taking the initiative and planning my future out for me.  Moving to San Diego, living in a military family’s house while they’re overseas, getting a nursing job, and having you guys come visit me (and I guess Brian while you’re there, might as well) sounds like the perfect plan!

I can’t thank you enough for spotting my mom and I walking on the bike path about 7 years ago when I was only 12 and asked me to babysit.  I’ve loved every moment since then.

***AND you are sooo amazing for never making me change a stinky diaper.  I am forever indebted to you.***


Hi Mark-

First off, I want to apologize for my ‘girly’ football throw.  I can totally throw better than that but with the wind, water, and kids to watch out for, my technique slipped a little.  Not to worry, I’ll practice and prove I can actually throw a football soon.  But really, thanks for throwing the football with me.  It was nice to play a “grown-up” game- even for just 20 minutes.

Speaking of grown-up games, it was also nice having another Wimbledon buff in the house.  While I didn’t recognize half of the people playing in Wimbledon, I loved watching the Federer vs. Tsonga match with you even if it was painful watching Federer lose.  (Side note: I found this article about Federer losing and his great career and I think it’s beautifully written.)

In father/daughter news, it was just about the coolest thing seeing you brag about Madelyn to everyone about how put together and calm she was when she got stung by the jellyfish in the midst of a huge wave.  Such a proud papa.

Just like I’m indebted to Aileen for not making me change poopy diapers, I am indebted to you for saving me from doing that bucket race in the Pirates Voyage show.  You, sir, were a true gentleman for not making me run around on the stage in my dress carrying buckets of water with holes in the bottom.  Couldn’t look like that in front of the flirty waiter, now, could I? 😉

I also appreciate all the worrying you did before the trip about me sleeping in the same room as the kids.  Yeah, they woke me up, but you saved me a couple of days and got them out of the room while I tried to wrap my brain around the concept of the numbers “7” : “4” and “5” put together in that order.

Overall, I want to thank you for everything last week- meals, house, tennis, beach, pool, movies, fun…  You keep asking me if I liked the trip and if I would ever do it again.  Well here’s my answer: YES I loved it and YES I would do it again.  And it’s all thanks to you and your family being so amazingly awesome.


Hiya Brammie,

It was such a joy to get to know you better last week.  From walks on the beach and shopping at local stores to early morning chats in the kitchen/sunroom, I enjoyed all of our talks and adventures.

Aside from my own grandma (you know how it is, haha), you’re the coolest grandma that I’ve ever met.  I just love your Italian ways and big huge heart.  I know Madelyn has a lot of energy but you do a great job of keeping up with her.  Your handstands in the pool will attest to that.

First, I want to thank you for taking me/us to the Pirates Voyage show.  SO hilarious and overwhelming and unforgettable.  And we got a ton of chicken out of it (literally!).

But on a more serious note, I also want to thank you for waking me up that morning to ask if I wanted to walk on the beach with you.  That you would ask me after we left it unresolved the night before meant a lot.  I’m just glad my brain eventually woke up enough to get past my lame (yet hilarious) “I’ve already walked on the beach” comment and got me out of bed.

I’m also thankful you told me about Madelyn asking you about my bible and notebook in the sunroom.  I’ve been praying for her (and all you guys too) since she is, after all, my twin (but 12 years younger).

And how could I not thank you for the most wonderful present of the week- the passport wallet.  I was totally not expecting it (you’re so sneaky) and want to thank you so much.  I’ll be sure to take a picture of it when I travel through Europe in a couple of weeks.

I’m so glad that me coming on the trip was so helpful for you and the rest of the family because I loved it.



You are such a sweetheart, Jeremy.  I was so glad to get to know you more this week cause you are definitely worth getting to know.  Wanna know what I found out?  You’re laid back but passionate about certain things, you have a knack for melting girls’ hearts, you totally care about helping others (and the clams on the beach), and know how to make people laugh.

My favorite time of the whole trip with you was when we “saved” the clams.  It was just you and I on the beach and everyone else was jumping waves (later to find out they were jumping in jellyfish infested waves).  I dug a little into the sand and showed you the clams that Madelyn and I had collected for hours before.  After putting them on the sand to see their colors, you immediately got concerned for the clams because they weren’t home in the sand.  (“Clams go home.”)  You were so concerned that you tried poking them back into the sand with your fingers until I showed you that if you pour some water on them and make the sand soft then they could go under on their own.  After that, I dug up clams and you “saved” them by running back and forth into the ocean with your bucket to get water.  You were so happy when you saw them climbing back into the sand on their own and you were sad for the clams when they just sat there on the sand.  We eventually saved all the clams thanks to your huge heart and many trips back to the ocean to fill up your bucket.

Although that story definitely shows the more compassionate and “grown-up” side of you, you’re still in the midst of the terrible threes.  I’m sure you’ll grow out of it soon though and then you’ll just be the mellow, fun-loving kid you are.

Thank you so much for suffering through a week of sleeping in the ‘Cave of Wonders’ so I could sleep on the bed.  You were a trooper and I appreciate it.


Hi Madelyn,

I’m pretty sure that I could write 135 posts about you and I still couldn’t say how truly awesome you are.  But I’m going to try and fit a lot of it in this one letter and I can always add on later.

You are: my younger sister/twin (in heart), compassionate to the nth degree, so in touch with yourself and your emotions, the best big sister anyone could ask for, hilarious, brave, encouraging, talkative, curious about people/relationships/the world, brave, headstrong, artsy, so fun to be around, and a girl after my own heart.

You have a special place in my heart, Madelyn.  When I say you’re my twin, I say it because you are all the things I was at your age.  I can just tell that you’re going to continue to grow up into such a wonderful lady and you’ve got a great family and friends to help you do that.

I had so much fun hanging out with you at the beach, Madelyn.  Waking me up at 8:00 am with a squeaky bunk bed, wave jumping at the beach every day for a couple of hours, comparing freckles one day after the beach, watching The Parent Trap together, talking about my notebook, burying me in the sand (with boob towers!), making videos and playing computer games together (just so you know, here are the links to the jelly game and sugar sugar), and just talking about anything and everything that we could come up with were highlights of my trip.

And although those were all highlights of my trip, my most favorite memory with you was when Mommy and I were laying on the boogie boards in the pool and you pulled us around while we talked for at least an hour.  The foot massages, sun shading, and absolute love you showed me that afternoon has stuck with me now and probably forever.

I love you so much, Madelyn!  We better stay pen pals while I’m at UNC 😉



I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of you but here’s a picture of a friend Aileen and Jeremy found for you while at the beach.

I know you weren’t at the beach with us but I want to let you know I’m thinking and praying for you while you’re recovering from ACL surgery!  You’re such a sweet dog and I can’t wait to see you run around as fast as you can again!



Filed under Experiences, Thankful, Vacations

2 responses to “Thank You’s Are In Order

  1. Aileen

    Oh my goodness ANDREA!!!
    Your writing? You have a gift!
    To our family? You are a gift!
    And this post? WHAT A GIFT! I’m printing it out and keeping it forever.
    Thank you so much. It was just wonderful to have you there. And like it or no, you are now officially an honorary Boltz. 🙂
    Thank you again, you sweet, wonderful, rockstar.

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