My little monkey turned 7 months old yesterday! My poor sweet boy has been sick for the last week, but he's starting to feel better! Love him to pieces and feel so blessed that God gave him to me. I also feel so blessed to watch Madison and Hudson interact...what a joy that overflows my heart every day as I watch those two make each other crack up!
Last weekend we made the drive to Arizona so that Hudson could meet his Great Mamaw and his Great Aunt Kathy and so that Madison could see them both again. Now, obviously Alex and I were super excited to go see them as well, but let's get real here: ever since grandkids entered the picture, Alex and I are chop liver ;) Well, not really, but we know who steals the show, as it should be!
The kids did great on the way to and from Arizona. We loaded up the car on Friday, had plenty of movies and snacks and were prepared for the trip to take as long as it needed to with potty breaks, meal stops, gas stops, and any other possible delays. In total our trip to Arizona (which included driving to Orange County to pick up my mother-in-law), took us about ten hours from door to door and the kids did wonderful.
We also had the privilege of seeing Dana, our cousin (from Alex's side of the family) on Saturday. Hudson was also meeting Dana for the first time as well. We all had so much fun! There was some scrabble playing, German Food at an authentic German Restaurant (Lynx Lake Cafe), and just fun hanging out and catching up.
We visited with Mamaw and Kathy on Saturday, while we were waiting for Dana to arrive. Then, once she made it out to Prescott, we left Kathy's house and took Mamaw out to eat at the German Restaurant. It was my Mother-in-Law's birthday, so we had fun celebrating as we listened to the accordion and hung out as a family.
We also had the chance to visit with Mamaw and Kathy on Sunday...this was a much longer visit, thankfully. They both came over to the house in Prescott for the afternoon, into the early evening. We had a cook out and had grilled ribs (my mother-in-law makes some pretty killer ribs), potato salad, caesar salad, warm crusty bread, bean salad, and mashed potatoes. It was all very tasty. After dinner, we sang Happy Birthday to Hilda and had an ice cream cake (from Baskin Robbins) for dessert!
We had a wonderful trip. It was nice to see the smiles on Mamaw and Kathy's faces as they loved on our children and threatened to keep them ;) We look forward to our next visit.
Before our trip to Tennessee, we went home to visit my parents. My mom had back surgery and we went home to help her and my dad the first weekend she was home from the hospital. While home we caught this cute picture! It's one of my favorites, thus far with my dad!
My mom is doing well and recovering at an amazing speed! Surgeries today are quite amazing. My mom was up and walking within days of the surgery and she has already been cleared to drive. Pretty amazing what technology has allowed us to do!
We just got home from an AMAZING trip to Tennessee. We seriously had so much fun! Probably one of our best family vacations to date! Madison had a blast having three little girls to play with, being that most of her friends, from the time she was born, have been boys. Ryan and Renee were some of our closest friends when Alex and I were dating, then when we were engaged, then when we were married (without kids) and now even still as we are married (with kids) and living states apart. Between the two of our families there are 5 children (ages 5, 4, 4, 1 and 6 months) and four adults (we'll keep our ages to ourselves ;)...we did quite well traveling around Tennessee as a lovely group of 9 and all of our kiddos were so well behaved. God has blessed us with an amazing friendship that has lasted through the years (almost ten years now as couples...and Alex has known Ryan and Renee even longer than that) and now our children are blessed by each other's friendship. Madison is already asking when we can go back so that we can see "her" friends again. LOVE IT!
Before I tell you more about our time in Tennessee, I wanted to share a couple of pictures from the airport and us getting ready to board the airplane. This was Hudson's first flight and this was Madison's first flight with Alex since she was one. (I traveled to Virginia, last September, with Madison).
Now back to our time in Tennessee:
It was so fun to see where Ryan and Renee now call, "HOME." It is simply beautiful and they take to Southern Living quite well. They have created such a beautiful atmosphere in their home and it was a joy and pleasure to stay with them. They were also quite the tour guides. We went to downtown Nashville, Franklin, Percy Warner, and Stones River National Battlefield. We also went shopping in some of the cutest little shops I've ever seen! Sure wish I could have brought some of those cute places back with me, such as Lulu's. We also ate at some of the most delicious little cafes, diners and restaurants I've even been to. We ate at McDougal's (amazing chicken), Martin's (amazing BBQ), The Loveless Cafe (true southern breakfast, country ham and all), and we ordered BBQ Chicken Pizza from Jet's (we actually ordered it twice b/c I fell in love with it).
One of the days, when we were in Franklin, we stopped at this cute little inlet to let the girls play and it sort of turned into an impromtu photo shoot. Ryan did a great job of capturing the girls playing and he even took some of our family. (I will post these as soon as I can get them to upload to Blogger...it's being dumb)
When we weren't out and about, the girls were busy being girlie girls. They were playing dress-up, coloring, playing house, building forts (okay, maybe that isn't girlie girl stuff, but they had fun nonetheless), playing KerPlunk, singing, dancing, playing Just Dance on the Wii, reading stories, watching movies, having indoor picnics, playing Angry Birds, playing hide-in-seek, and just having fun.
On the last day there, Ryan busted out his guitar (per Madison's request) and took requests from the girls and played for them. I think this was one of the highlights of the trip for Madison. Being that neither of her parents are very musically talented, it was such a treat for Madison to get to watch Ryan play the guitar and to hear him sing "for her" as she says. Ryan, Madison is still asking when she gets to dance to your music again. She is enamored with your talent, as most of us are dear friend!
Renee was such a sweet friend and took me out shopping for my birthday, while the guys took the "big" girls to the Stones River National Battlefield. Renee took me to the most amazing little accessory store (Charming Charlies...which I looked up and there is one in San Diego...YAY) and we found some really cute stuff. Renee picked out two necklaces and a pair of earrings for me that I LOVE to pieces and they are super special to me. Now whenever I wear them I will always think of our trip! I also found a couple headbands for Madison and a bracelet that Renee and I decided was a must! I was not thrilled about turning 30, but Renee sure helped me to feel special and loved!
In the evenings, Ryan, Renee, Alex and myself enjoyed some downtime and yummy desserts, while watching fun shows, talking and catching up, and just enjoying being together. Our time together was amazing, but definitely went to by too quickly.
On our last night there, all of the girls took pictures with Hudson (he was quite a hit with the four little mommies) and then we did manage to get a picture of all five kiddos before bedtime. It was so sad to watch them all realize that it was their last night together, for awhile.
Ryan and Renee, your family is beautiful, but I'd expect nothing less because the love of God shines through you guys and radiates through your children. We were truly blessed by our time together with you and wish we had more of it. We can't wait until the next time we get to hang out (Madison asks me multiple times a day if it's Christmas so she can see her friends). I am already trying to talk to Alex about when we can visit again! Seriously love you guys and are so blessed that God has chosen to keep us so close! You guys are one in a million!
Here is one more picture of us flying home....it was too cute not to share :)
I love to get up early and work out. It starts my day off with energy while giving me peace and quiet as well as time to myself to talk with God. I am married to a wonderful man with whom we have a beautiful daughter and a dashing son! Life can't get much better than this!!