Thursday, September 08, 2011

9 a Crowd? Not With Us...

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'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 was too cute not to share :)


Sarah said...

Aaaah, sounds like an amazing time! Tennessee is a pretty rad place, huh!?! So glad you guys had so many fun times... I miss the Hills and Tenn!

~ko said...

Looks like it was a wonderful time for all! Love seeing all the pics :)