This year we did our annual family camping trip near Grand Lake. Aside from Brogan not sleeping great, a cold front one afternoon, and Jamie getting altitude sickness...it was a great weekend! ;) Seriously, it was a wonderful weekend and definitely a gorgeous location with lots of great fishing.
Jamie babysitting while we set up camp...though it was hard to concentrate with the screaming every time Brogan drooled on her back. ;)
Colby and his cousin trying to catch some seaweed.
Jamie's first catch!
Awww, what a cute family!
Brogan hiking with Grandpa.
Goofing around in Grand Lake...he wasn't too into the shopping, but thankfully they have a pretty cool playground!
Colby helping the canoe launch...and Grandpa saving his life!
What more could you ask for?? Camping never fails to rekindle my awe of this beautiful world God created...and if it's this amazing down here, I can't imagine what He has in store for us in heaven!
I truly believe vacations are absolutely vital to relationships and family bonding...a time to get away from all the routine of life and reconnect. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive, just a week or more when you spend time focusing on nothing except enjoying being a family and remembering how blessed you are to be alive and have loved ones around you.
Ten years ago my friend Sheryl and I drove across the country and I still remember how beautiful Tennessee was. So for our vacation this year we rented a cabin in the Smoky Mountains and soaked in all the beauty (as well as the mosquitos and bumble bees the size of a small bird)! The weather was gorgeous and we couldn't have asked for a better trip.
We spent a lot of time in the pool and hot tub at our cabin...
Hiked in Smoky Mountain National Park...
(Yup, this is the best family pic we got on the whole trip!)
And of course a trip to the Gatlinburg area wouldn't be complete without hitting Dollywood! (Though Brogan might disagree...)
For some reason Steve was a lot more tired than Colby after this one...
Brogan's first ride! (I'm not sure if he loved it, or if he was just excited to be out of the stroller!)
They had an actual ropes course where you are tethered in...but it was too high up for me to get a picture, so here's Colby beforehand on the practice course!
After a week in the Smoky Mountains, we made our way to Chattanooga. On the way we stopped at Mayfield Dairy for a tour of their milk and ice cream production.
Unfortunately, this is as far as we got because a certain 3 year old asserted his independence and refused to wear the mandatory hair net. The fun of traveling with kids! At least I got to enjoy the amazing ice cream.
Chattanooga is a beautiful city! I'm not sure I'd ever leave where we are, but if were ever to move...it would definitely be on my list. Though I'd have to buy a new wardrobe if we did since I think we had ice cream like twice a day while we were there. I'd be worth it though. ;)
Going from our huge cabin to this basic hotel room...fun!
Playing at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Crossing the Walnut street bridge...one of the largest pedestrian bridges in the world.
We were able to meet up with my childhood friend Kristin and her beautiful family at Coolidge park. I haven't seen her since the last time I was in town 10 years ago and it was so great to get to meet her kids!
Colby & Callie (sounds like a singer!) playing in the fountain.
Kristin and Callie (taken by Colby)
Chattanooga also has one of, if not "the" best aquariums in the country. It was amazing and HUGE!
Is that a real shark??
Watch out behind you!
We drove up Lookout Mountain twice while we were there. The first time we just drove around and enjoyed the amazing views and picked which house we're going to buy when our powerball ticket pays off. The second time we went to Point Place National Park...and of course as soon as we purchased our tickets it started pouring, not drizzling...pouring! It was a really cool historic park we didn't want to miss, so we just had fun in the rain (after I promised Colby a dry shirt because he hates wet clothes)!
Imagine the most gorgeous view you've ever seen...that's what was there the night before.
After the park it was time to head to Nashville for our flight back home the next morning. :(
Hard to believe it's been a year since we brought this cute little guy home from the hospital! He's such a happy, easy-going kid...a perfect fit for our family! Though, the fact that he ate very little of his birthday cake makes him a bit of a black sheep around here. ;)
I'm king of the play garden!
Yup, I'M in control.
Mommy is going to be SOOO impressed when she turns around and sees me...still buckled in!
I love coming back here just to hear Mommy say "NO"...it's hysterical!
Me and my best friend.
It's so fun playing together...
...but sometimes I need my space.
Man, that kid is cracking me up!
We love you soooo much Brogan and can't imagine our life without you. Always know how special you are to us...even when you're the middle child, that just means you're at the center of our hearts. ;) We pray everyday for your future and know wherever life takes you God will be with you...blessing every step you take. Happy birthday little man!
Hard to believe Brogan is 10 months today! He's such a happy, content little boy...who is into everything! There's no toy box left undumped, plug left unplugged, or leaf left on the floor and out of his mouth...all before 10AM. But his all-time favorite is the dog bowls. He laughs with glee when he rounds the corner and finds that the bathroom door (and thus access to the bowls of fun) has mistakenly been left open. When he hears you coming he crawls in double time to try and beat you to them. Most of the time he's not successful, but there have been those couple times I prefer not to think about...
Here's a some pics from a trip to the park a couple days ago.
Brogan riding his "hog".
Colby riding his. (We're so thrilled he's finally wanting to peddle more than 2 seconds on his own!) He likes to pick out his own clothes in the afternoons...as you can see, he's out to set new trends in the fashion world.
I'm a tax CPA turned suburban SAHM. (That's 'stay at home mom' for those not familiar with the secret code.) I have a wonderful husband of 7+ years, 2 amazing boys, and an Ethiopian daughter on the way. God has blessed me and my family so much and I am so grateful. I try my best to cherish each day, although that's often easier said than done! Since everyone who's anyone seems to have a blog now...I figured I should get one started. So...here goes!