Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cades Cove By Ourselves

John and I went away together to camp at Cades Cove, a place that we have experienced together for several years. It's John's favorite place on earth, something that I can see now. Settled among rolling green mountains, it's a huge cove where a community lived before they were pushed out to create the park. We always wonder about what their days looked like there. It offers a beauty and quiet that pushes peace down into our bones. 

Without our children, we were able to do things that we aren't normally able to do. We found a covered porch on an old house and sat there with our camping chairs and books as a storm rolled through. 

We had slow, involved meals and only had to run our food in our tent once because of rain. It was enough of a mild adventure for our simpleton selves that made us laugh. We have no edge, but we pretend to. 

Our favorite experience was hiking 5 1/2 miles up a mountain to Gregory Bald. It offers big views on either side, to which we didn't see. We were hoping to catch good weather, but when we reached the top, clouds were quickly moving over the bald. We watched them come in while we enjoyed salami, cheeses, and a baguette. We both agreed that it was better than the good view. It was a very unique experience, and probably goes into my top ten things that I've done in my life. When we got down the mountain, we sprinted the last mile, jumped in the creek, and celebrated a good day. 

We finished our trip by heading to the highest point in the Great Smokies Park for great views. That proved to be breathtaking. 

We pulled back to our house after three days gone, and the kids were having the time of their lives. They said we should have stayed away longer (so next time we just might). It's always great to get away together and invest in our relationship, but it's such a treat to get to experience such amazing moments together. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Go Giants!

I've been to minor league and major league baseball games all my life, but nothing tops watching Burl and the Giants play coach-pitch baseball. My heart races, I yell, and I jump up and down. It's an event. 

This was our first year doing a rec league and it was a whirlwind! We loved our team. We had an amazing coaching team, a wonderful team mom, and parents that rooted for each kid on the team. One of our first games, the other team had walkout music and announcer for each player. I thought that was overkill for kids, but then I hit reality. Reality check: that's an app and I could totally do that! All the kids wanted and I had parent support. For the rest of the season, we played music almost as much as we played baseball!

I am thankful to find another reason to be proud of Burl, working so hard to figure out a game that he didn't know much about. We look forward to another great season!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ridge's 3rd Birthday

This is a post about our son with a million dollar smile and a million dollar attitude. We celebrated Ridge a few weekends ago, and looking at the pictures I realized that we put candles in everything he ate for two days and
 apparently I really like him in that green shirt!

His birthday landed on a school morning when we have a bit of a hustle, but he woke up early enough to help make his birthday pancakes. Sometimes pride in something made from his own toddler hands is better than anything we could give him. 

For dinner, we took things outside and gave him a balance bike, a hand-me-down gift that he was very excited about!

On Saturday we had family over for doughnuts and gifts, then we had friends for dinner and fun. He really got into it! I'm sad to let his second year go because he's been the cutest, sweetest, funnest, best thing ever. The third year is going to bring changes, but I believe he'll stay just as awesome!

I tell people that he's our good time kid. He's always ready for fun, always happy, always compliant, and gives his smiles easily. A lot of people joke that he's my personality twin, and I can see that. We're always looking for the fun in everything. I think that this third year is going to be good too, and I'm so thankful for what he adds to our family!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Ridge & Lark Days

I've missed Burl and Fern so much while they're at school, but I am openly thankful for the sweet time that it has given me with my baby boys. We've had a great time together this school year! We've dropped off the big ones, said our goodbyes, hugs and kisses, then we've set off for adventure!

Sometimes the adventures are interesting. Sometimes they're boring grocery runs. Sometimes it's on the floor of the den. This is always true: Ridge and Lark are close together. 

I've got front row tickets and the theater to myself for the show of their blossoming friendship. Even though Ridge is on the younger half of the sibling chain, he's a big, proud, doting brother to Lark. It's direct and powerful how much Ridge loves "baby awk-y" (aka baby Lark-y). Lark adores Ridge too, but it's indirect. Lark stays close to Ridge and casually copies what he does. So far, they can make the same truck noise, airplane nose, and some similar animal noises-mostly aggressive animals. 

We had a long stretch of illnesses around here that kept us pinned down. While we all got stir crazy, I personally enjoyed the small, simple time with my children. We spent time away from people because germs, so we stayed home or went to the woods. The woods don't mind our germs. 

After a long week of having Burl then Fern home with strep, Ridge asked me if the next day could just be him, me, and Lark. That tells me that Ridge has enjoyed the baby time too. 

Next week the kids finish school, so everything will change. Instead of slow and quiet, we will have loud chaos and wilder ideas of playing. (Just today after school, "Mama, can we try to start a fire in the backyard?") Our tickle sessions will be interrupted with random questions that I can never satisfy-How are straws made? How much money does Daddy make every hour? Can you solve this very random number sentence that doesn't make any sense? 

While I daydream about what I will do with myself when they're in school, I'm not rushing through this stage at all. I'm here all day, e'ery day.