Lake and Beach: 2 Weekends with Addie

With only 940 Saturdays between birth to 18 I want to make sure I savor each and every one in Addie’s life whether we are adventuring around the world or our hometown, I want to hold on to these precious moments. Some weekends we celebrate the mundane….but the last two weekends have been extra-special.

Elijah Clark State Park Weekend Adventure

We camped, we ate Mexican AND Italian (who says Lake Life can’t have some global flare), we tie dyed, and we swam and played!

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Day Trip to Downtown Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach

We came, we played, we ate, we left!

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Wanderlust Wednesday: Ireland

Today went down in the books as another fun summer day with Addie and family! Her cousin Aubrey is in town for the 4th. They swam until they dropped today at the Splash in the Boro.

splash

While I do like celebrating Independence Day in the USA, I have to admit that I do miss bringing in the 4th in Ireland while Waring and I were on our honeymoon EIGHT years ago. I miss this place… Maybe we will make it back there for our 10th year anniversary. A girl can dream….

5 Reasons Why I Love Ireland (and you should too):

  1. Round-abouts and left-sided driving make everything more interesting
  2. Bed & Breakfasts are WAAAY cooler than hotels. Each host is a treasure trove of knowledge and each place seems to have a sweet dog as their mascot.
  3. Small town vibes are everywhere. You can explore the country by traveling from town to town and not feel overwhelmed.
  4. Absolute 360 degrees of beauty EVERYWHERE you look.
  5. When the heat index is over 100 degrees here in Georgia….the high is a crisp 60 degrees in Galway.

Fall Bucket List Buster: Weekend Adventures in Blue Ridge

I know. I know. Technically we are not quite into the “Fall season,” but I am not going to semantics and silly dates get in the way of an opportunity to check off some pretty awesome bucket list adventures off of our list! Due to inclement weather school closures and an already scheduled 3 day weekend Waring, Addie, and I took the liberty to invite ourselves (sorry, not sorry) on a camping trip with my parents to Blue Ridge, GA.

We stayed in my grandparent’s camper on some family/friend property near Blairsville that has been outfitted for camping (complete with full hook-up and bath house!!). The pictures below pretty much speak for themselves. We had a blast!

Here are just a few bucket list items that have been checked off:

-Camping

-Apple Picking (September Wonder apples are the best….but we all prefer the Apple Cider Donuts!)

-S’mores

-Go to a Fall Festival (Blairsville Heritage Days Festival)

-Go to the Mountains (this was Addie’s first trip. Her first comment was “Mountains aren’t purple?—> The girl reads too many books!!

-Making a fire (okay, so technically someone else made it…but we enjoyed it!)

 

Now that we have a head start on Fall, we may be able to check off some bucket list items two and three times this season! Happy Fall Y’all!

 

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Visiting Mother Cabbage
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Note to self: remember this always.

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Glad we DIDN’T do this…

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Addie loves searching for “treasures” AKA rocks!
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YUM

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Being a farmer is hard work!
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Searching for gold!

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Candle making at the Blairsville Heritage Days Festival.
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Searching for purple mountains!
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Looking at those mountains again…
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Waring working at the campsite.
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Camp Hughes-Saxon

Saturdays With Addie: 1 Staycation & 1 Weekend Away

I can’t deny that the month of April was a bit of a blur. Working three weekends in a row and then going out of town for the other didn’t really leave a great deal of time for family adventures and fun. With a new month ahead of us we wanted to make sure to take advantage of the warmer (but not scorchingly hot) weather. The last two weekends have been very different, but equally exiting.

Weekend #1: Staycation

-Savannah Scottish Games (complete with Celtic dancing, traditional highland games, fairies, Scottish soda, and lots and lots of plaid)

-Mother’s Day (we went to church and had lunch at my parents and hubby’s grandparents)

Weekend #2: Adventures Away

-Walt Disney World (We left Friday after work and spent the day at Magic Kingdom on Saturday. We saw the princesses, rode our favorite rides, and hit the rode around Addie’s nap time.)

-St. Augustine (We arrived in St. Augustine in the early evening, and spent the rest of the day walking along the river, San Marco Castillo, and downtown. We had delicious pizza at Pizza Alley and homemade popsicles at Hyppo. The next morning we made sand castles at the beach and went on walks for sea shells.)

-Grandma’s (Like many Sunday evenings we spent the last bit of the weekend at hubby’s grandmothers house eating good food and enjoying random conversations with family. Addie and her cousins even found the time to make “mud angels”).

Was our weekend busy? Of course, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! I can’t wait for many more weekends just like this one of the next few months!


Best Thanksgiving Ever!

I am a little late….but in case you were wondering, this year was the best Thanksgiving EVER!

 

At her Granny's (Great Grandma Mary) she wanted to walk everywhere like a big kid. This was the last weekend that she needed our hand to walk...
At her Granny’s (Great Grandma Mary) she wanted to walk everywhere like a big kid. This was the last weekend that she needed our hand to walk…
She is trying to bring Gigi some Double or Nothing luck!
She is trying to bring Gigi some Double or Nothing luck!
Playing double or nothing...a family tradition.
Playing double or nothing…a family tradition.
Addie loves when Daddy throws her in the air...but not too far!
Addie loves when Daddy throws her in the air…but not too far!

This Fall has certainly been crazy for Team Too Busy (that is our family’s new nickname…and it is certainly fitting!) It was great to be able to spend a few days with family resting and reflecting upon the past year.

Blessings in which we are thankful to God for:

-The health of our family

-A growing little munchkin affectionately referred to as “Baby Addie”

-The sell of our first home

-Plans for the building of our dream home right next door to family

-Waring’s graduation from Luther Rice Seminary and Bible College this December!

-Friendships that can withstand moving across the country, to other continents, and training for a half-marathon

-The ability to cross many new things off the Ole Bucket List

-The gift of grace, mercy, and salvation through Christ

This Thanksgiving was EXTRA SPECIAL because I got the opportunity to mark off TWO Bucket List Items:

1. The start of a new tradition: Thanksgiving Table Cloth! (Each year I will get all of our family to sign their names and a little message. I will hand stich embroidery over the names. Each year the names will be stitched in a different color to denote a different year. Pretty soon we will have a FULL table cloth representing how FULL our lives are as we surround ourselves with family and friends each holiday season.

This is an example of what it will look like in a few years!
This is an example of what it will look like in a few years!

2. The next occurred after Thanksgiving, and is something that I have always wanted to do: Trapeze Lessons! Thanks to my sister, AJ, who is always up for my crazy schemes and outrageous ideas, we drove to Orlando, climbed a 30ft ladder, and took the leap! We had a blast…and I think AJ may change her major to Trapeze/Circus Performing Arts.

Whoa!
Whoa!
Watching my crazy Aunt and Mama!
Watching my crazy Aunt and Mama!
Before...we are nervous!
Before…we are nervous!
Trapeze Artists...
Trapeze Artists…
So. Much. Fun! There isn't anything like accomplishing something you didn't think you were capable of doing!
So. Much. Fun! There isn’t anything like accomplishing something you didn’t think you were capable of doing!

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***Also, Waring got to do something he had always wanted to do…go to the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona, FL. Going to this car show has always been something he has wanted to do, but something has always come up. This year we were able to take a family mini-vacay! Addie got to play on the Beach, we shopped with Mama, AJ and I swung from a trapeze bar, and Dad and Waring got to drool over thousands of classic cars and outrageous hotrods. I can’t wait until next year. It was a blast!

SAND!
SAND!
Addie LOVED The Beach!
Addie LOVED The Beach!
Watching the Wiggles with G-PA!
Watching the Wiggles with G-PA!
Bathtime with Addie is never a dull moment!
Bathtime with Addie is never a dull moment!
Look Ma...NO HANDS!
Look Ma…NO HANDS!
Aunt AJ...I want to walk faster!
Aunt AJ…I want to walk faster!

Baby Travel Tips

Okay, so I am by no means a professional at this whole mom gig, but my husband and I just took our first big trip with baby in tow. The trip was a combo plane/road trip (five flights and 10 hours driving in total). Here are some of tips and lessons we learned along the way…

 

1. When in doubt, PACK IT! This motto has never been my mantra before. No matter whether we are traveling to Charleston or Capri my husband and I like to pack all of our belongings in a carry-on bag in order to save time and possible lost possessions. That rule was out the window with a baby in tow. When you are traveling with a little one extra baby wipes, toys, books, pacifiers, etc… are not creature comforts, they are lifesavers!

2. Baby Carriers are the way to go. I want to KISS the makers of the ERGOBABY carrier. They made our life so much easier. Our little girl quickly outgrew the cheaper carrier that I registered for when I was pregnant (rookie mom mistake). In hindsight I should have spent the extra mulah up front and bought a carrier that would hold up to 45lbs and checked the reviews for which one was most popular. I ended up getting the one we took on the trip secondhand from a friend at just a fraction of the price. Addie loves to be held and she often cat naps in it!

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3. Leave the Stroller! We used the stroller a total or two times on the trip and it was a big hassle pushing it up hills and packing it in the car! Also, it was super inconvenient having to check it on the plane.

4. IF you have to take the stroller, GATE CHECK it! This way you get the benefit of using the stroller while you are in the airport and you get it right as you get off the plane instead of at the baggage claim carousel.

5. Don’t go it alone! Travelling with our best friends made it so much easier. When hubby was tired of driving he could switch off with Justin. If I couldn’t make Addie happy, Aunt Meri could make a silly face and get her to laugh. You know the saying…”it takes a village…”

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6. Plan for some down town. We like to go go go on vacation, and for the most part we were able to keep a pretty jam packed itinerary, however it was important to plan a bit of down time in the morning or in the evening of every day. Addie just wants to roll around in the floor from time to time so it was best if we already had time scheduled out in the day that was just for her.

7. Use a Mesh Feeder. Feeding an infant on the road can be difficult, especially one who is used to having homemade baby food. I was able to take a banana or avocado and place them in her mesh feeder to eat. I didn’t have to worry about her chocking in the airport or out for the day, and she was still able to get in some solid foods.

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8. Practice nursing in public. For me, nursing my baby is something I have become surprisingly passionate about, but it can still be a bit awkward in unknown public places. Make sure you bring a cover up that you have practiced with and that the baby and you are both comfortable with if you decide to go that route.

9. Bring a hand pump. Hand pumps are small and take up relatively little space. I did not use mine on the trip, however I felt more secure knowing that if I decided to make a reservation at the SPA or just have daddy feed the baby I had the option.

10. Disposable Bibs are life savers. We learned this the hard way….I packed a few of both types of bibs, but those soiled cloth bibs start to smell pretty ripe after a few days.

11. Ziploc bags are a mama’s best friend! I always keep a stash of these in Addie’s bag. They work great for blow out diapers when you don’t have a trashcan handy, soiled bibs and cloths, extra pacifiers, mesh eaters, bows, etc…

12. Pack baby outfits in ziploc bags. If you pack the complete outfit, complete with socks and bows, you won’t have to worry about that microscopic missing sock!

13. Stay in a vacation rental (think VRBO, AIRBNB, HOMEAWAY) instead of a hotel. You will have so many more comforts from home, more space, and a unique perspective for the same price as a budget hotel room.

14. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, you baby may have a blow out in the middle of Yosemite. Yes, you may have to change her on a tree stump because the ranger station is closed. Yes, you may receive cheers from a whole bus full of onlookers, but you will make some the best memories of you life along the way!

 

Happy trails!

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erinmccoyphotography.com

Beautiful Blue Ridge Weekend Escape!

The apples at the top are always the sweetest!
The apples at the top are always the sweetest!
Corails are the best!
Corails are the best!
Yummy!
Yummy!

The Fall fun has officially begun!

Last weekend Hubby and I traveled five hours north to Blue Ridge, Georgia in order to spend the weekend with some of the sweetest people we know! We had such a great weekend crafting, chili cooking, apple picking, antiquing, sight seeing, s’more making, and pumpkin patch exploring.

It was so great to get away from the busy-ness of life and to spend time with friends before Baby Addie arrives. AND apple picking was on this year’s bucket list so I was excited to get to cross it off! We went to Mercier’s orchards! We gorged ourselves as we sampled the different varieties of apples right off the trees. Our favorite type were the “corails,” so we filled up our entire bag full of these delicious apples! (Our original plan was to make apple butter and other pinterest goodies, but we have enjoyed eating them for lunch and snacks each night that at this point I don’t think we have enough to make anything with!)

Here are just a few picks from the weekend!

Downtown Blue Ridge
Downtown Blue Ridge
Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
I look like I am hiding a pumpkin under my shirt!
I look like I am hiding a pumpkin under my shirt!
Love these guys!
Love these guys!
Our weekend hideaway!
Our weekend hideaway!
Amicalola Falls
Amicalola Falls

Wish I Were There Wednesday….Blue Ridge, Georgia

Today was tough! It was one of those days that you just have to hunker down and brace yourself for all that comes your way. Satan was certainly at work today, but I am so thankful that my God is bigger, stronger, and never surprised or intimidated by the obstacles and challenges that seem to come my way!

With the cool weather and the coming of Fall I just want to hold spend time with family, draw near to good friends, and take each day as it comes. With all that being said, I am so EXCITED to get to spend a much needed weekend-cation away in Blue Ridge, Georgia with some of the sweetest friends I know.

So, even though it is only Wednesday and this is just a “wish I were there” moment, I am excited that this wish will come true in just a few short days!

 

Business Feature - Mercer Orchards II mercier-billboard-webbanner1 train-and-town-copy

I can’t wait for a weekend filled with apple-picking, campfire making, s’more roasting, chili cooking, small-town boutique shopping, Appalachian trail walking, and relaxing with friends!

Although I feel like this year has been one of the host hectic times in my life, I feel like I have been surrounded and loved by my friends. I am so thankful for each of you. (You know who you are!)

Wish I Were There Wednesday: Doolin, Ireland

All of the rain here in South Georgia has got me thinking about our stay on the Emerald Isle. In 2009 Hubby and I spent a week traveling across the country wondering as many narrow roads and footpaths as possible to see the beauty that was/is Ireland. One of our favorite little spots was the town of Doolin. We stayed at a beautiful B&B, ate great food, and listened to traditional pub music (which is supposed to have originated in the town many years ago!) I hope that we will have a chance in about six years to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and relive these great memories once more.

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