Monday, August 14, 2017


When we decided that Brad was definitely going to participate in the program in Greece, I decided that the girls and I would hit the road and visit family (which also included our beach trip). We spent most of the time in Alabama (our trip kept extending for one reason or another) and then spent a few days in Tennessee.

Headed to the airport to say goodbye to Daddy. Not our favorite part of the summer...

We spent about a week in Madison before our beach trip, doing all of our favorite things like playing at Bridgestreet, swinging, playing with pets, and eating things we don't usually get to.

The train at Bridgestreet

Splash pad! Unfortunately, no swimsuit.


Backyard swingin'

Getting to watch Thomas and Friends while eating breakfast.

Eating ice cream with Poppy.

Water tabling-ing in the shade, with a fan. Living the life.

It was the stuff kid dreams are made of when visiting their grandparents. Then Amiee came down and we all headed to the beach! But first, a few snuggles and shenanigans with Winnie (who also came):

Love me, please?

4-year-olds can't pose normally for pictures. SIGH.

Lily thoroughly enjoyed climbing into and playing in Winnie's crate. After thinking about it, I decided it wasn't too different than corralling her in the Baby Containment Unit...and she willingly put herself in this one, so who was I to object? Here she is, casually reading a book to herself.

Amiee stayed for a couple days post-beach, and we had a few more days of Fun With Bo.

And with Laura Kay! She was home for a visit from Ethiopia, and we had fun spending some time with her.

We continued playing hard and visiting with friends and family. We were able to see all of my aunts and uncles, half of my cousins, and all of my cousins' kids. It was so great for the girls to be able to hang out with so many family members that they aren't able to see regularly. I was also able to hang out with two of my favorites, Mrs. Romine and Mrs. Tidwell (although, I didn't get pictures. Drat.)

At the movies to see Cars 3 with Lyla and Emerson!

Poppy Date to meet up with Lyla and Emerson.

With our cousin, Rosemary (not pictured: Mackenzie)

We were able to see Mackenzie and Rosemary because Mackenzie came to spend the week attending Winshape camp in Madison. Mom took Claire with her to drop Mackenzie off, and Claire got to see two rock stars: Mr. Cow + Katy Z.! Such a big time she had.

And at the end of the week of camp, we all got Chick-Fil-A sandwiches from the Winshape crew. Lily decided that she wanted to eat her sandwich WHOLE and BY HER OWN SELF. So she (mostly) did. At the time, she had exactly part of one tooth in her mouth.

Speaking of Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day was while we were in Alabama, and I FORGOT ALL OF OUR COW GEAR AT HOME. Yes, I have a box of cow-wear that I pull out every July so that we can appreciate cows and free Chick-Fil-A. Thankfully, Mom had supplies, and we were able to cobble together some pretty cute cow outfits for a (mostly) free lunch.

We also got lunch to drop off to Poppy at work, seeing as how he wasn't able to get off for a costume party at CFA.

Our friends, the Benefields, have a fabulous pool that they invited us to play in, and we had the best time! Mrs. Kristy worked her magic and got Claire to overcome her fears of jumping in and even got her to jump off the diving board! Claire was hooked, and we spent a looooong time jumping in.

Including Lily! Because I'm awesome at parenting and let my 14-month-old be dropped in the deep end. It was a little heart-stopping at first, but she loved it! We were right there next to her, she was wearing a puddle jumper, and I thought it was great that she wasn't remotely scared. Claire was her biggest cheerleader!

Mom and Dad's dishwasher was broken while we were there, and Claire learned what happens when she tells me that she's bored:

Lily found herself relegated to the Baby Containment Unit or the stroller on many occasions, thanks to her penchant for getting into all the things:

I remembered to get one Sunday picture of them, but unfortunately, I was unable to wrest Lily's bottle from her:

We had some very sweet moments, like this one with Poppy:

And this one where the girls happily shared the Cozy Coupe:

And this face Lily made while video chatting with Daddy:

And, of course, I snagged a few pictures of Lily climbing things:

We had a really wonderful time visiting with my parents and getting to see so many loved ones. We missed Brad so much, but this was a great way to spend our weeks without him!

And now, a new section entitled "Lily and her Shenanigans":

I knew she was outgrowing her baby seat, but when she completely dismantled the shade feature of her seat and then kicked the frame around, I did something about it.

Ta-da! She's much happier now.

She began a new trick of pacing with her hands behind her back.

Every time Robey came in to eat, Lily tried to join him. And by that, I definitely mean she tried to eat his cat food.

She also just really wanted to be his friend. While playing outside one day, I glanced away from her for 30 SECONDS, turned around, and found her up under my (PARKED AND OFF) van, trying to get to Robey to pet him. Sheesh. Poor cat. It was at this point he realized there was no escape or hiding place for him. And yes, I had to crawl halfway under the van to safely extricate her.