Visit to Erie, PA

09/12/2013

We took Ali up to Erie to visit the place we grew up, met, fell in love, got married and started our lives as a couple. We had the special opportunity to introduce her to her great-grandmother who she is named after. We were also blessed to spend time with other family and friends that we rarely get to see. My mom traveled up and back with us but stayed with her sister’s family for the weekend.

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The 9 hour drive was 11 hrs one way and 12 hrs the other way with a potty training toddler sick with a cold, road construction and traffic jams. But, all-in-all, she’s a great traveler. We got bored a few times.

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Jason’s and my first apartment was the second story of this house. It was so drafty the first winter (our last winter in PA!) that we almost froze to death.

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I love that we could see Lake Erie from so many places as we were driving around.

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The house I grew up in from age 9 (when we moved to Erie) until I got married at 18. Too many memories to list them all here but lots of pictures before school dances, Jason picking me up for dates, our first kiss, him asking my dad for permission to marry me, the garage sale before we moved where we sold off all our snow shovels, boots and salt bags.

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Asbury Woods Nature Center

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I used to volunteer at this nature center on Saturday mornings taking care of the animals. It’s changed so much it was hardly recognizable–in a good way.

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I have so many wonderful memories in these woods, exploring and biking with my best friend Michele when we were kids. It was special to walk through the trails with my family this time. These woods are one of my top two places I miss in Erie. I wish we could have hiked all the way to Buttermilk Falls but it didn’t work out this time.

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The Grandfather Tree. Red Oak est. 150 years old.

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Honey stick! My elementary school was right across the street so we took field trips to this nature center often and always bought a $0.25 honey stick on the way out.

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Ali with her cousin Aiden at Cheddars.

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Connie’s Ice Cream – we all got their turtle ice cream – best turtle ice cream in the world, I say.

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One of my best friends from high school, Chrissy, prepared an amazing picnic lunch for us to eat at the beach (with Wegmans food and Art’s cookies!) This is Ali with Kaitlyn.

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Another one of my best friends from high school, Sarah

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This beach is the number one place I miss in Erie. So many memories here with family, friends, Jason…playing in the sand, sun tanning, picnics and birthday parties, gorgeous sunsets.

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The water was too cold for our little Nashville girl’s feet

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Approximately where Jason asked me to marry him and I said yes…11 years ago!

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I’m so thankful that I got to see these women and watch our daughters play together on the same beach we spent so much time at when we were kids. Sarah and Jessica, me and Ali, Chrissy and Kaitlyn.

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Froyo with these two, who refused to pose for my photo… Dave and Emily!

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We drove past the house were Jason lived as a little boy on Poplar Street.

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Look a dirt road! We also drove past the house were Jason lived in middle school and high school our in Wattsburg but couldn’t get a good look at it through the brush.

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Weekend in the Smokies

10/19/2011

Sorry for disappearing for a few days. Plates are spinning around here. Still. (And Merry-Go-Rounds.) Instead of formulating a thoughtful blog post, here is a recap of our weekend. Thursday afternoon Jason and Precious picked me up from work, we dropped off Lucy at his parent’s house, and we headed over to Pigeon Forge, TN where we stayed until Sunday night. Jason was playing a marathon weekend with Guy Penrod at Dollywood—3 concerts a day for 3 days in a row—and all the wives and children came along. There were 6 families in our party; 12 adults and 18 kids…most of which are Guy’s. They are such a fun and sweet bunch of people. Precious was definitely the center of attention through most of the weekend with everyone oohing and ahhing about how beautiful and easy-going she is. Seriously, she was a travel champ! One of Guy’s sons said, “I hope I have a baby just like her when I’m older” and insisted that she was THE most beautiful baby in the world. Another one of his boys said, “I can’t wait until I have my own baby someday,” while he was feeding her a bottle for me. She got so much love this weekend.

We also ate lot of good food. Uncle Guy got to snuggle Precious to sleep before the food came out at Cracker Barrel one night.

The shows at Dollywood were fun. Precious and I watched about half of them. Sometimes she watched, sometimes she slept on my lap, and sometimes she napped down in the dressing room.

We watched one of the shows from backstage while she was sleeping in a Moby wrap.

Speaking of Moby wrap, Jason was talked into trying it on while we were walking around going on rides. We got a pretty cute family picture of the three of us… I wish I could show you the whole picture. Maybe someday.

Speaking of someday… please continue praying about Precious’ situation. We are still uncertain about whether or not we will be given the first choice of adoption for her. There is someone else in the picture who is not legally kin but has a relationship with two of Precious’ half siblings. We’re basically competing with her—which is awkward—and we won’t know more until we have another team meeting and then ultimately a judge makes a decision…in a couple months? Then the earliest the adoption would be finalized would be in March or April. Either way she will be going to a good place but we’re crazy about her and would hate to let her go. Not without a fight, you can be sure.


Weekend Getaway

10/05/2011

I hate that my best friend doesn’t live in Nashville anymore but at least it’s only a 4.5 hour drive to Cincinnati. Jason and I got permission to take Precious out of state with us for a short trip up to visit our dear friends last weekend. We got to hang out with these amazing kiddos:

… and their parents, too. 🙂

On Saturday morning we went to the Cincinnati Zoo. It was cold!

Precious slept against me (and kept me warm) in a Moby Wrap through most of the zoo, though she was awake long enough to check out the penguins.

We also saw giraffes, gorillas, monkeys, lions (awake!), a rhino, manatees, and this strange looking tortoise…

Traveling with a 2-month old went pretty smoothly. She’s so easy-going and pleasant.


Packing Clothes for 5 Days

10/19/2009

This past weekend my husband, BIL, SIL and I went on a 5-day vacation to Erie, PA stopping half-way to stay overnight in Cincinnati, OH. As I was planning what clothing to pack, I thought it would be fun to share my method of mixing and matching clothing in order to pack as light as possible. Let me start off my saying a few things: 1. I am definitely no fashion expert, 2. I wear a lot of blue, green, brown and gray (I think this makes things easier), 3. I don’t iron my clothes. Now that I have those things off my chest, let’s go. Here’s the entire wardrobe for five days:

everything

(2 pairs of pants, 5 shirts, 3 sweaters, 2 jackets, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 hats, 2 scarfs)

Day 1
Expected plans: 4.5 hour car ride, visiting friends with 1.5 month old baby, dinner & maybe shopping or sightseeing:

day1

Comfy worn jeans, teal blue t-shirt, gray cable knit sweater, silver slip-on flats, gray striped scarf, black cap (optional)

Forecast: Hi 50º / Lo 41º Rainy

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Day 2
Expected plans: 5 hour car ride (on to second location), visit hubby and BIL’s grandmother, dinner with friends, shopping

day2

Dark jeans, gray keyhole t-shirt, green cashmere zip hoodie, brown wool cap, green suede casual shoes, long brown wool coat

Forecast: morning city Hi 51º; evening city Hi 48º / Lo 38º Rain 50% chance

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Day 3
Expected plans: Visiting friends and family, shopping, sightseeing, dinner with hubby’s family at home of our other BIL and SIL and our 1 yr old nephew Aiden

day3

Comfy worn jeans, green boat neck t-shirt, gray cable knit sweater, black fleece pullover, silver slip-on flats, gray striped scarf, black cap

Forecast: Hi 45º / Lo 39º Rain & show showers

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Day 4
Expected plans: Church and out to lunch with friends, birthday party for our nephew with family, hang out with friends and/or sightseeing in the evening

day4

Dark jeans, pink t-shirt under brown wool deep-v sweater, olive green jersey knit scarf, brown wool cap, green suede casual shoes, long brown wool coat

Forecast: Hi 50º / Lo 41º Sunny

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Day 5
Expected plans: 9.5 hour car ride back home

day5

Comfy worn jeans, light blue scoop neck t-shirt, green cashmere zip hoodie, gray striped scarf, silver slip-on flats, black cap