July 29, 2016

Taking it's Toll...

Today is 4th of July. I lay in bed typing while Cayenne is in her crib sleeping a few feet away. My mom planned a really nice relaxing day by the pool. She made lunch, specialty cocktails for the grown-ups and a delicious burger dinner with dessert to boot. We wrapped it up by heading to see some fireworks. It was a really nice day.

Only problem: it wasn't what we do in Virginia. Niko came home and burst into tears. It's really the first time I've seen the move affect him in a bad way. He just wanted to shoot off fireworks and be out in the street running around with all the neighbor kids. I've got to be honest: I wanted that, too.

As I lay in bed with my teary eyed 10 year old who just wanted to be in OUR house, in OUR Virginia with OUR friends it was all I could do to not burst into tears with him. It's crazy how things work. Cayenne is warming up to everyone now. She will be out of my sight and not panic every time. She seems happy since she has adjusted. The boys on the other hand who were happy with the move in the beginning are changing their minds. They just want Virginia. They want their friends. My mom's neighborhood has zero kids, they weren't in school long enough to make good friends to hang out with over the summer and they are just lonely. They don't want to play outside with just each other either. I've forced it but it's not the same. Reno even said to me the other day, "I don't like playing outside anymore. I don't have any friends. I want to play outside in Virginia." My heart broke a little. My kids would play outside for hours with kids in our neighborhood pretty much every day without fail.

Anyway, I'm just venting. Everyone is switching roles now that we are in month 4 of living here.

View of Juno Beach, FL
At least we have the beach! This view is an 8 minute drive away.

Edson and I both explained to Niko that this is temporary. Whether we RV or find a house things will be different next year. We had a nice day with some awesome fireworks and we need to remember that. It didn't satisfy him. He worried that the next neighborhood wouldn't have any kids or we'd be in a National Park that doesn't allow fireworks.

I had no idea the 4th of July meant so much to him. Neither did Edson. He told the kids to get their shoes on and he left with them. He didn't have to tell me what he was going to do. I knew. He took them to go get some fireworks so he could do them with him. I love him. Good Daddy award for sure.

We are still searching for a house. A HUGE factor is having kids in the neighborhood. We really liked a couple houses we saw and then drove around the hood, like stalkers, trying to find kids playing outside. We didn't see any so we didn't make an offer. It was that simple. We can love the house, but if there aren't any kids outside playing or at least bikes or scooters or some indication of kids we will NOT live there.

As for the RV option: it's a tough one. My biggest concern (other than us going crazy in such a small space) is the lack of socialization for our kiddos. I'm working on researching that now. I know there are tons of people that do full-time RV-ing with kids so it's just about figuring that out and asap. Both kids want to RV even though we've explained what that really means.

Our decision will come soon. It has to. We are stressed and need answers (so do you). I know what I'm leaning towards...

Side note: This post is obviously a few weeks old, but I still wanted to post it as things still apply.

July 4, 2016

A Trip to the Mountains

Going to the mountains is always an adventure. We try to go every year to see Granny and Papaw. This year was the longest trip yet as far as driving. We always leave from Virginia. We left from Florida and although GPS said 12 hours it was more like 16. Phew-- it was nuts. Cayenne wasn't too happy with that long car ride and she made it known with lots of tears and screams. Needless to say when we stepped foot into our cabin a cold beer and the hot tub was on the brain. My brain, at least. The kids just were excited for the hot tub (that we cooled down for their little young bodies). We definitely didn't need anyone passing out after that hellish drive.

For the past 3 years we've gone and stayed at the Pioneer Cabins and Guest Farm. It is wonderful. It's exactly what these 3 kiddos need to be around. They see where our food comes from, only steps away from our cabin. We pick vegetables and use it in our lunch and dinner and go down to the chicken coop to get eggs for breakfast. They feed goats, chickens and get to run around on a big farm. The cabin is rustic but nice and has everything we need.

Eating one of the last strawberries of the season!

Walking the donkey and the ponies down to the pasture
Then we head to my Dad and step-mom's place: lovingly titled the Morgan Family Farm. It is also a GREAT experience for our kiddos. They get to feed the chickens, get some brown delicious eggs, pick vegetables, shoot BB guns and just have a good time with Papaw and Granny. This year we even got to see Granny's mom, Mamaw, so it was a treat! They recently got a car port and when we arrived this time they had a dart board, bubbles, ice cream maker and corn hole set up and ready for us to play with. We played, laughed and ate lettuce from the garden on our burgers and had homemade ice cream and blackberry cobbler (yes the blackberries were from the garden). 

Homemade ice cream- the before

Homemade ice cream- the after

Corn hole with Mamaw and Granny

Mamaw getting in on the corn hole action!
Everyone getting sleepy
We left Papaw and Granny's pretty late the first night but we ended up stopping by Full Service BBQ. It smelled awesome on our drive in to the cabins but we were NOT stopping again. We had some quick yummy TN BBQ just to say we did and headed back to the cabin but not without seeing some beautiful scenery along the way.

The Smoky Mountains

The BBQ place that was once a gas station. 

We passed some fresh water coming out of the mountain on our drive there. Pretty awesome!

We loved our time with Papaw, Granny and Mamaw on the Morgan Family Farm. It was way too short as we travelled for 2 days and had 2 days to spend there. The 2nd day Cayenne got a fever (most likely from teething) but we had to cut our visit a bit short. Booooo. We walked around the Pioneer Farm, made s'mores on the deck of the cabin and the kids went into the hot tub in between the rain. It was a great trip and only wish it could've lasted just a bit longer. 

Cayenne's first S'more. She just wanted the marshmallow- silly girl

Little sticky fingers

Every time we cross the TN line I start talking a little funny. I gotta talk with a little kuntry accent like thisss. Imagine that last line with some twang and a long drag at the end. I love taking our kids to a place that I have so many fond memories of. A bit after my parents got divorced my Dad moved to Townsend, Tennessee. My Uncle Don and Kristen had cabins there. I would go every summer. When I was old enough to drive Livia (Lisa even came once, too!) my sister from another mister would come, too. I would always remember tubing in the crick (actual name Little River but say it with the accent), driving around Gatlinburg, catching our own fish at the Trout Farm, eating watermelon on the back porch and just laughing A TON with each other.  I get teary-eyed thinking those times are gone but am so grateful I can make new memories with the hubs and our kiddos.

Side Note: Cayenne is sitting on my lap while I'm writing this and screaming over and over PLEASE GO CABIN, PLEASE GO CABIN. I think she had fun. 

Until next year! We'll miss you Papaw and Granny (& Mamaw, too)!