Tag Archives: travel

Currently

Hey there! It’s time for a little update about my life currently. I always link up with Becky at Choose Happy, and the first week of every month, I also link up with Jenna at Gold and Bloom, and Anne in Residence! Join us and let us know what’s happening with you currently!

And just because it is now May, here’s one of my all-time favorite memes: 

Celebrating || the start of summer! I know- it isn’t quite here yet. But the weather is warm, school is close to ending, and the pool is opening at the end of the month. I’ll take it!

Reading || I’m just finishing up a devotional book called Deep Cries Out. It’s by a favorite writer of mine, Kristen LaValley, whose blog I stumbled upon in the early stages of creating my own. The devotionals are short, accompanied by a verse or two of Scripture, but designed to be deep and eye-opening. It’s been a great little book, and I highly recommend it! Here’s the link to get it on Amazon: Deep Cries Out

Pondering || how to be creative at home with the kids this summer. The big kids are signed up for two weeks of camp, and we have a pool membership (YAY!) but I don’t want them to be bored. I want to spend lots of time at the children’s museum, and visit the one in the Greensboro (apparently the memberships give discounts to the other one? Does anyone know if that’s true?). I want to visit the parks/playgrounds in town we’ve not been to yet, and I really, really want to spend some time in the mountains (Tweetsie is a-calling) since they’re so close, and we have so many friends and family nearby. But even with all of that, we will have time at home, time when it’s raining, and time it’s just too hot to do much outside. I want to have crafts or activities ready. Any ideas for me?!

Sipping || POG juice! While we were in Disney, the Polynesian breakfast has a special drink made of pineapple juice, orange juice, and guava juice. Around here, the guava nectar I’ve found has high fructose corn syrup in it (yikes) so I’m on the hunt for syrup-free guava. The kids loved it, and I like the tropical feel! Bonus: it makes an incredible mimosa!

J REALLY enjoyed the juice.

Going || to Texas at the end of the month for a wedding! I know, this sounds familiar. Weren’t we just in Texas for a wedding? We WERE but we’re going again! This time for some dear family friends, and in Dallas (you know, instead of Fort Worth). We will likely have some fun stories and pictures when we get back!
What’s going on in your life currently?

Currently 

Happy Monday, and I’m finally back for Currently! I’ve been so busy and scattered (and I still am!) that I’ve dropped off for a little while. But I’m glad to join the link up again and share what’s happening with my family currently! IMG_0614

Celebrating || EK’s 4th birthday! We had some family and a few friends over, ate pizza and cake, and played outside. It certainly was a lovely evening, and I can’t believe my big girl is FOUR! 

    
   

Working || at the High Point Furniture Market! It’s my third market, and I’m with the same furniture company (Artistica) out of California. They are INCREDIBLY beautiful and exactly my style. This year, I worked four days, and missed my babies SO MUCH. It’s unusual for me to be away from them for 11 hours a day.   

Traveling || to Disney! We have a whirlwind trip tomorrow and Wednesday, flying to Orlando, spending two whole days in the Magic Kingdom, and back again after bedtime on Wednesday! It’s a lot and it’s fast, but it’ll be awesome! Prepare for the flood of Disney cuteness when we get back!

Since I’m packing and preparing, this is all for now. Have a great week, everyone!

A Mom’s Day in the Car

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Last week, my family did the unthinkable: we took a road trip. 

 Now, I don’t say that because we didn’t want to leave town, or even because we packed a lot. (In fact, Hubby and I remarked about how we felt like we packed the same amount for this trip as we had packed for our eldest’s first road trip – even though now we have three times the number of children.) I say that because the 350-ish miles to my parents’ house took us way longer than it should’ve. Hubby and I used to do it in 5 1/2 hours before we had kids. Now, it takes at least 8 and maybe more. Basically, road tripping with small kids is a long, arduous process. Here are a few reasons why:

Poop. Yes, as we are constantly telling our children, everyone poops. However, when poop happens into a diaper, there’s quite the clean up to be had. And sometimes if it takes us a little longer than usual to either realize there has been a poop, or to find a place to go to clean up said poop, the mess may have just gotten bigger. For example, on the way back to NC, my youngest (8 months old) went through three changes of pants. All I have to say is thank goodness the child seat wasn’t ruined, because there’s no way to change that in small town SC.

Food. Everyone has to eat. The problem is that everyone eats different things at different times and sometimes, they’re pickier than usual. For instance, my terrible two went completely bonkers when I suggested he drink lemonade and eat oranges. For crying out loud, HE LOVES LEMONADE AND ORANGES! But for some reason, when those were the most readily available things, he flat out refused, via a tantrum. We ended up making it the last two hours with jelly beans. That was the only reason we made it home. 

 Scheduling problems. My kids typically have an afternoon nap all at the same time, (within about half an hour of each other). My youngest also has a morning nap. But when we’re in the car all day, and no one has let out any energy, we’re just watching movies and eating jelly beans, naps are a little wonky. However, at some point each of them are going to have a meltdown (probably about how we won’t stop the car and let them out) and get tired. It’s just tough when one goes to sleep, and another has a meltdown and wakes that one up. Then finally those two are asleep, and the third one gets hungry and starts yelling. I’m telling y’all, it’s one of the circles of hell.

Movie preference. We are extremely lucky to have a car that has a DVD player and screens in it. We’ve not even had it a year, and before that we were using the iPad, harnessed between the two front seats (that had to be exactly side by side). But even with the screens, there’s a little bit of complaining about what we’re watching. Why can’t I just put on Frozen? Why can’t we watch endless episodes of Sofia the First? Well, what about Chuggington? Because MY CAR DOESN’T HAVE NETFLIX. That’s why. I brought 8 DVDS. CHOOSE ONE AND BE HAPPY.

All in all, we made it out alive and well. There might be some emotional scarring, but in a few days, I’ll be okay.

Currently 

Happy Monday, everyone! After a lovely weekend of being away and unplugged (aka bad internet connection and no blogging) I’m back to the real world! I was glad to be back and see my kiddos, and I’m excited for a full, busy week this week. I’m linking up today with Becky at Choose Happy, and some other fabulous bloggers, to bring you this week’s edition of Currently.

currently button

Celebrating || Hubby’s cousin Parker and her new husband, Charlie! Two of the sweetest, most genuine souls you’ll ever meet, they are dear to our hearts. Their wedding was a beautiful weekend in the mountains, with delicious food and fun family. We were able to stay in a beautiful, old hotel in Blowing Rock, NC, called the Green Park Inn on Friday night. It was charming!

Exploring || the Appalachian mountains! Hubby and I spent Saturday before the wedding driving and walking up Grandfather Mountain, driving through several small mountain towns, and seeing the gorgeous colors and lines that are made up by the Appalachians. The weather was perfect, and the setting was incredible. We couldn’t have asked for a better day! It was a perfect “mini-babymoon”, and we’ve also decided we are taking the kids back really soon to take them to Tweetsie Railroad! I’ve never been- have you?

Here are a few pictures of the afternoon. You’ll have to pardon that they’re just of me. When there’s only two of you, it is difficult to get a picture of both of you! 

It doesn’t swing much anymore, but it sure was windy up there!
  
I was literally on top of the world. At least for a few miles.
  
Couldn’t you just look at that for the rest of your life?
  Thankful for || my mom, who kept our kids Friday and Saturday while we romped in the mountains. She was totally willing to drive up from Georgia and snuggle my babies all weekend to let Hubby and I get away, guilt-free!

Craving || donuts! Friday (National Donut Day!) was a little too hectic (trying to pack, make sure the kids had what they needed for the weekend, and get out the door on time to make it to the rehearsal dinner) for us to make it to Krispy Kreme to get donuts. So now I’m craving them after seeing everyone’s pictures and posts about it! My absolute favorite is a chocolate iced donut with sprinkles, followed closely by a chocolate cake donut. What’s your favorite?

This baby is SO calling my name.
This baby is SO calling my name.
Excited about || submitting my writing to several places, and actually getting chosen to be published! The first piece to be chosen and published was my list of Life Lessons You Probably Learned in Your 20s on Scary Mommy last month, and I have another piece that’s being published on a different site in July. I am so excited, especially being fairly new to blogging and writing, that I have some good stuff in my brain that I can get out with the right words, and pass on to others.

Well, that’s what’s going on with me currently. Link up or comment, and let me know what’s going on with you!

A Mountainous Moment Away

This post also appeared on MyBigJesus.com!

A couple of weekends ago, I went to the mountains (Asheville, NC to be exact) with my college girlfriends for about 24 hours. Y’all. It’s the first baby-free 24 hours I’ve had since September. I know, I’m probably spoiled getting away twice in a matter of four months, but I digress.

We had planned to spend a day and a night together before the Christmas rush to catch up, sleep late, eat like the foodies we are, drink wine and shop. It was a great trip: beautiful weather, wonderful friends (we’ve been friends for ten years!) and just enough excitement to make me glad I wasn’t lugging two extra bodies around.

Until I’d gotten through 19 or so of the 24 hours. And then I missed those extra little bodies. No one was tugging at my shirt from around my knees, no one had needed to potty, no sippy cups misplaced, no diapers were changed, and no one had cried because their nap time was off. But then again, no one randomly wanted hugs and kisses, ate the rest of my sandwich I couldn’t finish, charmed strangers with his giggles, or gave a hilarious misnomer to an item she saw in a storefront. Hubby was sending me pictures of the three of them, having a grand time wearing superhero capes and having dance parties. I know, I shouldn’t complain. I was sitting in front of the fire at the Grove Park Inn, sipping hot chocolate. Still, I digress.

When you create two little beings, they are such a part of you that there’s no not missing them. There’s no glad you haven’t seen them in a while or relieved you aren’t changing diapers and scrambling eggs right now. I don’t think it’s a routine thing either… I don’t miss them because they’re a part of my routine and I’m a scheduled person. I miss them because they’re a part of me. They’re my favorite people. They’re opening my eyes to the world that they see and the feelings they’re discovering for the first time, not to mention milestones like learning to walk or pooping in the potty that I might be missing!

I also know that time with adults (read: people with wider vocabularies) and time to be by myself is healthy. I know that getting a full night’s sleep is a good thing, as is building and keeping up relationship with women that I love. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating time; we are an easy-going group, who all know each other well enough that we can skip pleasantries and get straight to what’s going on in our lives. And since we’re all at different points in our lives (ie: I’m the only mom) it’s fun to hear about things that we’ve passed, or things we haven’t come to yet. It’s good for me to remember that my life isn’t only inside my four walls with the three people I see most often. It stretches and encourages me that not all of us are in the same trenches.

Who says when you grow up, you don't like taking hilarious photos?
Who says when you grow up, you don’t like taking hilarious photos?

Thank you, New York!

Here’s the last bit of our Hsus Do New York experience. It’s long. Enjoy!

I had heard some great, kid-friendly things about the Battery Park area (which is funny, since it’s mostly financial district) so we headed there on Wednesday. It was actually great, because EK had been talking about getting on a boat all week, so we figured getting down there next to the water was the way to make it happen. We took the subway (most of the way down) to Battery Park,  and without really planning it, happened to be right next to the 9/11 Memorial. It is incredible to think that the event was almost 13 years ago. And it’s even crazier to think that yes, we have created a memorial for it, and survivors are all back to work and trying to go about their lives, but it’s still not all the way back to normal in that area. There were roses left on names, people gathered in corners of the park, and the new Freedom Tower isn’t even finished yet. We rose up, of course, but there is still work to be done.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
Memorial Fountain
Memorial Fountain
Handsome Babywearing Hubby
Handsome Babywearing Hubby

After we left there, we walked a few blocks to the water, where the actual park is. It was full of families, runners, artists, and community groups of kids from summer camps and day cares. It was truly a gorgeous day, the park was beautiful, and seeing the sights across the water was awesome.

EK gazing out on the water
EK gazing out on the water
Chilling in the park
Chilling in the park

The pier was closed, so we walked a few more blocks to Castle Clinton, where the boats all dock to go to the Statue of Liberty and Governor’s Island. When we saw the line for the Statue of Liberty cruise, we knew our babies would never stand for it, no matter how badly EK wanted to get on a boat. So we opted for the NY Water Taxi, and we loved it! The ticket lasts the whole day (you can get on and off till they stop running), there were several stops, there was a bar/snack bar, and the tour guides were great! They don’t have a script, so they literally tell you lots of facts, but also their favorite places to eat or shop or hang out. It was an appreciated, air-conditioned, sightseeing break in the middle of our day.

J and my mom hanging out on the boat!
J and my mom hanging out on the boat!
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
(Obvious) Statue of Liberty!
(Obvious) Statue of Liberty!

We took the boat from Battery Park up to Times Square, rode the Ferris wheel at Toys R Us, visited the Disney Store (where there was a lack of Elsa-related merchandise that EK was asking for, but we still got her some “princess shoes” and a Buzz Lightyear for J), and let EK stare at the hundreds of screens, lights, and posters. We had a blast.

J crushing Buzz Lightyear with love.
J crushing Buzz Lightyear with love.
I just had to post this picture - I've always loved Barbie even though she's gotten some flack. This makes up for it, just a little bit.
I just had to post this picture – I’ve always loved Barbie even though she’s gotten some flack. This makes up for it, just a little bit.
So excited that she couldn't even wake up.
So excited that she couldn’t even wake up.

For our last dinner in NYC, we ate at a really expensive delicious steak house called Smith and Wollensky. It was, in a word, incredible. Our concierge told it would be fine to take the kids with us, and truly it was (EVERYONE was really great about them) but they were the only kids in there, and if I had stuck my head in the door first, I never would’ve brought them in. But they were troopers; it was late in the evening, but J took a little nap and EK played with a lot of stickers. Hubby and I drank a lot of wine, haha. It was an all-around great experience, and I wish we’d been around to eat the copious amounts of leftover steak we couldn’t manage to finish before we left.

Good-looking crew, right?
Good-looking crew, right?

Thursday morning, we had a few hours of precious time before we needed to go to the airport, so Mom and I took EK to a little tea house we had been walking by all week. I knew from experience they’re probably have great breakfast, and EK loves tea parties. We all put on cute dresses and headed two blocks down to Alice’s Tea Cup for a pot of tea and breakfast. Let me tell you – it was a total win. A whimsical interior combined with delicious food, a huge tea selection and several little cute things for EK (like sprinkling her with glitter “fairy dust” and telling her to make a wish) made for a delightful morning. The scones, in particular, were perfect – chocolate orange and white chocolate blackberry. ARE YOU SERIOUS!?

Mom (Necie, to EK) snuggling Princess EK
Mom (Necie, to EK) snuggling Princess EK

So there’s the last bit of it. Our first family trip to NYC. I hope there are many more to come, and hopefully not too long from now! It definitely boosted my confidence for what we might be able to handle in the future! What are some things we missed that my kids might enjoy next time we go?

Hsus “ZOO” Sush-York, and Eat(a lot)aly!

Forgive the cheesy title; at least it isn’t misleading! Too much? Okay, you’re right. I’ll think about it…

Last Tuesday, we headed on a long subway ride to the Bronx, because we had heard that the Bronx Zoo was way better than the Central Park one. It was indeed a long trip, but the zoo was great! J was a trooper (he didn’t care much about the animals) and EK loved it. 20140801-220814-79694223.jpgBy the way, babywearing at the zoo was the way to go. We rented a double stroller, but that thing was NOT user-friendly. EK couldn’t see from that low, and J wasn’t comfortable in there. A waste of $15 when both kids either wanted to be carried or worn, or in EK’s case, run around a bit. We just lugged it around the whole time, full of the diaper bag and our water bottles. But other than that, the zoo was great. We saw peacocks, monkeys, red pandas, camels, water birds of all sorts, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The kids expired rather quickly, though, so after we had seen about half the zoo, we headed back for a snack and a nap.

That evening, we met our dear friend Hope for some sushi (at Mizu, a restaurant of the same name as our favorite sushi place in Winston) and then traveled to Eataly for some gelato. Unfortunately, because it was getting late, we didn’t have much time in Eataly… that’s possibly my biggest sad note from the whole trip. That place was amazing. It took up about a city block, contained gelato, coffee, pasta, and wine (four of my greatest loves) and other wonderful and delicious Italian goodies. It should have been a whole day affair, and we crammed it into an hour or so. Ah well, there’s always next trip…

Hope snapped this one of EK enjoying her gelato.
Hope snapped this one of EK enjoying her gelato.
Hope getting some J snuggles, and Hubby photobombing like a champ. I honestly didn't notice him till after I took the picture!
Hope getting some J snuggles, and Hubby photobombing like a champ. I honestly didn’t notice him till after I took the picture!
Hubby and me, one of our only good shots from the trip!
Hubby and me, one of our only good shots from the trip!

Be on the lookout for the last installment of Hsus Do New York! I’ll really be sad to wrap this series up, but maybe that means we will have another cool trip soon!