November 21, 2014

Vol Family Road Trip Part Two: Bristol and Bristol Motor Speedway

One of the main reasons we decided to haul our entire family, including a three month old with a notorious dislike of the car seat, out to east Tennessee and Virginia was to visit Christopher's Aunt Sue and Uncle Addison. We really wanted to make sure that they had a chance to meet Emma while she was still a little baby. I know Emma won't remember it but they will. It was definitely a special visit!
We woke up Sunday morning feeling a little more refreshed after going to bed at a decent hour. After we all got showered and dressed we hit the road for Bristol, VA. I should pause to mention here that we consisted of the following: Chris, Pat, Roy, Tricia, Emma in her car seat, Evie in her car seat, Tricia's toy poodle Andie and me. So that's five adults, two kids and one dog. It's a good thing we all like each other! The drive wasn't too bad, and it was kind of mountain-y so the scenery was nice. We don't really get four seasons where we live so beautiful Fall leaves are a bit of a big deal for us. I loved looking at all of the colors. After stopping to get lunch, we had a great visit with Aunt Sue and Uncle Addison. The girls even both managed a brief nap.

{Family photo with Chris' Aunt and Uncle!}

{Chillin' like a villain at Aunt Sue and Uncle Addison's!}

While the girls napped Chris, his father and I drove to the Bristol Motor Speedway. Since the two of them are rule breakers we found an open gate and drove up to the darn thing. Then somehow they managed to find an open gate into the actual arena (arena? racetrack? what is thing called? ) and despite my protests conned me into going in. Y'all that thing is HUGE! I really want to go to the Battle at Bristol but I know we would have to get nosebleed seats and I would be terrified of falling!

 {Trailer sitting outside!}

{Crappy panorama shot with my iPhone, but you can see how big it is}

After we left the track we headed to Sonic for coffee (did I mention we were tired?) then to say goodbye to Aunt Sue and Uncle Addison. After we said farewell we piled back in the car and headed back to Knoxville. After a quick dinner on the road it was time for bed. We needed a good night's sleep before heading to Gatlinburg the next day!

November 19, 2014

Vol Family Road Trip Part One: Rainstorms, Malls and Football Games

I guess since it's been over a month since we got back I should finally blog about our family road trip to Knoxville, Gatlinburg and Bristol. Never mind me, always a step behind. It's fun to look back and revisit anyway! Right?
On Friday October 10th Chris, the girls, his parents and I loaded up into the Yukon and headed East to Knoxville on a trip to visit family, go to a Football game at Neyland and visit the Smokies. We learned a lot about traveling with two kids. Evie while very talkative, was a great road tripper. Emma has basically been dealing with some reflux issues for her whole life and we just now figured it out, so she was a little challenging. All in all though we had such an amazing time!
The drive there was a little rough. We did great until just outside of Nashville. 
{Loaded up and ready to go!}

{Sunset over the Tennessee River!}

We stopped to grab dinner and while it was a little cool and breezy when we went into the restaurant to eat as we were leaving the bottom dropped out of the sky and rain started pouring. It was so bad that I had to dig a dry shirt for Chris out of our suitcase. He was drenched. While Roy (my FIL) filled up the car Chris and I ran into Dunkin' Donuts to grab coffee for everyone. That coffee would be a Godsend. My husband drove the next three hours in the pouring down rain and dark. Now when I say pouring I mean I felt like Noah himself should have been piloting the vehicle. Chris has nerves of steel and managed to get us all safely through the rain and into Knoxville. We arrived at Aunt Tricia's house (Aunt Tricia is really a cousin, but as Pat (my MIL) is fond of saying, we promote people in our family) around 1:30 am. After getting both the girls snacks and settled it was time for the the grown ups to hit the sack as well.
We woke up very tired on Saturday morning ready to hit the mall so Aunt Tricia could spoil the girls at Build a Bear and later to head to Neyland Stadium to watch the University of Tennessee Volunteers take on... someone else. I can't remember who, but suffice it to say it was a cupcake team because it was homecoming.
{So. Tired.}
Evie had a blast building a bear with her Aunt Tricia. The bear turned out to to be this really weird horse looking thing that Evie has since named Pony. She sleeps with it every night. Emma got a cute little puppy dog, but since she was mostly in the ergo with Momma she was largely unaware that her collection of babies was growing. After Build-a-Bear we grabbed a bite to eat in the food court and headed home so that Evie, Emma and I could nap before Chris and I took Evie to the VOLS game.
{Evie and Aunt Tricia waiting their turn!}
{Emma chillin' in the Ergo}

{Stuffing Pony!}

I think taking Evie to see the VOLS play at Neyland might have been one of the top five best moments in Christopher's life. He positively beamed with pride every time Evie saw a power T and hollered "GO VOLS!". He had such a great time buying her popcorn, pretzels, frozen lemonade and of course an orange and white pom pon! Seriously, such a proud Daddy. Emma didn't get to go this time, but we look forward to taking her to her first game one day!
{Thanks to Tricia's boss we managed to score some amazing tickets and a parking pass!
This was the view from our parking spot!}

{Ready for her first football game!}
{View from our seats! Not zoomed in at all!}

{Behold, our future!}
{That's a super proud Daddy!}

November 4, 2014

365 Days and Two Pink Lines

One year ago today I was standing in the hall bathroom of our old house shaking as I watched not just one, but two pink lines, slowly but surely appear in the window of a pregnancy test that would set in motion a year filled with more change than I've ever experienced in my life.
My sweet Emma, a year has gone by since we learned of your miraculous existence. It's been a hard year, and that's okay. There are hard years to our lives my darling. Hard years aren't without joy though. You have brought me so much joy and happiness little one. You filled holes in my heart I wasn't aware existed. You healed scars I didn't know I was carrying. Just like your sister you are everything and nothing that I was expecting.
When you smile at me I know every moment of worry, every minute spent with my head hanging over a toilet bowl, every cramp and contraction, every twinge, and every tear shed were worth it to get us to you.
I love you with every single bit of my being Emma Ann. You are cherished more than you will ever realize.