Jul 16, 2016

Day Trip to Charleston

     We took a day trip to Charleston, SC a couple Saturdays ago. It was a chance to show Francesca how close we live to the beach and a sort of last hooray before baby number two arrives. Still waiting on that one ... 
     We left the house around eight and got there around twelve. The trip is normally only three hours, but crazy traffic happens during the summer and especially on Fourth of July weekend. We didn't allow it to dampen our spirits too much and after driving around we found a free parking spot right next to a beach entrance. Score! 
      It was a beautiful super sunny day with huge cotton clouds filling the sky and the water was the perfect temperature. We set up camp and waded right in, cut into watermelon, dug holes and enjoyed the vitamin D that seemed to lift everyone's spirits. 
     We were content to leave several hours later, our ocean tanks full. After several attempts to find places to change we headed into Charleston and ate at our favorite restaurant, Hyman's and then took a jaunt around the City Market. Having had enough of the humid heat we packed up around 6:30 and made the shorter trip home. It was a lovely day and I'm so glad we did it!
38 weeks pregnant at this point!

Jul 14, 2016

Couser Retreat 2016

   The 2nd Annual Couser Retreat was set in the mountains of Tennessee near Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg at the Tuckaleechee Retreat Center. We rented a large house that was perfect for our big group! The massive porch was great for relaxing (and running circles around if your name was Tobias), the hot tub was perfect for everyone who wasn't pregnant or two years old, and the grand living space was roomy enough for meals, games, conversation and family devotions! There was also a pool on the property where Tobias started to swim and jump in all by himself (with floaty's of course)! A big and fun achievement to watch.
      Most of us arrived the Friday night of Memorial Day Weekend, with the exception of Dan and Vic who arrived the next morning (they drove overnight and had the longest trip by far)! I would like to say that our trip was uneventful, but it wasn't. Instead of taking 3ish hours it took almost 5! And our sweet little toddler was either sick or car sick because he threw up twice which put everyone on edge. Poor Auntie Cesca had to sit next to the sickie, but she was on top of it! Thankfully we were able to work as a team and none of the throw up made it on Tobias, ourselves or the car! We had the throw up saves down to a science!!
      This year we added the grandma's to our group and it made such an awesome difference. Gray, Tobias and I loved the extra company and insightful conversations. I'm so glad my parents made the extra effort to include them!
     On Saturday we hung around the house and went swimming and in the evening went to the Tuckaleechee Caverns a pretty spectacular look at underground structures carved out by water (lost somewhat on the toddler unfortunately). Sunday morning Vic and Dan made pancakes and then we tried a hike that didn't quite work but was a fun adventure. Ground that is too steep and slippery doesn't mix well with grandma's and a pregnant lady. Later that day or Monday (can't remember which) we found a huge river not far from our retreat center that had a great beach and cool water for entertainment!
      I love spending time with this group of people! The past couple of years have seen a lot of change that I am sure will only continue, it's that phase of life. I definitely look forward to this weekend and can't wait to see what next year will look like!