We normally take a summer vacation in July and we won't be able to this year since baby #3 will be due that month, so we decided to take it this month in conjunction with our 5 year anniversary.
We stopped through Dallas so that we could drop the kids off with the grandparents (they switched off) and we headed straight for Charlotte, NC with our frequent flier miles. Woo hoo for those!
I haven't been away from both of my children ever and certainly not for a week, but it happened to be THE magical summer when I wasn't nursing a child so we took the grandparents up on their offer and headed out for some refreshment in the mountains.
Once we got to NC, our dear friends Will and Janette Bridenstine picked us up and we headed out on a road trip to the mountains in northern GA. I don't think we could go 12 months without seeing these precious people. We try to see them as often as we can but it is usually about once a year.
We arrived at our beautiful lodge and began the most relaxing, wonderful week I could have asked for.
We slept in. Yes, you read that right. Me and Allen. The two of us.
WE SLEPT IN.
We didn't have to listen for cries.
We weren't in fear of little ones waking up.
We got up at our leisure. We read, we prayed, we sat on the patio and looked at the beautiful surroundings, we sipped coffee, we journalled (oh how I miss this lost art in my life!), we listened to and watched the hummingbirds, we spent sweet fellowship together and pretty much did whatever we wanted.
Now that's what I call a vacation.
No plans. No schedule. (can you believe it? If you know my husband, I know you are having a hard time)
The second day we went on a hike to Ravencraft waterfalls that was a 5 mile round trip. It was beautiful and well worth it, but perhaps not the greatest decision I have ever made at 7 months pregnant. My doctor would probably keel over if she knew I did that. I had sore ankles and calves the rest of the week. But, like I said, it was worth it. Such a beautiful hike.
The next day we went to a little German town by the name of Helen. It was a cute little area and we ate lunch by the river and had a great time with our eccentric waiter, Johnny C. It was providential in that Allen was able to share with him the Gospel and answer some questions he had about the Trinity. Praise the Lord for random opportunities that He has planned!
We also stopped in at Babyland Hospital which was the birthplace of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Now, I must stop and say, we knew it would be cheesy. We knew it would be hokey. I still wanted to go. I had a Cabbage Patch doll named Joyce growing up and I absolutely loved her! I wanted to get some for the kids, especially for when the new baby comes. I think they will love them.
But, back to the story...this place was a bit odd. Walking through the place was a little bit cute with all the dolls doing their thing...in cribs, at school, on the playground...but then there was the funny part.
A baby was going to be born while we were there! How exciting! We were to gather around the "Crystal Tree" to see it being born. Okay...out came a nurse and she checked the cabbage's leaves. Yep, dilated to 10 leaves. The baby was about to be born. And out came a healthy little cabbage patch boy FROM the cabbage leaves. A pale white baby boy I might add. So when she held up the boy and asked the diverse audience what the boy should be named, someone yelled out "CARLOS!" The nurse very calmly said, "Okay, Carlos. What will his middle name be?" After what seemed like minutes of silence a young boy yelled out, "DELEON!"
So this little white baby boy from the cabbage patch will be called Carlos Deleon. Will and Allen had to leave they were laughing so hard.
We headed over to the gift shop to purchase our babies and when we checked out the man was sure to let us know that in a hushed tone that we could go online and change the names of our babies, which were Dean and Maryam. Such a funny experience.
The next day we headed out on a canoeing trip down the river. At first I was a bit leery since my husband ran me right into the bank after we had been in the water for a whole 2 minutes and I was SURE that we were going to tip over before our trip ended. And it didn't help that the guide had mentioned that there were lots of snakes in the water. (shiver. gag.) It also didn't help that the other guide had asked me what trimester I was in and then when I told him 3rd, he said, "Great! You just made it!" Like, I had made the cut and 2nd trimester ladies weren't allowed to take this trip. I laughed because it was funny but then I pondered it in my heart. Hmmm...
Well, once I loosened up and let Allen take us through the tiny rapids instead of around them, I started to have fun. It was such a nice day and I felt like I was in that scene from the Notebook. It did rain a little on us, but not much. Just sprinkles. And I wasn't wearing a dress and pearls, so we were good. ;)
After that we headed out to the outlet malls for some shopping and the next few days were history. We went to a little church on Sunday, grilled out, enjoyed the nothingness that the day afforded and began to miss my little ones.
On Monday we went back to Charlotte and went to the Billy Graham museum because Allen had to get some history in there somewhere. It was really neat! Such a nice facility and they had transported the house that he grew up in to that property. It was really neat to see. Allen thoroughly enjoyed it.
We got back to Dallas late Tuesday night and went in and woke up Taylor Joy because we missed her so much. It was such a sweet reunion with that little girl and then with Beckett the next morning. Sometimes I feel like a better mom when I've been away from my kids for awhile. All I wanted to do was play with them, hug them, kiss them and tell them how much they meant to me. They had plenty of fun stories of their own. Staying with the grandparents was a far greater vacation than they could ever ask for! Thank you so much, Mom, Dad, B, Mima, Lizzie and Cathy for taking care of our precious ones. We love you so much!
If you made it this far, here is the slideshow! Enjoy!
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