Thursday, April 25, 2013

Florida? (Georgia) Part Four

While we loved our time in Florida and with Grandma Great and Papa Mel, the girls were excited to head to visit their cousins in Georgia.  So we hit the road for another 9 hour drive.  

And another long stretch in the car calls for a random DQ stop - don't you think?

At one point near the end of our drive I had to stop and take this picture.  These two literally rode the entire 9 hours with hardly a peep (praise God for movies in the van) and not a single complaint I can remember.  And we only stopped twice the entire drive (for gas and food).  These girls were incredible travelers.  It is part of what made our trip doable and enjoyable with the way that we planned.

When we got there, Ava was happy to be reunited with her precious Oliver (oh - and Amy? We were glad to see you guys too : ) )

An extra bonus we hadn't told our girls about was that my parents were there just for that night too and heading home the next afternoon.  Ava put Grandpa right to work reading her bedtime stories.

All cozy in her bed

Kate and Olivia enjoying Sophie reading bedtime stories to them

The next morning I actually hit the road again by myself and headed into Atlanta.  I met a super special friend I have met through this adoption journey (through our agency and C4C).  It was such a gift getting to spend the morning with her and see new pictures of her little guy (who she had already been able to meet on their first trip in Ethiopia).  He is now home and just as sweet as can be.

While Kimberly and I were at breakfast, I got this text from Ryan:

"Took my daughter out to breakfast at the Waffle House and what does she order?  A SALAD." 

Mama was proud Olivia. : )

Ava taking Oliver on a walk

One last snuggle with Gpa and Gma before they had to go

We headed to a park for a picnic and fun.

Of course Oliver had to come.

We got there and they were mulching the playground. : )  So as we hung out for a bit, Olivia came on a walk with Aunt Amy, Mommy and Oliver

Then Kate thought she needed a turn.

Love these shots - hanging out with Aunt Amy

How funny is Kate here - who knows what story she was telling!

Amy and I came down for dinner one night matching : )

Me and my girls

Saturday there was a big Easter Egg hunt for all the kids

The kids ready to go!

Our family on a beautiful day - yay for sunshine!

A small glimpse of the group : )

And they're off!

Trying to get INSIDE an egg to the candy : )

Comparing the spoils

Kate showing off her eggs

A picture with the Easter Bunny

We hung for a while after most of the people had headed home.  Some of their friends hung around too and pretty soon a football had started.  My favorite part? Kate and Olivia ran right on out and totally ran around with them as if it was totally natural they would be included.

Dinner out our last night there.

Pretty much sums these three up.

Ava took a picture of the parents

Ava built a little fence to make sure Oliver stayed by her side her last night there

After church Easter morning we stopped for a quick lunch together before we had to hit the road for home.


One last snuggle with Aunt Amy while Mommy and Daddy reorganized the van quickly

Not quite ready to leave

Especially when this was what awaited us for a while.

Ava's last gift from Gpa and Gma had been this notepad and fancy pen.  She doodled, colored, and wrote for a huge chunk of time!

I'm going to miss all this pictures like this some day!

Our home and bed felt sooooo good when we got home a little bit before 2 in the morning.  But every minute we spent with family over the week we were gone was worth it. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Florida Part Three

After spending a couple days with Ryan's Grandma, we were hugely blessed to be given a two night stay at a nearby hotel.  It felt like a totally unexpected gift but it was such a special two days with our family on top of some special times with them as well and we were incredibly thankful.  The hotel was just beautiful and right on the water and had a huge water slide that Daddy, Mommy and Ava had so much fun on (Kate and Olivia weren't tall enough).  The good news was they had a smaller one they could enjoy as well.

The gorgeous view from our room.

And girls ready to swim as fast as they could get ready

Having fun on the little slide

We got to enjoy Five Guys for the first time. . . .SOOOO good. Although for as good as their burgers were, their hot dogs were just as good.  YUM.

Then it was time to take three tired girls upstairs to relax and watch a movie before bed

Loved those sweet sun kissed cheeks

Doesn't this make you remember those good ol' days of sharing beds with a squirmy sibling?

We ate a delicious and early birthday breakfast for Grandma Mel with them in the morning

This one just makes me giggle.  Ava was trying to pose a shot and it wasn't quite working out

As good of a family shot as we got.

LOVED my days with this crew.

Ava wanted a shot by the flowers

Special being able to spend time with Grandma

Grandma and Grandson

Love these three

It was a really chilly day so we headed out on a boat road for something fun to do.

Chilly day + boat ride?

= Very Chilly AND Windy

We had fun being able to spot dolphins

Checking out the sights

We got to stop by a beach for a bit and collect some sea shells

Splitting up the finds

The spoils : )

Ryan enjoyed being near such a hot spot 

The big slide - I had as much fun as Ava on this one even with the cold

Happy Girl

Kate became such a dare devil this trip - she loved this slide

Olivia enjoy her barbies by the side

And then came to snuggle by me

Sliding down on her belly

Ava's turn

Lots of time warming up by the hot tub

Snuggles with Kate

Daddy & Olivia

Then since it was vacation, it only made since to go get ice cream before dinner

The gorgeous sun setting outside our room

The girls were exhausted after our big day.

Ryan went out to get pizza . . .these two didn't move before he came back

My favorite shot from our room - soo pretty

So sad to get ready to leave . . .

Good bye Florida .. . it was lots of fun.  And thanks to Grandma and Papa Mel for such a special time with them.

But Georgia and cousins were calling, so on wednesday we hit the van and the road again.

More fun was waiting. . . .