The day we celebrate my birth into this world. Also the day, this year, that my 6 year old shot himself in the eye with his arrow from his bow. How? I have no idea! BOYS!!! So this year we celebrated at CHOA. I did a good job staying cool, calm, and collected as blood gushed out of his eye, but Lydia and the neighborhood kids did not. I had to send them home. I had to grab Lydia by the shoulders and tell her to get it together and explain that she was making it worse for him. I sent her in the house she was freaking out so bad. The cool part for him is he got a “glowing eye” at the hospital. His eyeball has a laceration, but he was very lucky. They expect it to heal with minimal to no damage.
This is the first year Lydia and Liam have not coordinated. I thrive off that mess, y’all. Sigh. Tears were shed. Mine, not theirs. I’m trying to be a better mom and today that means letting go and letting them be what they want to be.
We love you so much. So much that we were willing to fulfill your wish to go camping for your birthday on the coldest day of the year! It was so cold and so windy. Jared and I laid awake all night basically praying that a tree limb would not fall and kill us. It was that windy. We could hear trees or branches falling in the woods. It was quite the bonding experience.
We love our family outing at The Rock Ranch every year. This year we rented a fire pit which was awesome. Liam got bit by the giant black pig which was not so awesome.
I found a good deal on a Double Tree hotel in Cincinnati and so we though… Why not? We’ll see what the city has to offer. It did not disappoint! It is one of our favorite cities we have visited. We had a fabulous long weekend exploring Cincinnati. We already want to go back!
We booked Wilderness at the Smokies for the first weekend of break. It was awesome. We all loved the indoor and outdoor waterparks. The kids made out like bandits from the arcade. But the most memorable part was the surf rider. The kids loved it, Jared loved it (I think) and I laughed until I cried and decided not to give it a try. We made Jared go first and I’m so glad we did! That thing is intense. He jumped on the board like a pro and was living it up, arms out, feeling the waves, until. . . his wiener popped out. I kid you not. He caught a big wave and it slung him like a rag doll up to the top where he rolled and tumbled. All I saw was his naked butt as he stood up pulling his trunks up as fast as he could. I’m videoing all of this by the way. He is laughing as he walks down to where I am sitting and leans in and says “My wiener popped out!” We laughed until we cried. That is when I decided it would be best if I did not give it a try. I prefer to keep all of my stuff from “popping out”, thanks. That was the one and only time Jared surfed. The kids did it several times and thought it was awesome. All of their stuff stayed in their pants.
After all of that excitement we drove Newfound Gap Road to enjoy the gorgeous views and hiked Clingmans Dome. It is the highest peak in Tennessee and smelled like Christmas. The pine trees that lined the trail were so fragrant and we were basically walking through the clouds. It was awesome!
On the way home we stopped in downtown Knoxville, TN, to walk around the park and go up in the Sunsphere.
Wilderness at the Smokies
Newfound Gap Road and Clingmans Dome
Chattanooga, Tennessee. We love this little city. We went up for the weekend and enjoyed every minute together. We walked the pedestrian bridge and the river walk. We hiked to a little overlook called Sunset Rock. Our favorite, though, was watching the hang gliders and little planes. Then we drove to Cummins Falls to spend the day. It was one of our favorite hikes we’ve done and the falls were amazing!
We decided that it would be fun to head a little north for total eclipse 2017 to be in the line of totality. At home we were in the 97% totality. So we Jared booked a camp site. A primitive camp site. Like you walk all your stuff in campsite. Like you have no neighbors in the case of a bear attack campsite. Like the park ranger walks down your trail at eleven o’clock at night to tell you they are having a problem with bears in the area campsite. For real. You know about Goose and me and bears, right? I mean. . hello. . . Yellowstone. The friendly little park ranger tried to convince us that we would be okay just as long as we do not put anything that smells in the tent. No chap stick, baby wipes, lotions, anything. Um. . . We are camping with a 5 month old, a three year old, a six year old, and an 8 year old (who is now clinging to me as if the park ranger is a bear himself). And I’m pretty sure that after being in the woods all day they all smell a little. No one slept that night. Em, all the kids, and I put a big tent in a three sided shelter thing and tried to sleep in there all night. Nan and Pop slept in a test just below us. And Jared plopped himself, a flashlight, and a gun in a hammock. All of this and the fact that it was about a million and one degrees out we headed home early and watched the eclipse from the pool.
I have straddled too many strangers in my life time. Two is about two too many! How do I always find myself in these awkward situations? We took the kids to White Water. All was fun and sun until we decided to go on the body flumes. The kids are at a fun age where they are big enough to do some big rides and actually enjoy them. We always send an adult down first so that someone will be at the bottom when they get down, ya know. Well it was my turn to go first. I noticed that the fellow in front of me was rather large, but didn’t think much of it. I sat and when the light turned green pushed off. Half way down the slide I rounded this corner and could see Mr. Big STOPPED on the slide. There was not enough water pressure to push him. And I was flying towards him pretty fast- too fast to stop myself. I tried. All these questions race through my mind. What am I going to do? Do I lock my knees and hit him with the bottom of my feet? That would hurt. Do I try to turn sideways? Do I spread my legs and straddle this stranger? Can I even manage that? He’s big! I was dragging my hands on the side of the slide trying to slow myself down but it wasn’t doing much good. I slammed into him – straddle style and we slowly rode the rest of the slide together. AWKWARD! Then I was like What do I do with my arms? Wrap them around him? Scratch is hairy back? Drag them behind us? Thank goodness I was smart enough to use them to push is the rest of the way down. And after all of me was touching all of him I was just praying that when we dropped in the pool at the end that he wouldn’t squash me. That was a legitimate concern. When we dropped in the pool I tried to dive to the side to keep myself safe. It worked. We both walked out unscathed. Only our pride was wounded. Jared is going first from now on.