Spring Break #1 aka tenessee!

April 17, 2014

I cannot believe we are finished with our first *official* Spring Break.  wasn’t i just walking her in for the first time like 2 weeks ago??

I couldn’t wait to go on our trip & explore TN.  I had a lot of fun stuff planned, and a couple of things popped up right before we left, too that added a lot to our fun.

We spent the first few days in Chattanooga. Then we went on to Gatlinburg.  Along with exploring & relaxing, we did the touristy things (and even saved one thing for late May!)  Since it was the better part of a week with lots (and lots) of pictures, and because I have been SO slack in posting…. I’ll just post a buncha pix, and talk when necessary.  You’re welcome.

Chattanooga- Day 1:  Rock City & Incline Railroad:


acting like a gnome in gnome village (Rock City)

acting like a gnome in gnome village (Rock City)


the semi-famous view of the See Rock City Barn that’s around these parts

she loved the suspension bridge

she loved the suspension bridge


waiting to drive up (backwards) on the Incline RR

waiting to drive up (backwards) on the Incline RR

pretty neat to see the city through the ceiling!

pretty neat to see the city through the ceiling!

we all needed some down time

we all needed some down time

Day 2: Chattanooga Children’s Museum

if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we have been to several “museums” (The Mr. calls them play-places).  This one was one of my absolute favorites!  Rivaling Greenville’s.  I recommend it to everyone.  We spent the whole day there- from 10-4 (w/ a quick stop for lunch nearby).  jovie probably could’ve stayed longer, but her parents were tired.

a really cool bubble-maker!

a really cool bubble-maker!

even cool for The Mr.

even cool for The Mr.

oh the joys of getting squirted in your face by a stranger!

oh the joys of getting squirted in your face by a stranger!

she was drawn to this felt-board.

she was drawn to this felt-board.

a very poor picture of her rhinoceros.

a very poor picture of her rhinoceros.

because of course.

because of course.

after dinner, a walk to the river.

026and, here is where i am going to gush a bit over my responsible 5 year old.  because- who says this??

we were going to walk to the river and then walk to ben and jerry’s.  she did stop eating dinner, and said she was full.  at home, she’s careful not to use that word just in case there’s dessert involved.  i wasn’t hungry just yet and wanted more time.  on the way to walk to the river, i said daddy was taking us somewhere.  she said “i hope we aren’t going for a treat or anything because i’m too full to participate!”

Day 3: on the way to Gatlinburg:


what an amazing place!  this WAS a waterfall that made formations

what an amazing place! this was a waterfall that made formations

all i kept thinking in my head was "Where the Red Fern Grows"

all i kept thinking in my head was                                             “Where the Red Fern Grows”



that are WAY larger than they appear.  Can you see our guide, Lauren?

…that are WAY larger than they appear. Can you see our guide, Lauren?

in front of the underground waterfall

in front of the underground waterfall

walking for about a mile [just a small part!] 500 ft below a mountain that was etched solely by a river/stream was pretty amazing.  knowing it was discovered (and explored) by 2 boys about jovie’s age long long ago is also pretty amazing.  (and frightening!)

then we landed in our condo in Gatlinburg.  before we left, i wanted to know some things jovie wanted to do/get excited about.  one of which was “playing in my room”

I, on the other hand, was excited by my balcony.  & yes, that is snow on the tops.

I, on the other hand, was excited by my balcony. & yes, that is snow on the tops.

it was chilly enough for one of these.  (& doesn't he do the Meemaw pose quite well?)

it was chilly enough for one of these. (& doesn’t he do the Meemaw pose quite well?)


Day 4: Smoky Mountain National Park:


Cataract Falls

we had a picnic & hike to an 1800's schoolhouse at Metcalf Bottoms

we had a picnic & hike to an 1800′s schoolhouse at Metcalf Bottoms

We drove most of the loop at Cade's Cove

We drove most of the loop at Cade’s Cove

*finally* a trip to Ben & Jerry's

*finally* a trip to Ben & Jerry’s

Day 5: Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg:

0078Okay.  so the heading for this was “school of fish”.  We watched for a sec, and this guy plus another large one swam by.  jovie said “those are the principal & the teacher”.

this time Daddy touched the horsheshoe crab!

this time it was only Daddy who touched the horseshoe crab!



that night there was popcorn and a video in jovie's own king-sized bed!

that night there was popcorn and a video in jovie’s own king-sized bed!

Day 6: Dollywood:

we didn’t tell jovie (in fact, we didn’t really even decide til’ the night before) that we were going to Dollywood.  —-Remember: she LOVES rides!— we drive around, pay & pull into a large desolate parking lot.  then Daddy told her we were at an amusement park:

0103we basically opened & closed the place- give or take a half hour here or there.



The Mr. seems to have ridden a lot of rides by himself.  She's there, I promise.

The Mr. seems to have ridden a lot of rides by himself. She’s there, I promise.


oh i'm SO not ready for this to be real.

oh i’m SO not ready for this to be real.

she rode quite a few other rides, too.  her all-time favorite were the water rides; particularly this one:

Smoky Mtn Rampage

Smoky Mtn Rampage

she rode that thing 4 times (3x in a row at the end of the day).  We capped off our day having a family ride on the carousel.  [to my knowledge, that's the first time The Mr. rode one of those with her]

It was a great great vacation, and hard to say goodbye to this:

the snow melted the 2nd day we were there

the snow melted the 2nd day we were there

we cannot wait for the next vacation/state excursion. in fact, we didn’t get a chance to go to Ruby Falls afterall.  so we are saving that for a camping trip when school’s out.

(way sooner than i think!!)


recent pictures

April 6, 2014

okay okay okay. i know!  and i feel badly, too!

i uploaded my pix today from my less-often-used camera.

today on april 6th i finally saw pictures (and many videos) all the way back from january- the 1st snow!  that’s not the worst time span, though.  before we had jovie, there is a picture of The Mr. & me at christmas.  the upload date is mid-May.

before we venture off for her *first!* *spring!* *break!* (officially), i cleared my camera and do plan to use it a lot!

here are some pictures to tide you over.  there are several videos of her !!READING!! and !!RIDING HER BIKE!! but those will have to come later.  as Meemaw liked to say to me-  I ain’t got time for dilly-dallying.

here are a few faves:  (hope a few of them were worth the wait.)


prob’ly one of my absolute faves


jovie insisted upon them hugging “Dada Snowman” 2


a good pic of her chewing her first piece of gum. (we found out it was National Gum Day)


Happy Valentine’s Day!


why do you have to look so OLD?


putting on the finishing touches of the fanciest bike we could find in order to sway her to get on this thing already!


it worked!!!


all apologies

April 5, 2014

not sure what happened.  it’s been a couple of weeks!

we are Spring Break bound…..  will definitely write more soon!

we’re here!

March 11, 2014

Really, we are.

I’m not sure what happened this past month & forever….but we’re here.  we’re doing well.  we are cold (not as cold as many of you!) we are warm.  sometimes in the same day!  (welcome to georgia!)

we’ve been having fun schooling, scouting, gramma/grampa-ing (TWICE), playdating, playing, imagining, reading, redecorating (the living room is DONE), planning (many excursions!), and generally just being five (and a half!)

i promise to do better.

not today- we are about to go to a park for a picnic dinner.

i reaaalllly hope to get back on here before the end of the week!

happy march!


January 30, 2014

oh man, despite ATL being so very very tragically ill-prepared for the weather that weather.com said was 100% chance of,  we have certainly been having a good time in our snow days!

interestingly enough, our county was the only county around us that went to school on wednesday.  (we dismissed 1/2 hour early from school).  i ended up being first in line (a first for sure!!) in picking jovie up while it was snowing all around.

excitement abound!





i threw a “snowball” at her


the snow was unheard of around here- it was powdery and nice!  therefore, rather difficult to make snowballs & snowmen.  we tried- and finally found some slush in the road to help.  here’s jovie’s:0052the powdery goodstuff was perfect- because jovie has been waiting her whole life to do this:


0033lucky for her, i remembered library books were due. so before her school got called off, i went to the library to grab a bunch of books.  quite a few happened to be snow-related.  next to the library is the yummiest place in our town.  so i brought home some donuts for the hot chocolate.  because…. i mean….


about an hour after warming up, she wanted to go out again.  well, of course! i was too cold, so she went out by herself and came back looking like this-  all rosy cheeked and happy.  with snowflecks in her hair.


we woke up to this:

0058and i still have about 3 pix on the camera from yesterday.  i kept warning her that all this beautiful snow MIGHT have iced over.  she wanted to play after breakfast, but since it was only 14degrees (felt like one) we waited.  she played inside. and after lunch got to go out some more.  i was making cookies, and i joined her afterwards.

i was shocked that it was all still powdery.

we didn’t have school today-  cloudy day yesterday left little melting.  plus ATL area was still in chaos (embarrassing, really- for you northern friends! but truly- we just can’t handle the white stuff!).

everyone’s hopeful we’ll have school tomorrow.  i won’t be surprised either way.  it is in the low 40s and sunny; but apparently there’s still sheets of ice.

we have thoroughly been missing The Mr. who had his own sleety morning Tuesday in Austin.  he makes snow days way more fun.  at least he’s coming home tonight!

stay warm, everyone!

the rest of december…

January 16, 2014

…. and into january.

so, as i said, we have thoroughly been enjoying The Mr. being home.

he leaves soon, and i fear another year of constant traveling is upon us. so i’ve tried to soak up what i can in having his help, and having him make me laugh, and having him take care of us and the cat(s) and everything around us.  it’s been nice just being able to watch tv together.  we are currently wrapped up in season one of downton abby…  can you believe that girl wore PANTS to dinner???  is that more shocking than the tiny hole in the server’s jacket?  the audacity!

so- on to our goings-on:

on christmas, we were able to re-instill the old tradition of going to the movies on christmas day!!  we haven’t done that in ages- and this was the first time jovie ever went to the theater!  we saw Frozen* & jovie loved the whole experience.  (and kudos to her timing that she & i were in the bathroom during the part that would have scared her to pieces!)  she keeps asking when we can go see another movie.  i have to keep explaining to her that 1. it’s expensive, and 2. there’s not always good kids’ movies out.

the next day, we took the g’s & uncle natey for a day out.  we showed them High Falls & then we went to a nature preserve called Dauset Trails.  it was a much-needed very pretty day!



0188when we came home, all of us were very tired from walking and being outside.  i couldn’t wait to curl up and veg out since i had no cooking to do (turkey sandwiches & chips the day after, thankyouverymuch).  but as soon as we got out of the car, jovie surprised us all by excitedly exclaiming that she wanted to ride the bike.

you see, The Mr. & i knew that even though jovie has no interest in wheels, she would never gain an interest if we didn’t keep exposing her.  the next step from the passenger trailer is a riding trailer.  we knew we were shelling out some major money for her to roll her eyes & never want to participate.  We figured if she wasn’t interested, we couldn’t force her, and we’d just sell his & her xmas presents.  she wasn’t too thrilled when we presented it to her on the big day.  but then, we spent the day at the movies, so there was not any time to garner interest.  so when she wanted to, even though The Mr. had little energy & the guiness’ record sore throat, he took her.


0214and she loved it.  a few days later, she learned how to pedal & balance better:


oh, mom- i got this!

 then on saturday, i took jovie to columbia for potter xmas.  she had a blast!  and what she didn’t know was that my BFF was surprising jovie with bringing ansley up to spend the night in the “omelette hotel”.  we had adjoining rooms, and when they got there, ansley knocked on the inside door and jovie was thoroughly confused.  i said- hey- see who it is.  she widened her eyes and said “you’d let me???”  HA.  the girls had a blast playing.  they didn’t want to leave so we ordered pizza in & just hung out.  it was great!

0259what a great holiday break!

january brought more cold weather, more videos & the return of school & scouts (which she is loving).  everything is going well so far & it will be a bummer when all this fun is over.

merry & happy & belated

January 11, 2014

ah yes…

i couldn’t wait to focus on posting some pictures & tell about our wonderful holiday when jovie went back to school.  but we in the south don’t exactly know how to handle cold weather, so we canceled school for the first TWO days back.  with pretty much unheard of single digit temps & negative wind chills, they called off school for buses and kids waiting at bus stops (i presume).  add to that that jovie missed THREE days that last week of school for being sick, and let me tell you we were all ready for school to start again.

*preview of summer*  UGH.

however, The Mr. was home for all of it.  so that was super nice.  (except when he was sick over christmas.  and, him being him, still wanted to help and do everything he usually does even though he was completely run down)

all was well.  time with Gramma, Grampa & Uncle Natey was fun & well-spent.  they were all here the week of christmas.  then the next day jovie & i headed to columbia for Potter Christmas & my BFF becky brought ansley up to surprise jovie while we stayed in the “omelette hotel” for the night.

and we’ve hung around here ever since. it was very relaxing & enjoyable.  but it’s good to be back in the swing of things.  now we have to unplug jovie from whatever device we allowed over these 3 weeks of sick days, cold & rainy weather, and holiday fun.  she watched more videos & played on more i-things than ever!

here’s just a taste of some of the 350 pictures from december:

from Legoland:



in front of the “braves stadium” at legoland. the mini-city was my favorite part!

0021that’s jovie practicing to be a singer.  i told her to sing twinkle twinkle because she didn’t know the pop song that was playing on the karaoke.  (not sure what any of that has to do with legoland, but we went with it…)

here she is as a “babydoll” for her december ballet recital.



playing in “snow”


which probably lasted 10minutes.

finally she had gotten well enough to utilize some of the advent activities i made up for us to do.  everything was put by the wayside for either busyness or sickness.  she was delighted to finally make the gingerbread cookies:


first ever gingerbread man


mmmmm now the fun part

and hooray!!!  we went to school for the 2nd day and got to go to the party.  she’s hamming it up in front of her “gingerbread” house:


we got home from the party & i had just decided that with everything going on that day/week/sick…. we were going to skip dance.  i didn’t want to overdo it.  clearly i made the right decision:


!!!  anyone who knows us knows that jovie 1. hasn’t napped in ~3 years!  2. never sleeps anywhere that is not a bed designated for sleep. 3. hasn’t slept on one of us probably since the other random time at 9months old at callaway gardens!  this is a picture of my having brought her down from sleeping face down on the floor on one of her stuffed animals to try to wake her up since it was almost time for dinner.  she slept on me about 1/2 hour more until we reaallllly had to wake her up.

turned out she had a fever and stayed home the last day of school.  what you don’t see is the couch where The Mr. is laying because this was day one of him having to fight “the little girl cold” that turned into “guiness book of world records sore throat”

Uncle Natey came in and we all went to have lunch at CFA to see santa.  she colored this picture for him 3 weeks ago and couldn’t wait to bring it to him.


next day was rainy & we were stuck inside.  so The Mr. brought down the Atari & played it on an HD big screen TV as was originally intended.  we spent the day playing old school games on both Atari & Nintendo.0061

0068Preparations were made for my annual cookie exchange party.


0071then it became xmas eve, and we had a very short-lived chilly time at the park while The Mr. wasn’t feeling that well, and jovie had a giant coughing fit.  we figured the 36d weather probably wasn’t ideal for her.  but first, there was this:



Uncle Natey is king of the playground!


not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

then, as usual, we had apps for dinner.  you know- the kind you eat; not the kind you play.  & laid out cookies before bed.  she thought santa would really want five cookies this year, since she’s five.  i hope we didn’t give him a belly ache!

0101next morning of course came with the thrills of christmas.  it was nice, and jovie was quite pleased with the fact that Santa picked out the right American Girl Doll, and i was quite pleased that she came up with such a great name.  I’d never heard her mention it before, but here i present to you:

Jovie & Clarabelle

Jovie & Clarabelle

goodnite girls

goodnite girls

lots of eating, playing & hanging out ensued.

there’s more from december…. but i have dragged this on so very long already.

have a great weekend!



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