We5AmeriKings 2018: Day 10

The morning we had been dreading arrived way too soon for us. Goodbyes are kind of the worst and this one was like waking up from the perfect dream - we just didn't want any of it to end. We squeezed all of our friends extra tight... 

loaded the car and got moving. This was going to be our longest travel day and let's just say we had less than the best driving conditions. 


Instagram made our long days a little extra fun - we loved each and every question that people sent our way... totally recommend this as a family activity if you have a long road trip planned!

After answering questions, reading books, eating their weight in snacks and surviving the down pour... Ryan and I FINALLY let them watch a movie. 2300 miles travelled without so much as a complaint? We kinda felt like they earned that 2 hour break in the drive. 
(And I enjoyed the quiet). 

We crossed a new state off our list (spoiler alert: SC was voted least favorite welcome center on the trip)...

and then one more... 

and about 10 hours later, we arrived in ATLANTA!! We 100% lucked out and missed all major traffic and pulled directly into a primo parking spot at our destination of choice for the day. Miracles happen, people. Prior to our trip across the southeastern states, I was discussing places to eat with my friend, Gerald. He told me that we "HAD" to go to Ponce City Market when we were in the ATL and while we were all incredibly excited for dinner... 

we were even MORE EXCITED about who we were having dinner with!!! Y'ALL. 

I'm just going to pause right here and tell you that while I was clearly prepared to see my mom, dad, brother and nephew when we arrived... I was in no way prepared for how incredibly awesome it was going to feel to see them!

PRO TIP: Plan a crazy road trip. Talk your family into meeting you at some point. Make memories. 

We all scattered for dinner and sampled a little bit of everything... friend chicken, hamburgers, shrimp po boys, gyros, you name it... and we tasted it. Can't recommend this place enough... if you're in Atlanta, then make plans to spend an evening at Ponce. 

The kids donut know what they would do without their favorite big cousin Owen ... 

And I donut know what I would do without my driver, partner, ride or die companion. 

Day ten was one step closer to home... but it turns out home is just where ever I am with him. 

We5AmeriKings 2018: Day 9

The rain decided to join us for our last day at the beach, but that didn't stop us from heading down there to play. 

The waves were CRAZY!!! And the water was freezing... but there's something kind of awesome about being at the beach in the rain. We were the only ones down there which is also a perk of the rain. 

The drizzle and the chill were too much for a few, so one group headed back and a few of us stayed a little longer to soak in the peacefulness of the rain. I don't remember what we were talking about, but I do remember loving that moment in time with just me and him... listening to his dreams of the ocean and being grateful for a God that blesses us in big and small ways.

And since it was the middle of July and we were at the beach, it only made sense that we would make a big ol' batch of HOT CHOCOLATE for the kids. Ha!

We took advantage of those clouds and ran into Nags Head to score some souvenirs.  And wouldn't you know it? The sun decided to come out again, so I cut my shopping excursion short and we headed back to the beach house!

The next few hours were filled with little people laughing, wave fighting, castle building, hole digging, and me just soaking up all the goodness of the day.

I don't know if we sit in the moment enough. That's a lie - we don't sit in the moment enough. Days are filled with giving updates on our lives instead of just living our lives. I'm always glad for the choice of just sitting to him, and taking in the life that we've created together. 

Take crazy trips. Plan ridiculous road trips. Go somewhere you've never been. Spend days with people you've never met. Show your people the world outside your bubble. Pack the car with junk food and PB&Js and drive to an ocean that your toes haven't felt. I promise that you won't regret a single second.

And enjoy a beer with this new motley crew of folks you've met... 

because soon enough the sun will start setting on those perfect days of nothing at all and you will have to force 10 kids to come inside for dinner. 

North Carolina was so good to us... but we still had four days of fun left.... next stop? ATLANTA!!!


We5AmeriKings 2018: Day 8

Our second day in North Carolina was perfect. Plain and simple from sun up until sun down we enjoy every single bit of the time we had in one of the most beautiful beaches we've visited. The kids made fast friends with alllllll the other kids at the beach... did I forget to mention that we met two other families there? Oh. Let me rewind...

So, you remember that we basically invited ourselves to stay at Jenn and Dave's is part of the grand scheme of getting to FINALLY beach with them. Well, that also included two other families and their kiddos for a total of TEN kids, eight parents and 1 dog. (And may I add, that Bailey is hands down the coolest dog, I've ever met.) And as crazy as it all sounded... we had the BEST time with them! Jenn was so nervous because she and Dave were the common thread of all of us, but turns out she knows how to pick friends and we all got along so well. 

And these people know how to beach! They all came prepped with their umbrellas, and chairs and beach gear. We did bring our chairs, towels, and coolers but they all were ready to beach. I'm pretty sure the high that day was 75 so it felt like winter to us. ;) 

Look at these cutie kids!! It should be noted that Gracie has a strict "no pictures" policy as seen by her expression below. HAHAHA!

This was another one of those days where my camera stayed put and my heart stayed full. I spent less than 10 minutes snapping a few "to remember" moments but really, I just soaked up the sun, the fun, and the memories of the day.

I'm not sure how many times we looked at each other and said, "I can't believe that we are here!!!" ... at least 183 for good measure. I thank God for a million little things, but I thank Him frequently for the beautiful friendships He has given me.  I get some strange looks when I talk about Jenn, we are hard to explain. Two gals that live 1000 miles apart. Met once... blogged... texted...emailed... met... but when I'm having "a day" or "a moment" or a million "moments", I can send her a message and know that she gets me. She gets it. We are similar creatures filled with a shared love of creating, loving big, living out loud, doing too much, and not regretting a moment of the crazy we created. Our husbands work long hours, but also devote themselves to our schemes... they are every bit as chill as we are stressed and it drives us equally crazy. I mean who says yes to the person that invites herself to your house with her family for a week??

The same person that would have invited herself to begin with!


Days don't get much better than these...especially when you've been going non-stop for seven days. The kids loved the break in the trip and sticking their toes in a new ocean!

And because I like to torture myself, I found the pics from our Gulf Shores trip in 2014. 

Those sweet babies may not be as little, but they sure are just as sweet. 

We really just got lost in the day together. New friends with new stories... sharing old memories while creating treasured moments. At the heart of those stories will always be these four - I'd go to the depths of the ocean for them and I'm beyond grateful for His provisions in allowing us to adventure together year after year. 

A day at the beach. I'd honestly spend a million days at the beach with these peeps... funny how well you get to know someone in a fraction of a second. Thanks for letting us invite ourselves on your vacation... we had a blast!