Friday, July 22, 2016

dupont state forest | hike it baby.

A big group of us hiked through DuPont State Forest earlier this week, and it didn't disappoint. It never does! We saw stunning views of High Falls and Triple Falls from two different lookouts, and we walked down to the base of Triple Falls for an up-close and personal encounter (using stairs, for those of you gasping at that last part). This was only my second trip to DuPont, and it was a different kind of beautiful in the summer opposed to late fall (November 2013). We didn't visit Hooker Falls on this particular trip, opting for a two-mile hike instead, but I hope we will be back to this park again soon.

It was hot, hot, hot, but everyone championed through the heat and elevation changes like champs. The little ones (especially mine) loved our little snack break, because they were able to run and play and pick up sticks with each other. Braxton was feistier than usual on this particular morning, so I enjoyed my little break, too (mamas, ya feel me?).

Seeing the world with a baby on my back is one of the best things I've ever known, especially when we are exploring with others who are intentionally doing the same. Dirt under our shoes, the world laid out in front of us, our kiddos' fingers twirling (pulling) our pony tails, sharing parenting stories...there's nothing like it!

Who wants to join us next time?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

anniversary getaway | our special day.

We slept late (for us), shamelessly enjoyed cinnamon rolls for breakfast, exchanged cards + gifts, hiked two miles in a new place along a new trail, paddle boarded through new waters, ate a (fancy) sandwich for lunch, played Monopoly all afternoon, grilled steaks for dinner, lounged on the hammock (at any given point of the day), ate our body weight in s'mores, reflected on our best and worst moments of the past five years, looked ahead to what we think the next five years will look like, soaked in every second of where we were with each new breath, and begged for the day to never end (well, I did).

That's how we spent our Saturday.

And it was perfect.

Our kind of perfect.

What could be more perfect than that?

One day, I will look back on this highlight reel and instantly remember all the fun we had and how much we loved every minute of just being together.

 Our two-mile hike along Coquina Trail:

Our travels along Old Levi Mill Lake while balancing on our paddle boards:

Our fancy dinner complete with steaks, mason jars, and s'mores:
See what I mean?


Monday, July 18, 2016

anniversary getaway | the cabin.

In honor of our fifth anniversary, Teesh and I spent a weekend tucked away in the woods, just him and me. I found a cute little cabin that caught my eye in a new place that sparked my curiosity, and we decided to take a chance and book it. When we pulled up and saw that it was even more adorable in person, we were so glad we took that chance!

This was our first trip to Poinsett State Park, and it was the perfect mix of South Carolina's upstate and its lowcountry. Honestly, I would go back just to stay in the cabin again, but the recreational activities that the park provided were a lot of fun, too (more on that later). For now, we are showing off this hidden treasure and hoping that we haven't seen the last of it.

A motto that we have lived by since the very beginning of our marriage is "less is more," and this weekend was full of moments that preached it back to us over and over and over again.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

our fifth.

Five years ago today, we met each other at the altar and promised to love each other, for better or worse and in sickness and in good health, every day for the rest of our lives. We walked back up the aisle together, my arm around his, and smiled so big that our cheeks hurt and our eyes were squinty (we did all of this after we kissed, of course). We danced and laughed and had good fellowship with family + friends at our reception before it was time to speed away and enjoy our honeymoon in paradise.

That last part is what has been replaying in my mind in recent days and weeks, and it has been for reasons much more than the beautiful sights our eyes beheld while we were there.

Our first week was full of a lot of firsts for us, all of which I'm thankful for, and we spent every ounce of those seven days doing one simple thing: being together. It was blissful, to say the least, and I remember catching myself in random dazes where I was just staring at him. At last, he was mine and I was his. Forever.

We came home, began to learn new kinds of lessons, got into silly and not-so-silly fights (like whose side of the bed is whose, for example), bought our first house, started a family, and the list goes on. It's been five years since our dreams really started coming true (even though all the years before that were a dream come true, too...well, for the most part), and we've been moving forward into new seasons since.

Many will say that our "honeymoon phase" is coming to an end, but I confidently say that we'll never graduate from that phase. Sure, we will if we get careless and let it pass us by, but I have no plans of ever looking into TJ's eyes and not getting lost in them. We may not physically be on an island in paradise anymore, but our hearts never left. They've tried to plenty of times, but we are committed to keeping each other accountable (even when it really hurts) and continuing to put wood on the fire when the flame gets low. Some days are easier to do that than others, but even the tough days with him are better than my best days without him. As long as I remember that, nothing else matters.

The man who asked my daddy for permission to marry his first baby girl, who kissed me at the altar, who picked me up and carried me into our honeymoon suite on our wedding night...that man is still the man who makes my heart beat faster with every new day we spend walking through life together. He's different in some ways than he was on this first day, that first week, as mine all mine, but that just means that he's grown. And as he's grown, I've grown alongside of him.

I loved him when he was just a boy, I'll love him when his hair is gray, and I'll love him all the days in between. That's a promise.

That week we spent in fantasy land was remarkable, but the fantasy that we've built together by the grace of God has been better than my wildest dreams.


Because we're together.

There's nothing more dreamy than that.

Happy Anniversary to the one who cheers with me when things are good, holds me when things are not so good, and is patient with me when I get the two confused. We are better together, there is no doubt about that.

There will never be a day that you don't have every ounce of love I have to give. Life before you is a blur, but life with you is always full of organized spontaneity (a perfect blend of us both). Here's to continuing to smile as we walk into new seasons, my arm in yours always, while being surrounded by our incredible loved ones...especially the one(s) who call us Daddy and Mama. Our hearts beating in sync is my favorite song. Always and forever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

braxton michael | eighteen months.

No shirt? No pants? No problem.

That has been the theme of this past month. I mean, having a wild, watermelon-loving toddler partnered with a whole lot of hot temperatures to work with, what other option is there?

Eighteen months ago, this little dude was welcomed into our family. Isn't it amazing how fast time passes? Every new season with him has been full of more joy, more calories burned, more self-control, more emotions, more fun, and more photos (can you imagine??) than the previous one, and it's still the biggest blessing watching him grow up.

This month...
He kept me on my toes, but still paused for snuggles and rest at any given time. He revealed more of his very-similar-to-mine personality with each new day, and I've already begun joking that there is a good chance we will kill each other before long (who doesn't love a good battle of the wills?). He really started sweating like a grown man with all this heat, and his blonde hair stuck to his head as soon as we walk outside (I don't mind that part though, because you can really see the red tint to it when it's wet). He adventured all over the place, including our neighborhood and trails and even a few big waterfalls. His canines are still working their way through his gums, and I attributed some of his grumpiness to that very thing. He splished and splashed in the ocean and the swimming pool, and even completed his first season of swimming lessons. He, also, watched his daddy depart for an international mission trip, a passion that I pray daily would be passed on to him over the years.

The biggest thing that happened this past month is our nursing journey coming to an end. Some won't understand why that's such a hard milestone to cross, but it was. He had only been nursing first thing in the morning for the past few months, and I knew that he was done when he paused to look up at me and sign "more" two mornings in a row. Mama just wasn't cutting it anymore, and that's okay because it was a miracle that Mama ever cut it to begin with. I'll never forget how hard we fought to have that special bond, and I will forever cherish the seventeen+ months when we'd sit in that glider, just the two of us, and slowly wake up together.

A year and a half later, and my love for my first baby has grown exponentially since that first day. What a blessing it is to be called Mama by my little guy!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

twin falls | hike it baby.

We adventured to Twin Falls yesterday morning with our hiking buddies, and we were so impressed with how gorgeous the view was! It was only about a mile total to get there and back, which was great for little walkers, and Braxton wanted to get out of the pack and walk with them for the majority of our trek. This trail followed along Reedy Cove Creek the whole way, and there were several spots where we paused to wade in the water and climb rocks. Although it was a short, easy hike, the two falls that we got to see made the trip worth every mile in the car that it took to get there.

If you are looking for a beginner's trail with exquisite scenery and views, then you've got to put Twin Falls on your list. There were a few groups who had the same idea as we did on this day, so make sure you go early to beat the rush!
There's so much beauty to be explored. What are you waiting for?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...