Saturday, December 30, 2017


We spent most of December in Muncie, Indiana. We really enjoy Muncie, and I was really excited to go. What I wasn't expecting was temperatures in the teens most of the time. I have never been so cold in my life, and I don't even know how and why people live up north. The sad part is that we are going back for January, and it's going to be even colder. We (especially Daniel) will really deserve our beach vacation in May.

One of our first days there we visited Alexandria, home of the Gaithers and Joey Feek. We had been here before, but I wanted to go back since we were so close.

Alexandria is also home of the largest ball of paint. We drove into the couple's driveway, and they couldn't have been more nice and welcoming. They told us the really cool story of how it started (a baseball), and let us put a coat on. We were coat number 25,809. It took way longer to paint than I thought! We even got certificates that told us our coat number and the date. It was just a really neat experience.

Ever since we lived here in 2014 I wanted to visit Monument Circle during the holidays. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is decorated with lights, and it is really cool at night. Luckily when we first got to IN it wasn't too cold yet. We went into the city one night and got to see the lights. There is also a mailbox for your Santa letter, so the kids dropped theirs off. What a fun night!

So, we go to Indiana, we freeze our butts off, and we get a dusting of snow while Alabama gets the snow of a lifetime! Not cool. And it was so cold and windy when it snowed that we literally stayed outside in it for 3 minutes. What a waste. 

I'm realizing as I'm writing this post that I didn't take very many pictures in Muncie. We spent A LOT of time at the library. It was too cold to do anything outside, and a hotel room gets old quick. Luckily Muncie has an awesome library. We went to story time one week and the kids loved playing reindeer games. 

Another cool thing we got to do was Lights at the Brickyard. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway had millions of lights along the speedway, and we got to drive on it to see the cool lights. We literally sat in line for 2 hours before we actually made it on the Speedway. It was worth it one time, but I would never go back. 

A few days before we came home the kids and I went into the city. Muncie is an hour from Indy, so we only went a couple times. It was finally warmer (like 40s warm, so not really), and we visited our favorite spots. The kids really wanted to walk up the stairs to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. It is 330 steps, and I honestly didn't think they could do it. Boy, was I wrong. They bounded up those stairs, and I thought I was going to die. But I'm so glad I can say I did it. Then we ate at our favorite pizza place in Monument Circle. I saw a commercial for a Festival of Trees downtown, so we walked to it. It was close to a mile there and a mile back, and I have no idea how the kids did that after those stairs! I was proud of them!

The Festival of Trees was really cool. There were 80 trees decorated by different businesses and organizations around Indy. You could vote for your favorite, but I wouldn't even know where to start! It was A Christmas Story day when we went, so Avery dressed up in the bunny costume and Colt liked the leg lamp. This was the perfect way to end our very cold, cabin fever time in Muncie.

And this is where the picture taking all but stopped. I probably said a few cuss words trying to make these stupid gingerbread houses with Colt. Pretty sure the kids just ate the gingerbread and icing without making the houses. Fine by me.

We had a good Christmas. The kids got too much, as usual. We went to my mom's the day after Christmas, and we had fun spending time in Birmingham. 

Poor Daniel has to go back to Indiana on the first and work in single digits. The kids and I will join him in a couple weeks, then hopefully February will bring some time off.

I have some very specific, maybe lofty goals for 2018, and I'm looking forward to digging deep and getting motivated. 
Here's to an awesome 2018!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanks, Irma

I always feel bad for liking hurricanes. Hurricanes happen at the beach. Hurricanes cause lots of trees to fall. Hurricanes give my family money. While we go to the beach.

This time it was a beauty named Irma. Irma pretty much wiped out Florida, but lucky me, our tree work was in my favorite place, Jacksonville. Daniel was there about a month before we came down, so the kids and I only got to be there a few weeks. We made the most of it, though. We got a coveted spot at Flamingo Lake Campground. What an awesome place that is!

I'll go ahead and get the beach pictures out of the way. We spent a lot of time there even though Flamingo Lake isn't near the beach. We went to Jax Beaches a few times, but our favorite is Mickler's Landing in Ponte Vedra. 

If you are ever in Jacksonville, you must visit Sweet by Holly. 30 flavors of cupcakes in mini sizes. Addicting...

We spent an exorbitant amount of money to go to Boo at the Zoo. I wasn't impressed.

We spent Halloween in Florida, and it was perfect. This was from the trick-or-treat night at the campground. So. Much. Candy. The big Florida-Georgia game was the next day in Jacksonville, and the campground was packed!!

Meme came down to visit while we were there. Her best friend Ricki lives there, and she is so sweet! Just the best hostess and a great friend. I've known her and her sons since I was born, and we had a little reunion. It was so good to see everyone! And could that backdrop be any prettier?!

On Halloween Day Meme, Ricki, the kids, and I went to St. Augustine. I wanted it to be a little field trip for Avery. We had a yummy seafood lunch then went into the heart of the city to walk down the main street full of shops. However, right when we got there some idiotic, ignorant, plenty more adjective/expletive college students were protesting a poor grandmother who works at a bakery on that street. She dressed like Aunt Jemima, black face and all, and these entitled, attention-seeking children thought this was a good opportunity to make it on the news.
I was beyond angry, and we just left. I don't even have words for this sad, Millennial generation. So my little field trip idea went bust. Oh well. St. Augustine is still beautiful.

We hit the jackpot when we decided to trick or treat in Ricki's neighborhood. There was not one crappy piece of candy to be found. It was all the good stuff. It was just a fun time all around.

We left Jacksonville a few days later. We went to Meme's for a few days, Fayetteville for a few days, Paducah for Thanksgiving, and now we are in Indiana again. So, in the month of November we have been in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, and Indiana. Gypsy life is tiring.

December is Indiana is going to be awesome!

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."      Psalm 100:4

Back in Indy

After spending a grueling 6 months in Paducah, we finally got to go back to Indianapolis. I dreamed of it for at least a year, and it was finally here! We stayed at a campground north of Indy in Noblesville. I would not recommend this place for long term living. It was rough. I'll just leave it at that.

Leaving Paducah (hallelujah!)

Living in a van down by the river.

One of our first days there Avery and I got out by ourselves. I had heard about this place. It's just like Steel City Pops. Delicious. We also went to Indy Reads and The Best Chocolate in Town for ridiculously expensive, but ridiculously yummy, truffles.

We had fun grilling out, building fires, and making s'mores.

I signed up for my first half marathon, the Indy Women's Half, at the end of September. Daniel was off on Sundays, so I did all my long runs on the Monon Trail. It's so pretty. I trained my little butt off, but on the day of the race I didn't have a babysitter. I was super bummed. I decided to run the 13.1 around the campground. Afterwards I got injured, and 2 months later I'm still not running. It's torture.

Fun downtown

 Avery got to run her very first race! It was a 1k to start off the football season. She got to run around Lucas Oil Stadium and end on the 50-yard line. I was so proud of her, and a little jealous!

We went to our favorite apple orchard, Tuttle Orchards, a couple times. We love that place! Our sweet neighbors, Addie and Easton, went with us one time. We really enjoyed playing, going on the hayride, and picking apples.

Avery got to run another race at a cool place! This was the Indy Mini-Mini at the Indianapolis Speedway. She actually got to run on the race track! It was so stinking hot, but she killed it! 2 medals under her belt!

It was unseasonably hot in September. We weren't able to find any swimming pools at the stores, but our neighbor found this slip-n-slide, and the kids had a blast! We never really got a real autumn while we were there.

The Indianapolis Children's Museum has a discount night once a month. The kids absolutely loved it! So many fun exhibits and hands-on things to do.

At the end of our time in Indy Meme and Jack came to visit. We went to Bloomington and South Bend, and showed them our favorite Indy spots. Jack had fun seeing all the colleges. It was also Jack's birthday, a perfect excuse for The Flying Cupcake! What a fun weekend we had exploring Indiana!

The weekend Meme and Jack were there Peyton Manning was being honored by the Colts. They put up this statue of him and retired his jersey. Excited I got to see it before we left.

Our very last night in Indy Daniel and I got to do something I will never forget. We got to see Garth Brooks in concert at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It was the most amazing show. To say we were in the nosebleeds is an understatement, but we could see him, and it was perfect. What an awesome way to end our exciting trip to Indy.

Four weeks before we left Daniel went to work in Jacksonville, Florida after Irma hit. The kids and I were in Indy by ourselves, but got to join Daniel mid-October. Another post on that fun...