Wednesday, August 16, 2017


After church on our first weekend back, we headed east to Jacksonville! 
It's not that far, but we did make a couple of stops on the way over, and Carson did a little mini workout every time we did. 

We traveled over for Grayson's second birthday. We missed his first birthday party last year because of our move to Germany, but this time around we were ready to party. The party was entirely family, and it was pretty low-key.

After gifts were open, all the toys and gifts were put together by the partygoers - this is actually a terrific thing to do instead of party games, because it gives everyone a job, and because all the things are put together and the parents don't have to struggle through it alone after everyone has gone home.

This mini trampoline took 45 minutes and a rotating team to put together.

Morgan made a dirt cake as a birthday cake, and it was delicious and very cute.

After everyone had left but Carson and I, Grayson and I played around in the yard until it started to sprinkle. 

Next, we settled down in front of the movie Trolls. I was stuck in a conversation and didn't really pay attention to the movie at all. All I know is that there was a lot of nonsensical singing.

Once the birthday boy was in bed (and unhappy because he could hear the four of us having a good time without him - it's rough being little), we gathered around the dining room table for a rousing game of Mexican Train. The problem was that nobody knew how to play. We sort of figured it out as we went along, but I'm 99% sure that we weren't doing it correctly. Carson won by a LOT though.

Early the next morning (7:45), Morgan, Grayson, Carson and I got in the car for Orlando. We dropped Carson off at the airport and then headed to IKEA. Morgan napped a bit on the way over, and Grayson watched a movie.

After we'd left the airport, we went to IKEA! I wanted to check out some things for the new apartment, and it's always a fun place to walk around and get ideas. I walked out with some inexpensive lamps, lots of pictures of things to show Carson for future purchases, a pot holder, and toilet brushes. Exciting, I know. 

We went to the mall near IKEA afterward for some lunch, but Grayson fell asleep in the car on the way there and slept through our mall walk and woke up after we were back in the car for the second time. 

That evening, back in Jacksonville, we went to Moe's for dinner. The only reason busy little Grayson is smiling here is because I had his cookie. I asked Morgan to seize the moment and take a picture! He's looking at the cookie (Caleb has it) in the picture here. 

The next day, Morgan and I took Grayson to the beach! Rain was forecast for later (that's the thing about Florida in the summer!), and so we tried to get there while it was still sunny. It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed sunshine and the water. It was so lovely to be back at the beach!!

Yikes, see those clouds rolling in?

We felt water droplets the exact second that we closed the truck of the minivan, so we timed it right. We swung by a drive-thru for lunch and Grayson once again fell asleep in the car. He was up and ready to go when we got back, but Caleb had returned by then, so we washed the grubby beach off ourselves and Morgan and I headed out for some shopping/browsing. It poured while we were out. 

We also grabbed ingredients for our favorite pesto pasta which came together quite nicely (it's the Pioneer Woman recipe, minus tomatoes). We watched Jeopardy, and I saw my first episode of the Real Housewives. I'm not a huge reality show person, and I don't think I'm hooked, but I've heard a lot about it so I guess I've experienced it now!

The next morning, Morgan and I talked for awhile and took it slow while Grayson enjoyed his breakfast and played around in the house. 

I got on the road at about noon, and was back in Tallahassee before 3, even though I stopped for lunch and for gas on my drive over. The rain held off on the drive down I-10 (a real and true blessing - driving in the rain scares me!), and I had a quiet evening at home! 

It's so good to be back within driving distance of my cousin again! She lived in Ocala for years and had moved to Knoxville not too long before we moved to Germany, but Caleb's new job took them back to Florida, and now they're even closer to us! I love having family close by!

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