...because home doesn't happen overnight.
04.11.13 / Our Family Vacation


Last week I was on hiatus in Weeki Wachee, Florida. My {active and lively!} grandparents live on the water there and we drove down to visit for the boys’ spring break. We don’t vacation often {for the past few years we’ve done the staycation thing} but we were itching for warmer weather after winter’s gloom. Plus, we were offered free lodging and promised home cooked meals. Thanks Gigi and Great Grandpa!

Here’s a little instagram recap of our week away.


GOOD FRIDAY – Travel day. 18 hours in the car with three kids isn’t exactly my idea of heaven but it was worth it. I think Everett described it best. “We drove a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, verrrrrrrrry long time and then it was summer.”


SATURDAY – Mabrey turned 1! She absolutely loved it when everyone sang “Happy Birthday.” I’ve always been an emotional mess on my kids’ first birthdays. Okay, every birthday but especially the first ones. I feel like “we made it!” To celebrate, we took Mabrey on her first boat ride in the river then watched the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. Teary + smiley = me.


SUNDAY – Easter. Somehow the Easter bunny knew we were in Florida. The kids had fun searching for and then emptying their Easter baskets. We spent the day at my aunt’s house. The kids had a grand time swimming and splashing around. My grandpa served up his famous fried grouper {which he caught himself in the Gulf} and hush puppies. Not your typical Easter dinner but, hello, YUM.


MONDAY – My two younger sisters made an appearance! Just in time for a more traditional Easter meal which included Gigi’s homemade spinach balls. The recipe is coming, I promise. We kayaked on the river and put together a scavenger hunt for the boys that ended with a treasure/snack. Then they asked to do it all over again.


TUESDAY – We dragged Easter out a little longer and painted eggs. In the afternoon, I gave HH the day off {hehe} and we headed to a little beach with the boys and my sisters. Mabrey stayed back at the house with my grandparents for her nap.


WEDNESDAY – My sisters left {boo} and per Everett’s birthday request, HH, the boys and I hit up Legoland. My grandparents babysat Mabrey for the day. I was relieved of my diapering, bottling, baby-on-the-hip duties but was really missing that girl by the end of the day. We loved Legoland – especially Miniland USA. So many little Lego details! I prefer Legoland over Disney. It’s smaller and less overwhelming. It’s definitely family oriented. All four of us were able to go on 95% of the rides together so we didn’t have to split up, me taking one boy to one ride and HH taking the other boy to another ride. Everett had to get his face painted. {He never misses an opportunity to dress up, accessorize or make believe.} Of course, he picked the most expensive, least attractive design. Of course.


THURSDAY – Rain day. We spent the day reading {my faves were The Honest Life, Domino’s Small Spaces special edition and Dwell’s Renovate Today special edition} and in between sprinkles Everett learned to ride his two wheeler. In the evening, we took the boys to see Oz The Great and Powerful. Going to the movie theater is a rare occurrence for us. We all liked the movie but Everett was a little scared of the wicked witch. Even after his frightening face painting the day before – go figure!


FRIDAY – Our last day in Florida. I did a few loads of laundry to make packing/unpacking easier. We went on another boat ride. Just as we were heading back to the house, three manatee came right up to our boat! We took my grandparents out for dinner as a thank-you-for-letting-us-make-your-house-loud-and-messy-for-a-week gesture.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY – Travel days. On the way home, we split up the drive. We stayed in Tennessee overnight. Mabrey thought it was fun that we were all sleeping in the same room and proceeded to play peekaboo. Sunday was Everett’s birthday and he was such a good sport about spending it in the car. He turned 5 and will start kindergarten next fall. Ahhhhh! All my babies are achieving these huge milestones on different age appropriate paths and I’m trying hard to savor each and every one.

Our little vacation was just the refresher we needed. It was so nice not to have the laptop as a distraction and just focus on my family. I think I should go offline more often but maybe for shorter periods of time. It makes me a better mom and blogger!

I’ll leave you with the funniest picture from the entire week that had me howling…



Were you on vacation last week too? Any vacations in the works? Do you have the same online/offline struggle?

images: Dana Miller via instagram



Thanks for sharing your vacation with us! In the last photo, Layne is starting to look a lot like HH- hard to believe your babies are growing up so fast!

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I recognize the midtown Atlanta skyline in your picture on the road! That’s about 5 minutes from where I live and I unfortunately get stuck in that traffic all of the time. I’m glad y’all had a nice break!!

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Everyone needs regular R&R to recharge (another R), especially a mom with 3 young ones, a house in progress, and a non-family job, which blogging is. Great pix. Glad you returned refreshed after a loooong drive back. Happy birthday to 2 out of 3. Always look forward to see what’s going on with you and yours, tweaked house included.

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Is Mabrey in the closet at the hotel? I’m traveling soon with my almost 1 year old. We will be sharing a hotel room, not a suite. I’m wondering about bedtime, and what we’ll do after she’s asleep at 7pm!

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replied on April 12th, 2013

It was an open closet – no door. HH rigged up a curtain with a blanket. She did eventually sleep but it was so funny when she stood up, peeked out of her cave and giggled!

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I missed you last week bad, but I am happy that you got a great vacation with family. I love your blog; you inspire me every day to simplify. Thank you!

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I’m so glad you got to escape this ridiculous Cincinnati weather. Can you believe how cold it is again today? Our kids are the same age! My son just turned one April 4th and my daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall, also. How fun is that?

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That last picture of the boys is hysterical – I don’t even know your family but that picture had me laughing pretty good. Hope to see that one up on one of your gallery walls =).

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Ummmm your a buff mama of 3 share your secret :)

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We too needed an escape from our (never ending) Canadian winter! We headed to Augusta, GA to take in a practice round at The Masters, with a stop in Charlotte on the way. Thoroughly enjoyed the 80 degrees for a few days! Although I don’t know if I could have done it with 3 young children! Well done you. So glad you enjoyed your well deserved break!

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I’m with Emily–how’d you get those abs back??

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replied on April 15th, 2013

Trust me. They are not back.

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I’ve always wanted to go there…you know…to see the mermaids =)


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