The end of August brought us back to Virginia, just a little over a year after we left.
I had to work and Ryan had work in D.C, so we decided to combine work and vacation and bring the whole family along for the ride.
A 15 hour car ride, to be exact.
This is the face of pure joy. The kids did amazing on the long trip, but were more than ready to move around once we got to the hotel. If Macy could yell "Freedom!", I am sure she would have.
Sunday found us back at our old church and were we felt most at home. The whole trip was good, but stepping foot into our church brought the best feelings. If I could be "homesick" for Virginia, I would be homesick for New Life Providence. Ryan joked that he wish would just pack everyone up and bring them to Detroit with us.
We had dinner with good friends from church and our little girls met for the 2nd time! Adalyn and Macy are 6 weeks apart and both have a pair of protective big brothers to watch out for them!
It is a good thing. Those are some pretty little ladies.
One of the perks of staying at a hotel for 7 nights is staying at one with a pool! Ryan and the kids took advantage of it, especially while I worked.
While the (massive amount) pictures may tell a story of leisure and vacation, the reality was it was filled mostly with work, crashed and dead computer and late nights/early mornings.
But no one want to hear or remember that...so onto the highlight for the boys!
This brave man rode his first real roller coaster! As in, loops and dips and going upside down type coasters. He loved it and his little brother is anxiously awaiting a growth spurt to join him!
My favorite part of going to Busch Gardens was meeting up with dear friends and their little ones. Jack, SQ and G (along with little sister R) have been friends since birth. SQ and G's mommas and I worked together and were called the pregnant gang. We have had many a playdate/nursing session/hangout time with these guys and it was so great getting the kids together again to hang out! Don't mind Jack. He did NOT want to get his picture taken with the girls, OR have them put their arms around him. He really did enjoy their company and they all had a blast riding rides together.
Colin joined in on the fun, even if that meant waiting for the Daddies to ride the big roller coaster.
Macy, however, Macy waited for every ride. Puffs and ice water were her main companions. That and her Momma, who is not so much a fan of roller coasters.
What I AM a fan of is the food at Busch Gardens. I made a deal with Ryan and my bestie J. If they wanted to go ride the Griffin, I got to go get a huge funnel cake while I watched all the kids.
They approved. I approved. The kids approved.
Oh, hey! Look, Macy and I DID go to Busch Gardens!
We were gluttons for punishment and after an early morning of work the next day, I rushed back to the hotel and we took just our family back to Busch Gardens for one last hurrah. We also stopped at the local outlet mall (which I desperately miss) and I was able to nab a North Face coat on super sale. Only in VA do you find North Face coats for around 75% off.
Friday night brought one of my most loved and most missed traditions. A pizza, talking, gaming, cataning night at the Flick's. The best part? We usually are treated to some sort of show. That night, it was a dancing (with a hoola hoop) AND magic show. Can you ask for anything better?!
Most of the kids decided to participate in the Magic show and Colin even made a basketball disappear in NINE minutes! (He was a bit off on his timing. Turns out it was just to the COUNT of nine.)
Ms. Abry, of the hoola hooping, magic show maestro fame, holding Macy and her bff Wynter. The girls were giving it a go at being Frenemies that night. Being one AND sharing is hard work.
It was beautiful evening with the dearest of friends and it refreshed our souls. Sometimes that is just the medicine that you need.
We had a beach day, but I will save that for another post. Sometimes it is just TOO many pictures.
I am beyond thankful that we could make this trip, even with all the work that was included.