I’m back! If you’re a keen follower, then you picked up on the fact that last week we were actually in Tennessee! (The highlights of our trip are mostly already on my Instagram feed!) I tried not to reference it too much on the blog before we left, just for safety reasons, but now that we’re back I’m excited to chat all about it!
Last week was so good for my soul, ya’ll and my heart is feeling oh so full. It was the first time I’ve made it back to “the homeland” in 14 months. I was roughly 16 weeks pregnant with Barrett the last time I was there (March 2018) so needless to say, I was way past due for a visit back! My parents and my brother and SIL have both visited us down here since then, but I’ve been waiting until the perfect time to make the trip with both kiddos and Adam. The last time Adeline was there, she was nearly 2 years old (gotta get those free flights in!), but Barrett has never been. Our primary goal with this trip was for him to meet his great grandmother, and I’m so thankful we were able to make that happen.
It’s a funny thing visiting your hometown when you haven’t lived there in 6 years. Every time I visit, it’s like everything feels the same, yet so different. Or maybe it’s just myself and my perspective that’s changed? I’ve been back countless times of course, just for a weekend at a time though, so it was extra special visiting for an entire week. It was my longest consecutive stay since right before our wedding in 2012, and I loved every second of it. It meant the world to be able to show both my babies my hometown, meet some of my favorite people, and see some of my favorite places. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I can live anywhere and be happy. As long as I’ve got my husband and kids, I can be a happy camper. “Home is wherever I’m with you,” right? But, Tennessee will always be my home, regardless of where we move. I think everyone ultimately has two “homes” – their first home, where they grew up and were raised. You know, where you spent your formative years! And their second home – with their new family and adult life, wherever and during whatever season that may be. I’m thankful for my hometown, and the magical power I’m convinced runs throughout it. But I’m also thankful for my “home” in Arkansas, and now my “home” in Texas. I can’t imagine having not left, but going back, and leaving again, is certainly tough every time. Wow, ok, that was a lot of talk about home. But if you’re still with me – basically I’m just feeling #blessed, mmk?
We were there from Sunday morning to Saturday morning, and I’ll be back later this week to share our first experience flying with a 9 month old and a 3.5 year old. I feel like we conquered the world by surviving our first big trip with two kids, and I am feeling much less anxious about flying to the beach in August! Spoiler alert: our first flight was r-o-u-g-h but our second flight felt like a classic tale of redemption.
We stayed at my parent’s house, and spent our time roaming all around Franklin, and back and forth to Nolensville to hang out with my brother and SIL and two precious nephews. We packed our days with family time, nap time, pool time, play time, shopping, and even a little tourist-y wandering down my favorite Main Street. My heart could just burst looking back at photos, and my mind is also BLOWN at the simple fact that umm, I have two kids, and they were umm, back in my old stomping grounds, doing the very same things I used to do growing up. Unreal, but completely beautiful.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from our trip. I will cherish these week for a very long time! (Confession: it’s actually A LOT of photos. So, grab a cup of coffee if you’re really curious about our trip!)
We flew in around mid- morning on Sunday, and got back to my parent’s just before lunchtime. We spent the evening playing at the house, and grabbing an easy dinner before putting our sleepy little travelers to bed. On Monday, Memorial Day, we had a cookout with my grandmother, and brother and his family.
On Tuesday, we went shopping to pick up the kids some summer necessities, and spent most of the day back at the house with naps. Adeline melted my heart and gave me all the feels when I showed her my favorite climbing trees. On Wednesday, Adam and I joined my SIL to take the kids to the pool for a bit, then went back to their new house to play. Wednesday night, Adam and I took A & B to dinner to meet up with a few of my closest girlfriends from college!
On Thursday, Adam and I again met up with my SIL to take the big kids out to play while my mom kept B. We stopped by my dad’s office first, then went on to one of my favorite playgrounds. The cousins had a BLAST playing together. After we played, we took A to our favorite burrito place, and reminisced on how many times we’d been there on dates through the years!
On Friday, we stopped by to visit my dad again (or PDaddy as the kids call him!) then showed A & B all around Main Street. I have a huge place in my heart for downtown Franklin – PDaddy’s office has been down there for as long as I can remember, so I grew up spending a lot of time in the area, walking back and forth from his office and up and down Main Street. Love it so much! Friday afternoon, my mom and I took A to a new splash pad and A had so much fun! I was so worried she’d be scared or intimidated by all the big kids but she jumped right in and did the slides over and over again! Friday night, we stayed at the house and grilled so we could take our time packing up.
We again flew out mid-morning, and it seemed to work well. This flight went much better than our first flight, and we arrived back in Dallas feeling much less defeated! Ha! B fell asleep as soon as we got to baggage claim, and slept the whole way home.
We’ll be back, Tennessee!