Tuesday, April 30, 2013

our holiday in numbers.

Went on 9 different airplanes.

5th month of life, 5th airplane ride :) One more 16 hour flight and we are home!! #internationalflyer #mybabyiskindofabigdeal 
Traveled to 3 US cities.

"Flying home to see my daddy!!" #sohappy #sadtoleave

Met 5 friend's babies.

Meeting baby Olivia and catching up her momma :) Just beautiful!! @erinedmondson @mainlybananas

Were away from home for 25 days

Mimi bought Lachlan his first pair of sunnies! Such a cool kid ☀ @kathynorberg

Took part in 1 fire evacuation.

Fire alarm well after bedtime! #12thfloornotsocoolnow #ipplreunion

Went to Target 4 times....

So I might have gone a little crazy at target today. How can a store with the same name be so different in two countries??? #missthisplace

Spent time with 7 family members (5 of which Lachlan had never met before!)

Proud Mimi showing off her little grandson to all her friends at church :) #shesinlove

Made 13 Skype calls to Daddy.

Our last Skype with Daddy before we leave for home #cantwaittoseehim #skype #longdistancefamilytime

Took over 350 photos.

Easter morning sunshine :) #lovehim

Slept in 4 different places/beds.

Nap time with any kind of swaddle!! Our little bubba is growing up :) xoxox

Spent 12 hours in the car driving to and from Atlanta.

Surprised at how easy sitting on the left side of the car and driving on the right side of the road has been :) It's like I never left!

Made countless memories with some of the most important and special people in our lives!

My perfect little niece Emily! #loveher #shelookslikeadoll

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone who made Lachlan's first visit to The States so wonderful. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

easter weekend with ippl.

10.5 years ago (WHAT?!?!!) when I signed up to do this crazy thing called "sorority recruitment" I had no idea it would lead me to a group of friends that I would have for the rest of my life!

Enter IPPL: Ashley, Jen, Annie, Natashya, Jamie, LT, Chanteal, Carrie, Me, Jen and Mere (Kate and Erin not pictured).

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I have written about it before, but since graduating college (University) 12 of my closest girlfriends and I get together for at least one reunion each year. Sometimes everyone is able to come and sometimes it is just a few of us. Our reunion destinations have spread the globe; from Australia to Chiciago to New York to Puerto Rico to Atlanta to Tampa to Gainesville to St. Simon... and many, many more. So when I started to plan Lachlan's first trip to Florida, I decided to throw out the idea of an Easter weekend reunion in Pensacola Beach. Many of my girlfriends live up north where winter was still lingering around so I thought if I used phrases like " warm sunshine" and "beach weekend" maybe a few of them would come for a visit.

Turns out, I didn't need to use any of these phrases because, like a magic Easter miracle, 10 of the 12 girls came!!!! It was so, so awesome! Friends driving for hours. Girls flying through the night. People giving up their Easter weekend with family so that they could be with us. It was truly amazing and way more than I could have ever hoped for.

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I suggested that maybe we look in to renting a beach house for the weekend so that we could all stay together in one place, but it turns out Easter weekend is a pretty popular time for family vacations (duh!) so we ended up in a three bedroom condo out at Portofino Island Resort on Pensacola Beach.

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And I am telling you... this place was PERFECT!!! Three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a HUGE balcony with views of Pensacola Bay, a large open plan living area and a beautiful kitchen. I would go back there every weekend if I could!

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Not only was the condo amazing, but the weather could not have been better. It was that perfect mix of Spring and Summer :: just right for hanging out by one of the many pools at the resort.

And so that is what we did!

After cooking some breakfast, 11 girls, 1 baby and 1 Mimi sat by the pool for hours and caught up on everything there was to catch up on.

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Just like always, it was like no time had passed since we had all been together and we just picked up right where we left off. The best kind of friendships you can ask for in my opinion!

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[The Tower 4 pool where we spent the day]
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It was really nice being so close to my home because my mom was able to come out for the afternoon to catch up with the girls and give me a bit of baby-free time when she took him upstairs for his afternoon nap. Again- Mimi is awesome!

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After a day in the sun, we all headed upstairs to shower and cook dinner.

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We decided to take advantage of the grill and kitchen and have a home cooked meal instead of going out for dinner.

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Aren't we so old and mature now?!?!

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While dinner cooked, we sat on our balcony and watch the sunset over the bay.

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And then Skyped Kate and Erin, because we were missing them and sad they couldn't be there with us too!

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The next morning we woke up to another day in paradise.

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Lachlan got his first picture taken with the Easter bunny and a few of the girls went down to the beach to rent kayaks and paddle boards.

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Not a bad way to spend your Easter if you ask me!

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That afternoon we all packed up and everyone started the journey back to their little corners of the country.

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As sad as I was to see everyone leave, I know that it won't be long until we are all back together again.

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As I sit here and type this right now, I can't help but think about how special and unique it is that all 13 of us are still such good friends after this many years. Sure, there have been fights and disagreements and hurtful words said to each other over the years. But the amount of support, love and encouragement that we have for each other has overcome all of that. Our friendships have truly withstood the test of time. And boys. And booze. And parties. Ohhh the stories we have!

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From 18 year olds to late 20-somethings (okay, I'm almost 30... you're right), we have truly grown up together.

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And grown up we have done! We are women now. We have real-life grownup jobs. We own houses. We have husbands. We even have a few little IPPL babies now!

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And although I know as we grow older and begin to expand our families even more, these times when we are all able to drop everything and reunite in one location will become fewer and further between. But I also know that they will still happen!

Thirteen, 55 year old friends sitting around the pool talking about the days before kids... before husbands... when our biggest worries were what we were going to wear to the Theta Chi social or who we were going to take to formal. Now there is something to think about!!!

Love you girls!! xoxo

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

emily marie.

The night Lachlan and I arrived in Florida, my parents greeted us with some amazing news. My sister (who was 37 weeks pregnant with her second baby) was scheduled to give birth that Monday!! Three years ago this month, I was there in person for the birth of my first nephew and now we were back again for the birth of my first niece. You would think I had planned it or something :)

After a few days of putting together some quick impromptu plans, Lachlan, Evan and I found ourselves on a flight from Atlanta to Boston to meet my one week old baby niece, Emily Marie.

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It was both Lachlan and Evan's first trip to Boston so it wasn't hard to persuade them to come on this crazy adventure with me. After missing our connection in Philly, we finally made it to Boston and checked in to our hotel.

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We stayed in the historic Boston Park Plaza Hotel right in the heart of the city. It was really classic with some modern touches- super fun and totally cute!

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And then it was straight over to my sister's to meet this brand spankin' new beauty. Miss Emily Marie. Isn't she GORGEOUS!!!

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When I first saw her I thought my sister was playing a joke on me and holding a doll. She is just so tiny and perfect looking!

Our trip overlapped with the last day of mom's visit, so she kindly volunteered to stay in with Lachlan that night so that Evan and I could go out for a grownup meal and a few drinks in the city. Yeah, my mom is pretty great like that!

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The next morning we walked back over to my sister's place for some more baby cuddles and playtime with my nephew Jack.

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It was the first time all of the cousins had met and it was so cute to see them "playing" together.

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After a little morning visit with the babies, Evan, Lachlan and I went out for a bit of sightseeing in the city. It was Evan's very first time in Boston so I wanted to make sure she got a little taste of what Boston has to offer.

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It was a beautiful... cold... sunny day which made for the perfect city walking weather.

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We did a lot of walking, some eating and maybe a little bit of window shopping as well.

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Later that afternoon we headed back to my sister's place for some more family time where we attempted to get a family picture of the six of us. This was the best one out of the dozen or so that we took.

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While we were there, I decided it would be a great idea to take Lachlan outside so that he could see his first bit of snow!

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But he was more interested in the green leaves than the cold snow!

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And I couldn't leave without taking a picture of Jack's snow castles on their back patio.

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We grew up at the beach making sand castles. Jack is growing up in the city making snow castles. I love this!!

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[Emily and Daddy]
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Even though our trip was very quick and totally full, we fit in some good quality time with my sister's family, some sightseeing around the city and even caught up with my childhood friend, Ansley, and her baby, Gracin. Overall it was a spectacular trip to meet the newest little member of our family. She is just perfect!!!!

[A few instagram pictures from our 2.5 days in Boston]
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A special thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, mom and dad and Evan for making this trip not only possible, but an amazing few days. I mean, how lucky and blessed am I?!?!!

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