Thursday, September 5, 2013

Georgia On My Mind

Several weeks ago, we traveled to Georgia to see my family. My cousin, Bekah, had planned a surprise 60th birthday party for my Uncle Kent (my dad's oldest brother; he's one of 4 brothers). As soon as I heard about the party, which was the beginning of this year, I knew I wanted my little family to go. Traditionally, when I was growing up, we traveled to Georgia EVERY Christmas and it was so special, but now that I have a family of my own that time of year has become increasingly more difficult to get away. We already celebrate around four Christmas's here in Texas, so then to add in a 13-hour car ride and jumping houses is just hard with a young 'un! All that to say, that I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to see my family who I hadn't seen in over a year and half!

We left on a Thursday night and drove to West Monroe, LA and stayed the night {Blake thought it was too overdone to go see the Duck Dynasty place, so he squashed that idea :)}. Shout out to Hampton Inn, seriously. When I traveled a lot for work, Hampton Inns were my favorite hotels to stay in and it did not disappoint this time either! We got a room with double beds so that Stella and I could share a bed and hope that Blake could get a decent night sleep. My kiddo is NOT fearful whatsoever, but for whatever reason, she would not let me put her down in that room and basically held my neck until she finally fell asleep. Apparently, she slept great, but I kept crawling over her to get to the empty side of the bed because she kept crowding me and pushing me to the edge. But, we made it through and got back on the road the next morning to finish our drive!

We arrived at my cousin, Bekah's, house around 6pm that Friday evening. She lives about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta. We had a wonderful dinner and had our own space upstairs with a bathroom. Stella slept in a play pen for this trip, but she didn't seem to mind at all. I brought our noise maker from home and I know that helped her, too. The next day was the party. We went to Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, Georgia {about 20 minutes from my cousin's house}. The rest of my dad's family drove up from near Macon, GA around 11am. Although my uncle had no idea about the party, he did see a couple of his brother's vehicles that he recognized in the parking lot, but luckily he had NO idea that our Texas crew, along with my parents, would be there! It was a really special lunch with even more special visiting time together. Blue Willow Inn is a traditional, home-cooking, Southern restaurant - the food was SO good!

{Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, GA}
{The Red Hat Ladies were eating there too - and they LOVED Blake}

{My man}

{My cousin, Bekah}

{My cousin, Amanda - pregnant cousins!}

{My cousin, Eden}

{My dad, far left, and his brothers}

{Four of my cousins and their spouses - we're missing 9 other cousins!}

{Left to right - my parents, my Mema, Aunt Susie, Uncle Kirk, Uncle Kent, Aunt LaDonna, Uncle Hugh, and Aunt Jerri}

{My cousin, Bekah, holding Stella and her two kiddos}
The rest of our trip was spent with one more night at my cousin's house and then we traveled down to my grandma's house where she and my dad's two younger brother's live, as well as more of my cousins and their families! We really enjoyed getting to see everyone for those couple days and I wish we could make it a yearly thing!

{My Mema's house}

{Stella on the redneck trampoline!}

{Stella and G-Daddy riding Mema's golf cart}

{Stella wanted to play with Mema's cat, Gracie, SO BAD - but Gracie wasn't too into Stella}

The last day, before we traveled back up to Atlanta to spend the night with my mom's older sister {my mom is also one of four siblings}, we met one of my other cousin's {from my mom's side} and her two kiddo's at Burger King to play. Stella and her daughter are about 10 months apart and it was so fun to see them play together. Plus, she has a little boy who was about 8 months at the time and I was so excited to see how much he had grown! After play time, we drove to Atlanta and spent that afternoon and evening visiting with my aunt, uncle, and other cousin and her new boyfriend! Such a great trip!!

{My cousin Lauren, Stella, and her daughter Anne Margaret}