In 2017, I’m hunting the good stuff. I am setting aside the turmoil I see all around me and instead recording snapshots that will tell a story of fun, adventure, joy, and thankfulness. This is the story of my life and I’ll choose the tone and how I want to tell it; I do that daily with my attitude, my outlook, and the lens through which I choose to see life.
Here on my blog, I’m keeping a running camera roll of each month’s highlights and adventures. Has life been perfect? Nope. Have we had our share of hard days and tough moments? You bet. But that’s not what I’m choosing to focus on. I’m taking a day at the end of each month to go back and look at the snapshots of goodness and joy we have been given.
Without further adieu…I present to you October. After counting it up, we were away from home 14 or 15 out of 31 days. Whew!
The month started off with a Sunday afternoon date with Ryan. We talked about our remaining time here in Columbia and some travel plans we were loosely holding onto.
The kids and I met up with our neighbors on either side who also homeschool. We all went out to breakfast at Eggs Up Grill at 7:30 one morning. What fun!
We began our Halloween preparation in earnest. Can you guess our theme?
We hosted two other chaplain families and their kids for dinner. What wonderful fellowship we enjoyed.
We had planned a long weekend at Kure Beach outside of Wilmington, N.C. over the Columbus Day 4 day weekend but upon arrival, our accommodations were less than what we’d expected so we drove the three hours straight back home.
We regrouped at home and enjoyed one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Real Mexico Tienda. Yum.
I have been loving the Trader Joe’s pizza dough and have been using it to make these pizza roll ups and some dessert cinnamon rolls for a movie night.
Since Kure Beach didn’t work out, the kids and I drove over to Charleston for a few days. We absolutely hated that Ryan couldn’t make it (he had to be back in class).
We spent our first morning out at Fort Moultrie.
And then we hit up the Edgar Allan Poe Library while still out on Sullivan’s Island.
From there, we met up with one of my dear friends from high school. Kari and her daughter Olivia met us for an afternoon coffee.
We spent a little while longer making our way back toward our AirBnB by hanging out at Riverfront Park.
We had a wonderful experience at this great place. It was in a perfect location and great space for the four of us. It was immaculate. The hosts were a dream. And the price was right. If you need a cute little place in Charleston, check out The Quinns.
After resting for a bit, we walked to dinner and dessert over on King Street.
The next morning, we were up early and began our day by walking part of the city and seeing some of the sights.
By lunchtime we were headed out to the Isle of Palms. We spent several hours out here and stayed until dinner time.
We made it back to Columbia in time for me to attend a painting party/fellowship with the other C4 chaplain spouses. I didn’t paint anything, but enjoyed hanging out with the girls.
Mae had her first babysitting job. She was so excited and can’t wait to do it again.
Back in town for only a few days, we tried to keep up with our school work and PE class. The weather has continued to be very warm and PE was outside on the soccer fields.
One of *the* things to do in the fall in Columbia is to go to the State Fair. Oh. My. Word. What a spectacle. We didn’t stay long, but the kids had a little fun despite all of the greasy foods and interesting crowd.
The weather has been great and it was our turn to host the science experiment with the Yates. I had to fetch half a gallon of lake water and then half of the neighborhood kids joined in on the water filtration project. =)
No sooner than we’d gotten settled in back at home, we hit the road again. The kids and I had planned a week-long trip to visit family, knowing this would likely be the last long trip before our Louisiana move.
Kate and all of her critters rode shotgun.
We started in Atlanta. My folks were in town for some grandkid babysitting, so we joined up for a meal in Canton.
We stayed with my sister for a few days at her new house and got our fix of all of our cousins.
Next, we drove up to Cleveland to stay a few days with Ryan’s parents. The kids got to ride four-wheelers with Granddaddy. They were pumped.
Mean Old Mom made the kids bring their school work because we’ve got work to do despite all of our fun and travels.
We made the rounds visiting all of the grands/great grands. It was a full day but we always love getting to see their sweet faces.
After a few days in Cleveland, we drove to Chattanooga to visit with my parents where my dad took the kids to Chuck E. Cheeses, let Thomas drive in the neighborhood, and my mom and I went to Hobby Lobby so she could get supplies to make me a fall wreath. LOVE.
We played some Mexican Train Dominoes.
We visited my grandmother.
We had lunch downtown at Nikki’s Diner and spent literally the rest of the day at High Point Climbing. We stayed a few hours and then I took the kids back for a second session later that evening.
The next day it was time to pack up. My parents were having work done in their kitchen and my Aunt Judie came over for a visit. I met my two best friends, Jamie and Emily for lunch at Hibachi but failed to get a picture.
We drove home very ready to be back in our own beds and eager to get some school work completed.
Thomas had to give an informational speech for his public speaking class and Mae and Kate are his “live audience’ while I film. They. Love. It.
Ryan and Hank missed us while we were gone. =)
Ryan and I had a quick coffee/Target date and enjoyed walking around thinking about the holidays coming up. We talked through several scenarios about our move. When the movers will come. When/where/how we will celebrate Christmas. #serenitynow
Some other C4 wives and friends and I drove over to Camden for the Vintage Market Days. It was a fun little venue with some cute stuff.
While I was there, Ryan called to tell me his grandfather passed away. I had a feeling that this news was imminent after our trip earlier in the week. We quickly formed a plan and got things together to travel back to Tennessee the next day.
We got on the road and made our way to Ryan’s parents’ house.
Ryan’s maternal grandfather, Garland Griffis was the sweetest man you will ever meet. We are saddened by our loss but rejoice that he is now made whole and complete with the Lord. (These are some photos I got together for Ryan’s mom.)
I was SO GRATEFUL we were able to just pack up and go to be around for these few days of laying Papaw to rest.
Ryan performed the graveside/committal service for his Papaw. It was so precious and meaningful. Ryan and his Papaw were close.
Despite the timing of the funeral, Ryan and I had decided in advance that we’d do our best to make sure the kids would still get to have Halloween. My parents loaned us one of their cars and the kids and I drove back to Canton to let the kids Trick or Treat with their Roberson cousins. We sure missed our Uncle Rico but understood that he needed to continue his visit with extended family.
Ryan picked us up the following morning and we drove back to Columbia.
What. A. Month.