I tried to post halfway through my trip right before we left Indiana for Virginia, but apparently the app doesn’t like me posting out of my stomping grounds. And did I look to see if it had posted? No. Oh well.

We had fun at the in-laws in Indiana, between seeing the changes in town since we’ve moved from there and the Christmas lights, the kids were never bored. They enjoyed learning new board games and spending time with their new cousin Elise, who is only 4 months old, and has her own special temperament that keeps everyone on their toes


Here all of my husband’s sisters and him are recreating a childhood picture, I only wish I had the original to do a side by side, it was hilarious to watch!


Aunt Lydia holding Elise


Ethan in his first game of Jenga!


Rachel learning to play Sequence


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After the fun, food and family in Indiana we went on the road again, and someone had the brilliant idea to say “Hey, let’s avoid the toll roads, set the gps in avoidance!”. Guess where we ended up in? The mountains and middle of nowhere West Virginia.

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But guess what else you find out in the middle of West Virginia?


Sheep! (Sorry the picture is terrible, but we were driving)

I think we drove past 5 sheep farms on our way down to Virginia. It was fun to see all the farms. I learned a new thing while driving through the rural areas, apparently the big painted quilt squares on the side of the barns are to distinguish the Mennonites in the communities. Thrones that I’ve seen are done in a pin wheel pattern in shade of blue and white. They are such a neat work of art out in the middle of greenery, and a welcome sight after a couple dozen cows, horses, and dilapidated buildings.

Once we got to my dad and stepmom’s house things changed pace. We ended up getting a hotel room in town.


Everything seemed to cool down and the humidity was 100% when we got to town. I don’t think us southerners were quite prepared for that. We did manage to have a few nice days. The kids were able to go on a hike in one of the local popular hiking spots. After that we spent most of the time hanging out and catching up. I ended up seeing my BFF Heather and spending new years eve with her and her fiancé. She’s my favorite person, and it’s been like 6 years since I’ve seen her, so this was a long overdue get together. We hung out at her hotel room watching tv and chatting, me- knitting, and catching up. When we talk it’s like we just had a conversation yesterday even if we haven’t spoken for 6 months. Her fiancé was fun to hang around and good conversation too. I’m super excited for them, because they are getting married this year! (about time ❤ )


My better half was quite miserable taken by a sinus infection for most of this leg of the trip and happily obliged to staying in with the kids while I caught up on some girl time. By the end of the trip the kids learned another game and we were longing for our own beds and trying to figure out how we were going to cram everything in our vehicle. I forgot to mention earlier that we got a topper made out of fabric that we put the suitcases in on top of our suv, and it torrentially down poured the entire trip up, and soaked through our suitcases leaving us with nothing dry to wear. So the first night at my in-laws was a scramble late in the evening with cranky kids to get things dry. We learned out lesson after that. The second leg of the trip it rained on and off, but the homestretch was beautiful!


Finally mastered dominoes enough to play each other

Driving home was great until we got to Chattanooga, and boy did that feel like living back in the metro DC area again.


eating breakfast before checking out, he didn’t want to get up at 5 am, and neither did I

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When you’re 10 miles from home and this is your view and you’ve never even driven through this area *snap a picture like a crazy lady*


Finally, the familiar territory! When you’re so giddy with excitement you want to jump out of the car and run the rest of the way but you know that will take longer than sitting on your hands and waiting patiently.

We chased daylight and we won. Even ordered a pizza and beat it home. And then realized we ordered at a prime ordering time. We finished unloading and had a load of laundry in by the time everything had settled and the pizza arrived. It was a nice way to end everything.

More than anything, I missed my puppies.


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